VH100R Review

manufacturer: Laney date: 09/25/2008 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Laney: VH100R
The VH100R features twin footswitchable channels each with its own footswitchable gain, independent 3 band EQ, independent reverb level and dedicated FX loop, giving you an unprecedented level of flexibility.
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Features: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 8.5 
 Votes:
 49 
reviews (5) pictures (1) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
VH100R Recently reviewed by: TheStig1214, on july 07, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This was posted on GC.com as a early 2000s UK made Laney VH100R. Dating it myself I got somewhere between 2002 and 2003. 100W all tube (6 preamp 12AX7s, 4 power EL34s) head, 2 channels with foot switchable gain and reverb on each channel. Master presence for both channels, independent reverb for each channel, toggle on/off master resonance control and toggle on/off bright control on the clean channel. Standard Lo/Mid/Hi EQ controls. Separate "side chain" FX loops for each channel and an insert loop for your effects processors and rack effects. Comes with FS4 4 button footswitch to control reverb, channel A and B distortion and switch between channel A and B. // 9

Sound: This thing sounds absolutely massive. That's the only way to describe it. The distortion growls like a freaking lion right in your face. Very warm and heavy tone very akin to a rodded Marshall JCM800 with the extra drive kicked on in channel B. With the drive off it has a nice Plexi-like crunch to it, great for hard rock, rock and heavy blues/jam. Cleans are great but not overly Fendery and tend to be a bit shimmery even with the bright switch off and treble turned down a bit. Still very useable. Adding a bit of gain with the drive control is good for classic blues, slide, ect.

I play mainly sludge, stoner and prog metal. I run a Line 6 POD HD500 4 cable method in the insert loop for strictly effects. I usually kick on a Tube Screamer model to use as a clean boost to add more gain and tighten up everything. EQ and presence all at 6, reverb at 2, gain at 7-8 and drive at 6-7. Matches up perfectly with the tones of bands like Mastodon (Bill Kelliher used this amp in the early days), Bison (B.C.), and Cancer Bats. Great for rhythm oriented riffing. But if I kick off the extra drive and leave a tube screamer in the mix I get a nice crunch good for Gov't Mule or Sabbath type rock/blues. However, if you are looking for a super proggy Uberschall or Engl Powerball type tone, look elsewhere. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The overall construction is very solid. Don't let the low price you can find this at fool you, either. Laney have long shook their electronics quality control issues of the '90s. The tube sockets are nice and tight and everything still works perfectly after 10+ years. Solid grate on the back protects yet showcases the power tubes and each preamp has it's own metal sleeve for electrostatic protection. Definitely stands up to regular wear and tear of gigging. The two handles on top make for easy carrying and are solidly bolted to the head itself, I see no issues with dropping this thing. // 9

Overall Impression: Hands down the best amp I've ever played. As I said I use a POD HD500 for effects with this thing. It goes into a Crate 2x12 cab with Eminence V128 speakers. I use an Ibanez IC300 with Lace Dissonant Aggressor pickups and an Ibanez RG7321 with SD Full Shreds as my two main guitars. This amp definitely pairs up with my IC300 better. Recommend for pairing with any Mahogany bodied Gibson-like guitars and a Vintage 30 or similarly voiced (i.e. V128) speaker. My only gripe with it is that the controls do take a bit of figuring out. Basically you should just have all the distortion, channel and reverb switches on at all times if you want to use the footswitch. Resonance and Bright switches to taste.

I would definitely buy again and again and again. Best amp I've ever owned. Bottom line: Hot rodded, balls to the wall Marshall/Soldano tones on a budget that will not disappoint. // 9

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overall: 10
VH100R Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Seller

Features: This is a 2005 model. But I have a 2002 model which is almost the same except the newer one is a bit lighter and the Laney logo is smaller. This is has versatility written all over it. It was built and designed for versatility and flexibility! It can do everything well! Pretty much jack of all trades! And it does it well! I play mainly Modern Rock like Dashboard Confessional, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumkins, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, you get the idea. It's a two channel amp with gain switches for each channel making it pretty much sound like a 4 channel amp. The effects loop in this baby is masterpiece. You can dedicate your effects to separate channels or both at the same time. You can have your chorus for just your cleans and an OD pedal for your distorted channel! Unreal. Wish more amp manufacturers thought about sooner. The Vh100r pretty much has all the bells and whistles I could ask for. Reverb, great effects loop, great tone shaping tools, separate EQs for each channel and just great tone! // 10

Sound: I use a Gibson Classic and ESP EC-1000 with JB/59 pickups. Both guitars sound just amazing with not only the style of music but with the Laney. The amp has a bit of noise in the distorted channel, most amps pretty have a bit of noise. But when you play or play with a band, you don't even know it's there. No big deal at all. This amp can give you sparkly shimmering warm cleans, to classic rock crunch, to gritty blues, to modern heavy distortion and super high gain leads! There isn't much this amp can't do. The clean stays clean at high levels. I can barely put it to 2 and it's insanely loud already and cleans are still clean. Doesn't break up until ear bleeding levels. Speaking of volume, this amp is amazingly loud! It can go up against the loudest drummers out there and not break a sweat! 110db of snare isn't going to scare this puppy. I've put and mix new preamps tubes in there and it's definitely made this amp sound even better, very 3D. I have to make a note of this amp. You have to take the time to work with the EQ and tone shaping tools there. It's extremely sensitive to the touch and any slight changes to the setting will make an audible different! The controls are interactive! Just tinkering with one setting will set a chain reaction to the others and you'll have to play with them as well. It can be a real ballbreaker. It took me about a year to really master these tools! You may think you have your sound one day and later within a week you may change your mind and sometimes it can go to month and so on. It's a tweaker. Be patient and learn it well. You'll be rewarded with any sound you're after. For me I can dial in any sound I like. The tubes I put in the preamp section are V1 Mullard, V2 Telefunken, V3 EI Elite Gold, V4, Brimar, V5 RCA V6 Amperex. Power tubes, SED Wing C EL34's! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Built very well! Construction and reliability in these amps are kick ass. I hardly ever hearing people having problems with the VH100R or Laney amps in general. Definitely built and runs like a champ. Has never broken down on me. I feel confident that I can gig without a backup and I have for the past 2 years. Probabaly a good idea to carry spare fuses and tubes with you just in case. // 10

Overall Impression: Definitely by far the best amp I've owned and played. Had it for 5 years and gigged 2 years straight with it and has never let me down. Engl, Bogner, Orange, Carvin, Mesa Boogie, Marshall, Koch, Fender, Hiwatt, and many others have their good points here and there. The Laney rivals all of them. Some of the amp companies uses diodes in their tube path for distorted tones like Carvine and Marshee. Laney has nothing but an all tube path signal, everything is tube! When Lyndon Laney designed AOR he wanted to make sure that to give the amp more gain and distorted tones without the added diodes in the signal path. He added another tube for the gain stage so you won't need to mod your amp in order to get heavy distorted tones which carried over future models like the GH and VH series. So all the tones from the amp is pure tube. Brilliant! Dynamics, power, flexibility, durability not to mention price/performance is hard to beat. Definitely the best amp I've ever come across that gives you everything. // 10

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overall: 9
VH100R Reviewed by: H4T3BR33D3R, on january 16, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 632

Purchased from: private seller

Features: The Laney VH100R is a 100 Watt, class A/B valve amplifier for those Who want versatility and tone in one powerful package. The amp features high and low impedance input jacks, 2 channels with foot switchable gain modes, independent bass, middle & treble controls for each channel, a master presence control, a bright switch, switchable resonance, independent reverb, line outs for silent recording, 16 ohm and 8 ohm speaker connections, and a global effects loop as well as a side effects loop for each channel. The amp also features switchable valve biasing which gives you the option of switching between EL34 and 6L6 power tubes. The amplifier is current loaded with JJ EL34s and Tungsol 12ax7s. // 10

Sound: Turning on the amplifier and plugging in with a humbucker guitar, the clean channel is quite twangy with the bridge pickup. Quite reminiscent of a Fender amplifier. Switching to the neck pickup, the clean is fat but still retains some twang. With a Stratocaster in hand, the clean channel's brilliance makes it's presence known. The clean channel really comes alive with single coils. With the bright Switch engaged, the channel becomes a little brittle. Like many bright switches, it becomes ineffective when the clean channel is pushed. The second mode on the channel adds a bit of grit. This channel is great for bluesy style leads. The bass is quite flabby on this channel and the channel lacks a bit of definition, it's probably the most lacking on the amplifier. Using the bridge pickup in a Les Paul and switching to the crunch channel rewards me with a growling, overdriven tone reminiscent of early English Rock and Roll tones. Chording is really defined, every note can be heard. Switching to the Rhythm pickup and rolling the tone knob down gives me a near perfect rendition of Clapton's famous woman tone. Switching to the second mode engages an additional gain channel. With both of the Drive knobs (Yes, there are 2), at 7, I achieve a tone much like the Marshall Super Lead amplifier. With the gain knobs dimed, I achieve a raunchy distorted tone that's perfect for new age metal. The problem with Channel two is it's excessive brightness. When the treble is past 3, the amp becomes quite harsh sounding. It's also very noisy on the Drive channel, anything past 7 to 8 will require a suppressor to tame down the noise. The effects loop also adds quite a bit of noise so be sure to keep it off or turn the level down when it's not in use. This amp is great for any genre. I play genres from pop to metal. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The amp is bullet-proof. Its construction is quite solid. The only issue I've had is the low impedance jack, which seems to cut out frequently. I've also noticed that the tolex tears easy, so if you're about cosmetics, be a bit more cautious around the amplifier. // 8

Overall Impression: The Laney VH100R is a great amp for many genres. It sounds great with humbuckers or single coils. The only gripe I have with the amp is the noise. If it were stolen/lost, I would definitely buy it again.If you're looking for a no non-sense, balls to the wall, versatile, tone monster. The Laney VH100R is for you. From sparkling clean to down right mean. I highly recommend it. // 9

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overall: 9.5
VH100R Reviewed by: bigtimmy, on september 25, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 2000

Purchased from: Davis Music Center

Features: This model was the 40th anneversiary edition. I've only had it 5 months, and was the first person to play it out of the box. I chose this over the GH100L because of the second independent channel for a flexible range of sounds. I play prog rock, old rock and metal (all genres) but wanted to get an amp that was cheap(er) but still kickass. I has 2 channels, clean and overdrive. The footswitch that comes with the amp is great, it's this sturdy rectangular no bs stomp box. One clean/crunch, one reverb, one channel Switch and one high gain Switch. I'm yet to try the effects loop on it as I only have a wah pedal to use. I use this amp for home playing/recording but got it for future gigging. it's loud as anything so I never take it past 3 at home. Another sweet feature is the resonance Switch which delivers a thick low end presence to the sound. // 9

Sound: I use a ESP LTD F-2005 with active pickups (EMGs). I want to look at a PRS in the future tho. The clean channel (due to my EMGs) is quite twangy and bright, but on the neck pickup it sounds lovely. I don't much for the brightening Switch as I tend to get annoyed by more treble in a clean sound. (I like my mids) The crispy clean channel is ok... by that I mean I think I need to fiddle with this more (and with a less high gain guitar) to get it right. The overdrive channel is great. You can sooooo many sounds and tones depending on your settings for crunch, to a gentle fuzz, to a thick old school rock tone. The reverb channel offers a slight diversity but you'd be beter off sticking with an external effect, for more dynamic presence.

Pure, effortless, awesome, even tho this is a trebly amp and some may claim it doesn't have the big sound like a recitfier or a Marshall, by cripes it packs a punch. Flick on the resonance Switch and feel the room pulsate. I usually play Opeth style, but even when I feel like a bit iced earth or Metallica, I can still achieve ballsy scooped sound from the Laney. But... mids are sexy.

As far as lead work is concerned, the signal is clear (so long as you don't have ridiculous amounts of gain) - I use 8 on gain, 6 on o/drive. You can tell why Opeth use laneys, the clarity and warmth you can get from either channel (especially clean)is face-meltingly worthy. I give it 9/10 simply because I'm still unsure about the crispy clean setting. pure clean/gain channel gets 10/10. // 10

Reliability & Durability: One of the reasons I went for these amps was I heard how sturdy these amps were. A robust no bs construction, and I've yet to have any worries or concerns. I have only had the amp 5 months, and it was brand spankin new when I got it, I also have yet to test it on a gig, but the sound stayed lovely and warm (and menancing) when I've recorded all day at home. transport is easy too because the unit itself, together with a Laney 3/4 quad box isn't all that large. I can easily get it in and out of my car and the head also has nice grab handles on top so you can just lift it up no hassles. // 9

Overall Impression: One of the best amps I've ever played. My friend Who I'm jamming with has 3 amps, a Dual Rectifier, a 5150 and a 300w Crate. When he had a play on mine, he thought it was friggin amazing the range of sounds and punch it had, depsite it's physical size being dwarfed by the mountain of amps he has. I have no regrets, ok one, that I haven't been able to take it out from home and put it on stage and let her rip. If someone ever broke it (unlikely) or stole it, I would hunt them down, make them get a lass pregnant, let him have the kid, bond and cherish the kid, then I would eat the kid, with syrup. Extreme happiness, and I even got it for $1500 AUD cheaper (with the cabinet) then I should've payed. Brilliant amp. // 10

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overall: 8.5
VH100R Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 30, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1250

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: Mine is one of the older ones with the leather strap handles. Newer ones look cooler but probably sound the same so whatever. I use it in rehearsals with my band and live. It's very loud and operates best at high volume. My bass player has a 1200 watt Ampeg rig (solid state) and the Laney is still louder. I just wish the resonance feature was adjustable because it can be too much sometimes. A half power Switch would be very cool too. // 8

Sound: I use 7 string schecters with Bare Knuckle Pickups and play progressive metal so I go through a variety of playing styles. The amp does most of these pretty well. After using this amp for a couple of years I finally figured out that the key to getting a good sound out of it is volume and use of the correct input jack. I used think this amp couldn't do a good metal tone but I am able to get a really good distortion through the low input and with the volume at 12:00, gain at 12:30 and Drive at around 2:30. I need to push the volume because I'm running a 480 watt cab but I also think a lot of this amp's tone lives in the power tubes so you need to push them to get a really heavy sound. Otherwise, I feel the tone is a bit lacking when the volume is rolled back. Through the low input you can push the clean channel a bit too. Sounds really good at around 10:00 or a little higher. The clean Drive Switch and the overdrive channel without the Drive on are nice for your inbetween overdrive sounds. Though, of the two, I prefer the OD channel while controlling it with my guitar volume knob. The amp's not perfect. I do use a MXR EQ in the loop with the highest highs and upper mids cut slightly and a boost to the lower mids. This really helps warm things up but doesn't interfere with clarity. I use a tube screamer in front for solos as well. My distortion settings are ok for certain solos or licks but the pedal sounds great when I really need to cut and get that round, liquid sounding attack. // 8

Reliability & Durability: So far it has been very reliable. The only problem I had with it was that a fuse blew right before my band was about to play once. That was a power problem on the stage though... // 10

Overall Impression: Overall it's a decent amp but so many factors involved in tone it's hard to know which element to change to make it perfect. I've been playing 16 years and have a few other amps including a Mesa and a budget B52 tube amp. The Laney sounds the best now that I've figured out what it needs. I do wish it had a half power Switch so I could get my nice sound a lower volumes. Sound guys at gigs always want to turn you down so power tube saturation at lower levels is ideal. // 8

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