Laney Tony Iommi TI15-112 Combo

Head/Combo: 
Combo
Price Paid: 
$600
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
China
Tube Type: 
EL84
Features: 
The TI15-112 takes all the raw power and tone of the TI100’s high gain channel and crams it into a compact single channel all tube amp.

Utilizing Laney’s unique dual wattage input option means you can push the EL84 output section hard and get 15 watts rms of full on tone or plug into the “less than 1 watt” and get exactly that – your same great tone but at less than 1 watt.

The TI15-112 also features the cool flexibility of being able to record both silently, for late night recording sessions or in live situations via the SPEAKER EMULATED RECORD OUT feature on the rear panel.

The TI15-112 is finished of in Tony’s trade mark black and cross livery.

Inputs          1 x Jack 15 Watts & 1 x Jack 1 Watt
Power          15W
Channels    Single IOMMI channel
Channel Controls    Pre-Boost, Volume, Drive
Equalisation    Bass, Middle,Treble, Dynamics and Tone
Preamp Valves    3 x ECC83.
Output Valves    2 x EL84
Class    AB
Footswitch    FS2 (Not included)
FX Loop(s)    Yes - variable level FX loop
Drivers    12" Custom HH driver
Kick Proof Metal Grill    Yes
Speaker Emulated Record Out    
Jack for Silent/Phones & Jack for Live DI - Speaker emulated
MP3 Input    Mini jack

Pros: 
  • I found a convincing Tony sound in either wattage mode by putting the volume on 10 and the Drive on about 4.
  • It nails the Iommi sound, but it gets a lot more, too.
  • This is a really feature-rich little amp, with multiple gain stages, an FX loop, and a ton more features you don't expect in a $600 lunchbox amp. While there is plenty of gain on tap, if you roll the Drive back and crank the Volume, and you get a convincing plexi sort of tonal character. 
  • The inherent tonal character of the amp is actually very bright. So bright that at volume, I found mysef rolling much of it off with the Treble and Tone knobs. Fortunately, you can. The tone controls provide an excellent amount of range and control.

 

Cons: 
  • No standby switch. The amp is either on or off. Considering the features in this amp, it kind of odd they skimped on that.
  • In my world, I doubt I'll ever need the Pre-Boost gain stage, but it's on Tony's 100w head, so they put it here as well.
  • Despite the cool grill, I would have preferred a head version of the amp, but considering it was made for Tony's backstage amp, I get why it's a combo. Fortunately, it's quite light.
  • Paired with the Laney speaker it comes with (which is NOT the Celestion G12H 75s, in Iommi's 4x12s), I'm not sure this combo will hold it's own un mic'd in a band reharsal. My Orange Tiny Terror seems louder in the 7 watt mode, than this does in the 15.
Sound Quality: 
4
Reliability: 

With well under 10 hours on the amp, and certainly no time getting banged around, the amp started making a staticy crackling noise, that I think is assocaited with a bad tube(s).  Frankly, this should not have happened yet. The amp is too new and too lightly used for it to have ANY issues yet. 

Upon taking it for repair, I found that indeed, the tubes were the problem.  This amp shipped with Ruby brand EL84s and 12ax7s.  My tech says Ruby's are undersized compared to regular EL84s, so they may burn out faster.  He replaced them with JJs, and doesn't think I'll have a problem.  Two EL84s and two 12ax7s: $100 for an amp that cost $600 total.

Doesn't mean it's a lousy amp, but it comes with cheap tubes -- no doubt to keep the cost down.

Customer Support: 

N/A

Summary: 

I became enamoured with low wattage tube amps (for practicality and recording) a few years back with the introduction of Orange's original Tiny Terror. In subsequent years, I have always looked to add classic, signature amp tones in similar low-wattage packages from other manufacutrers to my personal amp farm. As such, I have always been on the look out for an offering from Laney that captures Tony Iommi's unique sound. Until now, Laney hasn't produced anything in the 15 watt or under class that nailed Tony's sound. Finally they have.

If you ever wanted Tony Iommi's Laney amp tone in a lunchbox amp, this is it!  It's not clear to me whether it could hold it's own, out-of-the-box against drums in a band context, but if you drove a 4x12, it might be loud enough in rehearsal, and you can always mic it on a gig. It should, however, prove to be an excellent recording amp, and practice amp.

This is quite a lot of amp for the money, and while it's great to nail that Iommi sound, the amp is far from a one trick pony.  Check out the video review below.

Overall Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)