GH50L review by Laney

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (24 votes)
Laney: GH50L

Price paid: $ 730.17

Purchased from:

Sound — 10
This head is basically a Marshall on steroids. Same basic sound, same responsiveness and same level of raw power but at a price tag mear mortals can afford. Clean channel/dirty channel are one in the same. Alter your guitars volume and tone controls and your pick attack and you can get everything from rockabilly spank to Zakk Wylde squeals. I use 3 guitars with this amp. #1, Les Paul Classic with dual humbuckers, #2, Fender Fat Strat with a bridge humbucker and dual single coils and #3, a DeArmond M72 with EMG81 and EMG85 active humbuckers. The head is noisy. With no signal, there is a very noticible hiss at anything above 2 on the master and gain settings. Turn on the Drive and that hiss increases with each step up. Prescense also adds to the hiss. Once you start to play though, the hiss vanishes.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for 4 years, own Fender and Marshall amps both solid state, tube and tube/solid hybrids. If this head were stolen, I'd probably go to jail for what I'd do to the thief. I would definitely replace it but would likely go with the GH100L next time. I love the simplicity of the head, the overall sound and the build quality most. My main dislike is the hiss. Honestly, this head sounds better to my ears than the Marshall JCM800 or the Super Lead. I wish it had reverb built in, don't use it often but it's nice to have. Still, I bought a Holy Grail so that's not really a problem.

Reliability & Durability — 6
I've never gigged with this amp so it's hard to say. So far, it seems to be reliable but until it's been on the road with me for a while I won't know for sure. I would never gig without a backup, no matter what the amp or Who made it. Customer support is slow, very slow. I emailed them about the hissing and they emailed back 3 days later asking if I had bought the head new? Duh! My local guitar shop, where I bought it, looked it over for free and no questions asked. They found nothing wrong so I guess this head is just hissy... Finding authorized anything is difficult as this amp is made in England and their website only lists distributors. The warranty is for 1 year but they extend it to 3 if you mail in the warranty card within the first 90 days.

Features — 10
Manufactured in 2006. Extremely versatile head. Works well for blues and rock and with the addition of a good distortion pedal, perfect for metal. This is a single channel amp with an extra gain stage through the Drive Switch and level. Kind of acts like a second channel, though the Drive is on the noisy side. The only feature it lacked is reverb, a Holy Grail fixed that. I use this primarily at home now but will be using it Live in the next few months. This amp is more than loud enough for medium to large venues, especially through my 4x12 cabinet.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i have this amp and everything said is right on the money....its so unbelieably versatile, i mainly play metal like pantera, metallica the usuall i boost the treb, lower mids n boost the bass n thhe gain up full n im telling you its perfect for what i need, im not currently gigging at the mo but in my room im only able to go up to 1-2 on the volume other wise my lava lamp shakes !! more than enough i think ...the only downside is yes....reverb...but i got me boss me-50 to sort everything out !! i couldnt ask for more out of my gear, maybe just one more guitar !! lol
    ...haha Whoops. TBH Iommi does know his shit though, so anything they put together in his name should be damn solid. back to the amp - VERY sorely tempted to get this with a 2x12 marshall cab. I need a proper gigging amp to improve my sound anyways. Also, 610 or so from GAK for the lot... Not bad, I reckon
    i have the gh100l and i am completely in love with it. good distortion on the amp but i have a pedal i like more, and using a pedal allows you to use it like a 2 channel amp. my theory on why everyone says they are trebly: distortion naturally boosts high frequencies, and since this amp can get glassy clear clean tones, when you add a lot of distortion its not crazy to turn the treble down to 2 or such and still have a bright sound
    i like the last review 'i dont want to mimic tony iommi' didnt you list that you had a tony iommi sg and a epiphone custom sg with tony iommi pickups ermm what?