Laney has unveiled a new flagship range of bass amps and cabs, plus compressor, interval and distortion bass effects pedals under its esteemed Black Country Customs brand.
The new Digbeth amp series comprises compact 200-watt and 500-watt heads with switchable FET and tube-driven preamps for adding some analogue mojo to the low end, with the range offering that same FET/tube architecture in a stompbox form with the DB-Pre preamp pedal, and the DB200-210 presenting the 200-watt amplifier in a 2x10" combo format.
Designed with power and portability in mind, the 500-watt DB500H heads a two-channel setup with a 3-band EQ, selectable mid pre-shape EQ curves, a Tilt dynamic EQ "see saw" control, an effects loop, balanced XLR out with ground lift and source select, headphones out with level control, an auxiliary stereo mini-jack input and a tuner output.
That is a lot of features for the footprint – the Digbeth DB500H heads measures just 205mm x 420mm x 220mm (HWD) – but the control panel is nicely laid out, with the FET/Tube preamp controls on the left-hand side.
There is a volume control for the FET preamp gain, plus Tube Drive and Tube Volume for the tube-driven preamp, and if you pull on the latter control you can mix the FET and Tube sections together. Both of these sections are footswitchable. This set up is reprised on the more compact DB200H, but the 3-band EQ is replaced by a selectable mids and a single EQ control.
As for cabs, there are three to choose from in the series: the 8x10" DBV810-4, 2x12" DBV212-4, and 4x10" DBV410. Each is fitted with vintage-voiced HH Black Label series ceramic drivers, with the 4x10" and 2x12" formats featuring a 1” LaVoce Compression driver for enhanced upper-frequency response.
The Black Country Customs bass pedals range, meanwhile, comprises the Custard Factory BCC-TCF bass compressor, The 85 BCC-T85 interval pedal, and the BCC-Blackheath overdrive/distortion.
Each occupies a similar solid-steel enclosure, with silent switching and a four-knob configuration and a mini-toggle switch. The Custard Factory offers transparent, studio-grade compression via its Comp, Presence, Volume and Wet/Dry mix controls, while the mini-toggle switch allows you to choose the attack rate of the compressor from slow, medium to fast.
The 85 is a bass interval pedal that can be used as a simple octave effect or as a pitch tracking effect. It has a controls for Focus, Octave, Direct and Interval, with the mini-toggle selecting between -2 octaves, +5ths or and octave-up effect. You can also use an external expression pedal to shift the level or the interval effect.
The Blackheath distortion's charms are little more straightforward but, again, there are switchable options, with the mini-toggle offering two distortion modes and one overdrive voicing, and controls for Gain, Volume, Range, Colour. The Black Country Customs pedals are designed and assembled in the UK.
The Digbeth series and Black Country Customs bass pedals are all available now. Street prices as follows:
Digbeth DB500H 500-watt – £449
DB200H 200-watt head – £349
Digbeth DB200-210 200-watt combo – £549
Digbeth DB-PRE preamp pedal – £149
Digbeth DBV-410-4 4x10" cabinet – £629
Digbeth DBV810-4 8x10" cabinet – £849
Digbeth DBV212-4 2x12" cabinet – £499
Black Country Customs The Custard Factory bass compressor / Blackheath distortion – £125
Black Country Customs The 85 bass interval – £159
For more information, head on over to Laney.