Laney HardcoreMax 120B Reviews 4

Bought this puppy new from a local dealer at about a 20 per cent discount(around $5C). Hadn't played professionally in a long time (about 20 years since my last gig and hadn't played bass in almost 30 years). Got back into it and had a unique perspective of like "coming out of a time warp" as far as advances in equipment went. Used to play big Fender stacks with tubes with Fender and Gibson Basses. Went to an active pickup bass playing in a medium auditorium sized venue.

The 120B is a rock - construction, tone, versatility. The on-board 6 band EQ gives me a wide range to play with and the compressor rounds out the uniqueness of the little amp. Being a combo unit (rackable amp in a cab with a 15" speaker)it's easy to pack around though it's not exactly lightweight for its size. Lots of clean power for an amp this small with as much punch, growl, or bottom as you want. The 3 pin direct out on the front panel allows me to use it in a larger room direct into the large sound system, in essence using the unit as an on-stage monitor. Good looking unit with a heavy duty metal kick grill, active and passive 1/4" inputs and front mounted push button "bright" switch for a punchy slap tone. Cab corners have plates for protection. Tight unit with no "buzzing" from vibration at high vols.

Being a dinosaur from the 70's, the unit turns out to be a little small for someone used to getting everything from the amp on stage and feeling that power that goes with it. Not exactly a dislike, just an observation. Dislikes ? Well, it could benefit from a couple of built-in rear tilt back castors and countersunk aluminum handles for manhandling the little beast. And an additional speaker out jack on the rear to piggy back another amp would be nice.

Heavy duty cab with protected corners and kick grill assembled with a quality look. Used it continuously for six months and it has performed like a trouper. Nice package.

The amp is probably a little small for my style and the room I play, but it compensates by being able to throw it into my sub-compact's hatch and hauling it around at a moments notice without a road crew and a panel truck. The direct-out feature makes it versatile enough to use it for the larger room. It's not perfect (never found anything that is) but it's a great compromise for cost/size/power for anyone looking for an small adaptable bass amp. Would be great for smaller venues and coffee house sized rooms on its own. Punkers and metalheads probably would laugh at it, even for a practice amp.

rpm rated this unit 4 on 2003-01-02.

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