Laney LC30-112 II
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Laney LC30-112 II

LC30-112 II, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Laney in the LC series.

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MGR/Optix 03/02/2002

Laney LC30-112 II : MGR/Optix's user review

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Bought it because I was tired of my Marshall and wanted more valves. Previously I had a Marshall VS265R which was very good but not really warm enough for me... and also I don't really like complicated amps. The Laney seemed like a good buy and had valves...
I bought it mail order and paid 329 UK£, plus p&p so £344 overall.

Well, where do I start? It has a lovely proper distortion sound, and responds very well to picking dynamics especially when the pickup volume is turned down. I use a Chinese Squier with one Gibson and one Seymour Duncan humbucker, plus a single coil... the tone of the amp is especially suited to chordal work using the bridge HB and middle SC; it has a glassy, defined quality to the tone. The overdrive is very responsive to changes in the guitar volume, and will give a convincing tone anywhere from blues crunch up to complete mega-gain. Overall I'm highly impressed by all the overdrive tones, and I look forward to exploring their potential even further at larger gigs. I'm also pleased at the way it responds to overdrive pedals; the tone becomes even smoother and more dynamic.
I like the fact that it was relatively cheap, and I like the independent EQ controls (ie EQ for each channel). I'm also pleasantly surprised by the volume of the amp; it's ridiculously loud for an amp rated at 30 Watts, and I've done fairly large gigs using it only on 3 or 4. Mind you I plug a Marshall 4 by 12 into the extension socket to give it more warmth and spread, so this probably contributes to the impression of volume.
The clean tones are good but I venture to say that they're not as exceptional as the overdrive. I tend not to use the clean channel though, so I probably haven't explored its full potential yet. I'm doing a few acoustic gigs soon so that'll tell me a bit more about this side of the amp.
It's highly portable too, which I find a huge advantage.

It is quite treble-y overall, but this is largely personal preference as to whether this bothers you or not. For me I solve this problem by turning the guitar volume down and using the amp EQ, as well as the 4 by 12, but I find I have to do this on most open-backed amps so I wouldn't say that it is a disadvantage as such.
One slight niggle is that the FX loop isn't very effective... even when turned up to 10, I would guess that this only represents a 50% or below FX blend.
Have a good play on one if you're considering buying it, because it is basically a no-frills retro-ish valve amp (retro-ish because there is some mega gain if you want it... for true retro try the VC30.), and it has a distinctive sound. If you don't like that sound, the EQ isn't powerful enough to let you get a different one. It is a good EQ in that it will let you fine-tune the nuances of the tone of each channel, but you can't EQ a completely different tone out of it.


I can't really give a proper comment on this at the moment, as I've only had the amp for about a month. Certainly nothing's fallen off it yet, though I suspect that the lack of corner protectors on the top front of the cabinet will soon take its toll...
Overall it seems well made, I have heard from a few sources that Laney's build quality in general isn't up to much, but there is nothing here to suggest that this is the case. The cabinet is sturdy without being overbuilt, the valves sit behind a secure grille (so secure that I haven't yet been able to get it off to inspect the valves...), and the knobs and so on all seem fine. It doesn't feel as tough as a Boogie, but then I haven't had to mortgage my house to buy it... when the cost is taken into account, I'd say it's very well built indeed.
I'll post another review in a few months when I've gigged it more and see how things are going then...

I love it to bits. It makes such a difference when your tone is right, and this amp has all I could want at a relatively affordable price. It's enriched my band and my gigging pleasure significantly!
I would recommend it, but would add that it's well worth forking out for an extension cab too, as I think the combination of the open-back combo and the thump of a closed back cab is ideal. After all, you're probably not going to pay more than £550 UK for the whole set-up, which to me still seems reasonable.
I'm going to give it 4 here just because I haven't had it long enough to comment properly on the build quality and durability of it. If it carries on performing like it is at the moment, it's on for an easy 5... buy one!...

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com