Price paid: $ 1250
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 8
I use 7 string schecters with Bare Knuckle Pickups and play progressive metal so I go through a variety of playing styles. The amp does most of these pretty well. After using this amp for a couple of years I finally figured out that the key to getting a good sound out of it is volume and use of the correct input jack. I used think this amp couldn't do a good metal tone but I am able to get a really good distortion through the low input and with the volume at 12:00, gain at 12:30 and Drive at around 2:30. I need to push the volume because I'm running a 480 watt cab but I also think a lot of this amp's tone lives in the power tubes so you need to push them to get a really heavy sound. Otherwise, I feel the tone is a bit lacking when the volume is rolled back. Through the low input you can push the clean channel a bit too. Sounds really good at around 10:00 or a little higher. The clean Drive Switch and the overdrive channel without the Drive on are nice for your inbetween overdrive sounds. Though, of the two, I prefer the OD channel while controlling it with my guitar volume knob. The amp's not perfect. I do use a MXR EQ in the loop with the highest highs and upper mids cut slightly and a boost to the lower mids. This really helps warm things up but doesn't interfere with clarity. I use a tube screamer in front for solos as well. My distortion settings are ok for certain solos or licks but the pedal sounds great when I really need to cut and get that round, liquid sounding attack.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall it's a decent amp but so many factors involved in tone it's hard to know which element to change to make it perfect. I've been playing 16 years and have a few other amps including a Mesa and a budget B52 tube amp. The Laney sounds the best now that I've figured out what it needs. I do wish it had a half power Switch so I could get my nice sound a lower volumes. Sound guys at gigs always want to turn you down so power tube saturation at lower levels is ideal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
So far it has been very reliable. The only problem I had with it was that a fuse blew right before my band was about to play once. That was a power problem on the stage though...
Features — 8
Mine is one of the older ones with the leather strap handles. Newer ones look cooler but probably sound the same so whatever. I use it in rehearsals with my band and live. It's very loud and operates best at high volume. My bass player has a 1200 watt Ampeg rig (solid state) and the Laney is still louder. I just wish the resonance feature was adjustable because it can be too much sometimes. A half power Switch would be very cool too.