NAD: Laney Ironheart IRT60H, v2

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by GoldDragon, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    Today I got a replacement Ironheart IRT60 for the one I sold a few years ago. There have been some minor design changes that might change some people's opinions on the amp.

    I used the old amp for a few years before I sold it, so I'm really familiar with it. One of the biggest complaints that I heard (and that I agreed with) was that it didn't have enough gain. I spent alot of time swapping preamp tubes, found some more gain by using really hot tubes, but in the end I always used it with a boost pedal for more drive and saturation.

    This new amp, with the same stock tubes, has a bit more gain than the old one. Its hard to explain, but with the old amp, it always felt that it needed a little bit more oomph, even with the boost engaged.

    This one, seems to have a bit more front end compression, meaning you don't have to play the notes as hard to get the same level of sustain and drive. It doesn't have any fuzz or anything that sounds like diode distortion, but its more even and a bit easier to play. If you want over the top saturation, like a 5150, you still need to add another gain stage in front by using a boost pedal.

    Another BIG plus is that the noise floor is lower! This is a big one, but it sounds like there might be some noise reduction built in. My old IRT60, when playing high gain I had to roll off the volume, to avoid the nasty hissing. Even when using a good noise suppresor on the input, when muting notes there was a tiny bit that would seep through on note tails.

    The biggest noticable change is that there is a DI-out section with level, XLR, and amp/direct settings. The old amp had 1/4" switching jacks. Amp also has an aux in. I haven't tried these new features.

    Overall, the voicing seems a bit darker, but that may be because I'm still using the stock tubes.

    They also changed the reverb, I'm not sure I like this change as much. The sweep is more gradual, until you get near the end, then it gets unusable quickly. If you want a lot of verb, you need to carefully dial it in around 8ish. Before, I remember 5 seemed like a lot of verb, not now.

    IDK, if my first one was poorly manufactured, but this one is better. Between the much lower noise floor, and what seems like a touch of input compression, this feels like a better amp. Maybe they made some changes to the circuits when they added the DI recording section on back? Or maybe my first one was a dud? IDK.

    Anyway, these are still worth checking out. The coolest thing about the laney is that its high gain, yet without any fizz, and it always retains an open character (this amp doesn't have any honk.) If you want the saturated 5150 sound, you still need to add a boost pedal, but not as much as before. You could also get away with playing this live without a noise gate.
     

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