#1
Hi there, I am using a Gibson Les Paul Studio (with standard pickups) and having now a VOX VT80+ that somehow muffles my sound, I am looking for a decent tube amp. I want to have very good clean sounds as a basis since for overdrive and distortion I will be using a Maxon OD9 kai a Suhr Riot. So not interested too much for its dirty channel. I am playing classic and hard rock (up to AC/DC, not harder). I need the amplifier to be somehow loud for rehearsals and live stages (for my monitor).

The options I am into:
1. Laney LC-50 II (50W)
2. Laney VC-30 (30W)
3. Laney Cub 12 (15W - will this be loud enough for stage?)
4. ENGL Thunder (50W)
5. Bugera V20 (20W) (I think this is more metal-ish?)

Can you please state your thoughts on the above? Any experiences with the above amps for my purpose?
#2
The 1st 2 laneys are more in the ballpark.

both LC-50 and VC-30 should have decent cleans but LC-50 should have bigger headroom for clean so it should benefit the pedals.


But LC-50 is modern voiced like a marshall, and VC-30 is voiced like a vox.

If you're into ACDC I suppose the LC-50 should be more suitable.
#3
I'm a very satisfied owner of a Laney VC-30 2x12 and couldn't give it enough praise, this amp is just amazing! The amount of tones you can get out of the thing on both clean and OD channels simply through the dynamics of your playing is substantial. It handles pedals fine too, I use a big muff through it for a stoner rock band and it sounds huge! And i know you said you weren't interested in its OD channel but if you're playing classic rock i think you'll be very pleasantly surprised by it!

I haven't personally played through the LC-50 before so cant give a very fair opinion on which is best but if you get a chance to play through a VC30 i'm sure you will understand why i'm so happy with mine!
#4
I'd say the 30 or 50W Laney's; 50W for a bit more clean headroom (not a knock on the 30W's cleans, though)
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Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Sep 24, 2015,
#5
I think you will want more than 20 watts. if you turn those up a bit they will not stay clean. 30 watts should be fine and I think those top two Laney's are your best bet with what you've narrowed it down too. Check youtube demos to get an idea of the differences for yourself.
#6
Quote by Maidenheadsteve
I'd say the 30 or 50W Laney's


yeah that's what i'd have thought
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#7
I have a Laney Cub-10. They are loud enough, they're great for crunchy blues, but if you want really clean sounds, forget it.
#8
Thank you all for your help. I tried various options last week including the VOX Cub12 which sounded nice but for loud it gets dirty. The ENGL thunder seemed too metal for my taste.

So, I am including weight into the factors for selection. Carrying for rehearsals and lives is a problem indeed. So maybe I am re-directing towards smaller amps.

How about these options? The question is, will 15W be enough for a full band live? I know that it depends on the stage sound, but what do you think in general?

- Laney VC 15 110 (1x10", 15W)
- Engl Rockmaster (1x10", 20W)
- Blackstar HT 20 (1x12", 20W)
- Orange tiny teror (1x12", 15W)

any suggestions on the above?
#9
I find 15 watts is not enough for a band by itself and you will almost certainly want a 12" speaker over a 10" speaker.

The Laney LC50 would be my choice


The Orange TT 1x12 could work, but your not using your pedals for dirt, you will have to use the amp because it doesn't stay clean too long
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#10
When I ask if it is going to be loud enough for a full band, I mean for using it as a monitor for me. Of course it will be mic-ed for the console (and off-stage sound).
#11
i beg to differ, but it really depends on the amp and the speaker setup.

dont buy any amp with less than a 12 inch speaker (does one of those have less? most combos etc have a 12).

i find even 7 watts loud enough to play with a band. it really depends in the headroom and respose you want. perfectly clean versus breakup, etc, BASS response will be key. the speaker matters A LOT.

i had a bugera V22 and it was more than fine for a band and great for classic rock. if you mean the G 20 or whatever that new 20 watt head is, not sure but you may be mistaken between that and a v22??

conversely, i have a carvin v3m and even on 7 watts with my 2x12 great cab setup, its LOUD. easily still loud enough to play with a band. speakers and cab make a HUGE difference. how its wired and the design makes a huge difference. some amps are pre-dispositioned to break up early. some are wired to stay CLEAN. sure you can drive amp amp to OD, but some will be harder than others.

everybody has their own preferences, but if i was you and i wanted classic rock medium crunch, i would find myself a nice little smaller wattage tube amp and use varying boosts, ODs, pedals on top of a medium breakup channel and get some natural crunch. but thats just me.

if you are set using a clean only, perhaps one of those new quilter solid state amps (not bad, these things are high quality) would be a great platform. many have some onboard tremolo etc. they go great cleans up to a mild crunch. they start sucking pretty bad the higher gain you get but they were not designed for that. these are a clean platform, perhaps great for blues, country / chicken picken, and light rock.

im sure if you are going to using your Riot and many other pedals, it would be great option.
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#13
What about the Orange tiny teror (1x12", 15W), it is a class A amp so it should be somehow louder than the class A/B others. I may have some chance to try a used one here.

Any experience with this?
#14
Quote by drlykos
What about the Orange tiny teror (1x12", 15W), it is a class A amp so it should be somehow louder than the class A/B others. I may have some chance to try a used one here.

Any experience with this?

The wattage of the amp is not the end-all scale of loudness, the design of the circuit is what decides that. a Vox AC30 is only 30 watts and it is loud as hell and actually louder than many 50/100 watt amps.

You need to take a trip to the music store and try some amps out at what you deem is band levels and see if it will work for you.
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#15
Yeap, I understand this and I fully agree. I'm just trying to get an idea of the magnitude for all, since I am not able to compare side-by-side all these and I want to avoid being at the first rehearsal or live with not enough volume (where I will have to increase the gain and distort my cleans - or further dirty my dirties).
#16
Quote by drlykos
What about the Orange tiny teror (1x12", 15W), it is a class A amp so it should be somehow louder than the class A/B others. I may have some chance to try a used one here.

Any experience with this?



Have it...love it. No frills, killer sounding amp. No fx loop though in case it is a deal breaker. I just add most of my effects in post production or on my mixer while monitoring.
#18
Quote by drlykos
What about the Orange tiny teror (1x12", 15W), it is a class A amp so it should be somehow louder than the class A/B others. I may have some chance to try a used one here.

Any experience with this?

Absolutely. It gets clean, but probably not at a very high volume.

Its gain would be excellent for classic rock. Much better than any OD pedal through a clean amp. But if you need cleans at rehearsal columns, it isn't a great choice.
#19
I used to have a Laney vc 15, great amp especially for what you can get them for second hand these days.

Will it be loud enough for rehearsal live? Yes. Will it do full clean? No, there will be at least a bit of grit/give to it - perfect for the OD but probably less what you're looking for with the riot. Of course the dirty channel on the laney is good too.

Laney made (still make?) a vc50 at one point I think, which would give you the headroom you seem to be looking for, however it'll weigh a lot and has quite a few channels I believe that you probably aren't interested in.

How's the backline where you play/rehearse? might be worth getting a 50w head and you won't necessarily have to move a cab around. Also you could run a vc15 through a bigger cab at the venue/practice space for more volume.
#20
i have the dual terror and i love it. i actually run it at half power (15w) most of the time. i run an OD or two into it, and have the volume all the way up, and i adjust the 'volume' with the 'gain' knob. it stays clean for a bit, but you wouldn't be getting clean sounds out of it at rehearsal volumes. mic it if gigging.
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#21
Quote by doubtfulsalmon

Laney made (still make?) a vc50 at one point I think, which would give you the headroom you seem to be looking for, however it'll weigh a lot and has quite a few channels I believe that you probably aren't interested in.


they haven't made it for some time now (probably 10 years at least). they do seem to come up fairly often on the second-hand market, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
they haven't made it for some time now (probably 10 years at least). they do seem to come up fairly often on the second-hand market, though.

Still sold new in Egypt

However, as the TS included ENGL and Blackstar HT series in comparison, I would suggest considering Laney IronHeart series. It is made for metal but with the pre-boost switched off, you can get this moderate rock sound from rhythm channel available in all IRT models except IRT15 which is a single channel.
#23
Thanks guys for your posts. I am still in the middle of my search, concluding what I am looking for:
- all tube amp
- a good clean channel
- low weight
- 12" speaker
- Loud enough to stand in rehearsals and full band gigs
- Not interested in the dirty channel since I am using my pedals.

So still looking for the compromise I will have to make for the above!
#24
Quote by drlykos
Thanks guys for your posts. I am still in the middle of my search, concluding what I am looking for:
- all tube amp
- a good clean channel
- low weight
- 12" speaker
- Loud enough to stand in rehearsals and full band gigs
- Not interested in the dirty channel since I am using my pedals.

So still looking for the compromise I will have to make for the above!


Blues Jr, HRD, Peavey Classic 30. All are very gig capable with stellar clean channel.
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#25
Just out of curiosity, why do you want your dirt/gain to come from pedals?

I second the Peavey Classic 30, generally can be had on the cheaper side of things and takes pedals very well.
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#26
Quote by mockbel
Still sold new in Egypt


oh right sweet
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
Quote by drlykos
Thanks guys for your posts. I am still in the middle of my search, concluding what I am looking for:
- all tube amp
- a good clean channel
- low weight
- 12" speaker
- Loud enough to stand in rehearsals and full band gigs
- Not interested in the dirty channel since I am using my pedals.

So still looking for the compromise I will have to make for the above!


All what you need is in the Laney IRT Studio... It is a rack which means it is the smallest and least weights with a ton of features and beautiful sound.

3 channels with footswitch included + gig bag = best for mobility

http://laney.co.uk/products/product_details/156

One additional note: I used to have same mindset about distortion and pedals but when I tasted the gain of tube amp.. it really replaced the use of pedal distortion. I use my GT8 now mostly for wah, chorus, and delay
#28
Quote by bobafettacheese
Just out of curiosity, why do you want your dirt/gain to come from pedals?


I am trying to have "my sound" for any case. So I just carry the pedals and that's it. Even if I need to play in a different amp. If I discard my pedals this will mean I will depend even more on my amp. And if the amp is 25kgr that would mean I will have to blast in any transportation (gig, rehearsal etc).
#29
Quote by drlykos
I am trying to have "my sound" for any case. So I just carry the pedals and that's it. Even if I need to play in a different amp. If I discard my pedals this will mean I will depend even more on my amp. And if the amp is 25kgr that would mean I will have to blast in any transportation (gig, rehearsal etc).


Not a good justification to use distortion pedal over tube amp distortion IMHO.

First, same pedal will sound different over different amp. Second, Having amp head is more mobile so you just need a cabinet which should be available in any studio you would step in for jamming or rehearsal.
#30
I don't know your price range but based on what you've listed the Mesa Rectoverb 25 might be a touch high but it will sound great for those types of songs, albeit a little different flavor perhaps. The Mesa Express 5:25 might also be worth a look, especially used. Use they come in under the price of many of the amps listed, at least with a quick check.

Have you looked into Egnater? There is also the 5150 III Lunchbox. Both seem like solid options with the mention of rock and AC/DC. Usually people have too many constraints and not enough money, in this case it sounds like your problem is too many options.
#31
Finally I got the Laney Cub12 three weeks ago. In the mean time I used it also in a live gig last Saturday. The amplifier has a warm sound more towards the british side (VOX-like) but is very very clean and well defined. It is equipped with the HH speaker so it somehow muds the situation in heavy gains.

I am using it in quite clean mode with my pedals (Suhr Riot and Maxon OD9) for the moment and the sound is good to my taste. Somebody (maybe me also) could change its speaker with some with more bottom end as this lacks a bit, i think due to the speaker. I have used also an EQ at its loop and in series but did not manage to get the punch needed. The Celestion Vintage 30 would be quite too crunchy for my taste but I think the Celestion G12H-30 will be much greater and louder (100dB compared to 95dB).

Regarding the sound level it can produce in a live gig, i would say that its 15W is quite loud, I used it with the gain at 2/10 and volume 7/10 and was quite enough (in a band that plays smoothly but with quite loud sound - we are playing classic-hard rock).

A big advantage of this amp is its weight and size (in terms of carrying effort). I can easily carry this one to rehearsals and lives as it is only 11,5 kgr.

Overall I am satisfied for the moment. Could try to change the speaker to achieve some more bottom end and better punch. I hope I replied to all my worries and concerns previously posted
Last edited by drlykos at Nov 5, 2015,
#33
Yes I use OD and distortion in front. I think they help somehow but not sure I get your point. Could playing with these improve this?? What is the concept?
#35
I get your point but with that I think I will lose even more of my already poor low freqs. Not?
#37
I am trying an eq at the front. Still playing with the proper freqs though to achieve a better low-end punch. Not very effectively so far
#39
Haven't tried this. Maybe I can check it and be back. I am not sure of what freqs will the OD cut in front, I hope different to those that will give the low-punch that I am looking for and are expected to highlight with the EQ at the loop.

I think I am always messed-up with something like a compromise between good low-end punch and cut-through in a gig/rehearsal. Is that normal? Or am i just too confused now?
#40
Quote by drlykos

I think I am always messed-up with something like a compromise between good low-end punch and cut-through in a gig/rehearsal. Is that normal? Or am i just too confused now?

Kinda. You typically don't need much low-end when gigging though, that's what bassists are for. You'll likely find that the tone you dial in at home is too dark for band use and doesn't cut enough; while the tone you dial in at band-reherasals will often sound harsh and ice-picky on it's own. That's normal.