Cub 12R review by Laney

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 9 (8 votes)
Laney: Cub 12R

Price paid: A$ 550

Purchased from: eBay

Features — 8
This is a 2013 Laney Cub 12R 15 watt valve amp made in China I believe. It's only small so you don't have a massive selection of bells and whistles; a reverb knob, tone, volume, bass, mid, treble, and gain. there is also provision for an FS-1 footswitch as well as FX loops.The power of this amp comes from two EL84 output valves and three ECC83 preamp valves.

The reverb on this amp (hence the R in its name) is very good, it's clear and you don't need all of it to hear your notes ring out, but neither is it so touchy that you have to stay around 1 and 2 for everything. It also has a practice input, which is a quieter input that allows you to only use less than one watt of power instead of the full 15, making it an excellent practice amp.

Sound — 7
I tend to play a lot of blues, '60s and '70s rock and a little early metal, usually on a Gibson SG Special (which makes this an astounding set up for getting Tony Iommi's sound) with mini-humbuckers and sometimes a single-coil homemade telecaster. I'm not going to lie, I'm certainly not in love with this amp for its sound, the bass is very dominant, so you really need to crank the bass down and the treble up if you want a bright sound, otherwise it's a very moody amp, with a very thick sound, great for electric slide however, especially if you turn the gain up a bit

this thing is loud, even on the practice setting, if I take this to a small gig, I can usually ignore micing or going into the PA because in a small space this thing roars, bigger places will need external assistance.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Now after I bought this, I read a few older reviews about it, apparently a few years before I got mine these were plagued with a myriad of reliability issues, valve port problems, thermistor issues and various other breakages. I've had mine for over a year now and it still works a dream. I'd almost certainly take this amp to a gig without a backup if I was less paranoid around my gear.

I'm also very precious about my amps, so I've not done anything vicious that could have damaged this thing, however it has been with me a year and has held up against daily use, sometimes for hours at a time.

Overall Impression — 7
I don't love this amp as much as I could, It just isn't built for my sound. I've been playing electric for about 3 years now and while I'd still rather this than my previous amp, a cheap Ashton, I'm unsure whether I'd buy another one if I lost this one, I don't think I would, I'd probably buy a Fender Twin instead.

I love that it is a very portable and quite lightweight unit, but I really don't like the sound sometimes, I have gotten a few good tone settings out of it but I'm still not ecstatic every time I plug in. the best thing about this amp is probably it's ease of use, everything is set out plain and simple and you get familiar after a week or two of playing it thoroughly.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have this amp, but I'm not happy at all. I mean, everybody says that this amp loves pedals... not mine! When I plug any distortion or overdrive it sounds terrible. A lot of highs, no bass. I don't know what to do...
    I am really happy with this amp when I am playing jazz and blues with my ibanez ak95. Have you ever tried this with a Telecaster with DiMarzio pickups for garage rock or some other hard stuff? I really like the warm sounds of the amp but I want to get better distortion tunes without changing my cub 12r.
    I have this amp, second series that comes with HH speaker, I cannot say how much I am happy with the sound! I had Laney VC30, Carvin V3, Fender Mustang III, Blackstar HT-5 amps so far. Nothing comes close to this amp. I love Hendrix to ACDC and this amp can do it no problem, I tried it on my Marshall 4x12 cab and it is absolutely AMAZING. I have always had difficulty in achieving that light break up, slightly overdriven tone, that sweet tingle on the top of the clean sound, this amp has made it SO easy, no worries at all. I play my Fender Stratocaster with Fender SCN pickups and Gibson LP Standard with Bluesbreaker pups and I can cover anything from Dire Straits to Jimi Hendrix to ZZ Top to ACDC. I certainly do not like the fact that it was made in China, however, it was designed in the UK and if ever needed, I will make a turret board and hardwired clone of it, no doubt at all. I am absolutely in love with this little amp. 1w input gives you beautiful tone at a low level, bedroom sorta situations, while 15w delivers a plenty of power for rehearsals. In pub environment, this amp is not strong enough, but I miked it with SM57 and is absolute CHARM! So far 0 problems, full pleasure in my case!