Laney LC 15 R Reviews
I bought it used from a local dealer and paid 200 USD.
The Laney LC 15 R is portable, affordable and powerful enough for rehearsals and small clubs. But are those facts really that important? I wouldn't say so. Sound is king and this amp can sing. With stock preamp tubes you can get a clean sound with the gain knob set to lower than 9 o'clock. Past that it starts to break up but no matter what you dial in you will find a useful sound. Seventies hard rock sounds hit you in the face past 12 o'clock. I mainly use this amp for recording clean to bluesy sounds though and I found it better to put in two 12AU7 preamp tubes because of their lower gain. In my opinion this opens the amp up a bit because you can get clean sounds up to 12 o'clock and for some reason the sound is a bit muddy when the gain knob is set below 9 o'clock, both with stock tubes and replacement tubes. Perhaps it is a phenomenon that has got to do more with the pot than the tubes. If I need more gain I simply switch back to the stock tubes. A good clean tubey sound is hard to achieve but I actually think I found a personal favourite in this pup. It has got more personality than other low watt amps I owned over the years. When the powertubes saturates at higher volumes a spongey musical feel appears. I love it and it is actually available at different volume levels too depending on how you set the gain and volume. Don't ask me how that can be, just take my advise and try it out. Not just in the store. Try and record with it and you will find it always finds its spot in the mix. It is like glue on the tape.
The stock speaker is a HH invader 10 inch speaker. It has a papery boxy sound with a thin bottom end. I replaced it with a Jensen C10Q which is what I base this review on. It is more musical and transparent with more of everything. But the stock speaker is not useless. I put in in a separate cabinet and use it for lo-fi sounds sometimes, using the external speaker jack. It can give you a dry thin sound that does not take over when your mix starts to get full. Also, try singing through it. I would describe the sound as a tubedriven telephone. Pretty useful sometimes.
The Laney LC 15 R is a small class A tube combo with a 10 inch speaker. The preamp is built around three chinese(?) 12AX7 tubes and the power tubes are two EL84:s. 15 class A watts are pretty loud so I think you can compare it to 30 transistor watts.
There is one channel but two inputs with different gain. You cannot use them at the same time as they short eachother out. The knobs say: gain, bass, middle, treble, volume and reverb. There is an output jack for an external speaker and an effects loop on the back.
It seems pretty well made though the tubes are mounted directly to the PCB-board which propably could be a problem after many years when the tubes have been put in and taken out enough times for the soldering to snap. Someone also told me heat was a problem with the first LC 15:s that came out as the tube holder used to be made of some kind of resin. Apparently they took care of this as the tube holders in my amp (2001) are plastic.
Try it for yourselves. It is impossible to describe sounds properly in writing. I think you will like it, especially if you connect an external speaker to get an idea of the amps potential when the stock speaker is replaced.
I give it a 5 here (with the Jensen speaker, 3 with the stock speaker).Larry, Stockholm
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