I have looked at Mesa, Marshall....your typical music store variety amps...all of them. Have owned Laney's in the past, figured I would try another. I made the RIGHT choice!
This amp has so many features on it, many only found on higher priced amp heads.
If you like great warm clean tones, 70's classic rock tones, 80's Heavy metal & progressive metal-type distortion, and if you don't really feel like spending $1850.00 on a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Bogner, or some other wallet-busting boutique amp, than I urge you to at least give the Laney GH50L a try. You'll be happy you did. You might even take it home with you....
Model Year: 2002
Price: $650.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Labradog Music
This amp features many cool options only found on more expensive amp heads.
Can change tubes, has a tube bias switch, resonance switch, footswitchable, effects loop in & out, Bass, Mid, Treb controls, Gain, Main Vol, AND a SEPERATE switch & control knob for distortion! Which is KILLER! Plus, it also has the very cool "retro look" of Chicken-Head Knobs. Nice chrome trim, cool cloth grille...etc
(2) ECC83 Preamp tubes
(4) 5881 Output tubes
Sound quality rivals some Marshall's I've played thru, the clean tones you get from this puppy are so sweet. Not to mention, if you're a huge metalhead, you will find this amp to have some KILLER distortion.
You can easily achieve the early EVH "Brown Sound", found on such tunes as "Mean Street", "Ain't Talkin bout Love", "Atomic Punk"...etc and it will get even more distortion, similar to current underground progressive metal bands.
Very clear, crisp/crunchy distortion, not that "muddy" Mesa sound.
This sucker CRANKS! One of the finest heads I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few over the last 20 years.
I've seen reviews in Harmony-Central saying that this amp sucks for playing clean....I beg to differ. The tone from these tubes is so "clean" & "glassy". It almost chimes.
I'm assuming if you have it cranked to "14" on a clean channel (especially a tube amp), you WILL get "SOME" unwanted distortion.
Very easy to use! Plug in & play!
I think every amp takes a lot of fiddling with knobs to get a sound you're comfortable with, so, it's no different than any other amp head. No programmable crap, no digital effects...just killer tube tone & SICK distortion!!!!
Seeng how I just bought it, I really can't tell you. It's nice & heavy, built nice, fit & finish are top notch, and can't beat this baby for price, tone & overall options.