HCM10 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.2 (29 votes)
Laney: HCM10

Price paid: A$ 50

Purchased from: Co-worker

Sound — 4
When I got this amp I was playing a KKV Signature Special(No, not the EMG + Kahler model, I had the poser model with the misleading name) and back when I first got it I thought it sounded pretty good. Times change however and having just plugged my Jackson KE-2 into it prior to writing this review, the term "awful" springs to mind regarding the sound. If a nice Crunch sound is akin to Cornflakes without milk, the "crunch" on this amp is akin to a bowl of porridge. Yeah, it's pitifully weak, and unfortunately attacking it with golden syrup doesn't improve it either. The clean is ok, but mine has a weird buzz, which may be a damaged speaker or something, but yeah, it sounds bad. I tried running a T-Rex Bloody Mary distortion pedal through it to see if it sounds acceptable, but no it doesn't. It just sounds grainy and bad. So yeah, all in all the sound, be it the clean, crunch, or running a distortion pedal through the clean, all sound like rubbish.

Overall Impression — 4
I play Thrash/Heavy Metal and this is a bad match. Simply, this amp is not Metal. I have been playing for about 4 years now, and yeah, this was an amp that I outgrew very quickly. Look, as a beginning practice amp, it's ok. I'm sure there are better ones though. Your best bet is to head to your local music store and have a play around on their practice amps to find one that is right for you. Who knows, perhaps this (or whatever the current model is in the Laney range) will be perfect for you. It just isn't me for me, and I like to write my reviews honestly. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on a little 10w practice amp, but hey, this is how I feel about it.

Reliability & Durability — 3
Can you depend on this amp? No. Should you use this amp without a back up at a gig? Definitely! If you're after humiliation this amp will never let you down. However for added humility please consider taking a few of these to your next gig. We've all seen the "Walls of Marshall's", I really want to see a "Wall of HCM10's". Seriously, it's practice amp. Mine hasn't broken down, but the guy I bought it off had previously had it repaired. And now that it is making a bit of a buzzing noise when you play single notes through it, even at low volume. I'm gonna have to rate this low.

Features — 5
The other reviews have already covered the features, so I'll just blow through them quickly: - Chinese made 10 Watt practice amp If that was a bit vague, it also has: - Crunch channel - CD input - Headphone jack Now here's the story, I bought this amp off a co-worker in 2008 when I was beginning to get into guitar. As I was only using it to mess around in my bedroom, I guess it was sufficient back then. It lasted me for around 6 months before I upgraded. I haven't used it since, except to sometimes play music in the band room or amplify the metronome off my phone. This is a basic practice amp, nothing more, nothing less.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    rutnik wrote: This was my first amp, and it sucks for distortion! Well, to be honest. Everything sucks about this amp.
    I don't agree. I've been playing on this with a cheap strat and now a Fender Tele, and no, the Telecaster sounds better on other amps, but there's not much wrong with this one. Crunch and 'effects' are crap, but hey, anyone who wants to play guns 'n roses, metallica, nirvana or hendrix should have a distortion or something like that. The overall sound is ok, nothing more, nothing less. Durability however is great.