RB8 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (15 votes)
Laney: RB8

Purchased from: Music Inn

Sound — 9
I'm using it with my trusty, long-suffering but never failing Warwick Rockbass Fortress bass guitar, an active P/J setup. As stated before, it suits my style of music very well and I have No Doubt it can adapt easily to suit any changes I make in my playing. It is very responsive and shapable. I only detect the slightest hiss, that is, when I flick the tweeter horn on. But I expected that due to all the high end frequencies being picked up. The hiss is low and disappears when you start hitting notes. With the tweeter disengaged, the amp is impeccably clean, even when I shape the EQ to accentuate the highs, and solo my single coil pickup. As far as controlling your sound goes, it has gain and master volume, a seven band EQ and bass boost/cut & treble boost/cut knobs. It has a "compression" Switch that admittedly doesn't make a lot of difference, but could be handy if you lack a compression stomp box. It also has an "enhance" knob that Laney are sort of vague with in their description of it's function. My experiments with it seem to show it fills out your bottom end, but also tightens it. Something jazz fusion and funk players might find useful. I find notching it up a little when I play with a pick helps. I've found no distortion, but if you want a "dirty" bass tone, then spinning the gain a bit higher can push it in that direction. For actual distortion or overdrive, you want to invest in the appropriate pedal, because you can push this thing hard before it breaks up.

Overall Impression — 9
I have stated this is a fantastic match for my style a few times already, but it's worth repeating. Outside of band situation, I jam along to all kinds of music, from reggae to jazz to metal. Some fiddling with the EQ system is all it needs to change from that big, rumbling reggae bass tone to a tight jazz fusion sound to a dirty as sin metal growl. With my Warwick, it definately leans towards the rock end of things, but I tried it out in store with a Fender P, a Fender J and a MusicMan copy. It brought out the unique tones of each very naturally, and didn't "mask" the tone of the guitar like some amps can do. I would tear my hair out looking for it if it was lost or stolen, then go straight out and sell a kidney to get the cash to buy a replacement. This thing an apparently be hooked up to an extension cabinet that doesn't cut the internal speaker, so it's a nice starting point for a pseudo-stack. Certainly would recommend this to the bassist Who needs a tough, reliable rig to play anything up to medium sized venues, but also needs to afford the rent and eat each week. Similarly priced combos like the Fender Rumble just don't compare in wattage, sound or quality. I have always been on the sidelines as far as gear goes, I'm of the breed of musician that is deadly serious about sound quality, but just couldn't afford the equipment I needed. Thanks to Laney, I've found the solution. This is recommended to anyone in my position, where total earning and total spending are frighteningly similar and there's little to spare for such an indulgent and costly interest such as this.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have yet to gig with it, but from what I can see of its build quality, I would cheerfully rely on it without a backup. No, the amp has not broken down, but I haven't owned it for a great deal of time. As with all of my reviews, I say I'll update with any relevent information. I can't put an "n/a" and don't want to affect the overall score, so it's getting an eight.

Features — 8
300w solid state bass combo of unknown manufacturing date. 1x15 speaker with tweeter horn. I play a variety of styles due to my being in two groups and a solo performer - alternative/indie/funk rock on one hand and full-on hard rock on the other. It handles both styles brilliantly. One channel, as is common with bass amps. It's got FX out/FX in, tuner our, XLR line out, a jack that can be hooked up to an external speaker. It has enough features to please those Who love nothing more than to tweak and fiddle with their sound, and enough balls to push the tone out cleanly and clearly. I can't complain, it seems solid.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i just bought the RB-7 and i think i might have the same problem as the first review, when i turned it on there was no sound, i left it for a bit and the sound kicked in but it cut out every so often. so i took it back and they've orderd another one, should have i have it within 3 days.
    My RB-7 came yesterday. And only lasted 5 seconds. Not very happy
    Just got my new RB-8, at first it distorted loads but after a bit of use its perfect. The 7 band equaliser can be a bit complicated though. If your using the horn its better to take the last 2 sliders on the equaliser down a notch to get rid of that hiss.
    Have play the RB8 at Hard Rock Cafe onstage with nexus cabinet!! its the best sounding amp!!
    I want to know about the RB6, there are no reviews, and I think I'll buy this amp. Please, I need and opinion first