NAMM 2019: Laney & Black Country Customs Overview
Laney highlight their versatility at NAMM 2019
Laney showcase their diverse range of gear across the A Series Acoustic Amplifiers, MINI-LANEY Bluetooth Amps, and adding to their line of awesome Black Country Custom pedals.
Let’s take a closer look.
A Series Acoustic Amplifiers
In keeping with the need for high quality acoustic amplifiers for any and every occasion, Laney introduce the A-Series featuring the A-SOLO, A-FRESCO-2, and the completely redesigned A1. Whether you’re practising at home, performing an intimate gig or playing on a larger stage, there’s an amp for that.
Laney’s A-Solo acoustic amplifier is a delightfully compact and portable beauty that translates the timbre of your acoustic guitar beautifully. From the studio to the stage the A-Solo boasts features that allow you to get the job done without any fuss.
There are two independent channels to play with, which come with combi inputs to accept either XLR or instrument jack. Therefore, you can perform with a mic and an instrument, two different acoustic instruments, or even a mixture of mic and pickup connections from the same instrument. Though the A-SOLO primarily accommodates an acoustic guitar, it is equally as comfortable with a keyboard or vocal mic.
Intuitive control layout
Across the top panel control layout, you’ll find independent Level knobs, 3-Band EQ, and a useful Shape button that engages an EQ circuit for a brighter and extended high end with a scooped midrange for enhanced definition. Built-in Chorus and Reverb effects are yours to control via the corresponding Reverb dial (which controls Chorus when activated).
Laney even include an Anti-Feedback control switch that can save your life during a gig, identifying and eliminating frequencies before they ruin your sound. If you have microphones connected, then it is a must! The Phase switch ensures that the lush texture of your acoustic timbre won’t be lost due to phase cancellation. Once again, the A-Solo saves the day before your audience has a chance to notice.
Across the rear panel there are plenty of connectivity options at the ready such as a D.I. output, headphone output, Aux input, FX Send and Return, and a Remote or footswitch connection for independently controlling Chorus and Reverb.
For such a diminuitive little amp the A-Solo can hold its own during an intimate gig, act as a solid pre-amp into a PA, or carry out duties as a monitor when you’re performing at a larger gig. You can even pole-mount it.
Laney’s A-Fresco-2 takes the awesome features of the original A-Fresco and pushes its ultra-efficient capabilities even further. Whether you’re performing using mains power or are relying on batteries, the A-Fresco-2 has the endurance to give you up to 24 hours of power via internally rechargeable Li-Ion batteries. Either way, you’re likely to crash out before the batteries give up.
As before the there’s a raft of features packed into the A-Fresco-2 such as two independent channels with combi (XLR/jack) inputs for connecting either mic or instruments. Switchable phantom power enables you to incorporate condenser mics as you wish. As well as 3-band EQ and Level controls for each channel, there’s a master volume pot for overall control.
Connectivity is plentiful with outputs for headphones, D.I. via XLR, and inputs for FX Send/Return and Footswitch control. As with the A-Solo, you can even mount the A-Fresco-2.
Laney’s A1 redesign makes it the perfect performance partner for top-quality acoustic instruments, possessing the ability to accurately complement and match the unique qualities of your acoustic’s timbre.
Across the front panel you can readily see that there are two independent channels with independent gain controls, Shape buttons, EQ controls with Mid-Level Sweep, Anti-Feedback, independent Aux In level dial, Multi-FX control as well as Level and Send dials.
The Anti-Feedback control is perfect for eliminating body resonance that can come with amplified acoustics at high volume. Simply switch the filter on and attenuate the anti-feedback dial until body resonance is controlled. Once you’ve located your “sweet spot” then you’re good to go. Every performance venue is different, and you’ll be glad of this handy feature.
The onboard digital effects are custom designed by the team at Laney, which offers Reverb, Chorus, and Multi-FX. There are a variety of Reverbs to play with ranging from Plate to Rooms to Hall, whilst each different Chorus position has varying lengths and delays.
Rear panel connectivity remains delightfully simple with everyone that you need to pull off a flawless performance. Integrate outboard FX via Send/Return, utilise a Footswitch, there’s a Line Out jack and an XLR D.I. output and a phantom power switch for Channel 2 when using condenser mics.
If you’re serious about taking your live acoustic performance to the next level, then Laney’s A1 is the answer to your prayers.
MINI-LANEY Bluetooth Guitar Amps
Oh, how we love a Bluetooth amp here at Dawsons. Portable enough for you to take them anywhere and everywhere you go and powerful enough to comfortably handle practise sessions, pre-gig warm ups and low-key busking/impromptu jam sessions, what’s not to love? Laney’s exceptional MINI-STB Bluetooth powered series of amps take things further by adding a plethora of tone-shaping options on top of everything else. There are three models to choose from based on Laney’s Ironheart, Lionheart and Supergroup models.
All three amps follow the same intuitive setup by including a clean & drive channel with gain, level, tone, delay and volume dials. As you can see, each amp has on-board tape-style digital delay with level control for hands-on attenuation to create anything from subtle snapback to ethereal soundscapes. Give the Drive button a tickle and treat yourself to the saturated overdrive that we love Laney for.
LSI: Laney Smart Interface
Where the MINI-STB amps come into their own is via the unassuming LSI socket. What does it do you might ask? Well, it allows you to connect your amp to your smart device via the Laney LSI cable (supplied with each amp). Thanks to this little beauty, you can access a vast universe of tones wherever you are. A cheeky collaboration between Laney and the wizards over at Ultimateguitar.com with their “TONEBRIDGE” app, you have thousands of digital guitar tones at your fingertips. Not bad, eh?!
When you fancy tearing through licks and riffs in private you can utilise the headphone output, otherwise let her rip and play to your heart’s content. Choose from the MINI-STB-IRON for metal inspired brutality, MINI-STB-LION for brilliant rock tones, and the MINI-STB-SUPERG for old-school greatness.
Black Country Customs: Monolith, Secret Path and Steel Park
The Black Country Customs team grace us with a trio of new pedals in the form of the Monolith, Secret Path, and Steel Park. All three are built to exceptionally high standard with solid metal chassis construction. Taking feedback from pros the control layout across each pedal is ergonomically designed to maximise functionality during demanding situations. Large amp-like dials offer smooth attenuation, whilst the resilient footswitches are reassuringly robust.
The Monolith is an out and out distortion pedal, yet it is capable of producing a surprising range of tones across a wide spectrum of gains and harmonic distortions. From saturated old-school rock vibes to jangly punk tones to modern metal grunt, the Monolith is delightfully versatile. Whether you’re ramping everything up and sailing through licks like a demon or like to dig in and play around with dynamics between your picking, guitar volume control, pedal and amp, the Monolith cleans up nicely and responds dutifully to your playing style. Even when you’re soaring to the heavens gain-wise, each note retains immaculate clarity to ensure your chops and leads sound as emphatic as you’d hope for.
The Secret Path is the kind of reverb pedal we love with an unfussy layout that produces a mesmerising selection of reverbs to play with from subtle flutter to shimmering textures to enveloping, rolling ethereal dreamscapes. There are three reverb engines built-in with spring, plate and TSP (The Secret Path or Hall).
Laney even managed to add an enhancement to the pedal footswitch. When you hold it down the internal LED flashes to indicate that the enhanced function has been enabled, which adds modulation to the spring and plate reverb engines, and shimmer to the TSP mode. The Edit button then allows you to tailor and tweak your reverb at will. Along the side of the chassis is an expression pedal input, which allows you to attenuate many parameters in real-time.
The high level of functionality in the pedalboard-friendly Secret Path is nothing short of astonishing.
Black Country Custom’s Steel Park is a boost pedal for cranking up the signal before hitting your tube amp for that saturated sound we all crave. From country to metal there’s nothing quite like it. As with the Monolith and Secret Path there are three modes to choose from with a handy tri-colour LED to indicate the mode you’re in. Pre-Mid Boost (Orange) thickens up thin sounding single-coils, Pre-Low Mid Boost (Blue) gives a fatter sound, No Pre-Boost (Purple) is good for pushed cleans when you’re tearing through country, jazz, blues, funk, soul – whatever! There’s up to 30dB of gain waiting for you to take it for a ride so get to it!
Laney didn’t disappoint
Laney and Black Country Customs knocked it out of the park with their NAMM 2019 line-up and it has only made us hungry for more! The A-Series acoustic amps offer pro-level results in any situation. The MINI-STB trio of Iron, Lion, and SuperG are set to become fixture amongst many a gigging artist and festival goer this year. What can we say about the Black Country Customs gear other than keep ’em coming!!!
Check out the full range of Laney gear on the Dawsons Website.
Check out our new releases as they drop in our What’s New section, which we update daily!
As ever, if you need any help or advice then our Customer Service Team are more than happy to help over the phone on 01925 582420. Our in-store specialists will guide you through the wonderful world of guitar amps and effects, just pop into your nearest Dawsons store.