Looking for a clean, pedal-friendly head (Laney GH50/100?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Hypnagogist, May 5, 2015.

  1. Hypnagogist

    Hypnagogist Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    France
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking for some advice on buying an amp to gig with. Right now, the Vox AC15 that I'm using isn't nearly loud enough.

    I'd like to buy a head (no combo!) that I would use as a pedal platform for post-rockish stuff. So it needs to be very pedal-friendly and it must have enough clean headroom to compete with a loud drummer. Apart from that, I'd like to stray away from classic Fender cleans because even though I love the sounds, it's become overused for the style of music I'm playing and it would be interesting to try something else, maybe more British sounding (something Voxy would be great, for example). I don't have an insane amount of money to spend on this (so forget Hiwatt, I guess) and I'll probably buy used.

    From what I've read here and there, the Laney GH50 or GH100 might be ideal for what I'm looking for. They're dirt cheap, and even though they're based on a JCM and are used by metal players, they appear to be surprisingly good for clean sounds. Moreover, two of my favorite bands, Oceansize and Opeth, use these amps live for their clean sounds. I'm just a little concerned about clean headroom, but plugging into the low input should do it, right? What do you think?

    Actually, I don't have a lot of other ideas of amps that could suit my needs, as most amps that are reputed for their clean sounds are combos. Would a Marshall DSL be good for clean sounds? Any other ideas (I thought of Sound City and Sovtek but they're uncommon on the used market here in France)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cirrus

    Cirrus Member

    Messages:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Aside from the volume, how do you feel about the AC15? AC30s are pretty good with pedals, especially into closed back 2x12s. Going from a 15 watt 1x12 to a 30 watt 2x12 will be a big leap in volume/ headroom. And on the used market AC30CC series heads are relatively cheap.

    Laneys seem to be well loved. I've never used the gh50 or 100 personally but if they ARE anything like a jcm style circuit they should take pedals brilliantly on the low input. I've got a late JMP combo from when the circuit had basically turned into an early JCM800 and that thing's great with pedals on the low input - plenty of headroom.

    Re; Oceansize, I wouldn't like to guess what amp they're using for a sound at any particular time. When I saw them live the year before they split up they had Laney, Marshall and (trying to remember here...) maybe an Engl rig too.
     
  3. Hypnagogist

    Hypnagogist Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    France
    I've never seen Oceansize live (unfortunately) but I know that they were endorsed by Laney in the later years. You can see the amps on lots of live videos.

    I really like the AC15 by the way, and I'll definitely try an AC30 head if I find one.
    By the way, I tried out an Orange TH30 earlier today in a shop. I really liked the cleans but obviously, the amp didn't have enough headroom. So, maybe a TH100 could do the trick?
     
  4. hipfan

    hipfan Member

    Messages:
    2,302
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2002
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Look into the Traynor Iron horse. I love mine, and it's a tremendous pedal platform. Not much $ either.
     
  5. blesscurse

    blesscurse Member

    Messages:
    523
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    The Iron Horse looks quite interesting. I use pedals to provide a lot of gain, so I am looking for a not-super-powerful head with a good clean sound and some headroom, as well as a quick response. In the past I used non-master volume 100-watt Park heads as my pedal platform, but I am playing much small venues now and am looking for something with EL-34s... and smaller/lighter.
     
  6. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,193
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Bogner Barcelona is small, EL34 and 40 watts. Designed with lots of headroom as a clean platform. Not your typical clean tone (Fender) though, so might be worth trying before you buy if you can.
     
  7. blesscurse

    blesscurse Member

    Messages:
    523
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    Hard for me to justify spending so much for another head, though the Marshall and the Bogner both look great. I'm a bit spoiled, having never spent more than $900 for an amp, and that was a 1979 100-watt Park Master Volume 2 X 12 Combo in near mint condition. Interestingly enough, I just (re)auditioned my Crate Power Block head with my 2 X 10 cab and it sounded quite good with my current clean/dirty pedal set-up. (see below). I felt the set-up was a bit "spongy" with my Valvetech VAC 22-watt Combo, though it's a fantastic amp generally. The Frenzel with EL-34s and a solid state rectifier is superb, by the way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. fechart

    fechart Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Location:
    PaysandĂș, Uruguay
    The Laneys are good for what you want, I'd suggest a second hand TT50H or TT100H, they don't produce them anymore, they're high end made in UK amps. With the TTs you can get fender cleans but also warm marshall cleans, they are very versatile amps, with pre amp volume and master volume. They also are midi capable, that's a sweet fearure if you have some kind of controller.

    I recommend them because I had the TT50C (combo version) and it was one of the best amps I owned, and the better cleans for me. The combo had a celestion Classic Lead 80 and it kicked like a mule! And the most important part is that they take pedals incredibly well.

    Hope this helps! Cheers!
     
  9. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,715
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Golden Valley, AZ
    I liked my GH50L a lot, but there were a couple of things it needed for me to like it. First was a JAN Phillips 12AX7 in V1, a pair of winged C 6L6, one or two RWB speakers, and a Maxon OD9/TS9. There's so much gain in that amp, I found no need for dirt pedals, though I did use a touch of reverb from a Mr Springy pedal sometimes. I never even used the last gain stage. It sounded especially good with a DiMarzio Breed bridge pickup.

    With the JAN in V1 and RWB's, the cleans were blackface-ish. It's a very bright amp and can be ice-pick-y without those taming features. Plenty of headroom.
     
  10. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,193
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Which Frenzel model do you have? They seem to have a few that would make good pedal platforms.
     
  11. johnhager25

    johnhager25 Member

    Messages:
    212
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    I have a Quilter Tone Block its 200 watts and is only 4 lbs, its made to take pedals.


     
    candid_x likes this.
  12. rumstove

    rumstove Member

    Messages:
    377
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Eau Claire, WI
    I've been using my Laney GH100L clean since I got it in 1994. I love it. It does take pedals extremely well. I don't use the effects loop because I'm not using drive on the amp, so no need to. I keep presence at 0 (anytime I tried adding presence my fuzz pedals started sounding weird), bass, mid, treble all at 5, master volume between 5-7, and gain at 0 or 1 (unlike some amps you can use this one with gain at 0). Main guitars are a 1993 Gibson SG and a '52 reissue Fender thin skin tele. I only use the Lo input...even with the single coil tele. The switchable drive is off. Using the cab resonance switch depends on my mode and what I'm playing...sometimes it sounds better off, sometimes on.
     
  13. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,715
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Golden Valley, AZ
    That Quilter seems to be one step closer to the sacred cow.
     

Share This Page