When it comes to the practice amplifiers, it is always hard to come up with criteria these devices should be judged with. In my opinion, they are the most subjective units and all of us require different things from them. Some might need perfect sound quality, others might look for the abundance of features and sonic options. Most of you probably do not even consider practice amplifiers seriously. One way or another, these small combos are essential for beginners and those a bit advanced, since they allow you to experiment with your sound and find new ways of performing. For this, something like Laney LG12 will work perfectly. It is a simple amplifier that does what it is supposed to wonderfully. I will try to articulate what are exactly its features, controls and sound and try to give you all-encompassing information about this fella. Shall we begin?
As I have already mentioned, Laney LG12 is quite simple, yet it packs everything one would need for daily practice. Nope, you will not find any digital modeling of your favorite amplifiers, but, if you ask me, this plays to its advantage. This way you can work more on the quality of your performance and leave the rest to your creativity. Laney LG12 has 12 watts of power, which will be enough for your bedroom but will not leave your neighbors unhappy either. This bad boy has a single 6” Custom Design Speaker which can be seen through the open-back chassis. The rest of the design has a classic vibe with all-black appearance, white label of the brand, plastic corners and leather handle. Additionally, Laney LG12 has Clean and Crunch channels, allowing you to experiment with some clarity and distortion. It is worth mentioning, that this combo is extremely portable, weighing only 4.75 kilos. This way you can carry it around and do not limit yourself to your own home. And finally, let me mention all the jacks and sockets. Laney LG12 has a single input for your instrument, CD/Line In input for the external audio sources (allowing you to rehearse along with the songs you admire), Phone output for practicing without disturbing any babies, family members or neighbors.
The pattern of simplicity is maintained in the control section as well. All the knobs are mounted on the top of the device, with nothing to fuss with on the rare panel. Everything here is easily accessible while playing, which makes Laney LG12 quite convenient for those who love tweaking their sound to its core. Let me discuss the quintet of its knobs and try to spare you from wracking your head over the manual (but it would still be better to skim it at least).
The control panel of Laney LG12 features only five knobs, namely Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, Volume and a small button. I will start with the latter. When pushed in, it activates the Crunch channel, allowing you to employ the desired amount of distortion in your performance. The amount of this effect can be further modified with the Drive knob. This little encoder adjusts how much gain will be added to your sound and, thus, intensifies or tones down the overdrive. Bass is in charge of lower frequencies in your sonic spectrum, either emphasizing their character or making them less audible. Mid and Treble do the same thing but for mid-range and high-end frequencies. The Volume knob controls the overall level of the output, balancing out both clean and crunch channels and allowing you to create an even sound.
I will start off by saying that Laney LG12 sounds expensive. What this means is that the quality of its tone exceeds its price a great deal. Most of us are a bit skeptical of the less-renowned brands, however, this particular unit is hard to compete with. Its sound has “tubish” characteristics, which is always a huge advantage. It can create those sweet and warm tones on both channels, meaning that you get quite diverse sonic palette. The Clean channel has outstanding clarity, with balanced brightness and bottom-end. The Crunch channel creates a mediocre distortion, nothing too crazy. Its sound is saturated with overdrive and just the right amount of gnarl and girth. Here, you have countless options to play around with and discover what else you are capable of. Though we do not have any on-board effects, Laney LG12 is still pretty versatile for its price and size. On the whole, this little fella will undoubtedly rock any practice or amateur playing.
There are some brands that invoke certain expectations in their customers. You see their name and you immediately think that their products are great. But there are some brands that you do not come across a lot but they manage to surprise you in a good way. That is exactly the case with Laney LG12. It looks like a typical small amplifier, but its capabilities tell a different story. It has all the essential features, enough watts for its purpose, easy-to-tweak controls and amazing sound. What else could we demand from such a small unit? Not that much, unless you are looking for an advanced and fancy combo. Long story short, Laney LG12 knows how to get its job done and it does that at an affordable price. Do your research, listen to demos and you will be quickly convinced that it rocks. Good luck!