Laney Ironheart Studio - IRT Studio 15

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by nowhere, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. nowhere

    nowhere irregular

    Likes Received:
    Nov 17, 2012
    I received my IRT studio 4 days ago from Thomann.

    What it includes:
    -footswitch + 5m cable
    -padded postman-like bag, with extra pocket for the footswitch
    -includes manual
    x-does not include any other cable like USB or XLR

    -3 channels (or 2 channels, one with 2 modes)
    -clean/rhythm , shared EQ, separate volume controls
    --clean does not feature gain knob
    -lead, has its own EQ gain and master

    EQ knobs can be pulled out to deepen (in the case of bass) or shift the frequency

    -global boost section (footswitchable) usable up to 3-4, this feature is welcome but an OD pedal will be a lot better.
    -global reverb (footswitchable) decent, but for myself indifferent
    -global tone (resonance)
    -global dynamics (low end tightness) does not seem to do anything or is very subtle
    -powertubes are Ruby as far as I can tell (el84c)

    Backside features (here is the deal): check the pictures in the link below
    -Loudspeaker out 4 and 8 ohm
    -Headphone out, dedicaded level knob, jack output, switch selector for monitoring amp or usb(pc). speaker emulation is always on in case of monitoring the amp through this output.
    -Mp3 player In, mini jack input
    -DI section - XLR out, switchable speaker emulation
    -FX loop, switchable between: bypass/0dB/-10dB
    -and USB out with dedicaded gain knob, reamp out jack

    I could monitor the amp in 3 ways:
    -headphone out to Interface- decent
    -DI out XLR to Interface - great
    -USB directly to PC, no soundcard needed. (not very practical because of latency)

    regarding the USB :
    its not an ASIO driver, its a directX Samsung microphone!
    latency goes up to 150ms which renders the USB useless for monitoring the amp. I still have not managed to record dry and wet signal together.

    _a lot of gain
    _very very tight
    _using the unit without a Cab, with headphones or monitors is also a very nice feature
    _ability to record its signal without speaker emulation, and use eg LeCab in your DAW
    _boostable EQ with knobs pulling out to shift or deepen the frequencies.

    _does not seem very versatile
    _footswitch is great but a little difficult to get used to, its not straight forward
    _boost is decent but not something to die for.
    _(versatility) cannot be less tight. dynamics control does not seem to do something
    _clean channel does not have a gain control...
    _USB is useless for monitoring and can mess up your monitoring setting when connected

    Overall, its a very nice piece of gear, but could be improved a bit. I could use some overdrive sounds, or greater versatility in the clean channel.. and a switch to make it muddy.
    Although I have not tried the amp with a cab, I think at this wattage (15) it will be a lot easier to saturate the power section valves, and get a decent sound at livable volumes.

    Worths it for people that want to record at late hours, dont have a cab, dont want a giant amp (which is useless for home), want to be mobile, gig small places, or want to hook directly to the PA.

    EDIT: i just tried it with a friend's 70s les paul custom. we got a good vintage style sound using the clean channel at full volume, with the booster at 10. (and at fully controllable volumes, thanks to the XLR out)

    pics here
  2. nowhere

    nowhere irregular

    Likes Received:
    Nov 17, 2012
    actually i was wrong. with AsioForAll, the latency is much smaller
    check out the chimpspanner tutorial on using the usb of the amp
  3. Stijnson

    Stijnson Regular

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    Feb 20, 2013
    Thanks for the review, just a quick question, you mention it could use an overdrive, by which i assume you mean crunch kind of sounds. Clean only has a volume control, but the 'rhythm' channel has a gain control right? So essentially you have a clean channel, a possible crunch channel, using the rhythm section of the clean as a crunch channel, and then the lead. Not even counting the pre-boost function. Im considering getting one because it seems to be be quite versatile...Yet your saying its not really. (sound wise)

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