Laney VH100R

These monster heads are well liked by metal players for their high gain and awesome volume.

Well this one came to me like a crippled kitten, working one minute and then cutting out where volume dipped completely strangling the output. The cause? Well Laney do design great amps, in terms of tone, but due the their position in the mid tier price bracket it seems to mean that compromises sometimes have to be made. I totally get that but I would prefer them to limit the number of effects sockets instead of skimping on valve socket quality.

Yes in this case and other Laney models I have seen the valve socket connection with the valve pins been problematic. In this case there are two symptoms

1. crackles, pops and rumble noise
2. virtually total cut out

I am sure this is a quality issue and not a wear issue as I regularly come across forty year old Fender and Marshall’s where a repair can be achieved just by re-tensioning the pins but these brown Laney sockets just don’t seem to play ball and replacement is the only option. However the good news is that replacement sockets are cheap and do work.

Laney VC15R

Nice Diddy combos that have a massive sound despite their tiny size.

Issues I have seen inclue:
Output transformer
cut out after a while and the culprit turns out to be the tiny output transformer. If you google round you’ll find this isn’t such an isolated problem and if you have this then you are part of a growing club of Laney owners with, or seeking, I replacement transformers.

Laney, who support their customers very well supply replacements for the price of a couple of CDs. I chose to get one from another supplier that I have used for vintage transformers with great success livinginthepast. No doubt these guys know their stuff and I was really impressed with the quick service and great sound. For me the deciding factor on the Laney was that it is an uprated transformer slightly larger than the original so hopefully it won’t fail in the future. However these amps sound so good when cranked up it’s hard to resist pushing it a bit.

Valve bases
Some Laney models do seem to have fairly low quality valve bases and this can also present itself in an amp as cutting out, crackles and noise. It’s a shame as the difference between a cheap valve base and an expensive one is probably about the price of a bag of sweets.

Laney Linebacker KB120

This little keyboard amp came to me with a fault of not making a useful sound.

Using the effects loop trick I was able to work out that the pre amp was at fault but the power-amp was fine.  Since this amp has three input channels it is inlikely that all three pre-amps are going to be duff – another clue.  There is a comining op-amp that mixes the three input channels into a single feed into the power amp – surely that has to be the issue. So replaced the TL072 op-amp fixed the issue immediately, cleaned the flux off the PCB  and the amp is ready to go.

It’s actually a great little amp.  Three channels.  Inputs for CD /IPOD using phono sockets, effects loop and a lovely reverb.  I used it for a gig playing bass and it was delicious, the big speaker could easily have handled our keyboard player too.