CUB Head & 212 Cab Half-Stack review by Laney

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (6 votes)
Laney: CUB Head & 212 Cab Half-Stack

Price paid: $ 300

Sound — 9
This amp sounds great and is true to the British style. It shines best doing classic rock and blues stuff like say Zeppelin, but has enough gain, if your guitar has HOT pickups, to handle up to say 80s metal like Metallica and Megadeth. But for metal I use a 7-band EQ pedal to fine tune the curve. But this amp with NOT give you a modern metal sound, it is classic British through and through. If that's the sound you want, get a Peavey, Krank or something similar. Some say this sounds like a Vox, but I think it has way more gain... More like a Marshall. Since it is a one channel low-watt amp, don't expect to get clean tones loud enough to play in a band. This is a strictly dirty amp and if you have another clean amp, this makes for a great A/B setup, which is what I have (with a Fender for cleans). But dirty, on the 15W setting you have enough juice to keep up with a fairly loud drummer. If your drummer is VERY loud, it might not keep up. But by then you'll have ringing in your ears. The tone controls are very sensitive and the amp in general is very dynamic and receptive to changes in picking attack, a sign of a good tube amp. You can go from moderately clean to mean with just your pick if you have good hands. I tried several comparable amps the week I bought this and none sounded better IMO. Just be clear that this thing really only does nice warm and dirty British tones. But it does those very nicely.

Overall Impression — 9
I play a wide range of music but got this strictly for my dirty sounds, since I have a Fender for cleans and A/B it with this. That setup allows me to play basically anything. Although this amp is not very versatile, being only one channel, and it is low-watt it makes up for its limitations with sheer nice sound. I tried this alongside a Bugera and an Egnator, both more expensive, and this was way better IMO. I suggest getting this if you want a nice British-voiced amp that is low watt enough to play at home or in a studio, or gig small clubs. Anything louder and you'll need to mic it. If stolen, yes I'd buy it again because I think it's the best deal around in its category right now.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Don't know because I've only had it a week. It was made in China, which doesn't inspire much confidence but so far I haven't had any problems and the price was too good to pass up. The craftsmanship seems solid. I will gig with this and when I do I'll take spare tubes, as one should with any tube amp. But a backup is a bit much. I don't know anybody who takes an entire second amp to a gig.

Features — 9
Don't know when it was made. It isn't particularly versatile but enough for my blues, rock, jazz, classic metal style. Only one channel class A/B tube amp with very little headroom. Preamp gain and power amp gain knobs, digital reverb that sounds really nice actually, effects loop, tone knob, treble, bass and mid knobs and two inputs: 1W for bedroom playing and 15W for louder applications. The half stack has two Celestion Rockets 50s in it, which I've heard aren't the best but they aren't bad either. I can only discount one point for features because it delivers everything it says it does and nothing extra, no frills or surprises.

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