Price paid: $ 632
Purchased from: private seller
Sound — 9
Turning on the amplifier and plugging in with a humbucker guitar, the clean channel is quite twangy with the bridge pickup. Quite reminiscent of a Fender amplifier. Switching to the neck pickup, the clean is fat but still retains some twang. With a Stratocaster in hand, the clean channel's brilliance makes it's presence known. The clean channel really comes alive with single coils. With the bright Switch engaged, the channel becomes a little brittle. Like many bright switches, it becomes ineffective when the clean channel is pushed. The second mode on the channel adds a bit of grit. This channel is great for bluesy style leads. The bass is quite flabby on this channel and the channel lacks a bit of definition, it's probably the most lacking on the amplifier. Using the bridge pickup in a Les Paul and switching to the crunch channel rewards me with a growling, overdriven tone reminiscent of early English Rock and Roll tones. Chording is really defined, every note can be heard. Switching to the Rhythm pickup and rolling the tone knob down gives me a near perfect rendition of Clapton's famous woman tone. Switching to the second mode engages an additional gain channel. With both of the Drive knobs (Yes, there are 2), at 7, I achieve a tone much like the Marshall Super Lead amplifier. With the gain knobs dimed, I achieve a raunchy distorted tone that's perfect for new age metal. The problem with Channel two is it's excessive brightness. When the treble is past 3, the amp becomes quite harsh sounding. It's also very noisy on the Drive channel, anything past 7 to 8 will require a suppressor to tame down the noise. The effects loop also adds quite a bit of noise so be sure to keep it off or turn the level down when it's not in use. This amp is great for any genre. I play genres from pop to metal.
Overall Impression — 9
The Laney VH100R is a great amp for many genres. It sounds great with humbuckers or single coils. The only gripe I have with the amp is the noise. If it were stolen/lost, I would definitely buy it again.If you're looking for a no non-sense, balls to the wall, versatile, tone monster. The Laney VH100R is for you. From sparkling clean to down right mean. I highly recommend it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The amp is bullet-proof. Its construction is quite solid. The only issue I've had is the low impedance jack, which seems to cut out frequently. I've also noticed that the tolex tears easy, so if you're about cosmetics, be a bit more cautious around the amplifier.
Features — 10
The Laney VH100R is a 100 Watt, class A/B valve amplifier for those Who want versatility and tone in one powerful package. The amp features high and low impedance input jacks, 2 channels with foot switchable gain modes, independent bass, middle & treble controls for each channel, a master presence control, a bright switch, switchable resonance, independent reverb, line outs for silent recording, 16 ohm and 8 ohm speaker connections, and a global effects loop as well as a side effects loop for each channel. The amp also features switchable valve biasing which gives you the option of switching between EL34 and 6L6 power tubes. The amplifier is current loaded with JJ EL34s and Tungsol 12ax7s.