VC30-210 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (30 votes)
Laney: VC30-210

Price paid: £ 399

Purchased from:

Sound — 8
I play a Fender Tele through it and it recreates what I want - ala Steve Cropper/Jimmy King. It was really good with pedals at first but seems to hate them now and creates too much noise so I play straight in. Clean channel is possibly the best I have experienced. I never used to worry about guitar volume - it was always set at 100% but this amp gives a genuine different voicing from different guitar settings and has provided me with a little re-education. When this amp is run at 5-6 the natural break up is beautiful. Distortion is classic 70's and not high gain. Think Thin Lizzy

Overall Impression — 8
I play in a 60's Stax and Motown band. This amp is refined enough and raw enough to do the music justice without wimping out or being overkill. I have been playing 24 years and own a Traynor 100 watt amp and far too many guitars and effects. I love the amp - but this is something that happened in the last 3 months. Previously I was looking to buy another Traynor YGL. I bought it and it was not as refined or as good. I now have an amp that is too heavy to lift and too rubbish to use. Stick to the VC30 210! What do I love about it? Well it has a real thick sound and it captures the sounds of a bygone era. Push it, it will sing. The VC30 MK2 is a real contender to the AC30. If it were stolen? This is a nonsense because I am currently buying a second VC30 anyway.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I do depend on it, as I have no back up. I am in the process of buying another 210 because I genuinely like the sound. I have not needed a repair as such but the issue with hum & pedals has gotten noticeably worse over the last 4 months. However the end result is that I have become less reliant on pedals and more able to play in the raw as it were:)

Features — 9
The VC30 210 was a 2008 model which I bought in April 2009. Its a true class A amp according to the blurb and it is a 2 channel affair although it shares the tone controls for both. Reverb is a little weak but sweet, and at around 90% it is pretty good. Its a very good tone horse and probably better than the Traynor YGL3 MkIII, both the AC30's and the various Marshalls I have owned previously. I chose this as I needed an amp after being re-recruited to join my old Stax/Motown soul band after a near 10 year lay off from live work. I wanted a portable combo that would cut through in my 10+ piece band and it is capable of holding it's own unmic'ed in a 300-400 capacity venue.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dopey_Trout wrote: but i'm not a fan of the vox's mainly because i like pedals
    tell that to The Edge?
    I have a VC30 210. I agree about the great valve tone and the build quality is impressive. However I've gone back to using the Peavey Classic 30 it was supposed to replace, because playing live on the clean channel it starts to mush up around 5 and only gets more distorted as you turn it up further. The Classic 30 has much more clean headroom and is overall much louder. At one gig in a small venue I had the VC30 turned up full to be heard over the band. I have never turned the Classic30 above 7 at gigs , at which volume it still has a nice clean punchy sound. This doesn't seem to match many of the other comments. Is something wrong with thee amp? I had it checked over and the verdict was that everything's fine. Does anyone have any comments/suggestions?
    I forgot I wrote this review all those years ago! But the bottom line is I spoke too soon.  It developed a couple of faults - the reverb died and the valves died shortly after (14 month old)  I bought new valves and sent it to a tech but it started acting up again.  I still loved the sound but it had become too unreliable. The VC30 210 clean volume became an issue for me too. The amp never really convinced me that it WAS cutting through on the larger pub gigs (Club venues it was always close mic'ed) but even flat out it got swamped by the bassists SVT amp  Ironically I had a Peavey 410 Classic - nice amp but the cleans were a little bit bland so I now have a fender pro super amp and a DRRI (both had their share of issues too).  I still like the Laney but it would get about a 6.5 now.