Purchased from: Windjammer Music, Oxfordshire
Sound — 8
The amp is a solid-state system so the sound is not quite as good as a tube amp. However, the distortion provides an excellent recreation of tube overdrive, while the clean provides a rather standard clean tone. It is pretty versatile across differing styles of music, as it has 2 independant EQ sections and an FX section with control. The FX loop obviously allows further extension across the genre spectrum as a mmulti-FX like a line6 or Zoom can be plugged in for endless variety. It is a 120-watt, Twin speaker (or six with ext. cab) blaster so the noise it produces is something else! In a confined space it seems very loud, but for some reason seems louder on stage - strange! The instructions guide you not to take either volume knob above about 8.5, so both channel stay un-distorted at high volumes. The distortion can be turned up to 11 with the max button, so all ambient guitar tone can be lost. This is useful for heavy metal music like Maiden or Metallica.
Overall Impression — 10
I am fond of the Laney, and despite having the money to buy a better amp, I am perfectly satisfied with the amp alone. I am not at all attempted to buy a new amp as the Laney is a near top-of-the-range job in terms of solid state amplification, and is more than loud enough. Being a digi-FX person, a valve amp is pointless, as the entire sound quality is provided by the FX pedal, and will sound the same in any amp. The only contender in my opinion is the Marshall MG-100DFX combo, but this is more expensive, and you get less. I prefer to buy smaller brands in general, but the Laney's brutal looks and awesome power caught my eye and ear and I am utterly satisfied with the amp. I would give it about 85% as a review.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Being solid state, it is more reliable. However, I never gig without backup, usually provided by the direct output of my footpedal (Zoom GFX-5) going straight into the PA system. This provides easy back-up if the amp were to go down. The amp hasn't gone down to-date, but has only been gigged 3-4 times in small venues so I can't really comment in this area.
Features — 10
The MXD series is a new one from Laney. Laney have been mainly a tube amp company for the last however-many years, but have introduced this 'hardcore' range to suit the needs of those on lower budgets. It has 2-channels, a clean and a crunch. Most fx-free sounds can be created on the crunch channel, and some excellent mellow and bright sounds can be found on the clean. The fx section of the amp, however, makes it possible to find 98% of signature tones out in the world of rock and blues. The amp features seperate equalizers and volume controls for each of the channels on the amp, and a selection switch, which can be controlled by the first of a two button footswitch (not inc. ). It also has a "max" button to increase the gain to "11" - ideal for rock and metal. The FX section is controlled by button two on the f/s. On the front panel, you'll find not only the knobs, but 3 6.4" jack sockets. An input, footswitch in, and line out. Look at the back and you'll find a ext. cab socket for an additional 4x12 or 2x12 8ohm cab (I use a Marshall 1960A) and an FX-loop (I use a Zoom GFX-5). You'll also see the back-ends of 2 celestion Seventy80 speakers - loud. The amp is encased in a hefty plywood cabinet. It has a rubber handle, but I have also installed cabinet handles on each side for a 2-man lift. There's a kick-proof grill on the front (no cloth) and 4 rubber feet for it to sit on.