Okay at the moment I absolutely despise my tone.

I first had a silvertone stratocaster copy and a Marshall MG30DFX. At first I didn't mind the sound, I was actually fairly pleased, but yes as my ears matured I wanted a better sound.

So I opted out for new pickups for my stratocaster. I added in a Seymour Duncan SH-4 in the bridge and once again, I was happy for the time being.

and so a pattern emerges, I begin to dislike my sound again. Finally after months of having a 'mediocre' sound, I managed to get an Ibanez S470 and a Fuzz Factory for christmas, I thought this would surely make me happy once again for the time being.

but no, I have really gotten to the stage where I hate my tone. Clean it sounds perfectly fine, but if I use my DS-2 or fuzz factory on this amp it sounds less than average. It's even gotten to the stage where I don't play my guitar as much because I'm not happy with the sound.

I'd imagine this is mainly because I have such a worthless amp. I have been looking to get a decent valve amp for a while now, but just have never got the money together. But yes I have gotten desperate for a better sound, is a good amp my only solution?

I've been looking into the Laney LC15, I'd love the version with reverb but as I'm so desperate I think I'm gonna have to settle without, as I'll have to sell both my old amps just to get the money for the LC15, which I can get for about £160.

Will this amp sort out my tone desires? I want something that can handle higher gain well. Not quite metal, but pretty heavy.

I'm aware this was a bit of a read, but I appreciate any help I can get. As I said, I'm desperate!
Hi Matt,

I wouldn't say that your amp is useless, but yours is the second post that I have read today where someone is trying to get a heavy tone out of a solid state amp with a weenie little speaker. If you like the big Marshall stack sound you need closed back 12's.

You haven't told us what it is that you don't like about your tone, so it's hard to know where to start. How does it sound through a good set of headphones? What about from the line out into recording equipment computer or whatever? Is it tinny, muddy, middy trashy -- what's the problem?

I my experience, your gear is not the be all/end all when it comes to tone. I know guys that can pick up any ratty old guitar and plug it into just about any amp and make it sound good. Buy what you like, not what others dictate you need.

When I was a kid, I always took great pleasure in dropping the jaws of rich kids that had all of the top of the line gear with my Sears 'Harmony' guitar, old Silvertone Amp and my hand me down Big Muff Pi. I think this may be what perpetuates the vintage gear market.

Getting a tone is not about gear, it is a talent in itself. It can't be taught or learned, you either have it or you don't; luckily you can be enlightened enough to get by. I have a whole theory on this, but that would be a whole other post.
Don't really agree with the guy above, if your gear sucks there's nothing you can do to make it sound great - just a little better than someone who has no clue, maybe. Anyway as for your question, the LCs aren't really high gain amps, they're more of rock/blues stuff. Though since you said you don't need insane gain, it might suit you fine, especially if you have some pedals - Laneys handle pedals pretty well, at least in my experience.

See if you can find any around the stores near you and try it out with the rest of your gear, just so you don't end up disappointed again.
Jackson DKMG & KE3, Fender Mexican Strat, Stagg Acoustic

Boss Compressor & Chorus, Dunlop Crybaby, Behringer Delay, ISP Decimator, Ibanez Tubescreamer

Laney TT50H, Marshall 1960A, Roland Cube 15

Looking to jam in Belfast, PM me!
The Laney LC15 will certainly handle your pedals better. It'll clear up some of the sterility that you're getting using your Marshall with your fuzz. However, on it's own, it's not much of a high-gain amp. If you were to run a metal muff or a Rocktron Silver Dragon through it, you'd get a decent high-gain tone. Although, I don't like relying too much on a pedal for my tone in a live environment. I find it adds to unnecessary feedback and noise, and tends to be a little thin or muffled. But it will certainly be a large improvement over what you have. You might want to consider saving a little more though. If you shoot for the LC15 now, you might find yourself satisfied for a little while and then soon want something more.
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The only thing is though is that I think a 15w valve amp is probably as high as I can go, considering I'll mostly be using it for home practice. However I will on occasions use it for jamming with others and maybe some band practices...

I've searched all over the web for higher gain lower wattage valve amps and the laney is the best I can seem to find.

Does anyone have any other ideas?
Have you looked into the Orange Tiny Terror? It's a 15w valve amp and from what i've read and heard about it has all been really positive!
If you want a SS combo, Orange Crush, I've got the 30 watt version, and its reasonably loud (should be loud enough for what you seem to need)

I *think* it is around £180 ish, and I got it from PMTs, and it can handle pedals reasonably well (considering the drive feature on the amp is not heavy enough for my liking really)


Less than what I thought off of GAK:

Marshall MG's have ratty, fizzy distortion...unfortunately there's not a lot you can do to remedy that, as you've found. Tellingly, it's also the one thing in your setup that's remained constant, like you said, you're ears have matured, it's just taken you a while to pin down what was lacking.

You'll definitely appreciate the warmth and dynamics a tube amp will give you, especially compared with the MG. Don't worry about the Laney not being high gain enough as that's easily remedied with an overdrive, or indeed any pedal - you can use a distortion-type with a tube amp. It's just that they tend to take away some of the warmth and smoothness, but sometimes you want that kind of sound. It'll be damn loud too!
Actually called Mark!

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So the Laney LC15 would be absolutely fine for me then? at the end of the day it's gonna sound miles better than my MG?

I mean I'll be using pedals no matter what amp I get