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!