Laney IRT-15-Studio

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by BigBaldIan, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. BigBaldIan

    BigBaldIan Bald and gribbly.

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    Right I've had a chance to play around with this a little bearing in mind I've just used this as a practice amp with headphones so far. I've owned a lot of hi-gainers: Dual Rec 3-channel, Mark 4 combo, Engl Powerball, 6505, Framus Cobra, GP-3 & 2:90 rack etc etc. I didn't want to go back down the modelling route as I'd get bored when something newer/flashier came out.

    Signal chain: fingers > '88 Jackson Soloist (J-50B, J-200, J-200 pickups with JE-1200 midboost) > IRT-Studio > Sennheiser HD 203 cans.

    Ease of use 4/5: Manual is pretty straightforward however the only slight stumbling block is that in order to engage the rhythm channel you have deselect both lead and clean buttons on the footswitch.

    Features 5/5: Multi-channel hi-gain valve amp, that can be run with no cab, built in USB interface, reamping etc etc. It has everything but the kitchen sink. If I were to be hyper-picky a Watts control like on its bigger siblings would be nice but 1W/15W does the job nicely.

    Reliability n/a: Only just got it, but the casing is well screwed together and looks solid as is the footswitch. Peering inside the grill with a torch, the PCB's look well designed so touch wood I'll be fine.

    Value 5/5: £399 for all this functionality, you've got to be kidding me!

    Customer Support n/a: Only just got it, hopefully won't need it.

    Expressiveness/Sounds 4/5:

    Firstly I'd like to start with the clean channel, it's always nice to see a hi-gainer with a chimey clean channel. The pre-boost fattens it up nicely but by and large no breakup.

    Next the rhythm channel, I set the pre-boost at 4/10 and gain at 7/10 which got me into thrash territory. This is your go-to channel for classic rock through to some of your more traditional metal tones.

    Lead channel: Picks up where the rhythm channel left off and proceeds to thoroughly ream you. If there isn't enough gain here (especially with the pre-boost feature), then you're certifiable. Even with the gain cranked note articulation in chords is good. Switching to the neck pickup for leads, especially with low output pickups by today's standards yielded some lovely fluid tones.

    Ok, so why did it lose a point, well it's designed for hi-gain and as such doesn't really do the whole "just breaking up" tonal palette that well. If that's your bag, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

    Overall rating 5/5: Any minor tonal niggles are outweighed by the options this brings to the table. A lot of things try to be a Jack-of-all-trades and in doing so end up flawed, this is something fresh on the market. Competitively priced, great valve tones and re-amping options.

    I won't bore you with clips, so go here for reviews/demos, especially Fred Brum and Paul Ortiz.

    IRT-STUDIO | IRONHEART | Laney
     

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