IronHeart IRT60H review by Laney

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (21 votes)
Laney: IronHeart IRT60H
1

Price paid: € 535

Purchased from: www.thomann.de

Sound — 10
Using it with a Gibson Les Paul Studio for the time being (gonna have a SG Standard soon), with stock PUs replaced with Seymour Duncan hotrodded set (SH-JB). The amp absolutely suites my style which is sabbath-style heavy metal, doom metal, stoner. You can easily get a hellish early day death metal sound, very brutal. The amp is not very noisy (at least with the stock valves and with Tung-Sol preamp valves that I have as a reserve). The clean channel is good, and yes, it becomes distorted with the amp's pre-boost, but with the latter turned off, you get pretty decent cleans.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall impression from this amp is fully positive. This is exactly what I needed in terms of the sound I wanted. I compared it to my friend's Mesa Double Rectifier and another friend's Marshall JCM 800, both are much pricier than the IronHeart (those guys are band guitarists, unlike me, I'm an amateur, and in my band back in mid 90-ies I was doing the vocals and never really played a guitar), and my Laney can easily stand in the same line with those. As a replacement I might think of another Laney, or smaller Orange hi-gain amp.

Reliability & Durability — 9
It looks and feels quite solid. What happened was one of the push-pull knobs just fell off (maybe was not glued well enough) after a few days of very careful use. But I fixed it easily with a deadly Chinese glue (always had my fingertips glued to the knob's surface :-)))). I need to note that this is my first valve amp, one of only few valve heads in Armenia, and surely the only Laney amp around. So this is kind of a discovery for me, and maybe some of my comments may sound naive in the technical sense, but I've been into heavy metal for 25 years, and I surely know what the metal sound is. One other thing that popped up after one or two days of use was some crackling noise starting as the amp warmed up after about 2 hours of playing. I checked the preamp valves, and it appeared to be the input TAD hi-grade valve that went wrong as soon as it got hot. But it was in those HOT summer days with 40 Celsius, now it doesn't get HOT like that, but I have reserve tung-sols and sockets, as well as a couple of hi-grade 1st stage TAD valves, so no worries, can flap them any time.

Features — 10
Made in China, quality controlled in GB. This amp is absolutely versatile, but it's a heavy metal beast, have no doubt. For what I play, which is Black Sabbath and all alike, this is it. 3 channels, effects loop, no headphone jack (I don't need any). I wish it had a presence knob, but not a big deal. I don't use that dynamics knob a lot, it's sort of useless. The pre-boost option is not bad, but I prefer my Rangemaster-type Germania 44 treble booster by HBE (together with the pre-boost at certain setting you get an excellent psychedelic fuzz). I use the amp at home hooked to a 60Wt 1X12 Celestion Vintage 30 Orange cab. Power more than enough.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the92wildchild
    Laney rules all the way,just add a ts9/mini/808 to your investment and you'll be an instant tone god .. Ive had both ironheart and gh 50L,and lemme tell you that with a boost even Gh50L was a monster with its true british tone . With the right tweaking you'll be an instant tone God . go for any of them ..but if ud like an awesome tone at literally a bedroom volume ..ironheart it is then . check out the tone test of my new Irt Studio @1watt ..!!
    jm2330
    Just got me a iron heart 60 watt head . Has some sorta hiss when I turn the reverb up past 3/4 of the way , does anyone else's irt' shave this problem . I have 41 days left before i decide if It is worth the money . I really dig the tone, but I can't figure out why there is a hum coming from the clean channel ? Maybe something to do with being a larger watt amp ? I'm lost
    sg4ever
    How are the mids in the voicing? Can they be prominent? I like a nice midrange bite sometimes, when I dial in lead sounds.
    ProperGit
    I own the IRT60h and have only given it one run through with my current band so far. Bought as a backup amp for my JVM410h and I have to say, very impressed so far. Obviously, it runs hotter at lower volumes being lower watt so the tubes get to grunt (though the JVM sounds real nice without pushing the tubes also). But tone wise, when dialled in, not much difference really. The Marshall maybe has a bit more body, a little smoother on the lead notes but for the difference in price (550 IRT60 and 1100 JVM), I cannot really justify the difference in price....luckily I bought my JVM for 750 years ago!! The only other advantage I find with the JVM is the ability to turn the effects loop on or off and program this via midi or the footswitch. The Ironheart seems to have an always on or off approach (switch is on the back), which causes some element of compromise or severe planning/tap dancing during songs. It's a shame this cannot be controlled by the footswitch...unless I'm missing something of course.
    daviddura
    I've seen the IRT212 cabinet has a Link jack, is this an output that can be plugged to a computer/recorder...? if yes, does it need an instrument or a speaker cable?
    noiseaddicted
    First day review... This thing is awesome! Obviously I didn't push it that far, but hey, there are many options and features to manage. Though it is more easy to use than you may expect from the front panel, the push/pull thing plus Dynamics and Tone make this amp really versatile and I've managed to pull out an insane amount of different settings, from the most "vintage" stuff to the most modern and tight high gain, without insane amounts of hums. I've to say that the FX loop is quite noisy and I've to engage my multieffect NS to actually make it playable.. It's something that has been discussed now and then and the annoying thing is that it's not related to the volume at all... It's just there everytime you engage the FX loop switch. Outside of this, I'd highly reccommend this one to almost anybody, especially thinkin' that Recto stuff cost more than 2 times than this and it doesn't really offer any significant improvement. It's not cheap, it's affordable: it's the demonstration that you can really build up high quality amps, even with tubes, without actually havin' to destroy ppl's life. Cheers!
    TT-B52
    I like this Ironheart 60. I've got a Randall RD45 at the same time to try them against each other. The IH60 stomps the RD45 for high gain. There is simply more of it in the Ironheart. The RD45 is nice, but the Ironheart gives more and more useable features, with 3 channels and 2 separate eq's, plus reverb. Tone shaping has nice options as each eq control can be "pulled" out to give that eq a different curve for more tonal variation. The Rhythm and Lead channels are very close to being the same. But, you can set them up completely differently in tone so you can have a different tone for leads, or 2 different rhythm tones. The variable power output is actually more like "master volume", because the volume increase and decrease is way too linear for an actual real variable power output. At low db volume levels you're not going to hear much difference between 5 watts and 10 watts, or 15 watts and 40 watts. Yet, turn the power control to the right and volume steadily increases just like a master volume. Still it's great to have a master volume. The reverb sounds nice and is very useable. Density affects the low end tone. "Dynamics" affects the tone in a subtle way by making it looser or tighter, but there is a FEEL difference that's controllable and cool. Turned left it's tighter, turned to the right it's looser. For Metal it's better to the left, and for high gain Blues I like it to the right. A few people have said they wish this amp had a "presence" control. Well, it DOES. It's the "TONE" control in the master control section between the dynamics and reverb controls. Laney labels it "Tone", but it works just like a presence control, where it affects the higher frequencies at the amp section whereas the eq affects it at the pre amp section. Over all this is a great amp, very versatile as others have said. I am very impressed at how good it is. Plus it looks great and appears solid. The red glow LED's are common these days and they add a cool visual appeal. Zzounds.com has a GREAT price on this amp, at about $200 LESS than other retailers, $649!!! Guitar Center beat that by a bit so I got it from them. Remember, GC has stores in a lot of states and if are in one you'll have to pay tax. Zzounds.com only charges tax if you live in their home state, everyone else doesn't get taxed.