Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Laney AOR 50

A few weeks ago I saw this Laney combo on Craigslist not too far from here and by the time I jumped on it, a friend of mine had already snagged it for a very modest price. Well, he emails the other day and says it wasn't him, too heavy, and would I like it for the price he paid?

Of course I said yes. I'd been getting the itch for something new and I'd speculated about acquiring the Peavey Prowler that's on CL here at this very moment. Good thing I saved my dough.

Laney was said to be a downmarket Marshall clone, and that may be somewhat truthful as the schematic bears a certain resemblance to the JCM 800, with a few pull boost features thrown in. Reverb and a nice Fane speaker finishes out this amp that was built in 1986.

The transformers were from makers I'd never heard of on UK built amps. The output transformer was made by Skot, and the power transformer and choke were made by Ariel. Skot is still in business and they seem legitimate enough but no trace of Ariel thus far. Either way they've got to be better than the awful Dagnall crap that Marshall was using. The reverb is reasonably nice but not overly drippy, with an Accutronics tank in the bottom of the cabinet.

I had it on the bench today for some much needed maintenance and inspection. Cleaning and douching the pots and replacing both input jacks took care of business and a new set of Valve Art EL34s properly biased and a pair of new 12AX7s finished things up. The plate voltage is relatively modest at a measured 412v, and bias was accomplished with a nice pot located on the circuit board ala Marshall at 38 ma each. I do not know whether there is a connection between Marshall and Laney but I think it is more than likely.

Schematics are available readily from The Tube Store for free on their website.

It sounds good, and you can do some interesting Telecaster plonking easily enough. I'm not a high gain guy but I may never need it. The background noise level is just a little hissy with the master volume dimed but tolerable if you back it down a little.

These are pretty cheap and you can have a whole lotta fun so if you find one grab it quick.

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