- Product 481338
Laney VC15-110 15W 1x10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
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The VC15-110 tube guitar combo amp is the baby of the Laney VC amplifier range. Built on the distinguished heritage of the VC30, the VC15 amp deliver...Click To Read More About This Product
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Superb British Class A tone with a pedigree straight from the '60s.
The VC15-110 tube guitar combo amp is the baby of the Laney VC amplifier range. Built on the distinguished heritage of the VC30, the VC15 amp delivers great tone. The VC15 delivers 15 watts of amazingly warm or classic bluesy lead tone powered by matched EL84 tubes and cranked out through its internal 10" speaker. If 10" ain't enough for you, there are two dedicated extension cabinets - the GS112VE and the GS210VE.
- Power RMS: 15 Watts
- Inputs: 2x Jack (Bright & Normal)
- Channels: 2: Clean and Drive
- Equalisation: Bass, Mid & Treble
- Bright Switch: Yes
- Preamp Valves: 3x 12AX7 TAD Tubes
- Output Valves: 2x EL84 TAD Tubes
- Class: A/B
- Reverb: Yes
- Footswitch: FS2 (Not included)
- Speaker connections: 1x External Speaker Socket (cuts out internal speaker)
- FX Loop(s): Yes
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VC15-110 15W 1x10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
- Weight: 14 Kg
- Dimensions (mm): 447 x 348 x 200
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
- It Cranks
- It Drives
- Could be louder
The Laney VC15-110 is the only piece of musical equipment I've ever bought sight-unseen where my decision to part with a pretty sizable lump of money was influenced more by the negative reviews I'd read than by the positive reviews. This is going to take some explaining, but it is absolutely true. This is also not going to be an ordinary review.. you've probably seen all the videos by now and are still undecided, so there ought not be more of the same. This is the review that I wish I'd read before buying this amp. It would have removed a great deal of uncertainty and apprehension.
In almost every review for a tube amp, I see certain words describing how 'warm', 'clean' and 'natural' the tone is. This is all well and good, as all tube amps tend to have these qualities. For those guitarists who want a tube amp for a good classic rock or blues sound however, these qualities should not be the deciding factor. For the classic rock or blues guitarist, the entire purpose of a tube amp, versus a solid state of any purpose or variety, is that when the output tubes are truly driven, it has a distortion and drive which is utterly unequalled. That is, if the amp manufacturer still deems this quality to be marketable, and makes an amp which drives at a low enough volume for this to be practicable in a garage setting. Finding such an amp new, and on a budget, has become exceedingly difficult these days.
Before finally settling with the Laney VC15-110, I had owned and/or regularly jammed with a Peavey Classic 30, a Torres Engineering Kit for the Fender Tweed and the same for a Fender Champ, an Epiphone Triggerman 60DSP, a Sears Silvertone 1481, the Marshall DSL40 and the VHT Special 6 Ultra. The full list is somewhat longer than this and includes some occasional Brittones, Marshalls, and other Fenders, but you get the point. I had been searching for my dream tube or tube-sounding amp for a long time, and I'd yet to find it. The little boutique amps, such as the VHT, the Fender Champ, and the Silvertone, were and still remain great fun. But crucially they lack the sheer volume to keep up with a drum-kit and a full band. They also offer next to nothing in terms of versatility; there is no clean head-room, and often no equalizer or even an extension speaker output. Conversely the Fender Tweed and the Peavey had to be cranked to such high volumes before they would break-up that it was simply not feasible in a garage setting and was altogether anti-social. With the Peavey in particular, I did not see the point in buying a tube amp billed as 'Classic' and then being forced to play on a pre-amp mode to get what amounted to a pretty mediocre distortion.. one may as well use a decent solid state (the Epiphone Triggerman, for example). At the same time, however, I did not see the point in getting a high wattage amp which could not be driven in a garage. I also did not see the point in spending an extra few hundred (or more) for a badge on the front of my amp, knowing that in fact most of these tube amps are almost identical on the inside. And I did not want an amp which lacked a simple, bare-bones, old-fashioned clean channel. I ditched Blackstar for that reason, and passed up the VHT 12/20 because it did not have a preamp mode if I ever needed distortion at lower volumes.
This brings us then to the Laney VC15-110. In scouring the web for an amp to suit my needs, I came across several amusing reviews complaining that the Laney is not clean enough, and that it breaks up on the clean channel at a very low volume. The impression was that this was the amp had some sort of defect and needed to be sent to the 'Tube Doctor'. I had read enough generic reviews at this point and seen the words 'warm', 'classic tube tone' and 'fuzzy' enough times to be as wary of this amp as I should have been of the Peavey Classic 30. But the negative reviews completely swayed me in favor of this amp. That the average, uneducated, inexperienced guitarist would think a tube amp was not clean enough on the clean channel made me immediately realize that Laney knew exactly what was up, what was wrong with the trend in current tube-amps, and how to deliver amazing tube drive to honest, experienced musicians yearning for an authentic classic sound on a budget. There was nothing wrong with this amp. Laney knew exactly what they were doing. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but the clean channel on a tube amp is not intended to be clean, at least not since Chuck Berry got his hands on one. It is simply meant to be a means by which you get the most honest and unadulterated distortion that any guitar amp has to offer. Let me just read the introduction from the instruction booklet which came with my amp, and maybe this will make a bit more sense:
'The Dark Art: In an age where guitar players have developed an unhealthy fascination with pre-amp distortion, the fabled sound of a tube power amp being pushed hard has almost passed into history. Until now, that is! The VC15's hand wired 15W Class A/B output stage oozes classic, warm tube tones: The harder you drive it, the better it sounds.'
Well, of course, they said it best. They built this amp to a specific philosophy, for a specific market. If you want to play Steve Vai, forget it. I will inject some adjectives here which come to my mind when I crank this amp (and I've got it cranked and am about to bust out a few chords.. ready?): Wholesome. Bucksome. Broad-chested. Like a feral, musky Neanderthal wrestling a cave bear, about to club it with an Acheulean hand-axe. So far, it is the only amp I've played which has truly given me the Paul Kossoff sound, which I consider to be the greatest in the history of rock. And he got that sound from a Selmer (good luck finding one of those).
As for volume, this amp, at 15 watts of tube power, is intermediate between the little boutique amps, and the impractically loud amps such as the Peavey Classic 30. So far it has been perfect for jamming in a residential neighborhood. It is a combo, which adds to practicality, but comes very compact with an excellent 10" Jensen Special Design speaker. It already comes equipped with the best tubes in the world, so if you like to fiddle with your amps, then I'm sorry.. you'll only be making it worse. It has both a high gain and a low gain input, brightness, tone and full EQ adjustments, and both a clean and a drive channel, as well as an excellent effects loop. The built in reverb is the best I've ever used on an amp. As a result, while retaining its own personality, it has a near infinite range of versatility within garage band volumes. It will work for any kind of guitar or pickup, and for almost any kind of music, barring only ultra-clean sounds, and ultra-distorted sounds, for which you should not buy a tube amp in the first place. In short, this amp plays to all of the time-tested strengths of vacuum tube technology. If anything, it can be a little too versatile. Often I find such a sweet tone after fiddling with the settings that I am afraid to ever alter them, lest I be unable to get the exact tone again. It can be that precise.
That being said, the 15 watts does not get quite as loud as I had expected, considering this is a tube amp. For actual gigging, the VC30 might be the better option. In addition, while this comes equipped with one of the best speakers on the market, it really must be plugged into an external cabinet. I have an ancient Univox 4x12 which works quite well, although not surprisingly I've gotten better sounds out of a Marshall 2x12. I've also attempted to use it as a harmonica amp without very satisfactory results. Other than that: this amp is perfect. I hope this review helps. Cheers.
- Was this a gift?:
Just realize that the reason the speaker extension jack kills the internal speaker...is that if you want to really crank this boy up, it is best to use an extension cab...because if you crank it up with just the provided 10" Jensen...you are going to shake up your power tubes pretty bad...and get some tube noise. This amp sounds incredible after being broken in (see celestion.com for proper speaker break in technique)(20 plus hours of playing). I recommend if you are only using the internal speaker, keep clean volume to 7 or lower. The drive channel can be set at 7 volume, if you are using gain at 3-5. If you are using gain at 5-10, I recommend volume drive volume settings of 3-6. This baby can get reasonably loud with an external cabinet. Small ATA Carry on size is extremly useful. Weighs about 30 lbs. Use for recording, practice, or even with a 2-10 external cab for gigs. Quiet idle beyond belief. Yes, this will sound incredible with clean on 8-9...with internal speaker...just..(like all small el-84 6BQ5 tube amps) this will shake the crap out of the power tubes...heading them into "need to be replaced" territory. I know...I found out the hard way. Hohner (USA importer) sent me a free replacement set of OEM TAD tubes. Nice People. With a 2-10 external cab...the VC15-110 works as a head...so the tubes are not driven crazy by speaker movement and it's Magnetic "Flux." Very Gigable with the Laney 2-10 extension cab. Contact Laney @ laney.co.uk for availability.