Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: Seller
Sound — 10
I use a Gibson Classic and ESP EC-1000 with JB/59 pickups. Both guitars sound just amazing with not only the style of music but with the Laney. The amp has a bit of noise in the distorted channel, most amps pretty have a bit of noise. But when you play or play with a band, you don't even know it's there. No big deal at all. This amp can give you sparkly shimmering warm cleans, to classic rock crunch, to gritty blues, to modern heavy distortion and super high gain leads! There isn't much this amp can't do. The clean stays clean at high levels. I can barely put it to 2 and it's insanely loud already and cleans are still clean. Doesn't break up until ear bleeding levels. Speaking of volume, this amp is amazingly loud! It can go up against the loudest drummers out there and not break a sweat! 110db of snare isn't going to scare this puppy. I've put and mix new preamps tubes in there and it's definitely made this amp sound even better, very 3D. I have to make a note of this amp. You have to take the time to work with the EQ and tone shaping tools there. It's extremely sensitive to the touch and any slight changes to the setting will make an audible different! The controls are interactive! Just tinkering with one setting will set a chain reaction to the others and you'll have to play with them as well. It can be a real ballbreaker. It took me about a year to really master these tools! You may think you have your sound one day and later within a week you may change your mind and sometimes it can go to month and so on. It's a tweaker. Be patient and learn it well. You'll be rewarded with any sound you're after. For me I can dial in any sound I like. The tubes I put in the preamp section are V1 Mullard, V2 Telefunken, V3 EI Elite Gold, V4, Brimar, V5 RCA V6 Amperex. Power tubes, SED Wing C EL34's!
Overall Impression — 10
Definitely by far the best amp I've owned and played. Had it for 5 years and gigged 2 years straight with it and has never let me down. Engl, Bogner, Orange, Carvin, Mesa Boogie, Marshall, Koch, Fender, Hiwatt, and many others have their good points here and there. The Laney rivals all of them. Some of the amp companies uses diodes in their tube path for distorted tones like Carvine and Marshee. Laney has nothing but an all tube path signal, everything is tube! When Lyndon Laney designed AOR he wanted to make sure that to give the amp more gain and distorted tones without the added diodes in the signal path. He added another tube for the gain stage so you won't need to mod your amp in order to get heavy distorted tones which carried over future models like the GH and VH series. So all the tones from the amp is pure tube. Brilliant! Dynamics, power, flexibility, durability not to mention price/performance is hard to beat. Definitely the best amp I've ever come across that gives you everything.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Built very well! Construction and reliability in these amps are kick ass. I hardly ever hearing people having problems with the VH100R or Laney amps in general. Definitely built and runs like a champ. Has never broken down on me. I feel confident that I can gig without a backup and I have for the past 2 years. Probabaly a good idea to carry spare fuses and tubes with you just in case.
Features — 10
This is a 2005 model. But I have a 2002 model which is almost the same except the newer one is a bit lighter and the Laney logo is smaller. This is has versatility written all over it. It was built and designed for versatility and flexibility! It can do everything well! Pretty much jack of all trades! And it does it well! I play mainly Modern Rock like Dashboard Confessional, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumkins, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, you get the idea. It's a two channel amp with gain switches for each channel making it pretty much sound like a 4 channel amp. The effects loop in this baby is masterpiece. You can dedicate your effects to separate channels or both at the same time. You can have your chorus for just your cleans and an OD pedal for your distorted channel! Unreal. Wish more amp manufacturers thought about sooner. The Vh100r pretty much has all the bells and whistles I could ask for. Reverb, great effects loop, great tone shaping tools, separate EQs for each channel and just great tone!