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Thread: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

  1. #1
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    I hated it.

    A friend brought his 60 watts Ironheart head + 2x12 Ironheart cab to my place, so I got to try my Tweaker with it and the Ironheart with my cab.
    I'm shocked by how stiff and trebly the Ironheart sounds.

    I got something similar to Metallica's Kill 'em All for some reason, all the time, and nothing else. And a bad take at it.
    I expected it, being a modern Metal amp, to resemble something like Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Opeth or maybe Mastodon right out of the box. Instead all I got was a very thin sound.

    Cleans were very very bright, a bit stiff, still very usable and adjustable. But the distorted tones were just terrible IMO, sounded tiny and harsh all the time. I tried the push/pull EQ thing and different levels of wattage to find the culprit but I didn't get even close to a tone that spoke to me. I imagine at higher volumes it should wake up, but at low volumes it's shockingly useless IMO.

    I tried different levels of everything, EQ, and all I could find were different levels of fizz. It has a constant thing going on that reminds me of MXR distortion pedals. Or Marshall Valvestates when I used to play Death Metal, but worse.

    I plugged my Tweaker into the Ironheart cabinet and inmediately found a better tone IMO. Meatier, rounder and much more "natural" to put it somehow. The Tweaker has a more even EQ voicing, and the gain is way more refined and smoother and it came nicely through the Ironheart closed back 2x12 which is bright sounding. The Ironheart has much thinner mids in comparison, which doesn't even make sense now as I'm writing it. But that what I got out of it.

    I found the IRT speakers to be a bit uncharacteristic, slightly shy in the mids and maybe a bit raspy in the highs, but very workable and I'm sure that with some adjustments I'd get them in the ballpark. They're not bad at all.
    I might buy one or two of these Laney cabs next year. They're better than anything with Rocket 50s I've tried at least and the price is very convenient.

    Sadly, the Ironheart head was a huge letdown for me. I wanted to like it, and I'll try it again for sure. But I found close to zero redeeming qualities with it.

    EDIT: I was quite hungover when I wrote this and I'm surprised by how negative I sound. I'm almost embarrassed. I can only think I did not use the amp properly or something, it sounded way too bad for Ironhearts to have a reputation so maybe I screwed up somehow?
    Last edited by Diego; 12-27-2015 at 01:16 PM.
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  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Red_Label's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Yeah, I've WANTED to like all of the Laney's that I've seen roll through my buddy's shop... because the used prices were always great. But I pretty much couldn't stand any of them... including the Ironheart. Just no soul in any of them. Nothing special. No ability to roll back the volume knob while still retaining response... no nothing for me. I'm sure that there will be people responding saying that they love their Laneys... and that's great. But honestly, they just didn't do it for me. I've owned or played just about everything, from the bottom of the barrel to the best boutiques. I really like the Roland Cube 80XL that I picked-up from the pawn shop for $200 this year. So I'm not a gear snob. Either I like it (think it's great), or I don't like it (I think it sucks or is "uninspired").... based solely on what the amp sounds like and how it responds to my playing. Totally agree with you Diego.

    Speaking of "iron" amps that are decent though... the Engl Ironballs that my shop had were pretty cool (for what they are).

    Btw... I owned the blue tweed Laney 2x12 loaded with the expensive Celestion Heritage greenbacks that are supposed to be all-that. I really hated that cab and dumped it after trying to like it for a year or so with various heads. Anyways... not proof that Laney sucks -- just more proof that I haven't tried a single thing that I liked from Laney thus far in my 31+ years of playing. And yeah... I'm coming-off pretty negative in this thread as well. And I'm not even hung-over! LOL!!!
    Last edited by Red_Label; 12-27-2015 at 07:34 PM.
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    Super Toneologist Shooter.556's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Yeah, I wanted one too then I changed my mind and got an EVH instead.. I never liked any tone I heard from the Laney.

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Funny you bring that up, man. I just recovered yesterday a Roland Cube 60 I had at a friend's place for years.
    It's a fun thing to fool around with. My Tweaker kills it in the tone department but it still packs a punch and with an extension cab sounds much better. Less fizz and more mids.

    I think I wanna sell both amps and get me a Tweaker 40 + a MicroCube or something.
    Epiphone LP Standard PlusTop Pro
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    Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!

  5. #5
    Let it B JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    I had a few old ones. The 2204 type one, the 30w combo with 6v6 and a million push pulls and a Jackson that Laney built for them.

    I hated all three. You would have thought I learned after the second one. I did like their old cabs from the 80s. Used one of their slant cabs for many years.
    I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

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  6. #6
    Amira-Maker
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Not all Laneys are created equal. I'd rank the Ironheart on the same level as the Krankenstein. However, the Tony Iommi signature amps are great if you like his modern sound (I do).

  7. #7
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Red_Label's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    Funny you bring that up, man. I just recovered yesterday a Roland Cube 60 I had at a friend's place for years.
    It's a fun thing to fool around with. My Tweaker kills it in the tone department but it still packs a punch and with an extension cab sounds much better. Less fizz and more mids.

    I think I wanna sell both amps and get me a Tweaker 40 + a MicroCube or something.
    Have you tried a Tweaker 40 yet Diego? I didn't care for the ones in my buddy's shop. Didn't care for the 88 either. I did like the Tweaker 15 that I had. And sort of liked the Rebel 20 that I had. And liked the 1x12 combo Rebel 30s that I played as well. Egnater has made some decent amps for the money.

    I've never tried the 60 watt Cubes. But I have played the 40-watters and like those as well as the 80 watt models, so I'm sure I'd like the 60 as well. There's a thread here about the new Yamaha THR100s... and that's the non-tube amp that's really got my curiosity piqued right now.
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  8. #8
    Tone Member omg81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    So I'm not the only one? Laney is a difficult thing to me. I mean, Iommi uses them, ****ing Tony Iommi. Some dirty amp from the depths of the Black Country should be all you need, no? But I found them neither fish nor flesh.

    I mean, for "British sound" you have Marshall and Blackstar and all the clones, for that fat American sound you have Randall etc., but Laney... there's a little bit I like about them, I don't think they sound bad, but I'm afraid that's the best I can say about them. Not bad. For whatever I want, there's something better.

    But still, ****ing Tony Iommi.

  9. #9
    Tone Member ColeJustesen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Label View Post
    Yeah, I've WANTED to like all of the Laney's that I've seen roll through my buddy's shop... because the used prices were always great. But I pretty much couldn't stand any of them... including the Ironheart. Just no soul in any of them. Nothing special. No ability to roll back the volume knob while still retaining response... no nothing for me. I'm sure that there will be people responding saying that they love their Laneys... and that's great. But honestly, they just didn't do it for me. I've owned or played just about everything, from the bottom of the barrel to the best boutiques. I really like the Roland Cube 80XL that I picked-up from the pawn shop for $200 this year. So I'm not a gear snob. Either I like it (think it's great), or I don't like it (I think it sucks or is "uninspired").... based solely on what the amp sounds like and how it responds to my playing. Totally agree with you Diego.

    Speaking of "iron" amps that are decent though... the Engl Ironballs that my shop had were pretty cool (for what they are).

    Btw... I owned the blue tweed Laney 2x12 loaded with the expensive Celestion Heritage greenbacks that are supposed to be all-that. I really hated that cab and dumped it after trying to like it for a year or so with various heads. Anyways... not proof that Laney sucks -- just more proof that I haven't tried a single thing that I liked from Laney thus far in my 31+ years of playing. And yeah... I'm coming-off pretty negative in this thread as well. And I'm not even hung-over! LOL!!!
    I would say the Laney sound isn't for everyone, but I surely love my VH100R. I bought it to essentially upgrade from a GH50L - I wanted a dedicated clean channel. The only thing in your post that surprised me was about not being able roll the volume back on your guitar with good results. That is one of the things I loved most about the GH50L, it was quite amazing in my experience.

    I am on the fence with the Ironheart though. If the amp was just the clean channel with the preboost option I would be quite content. I don't know about the gain channel. I bet it has potential with the right cab/speaker pairing.

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  10. #10
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    I personally think the Ironheart cabs with the HH speakers are atrocious. The Ironheart amp sounds much better through a good set of Celestions, IMO, but yeah, they are voiced pretty aggressive on the highs.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 12-29-2015 at 08:35 PM.

  11. #11
    Toneologist Toe-Knee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    I managed to get some fairly decent tones with the Ironheart Studio.

    Granted they were either direct or with my Roadkill cab. With the Ironheart cab it was insanely bright until I changed the speaker for a V30 then it sounded fairly decent.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    I actually really like mine. I run it into a Marshall 1960a 4x12 cab. In effects loop a sonic maximizer. It did take a little tweaking and adding. I use the lead channel gain to about 9, then push it with a tube screamer. You can really adjust the tone with it, i put volume on pedal to about 7 and gain to 12 on top of it all... I get a sweetness. I play in a band and always get compliments on my sound. Just my opinion though

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tried a Laney Ironheart and...

    Sounds pretty dynamic and reacting well with guitar volume: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_8g1GXyoKU
    But that's the little 15w head.

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