Price paid: £ 110
Purchased from: A Friend
Sound — 8
As a blues/classic rock amp I wouldn't be able to fault the LV300H as a metal amp. Power-wise yes its fantastic distortion wise. Its lacking the shear brutality I require, to get a semi brutal distortion you need to crank the volume right up, which then distorts the notes so you loose tone and gah. If you play metal, and I'm being serious, get a distortion pedal (may I recommend the Boss ME50? Technically a multi effect but the distortion and overdrive settings are awesome). Its not overly noisy you get a bit of hiss at high volume but it can be canceled by turning your guitar down when you're not playing. You can make a lot of difference between the two distortion settings by playing with the inbuilt basic EQ (High/Mid/Low) I for example have one set up for a more crunchy sound and the other a more traditional classic rock sound. As for the guitars I use I have a Schecter Omen FR Extreme, a Dean Custom and an Ibanez RG350, I used to run a Squire Strat with EMG SA/SA/95 pick ups but that got broken in a drunken encounter with the wall. Used to sound awesome though. Anyway all three guitars sound fantastic through it and considering I play in drop B some amps struggle to supply the tone needed to clarify the notes.
Overall Impression — 9
Playing in a Metal band usually takes its toll on Amps, but not this one, the basic tone it gives is an awesome partner to my Boss ME50 distortion settings and can give our lead guitarists over rated Marshall a run for its money. I've been playing for near on 11 years now and have never played a half stack system I could rely on to turn on first time every time, with no problems, saying that I've never had a more reliable or durable amp full stop! If it were stolen I'd find the guy, beat him to death with the Head then take it back, if I couldn't find the guy I'd cry for a week then definitely buy another. I didn't actually compare it to other products, I knew it was never going to be a Marshall or a Diamond and I didn't want it to be, I personally think Marshall's are over rated, over priced and Very temperamental (go on hit me with your "Marshall's are amazing" abuse, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it). As for stuff I wish it had? Maybe a more brutal distortion but then that's just because of the style of music I play. For your average guitarist in a blues or regular rock band the standard distortion settings would be fine. Overall a fantastic amp at a great price, even new its not ludicrously expensive and will last you forever, I'd even go so far as to say it'd probably survive a nuclear blast. Along with cockroaches and Twinkies!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would absolutely use this amp at a gig without a back up, you can't kill it. Mines been dropped, knocked over, had drinks spilt on it and even got dropped out of the back of the band wagon whilst it was moving, it still works as well as the day I brought it, doesn't look as good but still works! I know Marshall's and Mesa's may give a better tone and have a better distortion setting but seriously? Put one of them through what my Laney's been through and you'd be left with a few bits of wood and a load of wires.
Features — 9
Pretty sure its the 2009 model but what an amp! Its powerful enough for massive gig's but yet you can crank the noise down if you really need to (so as not to annoy the massive neighbor who looks like he's on steroids) and still get a semi decent tone. The two distortion channels are good enough if you're looking to play blues or classic rock but I found neither of them are up to my style of music (5FDP, Stone Sour, Demon Hunter) but the clean channel is brilliant, and switching between the three is made easier and quicker with the foot switch that is thrown in. Lastly I'd just like to say how freaking loud this amp is, I used to live in a one bed flat and Couldn't Have The Volume Above Three As It Made The Windows Rattle!