Laney IRT-Studio

All-Tube Guitar Head

  • Power: 15 W
  • Complete Ironheart preamp: 3 channels, pre-boost, pull boost EQ controls, reverb
  • <1 W Input mode for high gain sounds at low volume
  • 2 Power amp tubes: EL84
  • 3 Preamp tubes: ECC83
  • Speaker-emulated record output directly from the power amp, for an all-tube sound when recording and playing live
  • Built-in dummy load: No speaker connection necessary
  • USB audio port and re-amp jack output
  • MP3 input: Mini jack
  • Design: 19" / 2 U
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 88 x 428 x 285 mm
  • Incl. rack mount and footswitch
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Sound samples

 
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  • Hazey
  • Metal
  • Progressive
  • Rock
  • Stoner
  • Hazey Referenzbox
  • Metal Referenzbox
  • Progressive Referenzbox
  • Rock Referenzbox
  • Stoner Referenzbox
  • Hazey Line
  • Metal Line
  • Progressive Line
  • Rock Line
  • Stoner Line
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Further information

Power 15 W
Power Amplifier Tubes EL84
Channels 3
Reverb Yes
Footswitch Yes

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53 written ratings Read all reviews
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Laney IRT-Studio - Best of Both Worlds

Mark9037, 20.05.2014
I have been using this amplifier for 5 months now and am delighted with the purchase. I bought it with the matching Laney cabinet (IRT112) which is great value - a real step up from budget 1x12 cabs.
The IRT Studio has an exceptional feature set , including 3 channels (Clean/Rhythm/Lead) a comprehensive footswitch, FX send/return and a USB interface, with re-amping features and a balanced DI output - both the USB and DI outputs can have an optional cabinet emulation enabled, for gigging straight to the desk or recording without any other software.
The amp can also run without a load attached (for computer recording or using the headphone socket ) and has two inputs (1W and 15W) for home / gigging.
A very useful feature is that the headphone socket can either output the sound of the amp or the signal coming over USB. This means that you could connect a pair of powered speakers to the socket and use the Laney as your computer audio output. - a complete solution.

My setup comprises a Line 6 Toneport (for microphone input) and the Laney IRT Studio, both connected to my computer. Using ASIO4ALL I have a stereo channel from the Toneport and two mono channels from the IRT Studio. One mono channel is the dry signal (i.e. bypasses everything in the amp and straight into the DAW) and the other is Wet , including optional cabinet emulation. I have the cabinet emulation disabled and use a cabinet impulse plugin to complete the chain. I record both the dry and wet signals on separate channels, so that I can re-amp later if needed.
Re-amping allows you to play back the dry recorded track, output it via USB to the IRT Studio, have it processed by the amp and then re-record it into the DAW - crucially you can set your DAW to loop mode, then play with the Laney controls to perfect your sound.

And finally - the sound. The clean channel is very good - a nice, clear tone which retains it's clarity even when driven via the switchable pre-boost. The rhythm channel is more of a medium gain sound than a crunchy "on the edge of breakup" tone. I've found it to be very useful for detuned/7 string guitars where too much distortion causes muddiness. In this setting it gives a beefy rhythm tone which sits well in a mix. Finally the Lead channel is all you would expect - heavy saturation and sustain, but without the muddiness which can mar some high gain amps.

Criticisms ? The tone controls on the channels (one set shared by Clean/Rhythm and the other for Lead) don't alter the sound as much as I'd like and the built-in cabinet emulation still leaves some fizz on high gain sounds , but these are minor issues.

This is a really feature-packed amp , useful for recording, practice and gigging. Highly recommended.
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Total
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A little monster

bottleneck, 30.09.2015
I've tested the Laney IRT Studio over the last 4 months in different situations.

By default, I use the amp to practice at home. Here, the 1W input is really good to produce some slight overdrive sounds (but in combination with an old 1x12 Marshall-Box already to loud ;) ). The crunch channel is...low gain (for a metal guy), but very well defined. I also play an Engl Victor Smolski - the "play feeling" is nearly as good when you shape the tone with the pick (but sounds absolut different, of courcse). The High gain channel produces exactly this - high gain. It's not a high gain monster, but since it has a booster you should be able to get more gain?

Not the best idea.

The Booster will push the signal, but also (depending on the channel) narrow down the SNR of the drive channel. You will get a thick sound, for sure, but also you will experience some noise problems.

The test in the rehearsal room shows that the 15W are enough if you want to play in small clubs. That came unexpected to me, since I haven't heard a 15W valve tube amp before in a session.
The clean channel there will be obvious mor an overdrive channel, crunch becomes thicker, but keeps a lot of his definition, and the high gain channel then has not my kind of sound (again, I play black metal and at some times Hard Rock ;) ).

Now to the recording site:
By default, most of my jamming is recorded using the USB out. This was a littlbe bit hard at first (got a ground loop), but now it works finde. I didn't have checked the internal box simulation, since I use my own impulse response.

You also get the "clean" tone (completly unprocessed and bypassed from most of the amps inner sound shaping), which is rather useful for re-amping.

Aaaahhh, reamping...
This is real fun - by not connecting the speakers the internal shunt is activated, and recording the reamped signal without speaker simulation creates really useful tones from all three channels.

To make it short:
It's definitly the amplifier I hoped it will be. Perfect for practice as well as reamp machine. It lives in perfect harmony with my Engl.
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MusicRadar.com Laney Ironheart IRT-Studio
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