Laney Ironheart Studio - IRT Studio 15

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

  1. nowhere

    nowhere ss.org irregular

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    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

    Features:
    -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.

    Pros:
    _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.

    Cons:
    _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
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/x152d744m9n4doj/6IbMii6aR6
     
  2. nowhere

    nowhere ss.org irregular

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    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 SS.org Regular

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    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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