#1
EDIT: this is a pretty long read, my apologies

I'm looking to buy a new amp, mostly for bedroom practise but something that could be used for a small gig. I usually play metal but I also play a bit of instrumental rock, so I'm looking for something that can handle medium, maybe some heavy distortions, and still play cleans very well. My budget is about £200, but cab be stretched to a maximum £220 (since that's all I have).

So far, I've found four amps which would suit me well (I think):

Roland Cube 60 - people are always comparing the Cubes to the Valvetronix line, and the general opinion is that Cubes are better for metal and high-gain, but aren't as versatile. This is also completely solid-state, which I'm not sure I'd want at this point, when my next amp will be a large fully-valve combo or half-stack in a few years.

Vox AD50VT - as mentioned, they are compared to the Cubes, and these are generally considered better for just about anything that isn't high-gain. This has a valve in the preamp, and I've read on here that it can make a good difference in sound quality if you EQ it right. This also has an astronomically high price compared to the Cube: a whole five pounds more expensive! (Yes, that was sarcasm if you didn't quite pick up on it, the difference in price is negligible, so as far as I can tell it depends purely on musical preference.)

Laney LC-15R - this is a full-valve combo amp, so the 15Watts of power is more than reasonable compared to the 60Watt solid state and the 50Watt hybrid. It also has an external speaker socket for acting as a head for a cab, useful if I ever end up playing a small gig. It is also only £5 more expensive than the Vox, which seems a very small price for an all-valve amp, which should sound much better.

Laney VC15-110 - another full-valve combo, it seems pretty similar to the LC-15R, at least as far as specification goes. It has the same Celestion 10" speaker, the same ECC83 preamp valves and EL84 power amp valves, same Hi/Lo inputs; the only difference I can find is the VC has an included footswitch, which I'm not sure justifies an extra £30.

I'd be really grateful for any comments and recommendations based on these four amps, and I'm still open to other suggestions if you think something else would be better. I'd also appreciate if someone outlined the differences between theLC-15R and the VC15-110, unless it really is just the footswitch. So far, I'm inclined towards the LC-15R, but will easily change my mind with some good suggestions.
Quote by Felkara
Dude, you just made the most intelligent post in this entire thread. Congrats.
#3
I don't see why people don't like the Valvetronix for metal - I have the 30 watt and I've played the 50.. Whack it on numetal (Unfortunately) and up the gain manually. Scoop the mids and up the treble, and then turn the master volume up to full and change volume with the wattage changing thing at the back.

Love it for metal tbh. I've never played a Cube though so I dunno how it compares.
My name is Marc! Silly username.
#4
from what i have heard, the main difference between the two laneys is the voicing. the LC is more of a modern voicing while the VC has more of a vintage sound. i would probably go for one of those two cause i like tubes. the 2 SS amps are also good choices, but in the long run you will probably be more happy with a laney. i havent really tried the laneys cause they are a bit rarer in the US, so someone else will be able to more clearly explain the vintage/modern thing, but i would think that the more moddern LC would be better for you.
#5
I have a Cube 30, which i must assume is basically the same as the 60, just not as loud or something, and my friend has a Vox something-or-other. I also play mostly metal and rock, etc. and every time i have used my friend's Vox, I've always been secretly begging for the effects and models on my Cube.

IMO
the Cube, even with its smaller range of effects, sounds better, full stop. May i also point out that my opinion is based solely on my friend handing me his guitar when I'm at his house, and scrolling throught the distortion settings until i find one that i like, and tbh, they all sound like when you have distortion on with the gain turned off.
However I'm sure if I got to actually 'use' the amp myself, I would probably like it more.
As for the Laney amps, the only Laney I have ever used is a battered bass amp near the end of its days from school, so I cant help you there.
- hope this means something to you
#6
Thanks for the replies.

Quote by frigginjerk
Only get the cube if you really need a wide variety of tones.


A very wide wide range of tones is more something I'd like, not something I need and probably not enough to solely justify a non-valve amp, since the tones I do get from the valve amps will be much better.

Quote by jof1029
but in the long run you will probably be more happy with a laney.


Yeah, I was thinking about the long run, since I probably won't be buying another small combo amp, so I'll probably go with the LC-15. I'm still open to more suggestions, especially if there are more all-valve amps around £200 (again, with a £220 maximum).
Quote by Felkara
Dude, you just made the most intelligent post in this entire thread. Congrats.
#7
Quote by NemesisX
Scoop the mids




Id go for the laney if I were you. Test it with a good OD or distortion if you want more tones or gain. If you decide to go with one of the modelling amps, id go with the vox, it sounds better to my ears.
"Good and evil lay side by side as electric love penetrates the sky"
#8
Quality of tones you can get comes before quantity. I'd get the VC, I don't like the LC's voicing personally - it has a more Fendery clean and more modern gain, but the 15 is only one channel too. The VC has a vintage Voxy clean and Voxy crunch, and is also 2-channel. The VC is generally superior IMO. If you need extra gain from it then you can get a ProCo RAT or Tubescreamer or something like that.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#9
The VC over all of them, it's generally a lot nicer than the LC, and Mr Carrot's basically said the rest.
Quote by jxljxl
Fais wins at life


The obscenely young leader of the Laney Cult


Member of the EHX Guild
#10
I forgot about extra pedals, I'm thinking just about the amp so far, but I could get a TubeScreamer or something to make up for any lost gain, so now the VC15-110 will be the one I get.

Again, still open to suggestions and reasons, I am sort of relying on here since my local guitar shops have neither of the Laney models I'm looking at (they usually stock a load of Marshall MGs and Spider II/IIIs, with the odd DSL on show)
Quote by Felkara
Dude, you just made the most intelligent post in this entire thread. Congrats.
#11
Yeah, that's fair enough. No shops within 45 minutes of me have any good amps AT ALL, so I had to order online without trying. Listen to the soundclips of the VC series on laney.co.uk; the soundclips for the VC15 are pretty poor, in reality it sounds very similar to the VC30 which has decent clips. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed with getting a valve amp. Nowadays when I plug into a Cube or Valvetronix in a shop i'm very unimpressed with the tone, and that's in direct comparison to my VJ + Bad Monkey setup that I use. The tone is just so much warmer, soulful, fuller, crunchier, better in every way.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#13
Question: I'm a complete noob when it comes to tube amps, are 15 Tube watts enough for band practice and maybe very small gigs? For instance, how is the loudness of a VC15 compared to a Vox Valvetronix 30?
all the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players
#15
Quote by fexnah
Question: I'm a complete noob when it comes to tube amps, are 15 Tube watts enough for band practice and maybe very small gigs? For instance, how is the loudness of a VC15 compared to a Vox Valvetronix 30?


Tube amps are much louder then SS amps. A 15W tube amp is roughly as loud as a 50W SS amp. 30watts of tube is ussually the most you'll ever need, unless your playing realy large gigs, but theres usually a PA available in those situations.
"Good and evil lay side by side as electric love penetrates the sky"
#16
^ Ok, that's nice then, thanks. I'm thinkin about getting me a VC15.
all the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players
#17
Quote by FRDesign
The Valvetronix XL is coming out.


I'll sleep so much better at night knowing that...

Sorry, I feel an uncontrollable desire for useless sarcastic comments. Can you give me some more information on them in comparison to what I'm looking at now? I know they're not out yet so personal experience is out of the question, but judging yourself compared to what the other amps have to offer. All I've heard about them is that "they will PWN the cube for teh metullz!", and they're basically a Valvetronix with better distortion. Also, if it's a hybrid (which I'm assuming it will be), will the tone match up to an all-valve amp? Oh yes, and what Wattage will I be looking at for my £220 maximum?
Quote by Felkara
Dude, you just made the most intelligent post in this entire thread. Congrats.
#18
Quote by The Overlord
I'll sleep so much better at night knowing that...

Sorry, I feel an uncontrollable desire for useless sarcastic comments. Can you give me some more information on them in comparison to what I'm looking at now? I know they're not out yet so personal experience is out of the question, but judging yourself compared to what the other amps have to offer. All I've heard about them is that "they will PWN the cube for teh metullz!", and they're basically a Valvetronix with better distortion. Also, if it's a hybrid (which I'm assuming it will be), will the tone match up to an all-valve amp? Oh yes, and what Wattage will I be looking at for my £220 maximum?


I'd go with the VC15. The effects don't make up for the loss of tone on the Vox and Cube (plus, you'll likely want to get single effects for a more specific sound later) and like others said, the VC sounds better (more of a vintage sound anyway, which equals better in my opinion) than the LC.

Hybrid's are a step-up from SS, but don't even compare to tube amps in terms of tone. The desirable overdrive from tube amps comes from pushing the power tubes; hybrid amps have a tube preamp, but a SS power amp.

I have no idea how loud hybrid amps are in comparison to tube and SS amps, but I'd guess they're just slightly louder than a SS amp.
#20
Quote by zerowley
I'd go with the VC15. The effects don't make up for the loss of tone on the Vox and Cube (plus, you'll likely want to get single effects for a more specific sound later) and like others said, the VC sounds better (more of a vintage sound anyway, which equals better in my opinion) than the LC.

Hybrid's are a step-up from SS, but don't even compare to tube amps in terms of tone. The desirable overdrive from tube amps comes from pushing the power tubes; hybrid amps have a tube preamp, but a SS power amp.

I have no idea how loud hybrid amps are in comparison to tube and SS amps, but I'd guess they're just slightly louder than a SS amp.


In terms of volume, Hybrid [valve state] are exactly the same as ss.
spinelss
#21
I'd go for one of the two Laneys, but you already know that.

From what Jof said though, the LC sounds like it might be more suited to you col.
#22
"Valve amplifiers exhibit a smooth transition into and out of overdrive, so for example, a 100 watt amp sounds only a little more distorted when trying to deliver 110 watts. This means that you can drive the amp quite hard with a "musically pleasant" amount of overdrive, that sustains a volume level at the amplifier's maximum power capability. As the note decays, the volume level changes little while the sound gradually cleans up (sometimes referred to as a "warm bloom").

On the other hand, solid state amplifiers are very clean right up to their maximum power output, then virtually switch to very high distortion levels above this point. This is hopeless when trying to play percussive sounds around the maximum power output, because the start of the note (the attack) is very distorted and unmusical, then it suddenly becomes clean as the volume dies (perceived as a lack of sustain). The only way to get a reasonable tone is to turn down and try to operate the amp always below its maximum power capability. Of course, many solid state guitar amplifiers now try to minimise this effect (also so they can be advertised with valve-like qualities).

The combination of these two effects is what causes the difference in perceived volume between solid state and valve designs. But in reality 100 watts is 100 watts, whether its valve, solid state or steam driven!"

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/amppower.htm

This is a great site with lots of info on guitar amps. Here is the first page of it:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/ampsmain.htm
Last edited by Ancient Jello at Jul 16, 2007,
#23
Quote by Dobzilla
I'd go for one of the two Laneys, but you already know that.

From what Jof said though, the LC sounds like it might be more suited to you col.


Ahh... the one who got me into this mess

Yeah, I'm definitely going for one of the Laneys now, and since I doubt the VC's vintage sound will be of Marshall quality compared to the LC, it's probably better to save the extra £30 and get the LC.
Quote by Felkara
Dude, you just made the most intelligent post in this entire thread. Congrats.
#24
So, if I'm after a chrunchy rock tone, i'd be better of with the VC, right? I'm planning on boosting it with a pedal for a little (not much) distortion.
all the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players
#25
Quote by Ancient Jello
"Valve amplifiers exhibit a smooth transition into and out of overdrive, so for example, a 100 watt amp sounds only a little more distorted when trying to deliver 110 watts. This means that you can drive the amp quite hard with a "musically pleasant" amount of overdrive, that sustains a volume level at the amplifier's maximum power capability. As the note decays, the volume level changes little while the sound gradually cleans up (sometimes referred to as a "warm bloom").

On the other hand, solid state amplifiers are very clean right up to their maximum power output, then virtually switch to very high distortion levels above this point. This is hopeless when trying to play percussive sounds around the maximum power output, because the start of the note (the attack) is very distorted and unmusical, then it suddenly becomes clean as the volume dies (perceived as a lack of sustain). The only way to get a reasonable tone is to turn down and try to operate the amp always below its maximum power capability. Of course, many solid state guitar amplifiers now try to minimise this effect (also so they can be advertised with valve-like qualities).

The combination of these two effects is what causes the difference in perceived volume between solid state and valve designs. But in reality 100 watts is 100 watts, whether its valve, solid state or steam driven!"

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/amppower.htm

This is a great site with lots of info on guitar amps. Here is the first page of it:

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/ampsmain.htm
Good theory, but it's wrong. Valve amplifiers deliver a lot more overtones and complex harmonics that means there is effectively more volume for the same SPL because of a greater effective density of sound.

Your reason only expains the effective volume of them. A 15w valve amp WILL sound as loud as a 60w SS amp, with similar usable volume.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.