GH100L review by Laney

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (16 votes)
Laney: GH100L

Sound — 9
I'm currently using two guitars through it, both of which use stock humbuckers and this is perfect to push the amp for tasty overdrive sounds. In the main music style I play, it's perfect for Rock and Jazz; It can go sparkly clean and smooth to raw power overdrive. Noisy is not the word for this amp! It's definitely not a bed room amp at all, considering the fact its a 100W all Tube Head gives it away. If you do decide to use it in a bedroom environment the only level you could put it on is one or below which wont give the sound any justice. The best thing to do is to buy an attenuator to allow the amp to be pushed at better levels to get the tubes producing the best tone levels. In an average pub/club environment I have it on 3-4 and this is still not allowing the tubes to show their full potential, the loudest I've dared to put it on is 7 to 8 and that was when I was in the studio and in my opinion this is the sweet spot on it anything louder is for the sake of being full tilt. So as you can tell this amp becomes too loud before you can really get its true tone abilities which the purchase of an attenuator is needed. With an excellent EQ section and simple controls this amp never breaks up into distortion while clean at high-levels. If you want overdrive all you have to do is raise the gain to produce those tones; for metal this head has a resonance Switch which should be labelled "adds more stomach wrenching bass" and it has some of the best distortion capabilities I've ever heard and ranges from classic sounds to death metal and beyond!

Overall Impression — 8
This complements my sound as a musician, the match is almost unbelievable. I've had this amp for nearly 3 years now and it has never failed on me! I've been playing guitar for 8 years, and throughout the years and the gigs played this is the right choice for me. The only positive and negative thing about the amp is how loud it is, you never have to worry about it not being able to over power and thing else in a band but because of this you need it loud to get its true sounds which is a sound engineers nightmare. If I had lost it or it was stolen I would have bought the GH50L to see how it compares to it or a Laney Lionheart 20H simply so I could try it out as my rig. I love the sounds porduced, hate having to be louder than anything to get there and my favourite feature is the simple controls and look of the head. The amps I tested in comparison to the GH100L were the Marshall JCM 800 - 900, VHT Pitbull, Mesa Boogie single rectifier and the Cornford roadhouse. Out of all of these the Laney is the cheapest and best value for money and if I want to sound like these other amps all I need to do is change the tubes of the Laney to the other manufacturers.

Reliability & Durability — 10
You really can depend on this head, I've never had any problems with it at all and I've used it for various gigs with out backups.

Features — 10
Designed for various styles of guitar players; this amp really does show its versatility in style! With personal experience, I have tried and tested many amps before choosing this one and with playing from genres such as Jazz to Metal and everything in between, this amp helps me achieve the right tones for each style I play. Channels - This is a single Channel head, meaning that there is no clean and overdrive separation like you would usually find on various other models. It also features a foot-switch-able gain section and I found that the only uses for it would be to either use it as a gain boost (extra channel) or to use it as a lead solo boost. I've used this for both approaches but it depends on what style I'm playing... Thankfully it does not have a headphone socket, I know a lot of people might prefer it to have one but I think that just hearing it through a cab itself is more than enough, rather than use it just as a bedroom amp practice amp. Effects loop - This part of the amp is simple to use, there is a typical send and return sockets for the jack leads, as well as a Bypass, Insert and Side/Chain selector. This is extremely useful if you want to mix how wet the effect on the signal chain you want and to do this select the side chain mode to adjust the viscosity. To change the level of the effect select the insert mode and the effect is pre-set to 100% wet in this mode. Slaving heads? - I believe this is one of the most useful additions to the Laney GH100L, It allows you to add other heads to the signal chain so it runs through the same cab instead of having to buy another cab. Bias switching - If you want to change the sound of your head there's and simple bias Switch that allows you to change the tubes from the stock EL34's to 5881'd and 6L64's. I haven't used this part of the amp because I'm content with the stock tubes that give it it's unique British sound so as you can guess its an all-tube class A head.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love Laney's tube stuff. I use a friend's VH100R semi-regularly, which has similar gain available. Fantastic sound, and built to take some abuse.
    This is an awesome amp (as most of Laney's stuff). Brilliant cleans, perfect distortion awaiting to be unleashed, well-built and reliable... Words cannot do justice to this amp.
    ^ Nah. Guitar volume ftw. Don't let the fact an amp has 1 channel affect what you buy. If it sounds amazing to you, that is all.
    Don't worry about the one channel. With the extra gain section you can get it to go from clean the br00tlz with the footswitch. I admit though, the VH100R would be awesome. Either way, this amp is awesome!
    Just got one to replace a Ashton GA80 It is awsome sucks that it didnt come with a footswitch but the guys in the guitar store should give me a free one when I tell them there wasn't one in the box. IF YOU BUY ONE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TURN ON YOUR DISTORTION PEDAL FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! MY COFFIN CASE BLOOD DRIVE NEARLY KILLED LOOOUUUDDD!!!!
    A couple of things were off in the review. Slaving multiple heads: Each head needs to be connected to a cab, slaving doesnt mean a load isn't needed to be connected to the secondary amp/s, what is does is that the preamp settings of one head is carried over to the other heads that are slaved with it. Bias Switching: It's a Class A/B valve head. Changing the tubes won't make it sound like a Mesa, Marshall or VHT, it will always sound like a Laney no matter what tubes you put in there. Apart from that, this is one fantastic sounding Amp. Huge amounts of actually useable gain & can cover vast number of genres by itself. It needs an OD to tighten up the bass for modern metal. It's loud & organic sounding. The matching cab from Laney limits the potential of this amp I feel, I'm talking about the GS412IS/IA to be specific, but it still good sounding nonetheless through those. I have the GH50L that I'll be upgrading to this one soon. These Laneys ROCK!
    If it's too loud to push to power tubes, remove two of them to have the amp run at 50 watts. Caution: remove either the middle two power tubes, or the outer two, as they are paired. Otherwise the amp won't work... I knew a guy who owned a guitar amp shop years ago, did mods etc. He had a modded VH100 running like this because it was too loud. (VH100 = same as GH100 but with extra channel)
    One channel? It probably sounds amazing but I need a clean/overdrive seperation.
    Linkerman wrote: This is an awesome amp (as most of Laney's stuff ). Brilliant cleans , perfect distortion awaiting to be unleashed, well-built and reliable ... Words cannot do justice to this amp.
    Most of Laney stuff isn't really awesome while stock. The cleans are alright on this head but not brilliant at all, the distortion is great though, very smooth & articulate. As for build quality, its mediocre(you get what you pay for) & reliablily is well questionable. But never the less, this is an awesome sounding head. As for the review, it's a Class A/B amp. The resonance switch adds a lot of punch but its still not enough for deathmetal, an external OD will help tremendously though.
    Metalology wrote: One channel? It probably sounds amazing but I need a clean/overdrive seperation.
    The VH100R will serve your needs.