VC15-110 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 2
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 9.3 (24 votes)
Laney: VC15-110

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Sound — 9
I predominantly use this amp with my MIM strat, with stock pickups. As I've said, the clean is just a blank canvas to shape your own sound with pedals of your choice, although at gigging volumes it does start to break up. The Drive channel also fits my style, which is anything from funk, reggae, blues, some classic rock, indie, but never any metal. Metal will not happen with this amp unless you have some serious mid-scoop and a lot of distortion. but then you'll have trouble cutting through, so for metal, I would recommend a louder, more powerful amp.The Drive channel can be pretty dirty, however but its no match for a Marshall Plexi, of course. The only hiss or hum I get from it is when my wah-wah's too near to my power supply, so that doesn't really count.

Overall Impression — 6
For my styles; funk, rock, blues, stooges-esque protopunk, classic rock, early Led Zep, melodic Chili Peppers style ballads and reggae, this amp is a godsend. However, the fact that it doesn't work is rather s**t so I'm not too much of a happy bunny. If it were stolen I'd actually be glad because I'd have an excuse to buy something more reliable and a bit bigger like a Fender Blues Junior or even a Deluxe VM. I use: Fender MIM Strat>Crybaby>Big Muff>Dano Cool Cat Chorus>EHX memory toy>VC15 and it sounds great.

Reliability & Durability — 2
Well previously, I have used this amp without a backup out of necessity, but recently it's just stopped working. I assume the power transformer has blown, but after 3 months of ownership from new I didn't expect this to happen. I e-mailed Laney, and they were quick to reply, teling me to get it fixed through Dolphin Music, but a week after e-mailing them I've had no response. I have always been careful, it's only been out of the house 3 times and apart from at gigs its always at 0.5 on the volume dial (there's a new born baby next door).

Features — 8
This amp is the new version of the VC15, with two air vents instead of one, so judging by the Laney website it was made sometime between 2008 and 2010. This amp is very versatile, mainly because on the clean channel it reacts with all my pedals perfectly. The Drive channel also fits my style, which is anything from funk, reggae, blues, some classic rock, indie, but never any metal. It has two channels, Clean and Drive, which can be switched between on a separate footswitch (which you have to buy separately) or on the amp itself. The Drive has a brightness button which I keep on at all times. This is because otherwise it is difficult to be heard with a band, so it helps cut through. That being said, in a small church gig I was told to turn down half way through the set, and the vol could have only been on about 6/7 (1 to 10)You can use a speaker cabinet with this amp, but it cuts out the internal speaker, so you must make sure its not another 110 cab you're adding!

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I wanna disagree with any notion that this amp can't handle heavy tones, I use an LTD EC 401VF (Seymour Duncans and a thicker body than it's EMG counter part) and if I had to compare the tone I get to anyone famous I'd pick Adam Jones from tool. I put it through a 2x12 Marshal cab, I only run the gain around 8, no buzzing issues. Better overall tone than my Marshall JCM 800 2203 by a long shot and more reliable.
    I picked up one of these used two weeks ago. Spotted and tested them years ago, but waited for the right deal (iffy cosmetics from use but perfect function). I don't play heavy, I play solo slide, soul, blues, R&B, jazz. For what I do, this amp is simply great. Very rich, smooth tones, huge bass response (amazed that some find it too bright), just the right OD. Like the fact that it's low power, most people play too loud. I would recommend this to anyone playing small rooms, with or without a band. If I use it in a bigger room I'll mike it or use the effect send, which is also a line out.
    this amp made in the U.K like the others or is it from over seas?
    The transformer issues have been solved a few years ago, so now you can buy it without the worries. As for the made in the UK, I heard that they have recently switched to China.
    Ignore that Made in UK. It's ALL made in china nowadays. Like the cleans, but the Gain channel could do better. Would go with Bugera V22 over this. Like the VC15 looks, though.
    I hear the transformer sucks on this amp, and that it overheats. I would buy the VC15 but if the transformers are bad, then I'll pass on this and buy the Blackstar HT-5 instead.