VC15-110 Review

manufacturer: Laney date: 03/31/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Laney: VC15-110
The VC15-110 is the new baby of the VC range. Built on the distinguished heritage of the VC30, the VC15 delivers great tone.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Reliability & Durability: 7.4
 Features: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 9.3 
 Votes:
 24 
reviews (5) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
VC15-110 Reviewed by: Horlicks, on october 04, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: New for 2005, and the only amp on the market to employ 'The Dark Art'. The VC15-110 is the new baby of the VC range. Built on the distinguished heritage of the VC30, the VC15 delivers great tone. 15 watts of amazingly warm or classic bluesy lead tone powered by matched EL84's and cranked out through its internal 10" speaker. If 10" ain't enough for you, there are two dedicated extension cabinets, the GS112VE and the GS210VE. // 8

Sound: First things first, this a VERY bright amp. When I first got it I dialled in my favourite tone and it hurt, really. However this is no set-back after a few minutes EQ'ing and I had good blues and rock tones within 15 minutes. Clean, I didn't like the way the clean broke up so fast. You would probably not be able to get a good clean over drums. However, for home practice you can get a very nice tone, warm and responsive. I tend to leave the clean volume on 5 and adjust the overdrive with the guitar volume knob. Distortion/Overdrive, this is more like it! Think Orange. Smooth blues tones all the way up to modern rock sounds. The overdrive is orgasmic compared to my old solid state. I tend to leave the Drive volume around 4 for a great overdrive tone. I adjust the gain to preference (usually 4 for blues rhythm, 7 for blues lead and 10 for rock). This could definitely be used in a small Live situation and for jamming with friends. However you will not get heavy rock tones with this amp, but for my style it is no set-back. Reverb, I think the built-in reverb is great. It makes a great change from my boring solid-state distortion I used to have. I add a touch for rock and clean, and I turn it up some for blues. Currently I am using a mahogany super strat (Ibanez SA120) with DiMarzio Evos straight into the amp. I give this an 8 because of the clean break-up but if you want it for overdrive only I give it a 9. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The amp seems solidily built. Considering the size I was expecting a heavier amp but it is very light to me which is a positive. I would use this in a gig without a back-up as I do not have a back-up (although I probably would otherwise, just in case. I don't doubt the amp but it's better to be safe). I reckon this amp will last years if treated with respect ie. not thrown down stairs. I give this a 9 because I have not had it long enough to give it a 10 but it seems very tough. // 9

Overall Impression: I think this amp is great for the price, and I have been converted to a tube-lover. If it was stolen I would probably buy an Orange or another of these, depending on my budget. I think this is a great amp and I would recommend it to classic rock/blues players. // 9

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overall: 7.5
VC15-110 Reviewed by: monkey_dancer, on march 11, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 494.1

Purchased from: Rock Box

Features: I don't know when the amp was made, and as far as I know there isn't a way to find out from the serial code, but Laney only brought out the model in 2005, so it can't be too old. The amp is versatile enough for me, but possibly not for everyone. I play alternative rock, post-punk, and bluesier stuff as well, and this amp has (for me) the perfect sound for all of that. The amp has two inputs (high-for low output pickups, and low-for high output pickups) a clean channel, an overdrive channel, a 'bright' Switch, a shared 3 band E.Q, spring reverb, a tone control (just like one on a guitar), an effects loop, an output for an external speaker, and a footswitch input. It comes with 3 12AX7 TAD Tubes in the preamp, 2 EL84 TAD Tubes in the power amp and a custom Jensen 10" speaker. The Laney FS-2 footswitch has a reverb on/off Switch and a channel select Switch. These are not labelled, which is occasionally a bit annoying. It would be nice if the amp had separate E.Qs for the two channels, as it would be nice for getting a slightly greater variety of tones, but it wasn't difficult to find settings which give both good clean and good overdriven tone I want, so that isn't a massive problem. I use this for everything: practice at home, band practices and (theoretically) gigs. it's loud enough for practice (its hard to get quiet enough sometimes) and band practices, but I don't think it would be large enough for bigger gigs. The only gig I've played with this was a party, so I haven't been able to try it out for a decent sized gig yet. Still, if it wasn't loud enough I'd just mic it up, which isn't a problem. // 7

Sound: I play through this with an Ibanez S470 (with stock pickups, which are pretty bad) into a Dunlop Crybaby 95Q and a DigiTech Whammy 4. I have a DigiTech Digidelay in the effects loop and a Laney FS-2 footswitch for the amp. Using the effects loop doesn't degrade the sound at all. The cleans on the amp are great: really clear and bright sounds, and the 'bright' Switch makes it even sharper, even biting. The clean channel breaks up at around 2/3 o'clock, and it still sounds fantastic, but would make it difficult to get a clean sound in a gig without using a mic for the amp. Still, for 15W, it has a decent amount of headroom. The clean channel is the main reason I bought this amp; it sounds lovely. The overdrive channel is also just what I need. It ranges from a lightly driven blues/pop-rock sound, to a fantastic, heavy Neil Young-like sound when the Drive is turned up full. It isn't high gain: it can't do anything heavier than classic rock-like tones, but it sounds really full and thick: great for Josh Homme-ish tones when on full. The bright Switch, which can be a little too harsh in the clean channel, allows for a greater variety of tones, and can add a bit of high-end gain. I have tried this with some other guitars, and results were mixed. Using a friends Fender strat it was, for me, far too bright, almost piercing at higher volumes. But another friend's Italia Mondial hollowbody added a whole new dimension to the amp: it was darker, heavier, and smoother. The amp seems very responsive to the guitar and pickups used, varying widely in tone with different guitars, which is one of the great things about it, and means that the amp has a lot more sonic variation than is obvious from first playing it. Don't buy this amp if you want heavy distortion: even if you intend to use pedals, it'd be a better idea to buy a high gain amp. Buy this for its bright, chiming cleans and light yet crunchy overdrive. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Although I've never used it at a proper gig, from my (limited, I've owned it for 3 months) experience it seems fairly resilient. I always take the utmost care in handling it, which, due to the amp's light weight, isn't too much of a strain on the arms. Nothing on it seems likely to come loose at all, and it feels very sturdy. I've transported the amp around in cars quite a lot for band practices, and there is never a problem (I always put it on something soft and strap it up to be safe). As far as I can tell (and admittedly I haven't had too much experience) if you are careful with this amp it should be fine. // 7

Overall Impression: This amp is good for people who play blues, lighter rock styles, reggae, ska. Pretty much any genre which doesn't normally involve heavy distortion. I have been playing for about 5 years, and also own (aside from things I have mentioned before in this review) a cheap strat copy, a cheap bass, a Fender BG-29 acoustic bass, a Boss ODB-3 and an Aria 30W SS bass combo. If this were stolen, lost, or irreparably broken, I would definitely shop around for something different, probably looking more to better second hand stuff, but I would be perfectly happy to buy another of these. Of course, the amp isn't without issues. The overdrive is sometimes a bit muddy without the bright Switch on, whereas the clean channel is often too bright with it on, and there is no way to Switch it on and off without doing it on the amp. A pickup change could probably reduce this problem to some extent, as can clever equalising, switching between pickups on the guitar and use of the guitar's tone control. So really it isn't a very big problem. When I got this, I compared it to a Vox AC15 and a couple of other amps, and this sounded much nicer for my style of playing, but I probably should have tried out more, even I would end up buying this anyway, just in case there was something better. As I mentioned before, it would be improved by a second EQ, and also a footswitch which could turn the bright Switch on and off as well. It doesn't need any major changes though, as overall it is a really great amp for my style, I am very pleased with it, and I don't think I will need to buy another amp for a long time. // 8

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overall: 9.3
VC15-110 Reviewed by: guitarcrazy1991, on december 05, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 402.6

Purchased from: www.Guitar.co.uk

Features: The Laney VC15-110 is a fifteen watt all valve electric guitar amplifier with a ten inch speaker. Laney doesn't give you anyway of telling you when their amps were made (that I know of). The serial number on mine is LXA1271 which doesn't seem to give me any clues as to when it was made. The Laney VC15/30's are very versatile amps. They have amazing cleans, and the overdrive is usable but could be better. I've found that if you EQ it right it can do most styles; although it needs pushing quite a lot with an overdrive pedal to get into the high gain metal area. It has 2 channels with a shared EQ, It has an 8-16ohm external speaker jack which cuts out the internal speaker; I believe the VC30 has a 4-8 ohm speaker jack. It has an effects loop which seems fairly good. The channels and reverb can be switched using the Laney FS2 footswitch. Two improvements that could be made to this amp are, separate EQs and reverb for each channel. Which isn't a major problem as an EQ pedal can compensate for the shared EQ. I use this amp for home practice and for small gigs. Mic'd up, this amp is just about powerful enough for small/medium gigs. One thing I will say is that the 10" speaker can sound 'small' and I'm planning to buy a 2x12" cabinet for it. It has 3 x 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 x EL84 power amp tubes and runs in class a/b. // 8

Sound: I'm using the VC15 with an Ibanez RG which has Seymour Duncans in. Not the best choice of guitar for my playing style but I'm planning to upgrade to either a Gibson Les Paul or a Fender Stratocaster. It suits my playing style perfectly; Blues, classic rock and hard rock. Although, It doesn't get into hard rock very well without cranking it and I mainly play late at might after work so this isn't usually possible; I have bought a Fulltone OCD to compensate for this. The amp is fairy quiet with humbuckers but there is a bit of a hum with single coils, this is the case with most amps. It does get a bit noisy when you crank the Drive channel but not noisy enough to warrant buying a noise gate. The amp has warm bright cleans but with the tone knob and the bright Switch off you can make it fairly dull sound as well. It also has reverb which is always a nice touch to cleans. In my opinion is could pull off most genres with the right EQing but would defiantly need an OD pedal to get into hard rock/ metal. On the clean channel it starts to break up at around 8/9 and gets slightly distorted. The Drive channel is more of a classic rock type distortion, it doesn't get very brutal without the presence of an OD pedal. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on this amp, it seems solid and well made. I wouldn't use it at a gig without a backup in case the valves decided to blow. But, if I didn't have a backup, I wouldn't be too worried. It has never broke down as I got it October 2007 and it is now December 2007 but I take care of my guitar gear so it shouldn't break down. I seem to keep hearing Laney owners say their amp has broken down on the forums but I've never seen anyone say their VC15 has broken. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression that it is a great sounding valve amp for the money if you Live in the UK. Apparently Laney amps get expensive over in America. I play blues/classic rock/hard rock and it is almost like this amp was made for me. When my Fulltone OCD gets delivered it will be perfect. I have been playing for 6 years and I left it until recently to buy a valve amp. I was amazed at how much better it sounded than my Peavey Transtube amp. I use an Ibanez RG through this amp, not the ebst match but as I said earlier I plan to upgrade. I also use a Vox V847 wah pedal and an Electro Harmonix small Clone; defiantly a good match. Soon I will also be using it with a Fulltone OCD and an MXR 10 band EQ. If it were lost/stolen I probably would buy another one as I just love it. I love the variety of tones I can get from this amp, I seem to find a new sound each day. I don't hate anything about this amp. The shared EQ is a bit annoying at times but that can be sorted out with an EQ pedal. I compared this to an LC15 but I decided this amp would be better for the style of music I play. As I said before, I wish it had a separate EQ for each channel. // 10

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overall: 9.7
VC15-110 Reviewed by: thellamaking, on december 27, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 393.45

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar, Newcastle

Sound: This amp is meant for low/medium gain indie/rock/classic rock styles. And it does this very well. On the clean channel you can get some great warm tones for sasy, Radiohead or Razorlight. But the Drive channel is were it really shines. With the drive on about 4-5 you get those inbetween tones were if you really dig in it gets overdriven, great for Kings Of Leon or RHCP. Obviously it would do this aswell if you cranked the clean channel, it would probably sound better, But defaning you as well. With the Drive on the high end of the scale it can get Classic rock Zeppelin-esque tones easy, and pushing it a bit more could do older metal like Iron Maiden. But anything more gain would need an OD, but it's not built for 'brutal' distortion. It's a very loud for a 15 watt amp (being a valve amp) and could possibly do small club gigs, but you'd need to be mic'd up for anything larger. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp is built like a tank so I have No Doubt that it will break as far as physical features go. The metal caps on each corner stops the wood from being damaged from the floor. And all the controls are high end and look to last a long time. I haven't played a gig with this amp yet but I'm sure I won't need a backup. // 9

Overall Impression: I play generic indie/rock and this amp suits me perfectly. I play it through a Squier Modded Tele and a Fender Fat Strat. And these guitars really Shine through this amp. I would defonatly replace this amp is it was stolen. The best feature for me is the Inbetween tones. Because this is my first valve amp and it's the first time I've ever played around with that sound haha. A speaker and valve change wouldn't do this amp bad. If you put a high end speaker and better tubes in this amp would excel even more. A really good amp! // 10

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overall: 6.3
VC15-110 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 31, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Features: This amp is the new version of the VC15, with two air vents instead of one, so judging by the Laney website it was made sometime between 2008 and 2010. This amp is very versatile, mainly because on the clean channel it reacts with all my pedals perfectly. The Drive channel also fits my style, which is anything from funk, reggae, blues, some classic rock, indie, but never any metal. It has two channels, Clean and Drive, which can be switched between on a separate footswitch (which you have to buy separately) or on the amp itself. The Drive has a brightness button which I keep on at all times. This is because otherwise it is difficult to be heard with a band, so it helps cut through. That being said, in a small church gig I was told to turn down half way through the set, and the vol could have only been on about 6/7 (1 to 10)You can use a speaker cabinet with this amp, but it cuts out the internal speaker, so you must make sure its not another 110 cab you're adding! // 8

Sound: I predominantly use this amp with my MIM strat, with stock pickups. As I've said, the clean is just a blank canvas to shape your own sound with pedals of your choice, although at gigging volumes it does start to break up. The Drive channel also fits my style, which is anything from funk, reggae, blues, some classic rock, indie, but never any metal. Metal will not happen with this amp unless you have some serious mid-scoop and a lot of distortion. but then you'll have trouble cutting through, so for metal, I would recommend a louder, more powerful amp.The Drive channel can be pretty dirty, however but its no match for a Marshall Plexi, of course. The only hiss or hum I get from it is when my wah-wah's too near to my power supply, so that doesn't really count. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Well previously, I have used this amp without a backup out of necessity, but recently it's just stopped working. I assume the power transformer has blown, but after 3 months of ownership from new I didn't expect this to happen. I e-mailed Laney, and they were quick to reply, teling me to get it fixed through Dolphin Music, but a week after e-mailing them I've had no response. I have always been careful, it's only been out of the house 3 times and apart from at gigs its always at 0.5 on the volume dial (there's a new born baby next door). // 2

Overall Impression: For my styles; funk, rock, blues, stooges-esque protopunk, classic rock, early Led Zep, melodic Chili Peppers style ballads and reggae, this amp is a godsend. However, the fact that it doesn't work is rather s**t so I'm not too much of a happy bunny. If it were stolen I'd actually be glad because I'd have an excuse to buy something more reliable and a bit bigger like a Fender Blues Junior or even a Deluxe VM. I use: Fender MIM Strat>Crybaby>Big Muff>Dano Cool Cat Chorus>EHX memory toy>VC15 and it sounds great. // 6

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