VC30-112 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.3 (36 votes)
Laney: VC30-112
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Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: Second Hand

Sound — 8
I play a US Strat+ with SD Hot Rails pup in bridge, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Boss CE5, DigiTech Digidelay, exclusively into the clean channel. I'm in a punky, experimental Indie band in Brighton (UK), play lots of Live shows in clubs and pubs. I am so fond of my little amp. I see people lugging big rigs around, and there I am with my little Laney, knowing it's going to blow their tit's off. The clean channel has a rich and lively tone, retaining clarity at surprisingly high volumes. The speaker isn't the best, and the distorted channel is a bit gritty and not that satisfying, although I'm informed that it would be significantly improved by a speaker upgrade. I'm not bothered, I don't use it. The clean channel is ballsy, and handles effects really well. It's an AC30 type tone; chiming, full, clear highs, but aggressive in it's way.

Overall Impression — 8
I just think that if you're after a ballsy little amp with a great fundamental clean tone, and you don't have loads of cash, the VC30112 is one you have to try. I was lucky enough to find mine second hand, but the prices in the UK shops aren't prohibitive (a shade under 400 quid, I think). There's a smaller and a bigger version in the range, but the 30 watt, 1x12" seems to me the most sensible option. It's big enough to gig, but not such a big expense that you can't reasonably upgrade speaker/tubes, or hinder purchase of an even better amp in the future. I'm looking at the Laney 4x10 Lionheart as my next purchase, although I'm smitten with my little VC, so it wont be for a while.

Reliability & Durability — 6
I gig with it all the time and thankfully it has never broken down mid show. However, it is prone to blow the power lead fuse. It's happened twice now. I don't know much about electronics, so I can't tell you why it's happened, but I can tell you it's dead easy to replace them. I have to be fair, so can't score it that highly here.

Features — 7
I guess you all know by now - two, footswitchable channels, shared eq, spring reverb, effects loop, bright Switch, 1x12" Celestion Seventy80 speaker, 30 watts, TAD EL84-str driven. Not the most well appointed amp, but what more do you really need? The only thing I'd change to the lay out would be to have separate eqs for the channels. The hardware is upgradeable.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    andriusd
    I wouldn't be so sure about it being a single channel amp. Yes, it has a shared EQ for both channels, but there are claims that a clean channel is voiced after VOX (or some other amp) and the drive channel is voiced after a Marhsall sound. I don't have much experience to reliably compare, but from what I personally heard, if you turn the gain down on the drive channel to make it clean, it sounds slightly different from the clean channel. Maybe I would not trust my inexperienced ears, but since other people say that the two channels are slightly differently voiced (slightly, but not very completely differen), if this is true, it's a two channel amp.
    MaggaraMarine
    ^ Oh yeah and it has a switch between clean and OD. And Od has a "drive" button and own volume control. Clean channel has only clean volume. And OD channel doesn't have a bright switch so it's a 2 channel amp. The channels don't need to sound that different to be a 2 channel amp.
    MaggaraMarine
    Bought one of the older models with HH Invader speaker for 280. I think it's great and an improvement from my previous amp, Micro Cube. I had to sell my old guitar (Epi LP) and amp but I think it was worth it.
    MaggaraMarine
    MaggaraMarine wrote: ^ Oh yeah and it has a switch between clean and OD. And Od has a "drive" button and own volume control. Clean channel has only clean volume. And OD channel doesn't have a bright switch so it's a 2 channel amp. The channels don't need to sound that different to be a 2 channel amp.
    And it uses different tubes for drive and clean (check out the manual).
    MaggaraMarine
    I think this amp sounds the best on clean channel and on drive channel when the drive knob is at 7. Though recently I noticed that my guitar (Charvel So Cal) prefers the low gain input. It doesn't sound as harsh as the high gain input on drive channel and I can turn the drive higher without sounding harsh. But I still prefer the drive sound with drive at 7. At first it felt like very low gain because I wasn't used to it (actually the drive knob at full felt the same when I got it because I was used to using a lot more gain). But now I have got used to it and I don't even need more gain. IMO more gain just means more muddiness. I realized that the music I play (70s and 80s classic/hard rock and some heavy metal) doesn't really need that much gain. Only leads could use some more gain so a gain boost would be cool. Also it would be great if the bright switch would only be active on clean channel. Separate EQ for both channels and a presence control and it would be perfect amp. I just love the sound I get with this amp.