Laney L5T Lionheart v Marshall SL-5

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Serenity, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    I'm interested in buying a 5 watt amp for home use. Narrowed my search down to these two. Yes, i know 5 watts is loud for home use, but where i live i can get away with it most of the time.
    They're both 2 channel, Class A, with 12" speaker.
    The Laney is slightly more expensive, but it does have an effects loop, the Marshall lacking one isn't a deal breaker for me as i'm used to running effects in front of my amps. And the Marshall does have the 1 watt option. They're both pretty heavy for small amps, but that's not a problem as it won't be getting moved around much.

    I'm looking for a good pedal platform, but a good overdrive channel would be a bonus. I've heard great demos of both amps on Youtube. I'm a Marshall guy, but from what i've been hearing and reading the Laney will get me into Plexi territory.
    I'm having a hard time trying to decide between the two, though i am leaning more toward the Laney.

    Any pros or cons that might swing the decision one way or another?

    Not really interested in other amp suggestions. Please keep the discussion to these two amps, thanks.
     
  2. Ilduce

    Ilduce And now for something completely different! Supporting Member

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    I've never owned or played either of those amps, but based on all the reviews I've read I'd go with the Laney. From what I've read it's got to be one of the best 5 watt amps being made.
     
  3. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    The Laney Lionheart!
     
  4. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    I ordered an SL-5 when they first came out, but canceled the order when I found a deal on a clean used L5t Lionheart. It has proven to be one of the best gear decisions I have ever made. I was unfamiliar with Laney, having never owned or played any Laney amp. And I have been a "Marshall guy" for many decades. My favorite Marshalls are JCM800s (50 watt version) and JTM45s. I'm pretty traditional, and like classic rock sounds. I was put out by the SL-5 not having an effects loop, because I use a Digitech Jamman Looper when I practice, and like to have it in the amp's loop. So, the Laney seemed like it would meet my needs well, and I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did. The L5t is an amazing combo. It's built like a tank, with high grade components, an all-plywood (no mdf) oversize cabinet, and an English Celestion speaker. The spring reverb is excellent, and the clean headroom is great for a 5 watt amp. I play clean quite a bit, and the L5t never disappoints. Having since actually played an SL-5, I can tell you that the SL-5 clean doesn't even come close to the Laney L5t. As far as the gain channel, the SL-5 certainly has more gain on tap. But I'm really not into ultra high gain, and the SL-5 sounds somewhat harsh and buzzy to my ear. The L5t is a medium gain affair, with great crunch that sounds like a cranked Plexi. It's an awesome Marshall-type sound. When I want more gain, I just add my MI Crunchbox.

    I am extremely happy with my L5t, and it won't be going anywhere. It does cost more than the SL-5, but it's worth every penny. The SL-5 has a good "heavy rock" tone, and if that's your thing, it won't disappoint. But I wanted a low wattage amp with lots of versatility and premium tone. That's what the Laney has provided. It's a stellar amp, that more players should experience.
     
  5. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    Thanks. I asked the same question on another forum and have been getting similar responses. It looks like you've confirmed what i was thinking, and the Laney is the way to go.
     
  6. NielsM

    NielsM Member

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    Laney Lionheart is definitely the way to go. Tried it at the local shop a year ago and sounded fantastic! Great cleans!
     
  7. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    Laney. You'll love it.
     
  8. Doug59

    Doug59 Supporting Member

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    I haven't tried or owned the Marshall mentioned, but I can tell you as others have, the Laney is outstanding. Solid build too.
     
  9. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    While i'm happy you guys have confirmed what i've been thinking, i'm a little surprised that no one has spoken up for the Marshall. These threads are rarely so one sided.
     
  10. RickV

    RickV Member

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    I picked up a clean used Laney L5T a while back for $650. Killer amp all around. Very classy looking, too. I use it at jams with a fairly hard hitting drummer and 2-3 other guitars and it keeps up just fine. It's got a nice thump to the bottom, probably due to the speaker and massive iron (for a 5 watter). The only thing I don't like is the weight. It's about 40lbs, like a DR.
    I also have a Laney VC15. Got that used for $350. Another great sounding amp for the buck. It's about the size of a SF champ, very light on the back, but doesn't sound small and boxy to me.
    Laney builds really good stuff. It's just much harder to come by here.
     
  11. RickV

    RickV Member

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    One other thing about the Lionheart... It sounds almost as good dialed down to bedroom levels, as when it's opened up... Almost.
     
  12. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought one when they first hit the market. I was really surprised at how nice and versatile the amp was. I let someone talk me out of it!

    This video is a good demo.



    Have fun with it, it is a great amp!

    Steve
     
  13. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    This is good to hear. While i am able to play fairly loud at home most of the time, it's good to know that it'll still sound good for late night practice.
     
  14. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I ordered the Laney this weekend. I'll post a New Amp Day thread when it arrives and i've had a bit of time with it.
     
  15. mapesaudio

    mapesaudio Member

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    Hello, I've never posted here, but have been reading everything I can find on the Laney L5t, since I'm looking at purchasing one. I wouldn't be asking except now I see that this amp is made in China. Got this directly from Laney customer service, the newer amps that say "engineered and designed in the UK", as opposed to "made in the UK", are made in China, a bit deceptive. The country of origin isn't as much of a concern as is the digital reverb, and the made in China celestion speaker. The prices don't reflect the lower cost of the speaker, reverb, or the labor. I'm wondering if some of the caps and resistors are also sourced there?
    This amp can no longer be considered a "boutique amp", (IMHO). I'm very dissapointed. I really wanted one of these for sometime now, but no more. If I've got to buy chinese, I'll buy a Vox ac10c1, and save half the cost in the process.Thanks and sorry for the long winded post.
     
  16. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    Nothing about Laney's are boutique. The original LionHearts wernt as cheep because the were UK made that's it. They probably switched to asian made from poor sale is my guess. Also "engineered and designed in the UK" is common practice and I don't find deceptive.
     
  17. mapesaudio

    mapesaudio Member

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    Their dealers initially weren't aware of the switch to chinese made. More the issue is the speaker no longer the british greenback, and the elimination of the spring reverb. If you read the current ads for the amp, they still feature the spring reverb. Not deceptive...maybe, it's all a matter of perception I guess. If they weren't still at a premium price, this would be a moot point. The amps still sound very good, just different.
     
  18. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    Didn't know and about the price not droping. My remark was based on the quote BTW.
     

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