Amplification

As I briefly touched upon within the welcome page of Pedal Post the reason I started to become interested in guitar effects is because of my recent acquisition of a tube amplifier.

The amp in question is a Laney Cub 12. I purchased the amp from the GAK website for £200/$250. And for this price I can’t complain, for these reasons:

  • It is a tube amplifier so is a good upgrade of the solid state marshall combo I had prior to this. It is warm, responsive and has a good amount of gain available when needed.
  • It has  15w and <1w inputs, meaning I can use it at home for practice and possibly for small venues. For home use the <1w input is more than loud enough.
  • It has en effects loop, so I can experiment with different signal chains, making it more versatile.
  • It has a 12 inch speaker, with a cab output, so I can plug it into a larger cab if I want, but a 12 inch speaker is enough for me, and is louder than the 10 inch speaker in my previous amp.
  • It feels well made. Hopefully it will last for years to come.

As you can probably tell I am very happy with my amp purchase. The only negative thing about it was the lack of reverb. I could have bought the Laney Cub 12R for £50/$60 more, but wheres the fun in that? having a reverb pedal is going to be more beneficial in the long run. As my interest in guitar effects grows or my sound changes and develops I can change my gear. I don’t think any guitarist is ever truly 100% happy with their equipment and we are all striving to find our perfect sound.

The £50 I saved compared to the 12R is £50 I can spend on a reverb pedal. I will cover my reverb pedal in a future post.

Side note, there is one other small gripe about the amp, although It hasn’t broken, the carry handle is soft touch rubber and doesnt feel too strong, it has more flex than I would expect, but this is a minor gripe, I can always replace the handle if neccesary.

I will also point out that I was pretty much set on buying a Fender Bassbreaker 15. But at £500/$620 (they have more than likely come down in price since I last looked) this was more than double what I paid for the Laney and is no more of an amp for that money. The Fender cab may be better constructed, and yes the Fender is covered in tweed. The speaker may be that little bit better in the Fender, but when it comes down to small points like this, I couldn’t see how I could justify spending £500 on it. They both have very similar specs, and the same tubes in both the preamp and power amp. The Laney wins hands down for me and has rejuvenated my passion once more.

Would I buy one again if this one broke? Yes in a heartbeat, at this price how could I not. 

What does it sound like? It sounds fantastic. It is crystal clear when needed, and distorts nicely when pushed past 3 or 4. It warm, a touch bass heavy, but this can be tweaked using the usual 3 band EQ. 

Is it loud? Yes very. Far louder than I need for home use on the 15w input. The <1w input is perfect for using at home, I can really drive the amp whilst knowing that i’m not going to annoy the neighbours too much.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I think that much is obvious. If you are looking for a tube combo, and don’t have much money to spend, actually even if you have a much bigger budget, at least give the Laney a try, you might be surprised. Obviously you won’t be playing any huge gigs with it, but for home/studio/small venue use it really fits the bill. 

Thanks for reading.

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