Laney has rolled it the latest edition of its classic Supergroup head and it finds the British guitar amp company taking a classic design and downsizing it to make it ever more practical.
The LA-Studio is a tube amp head rated with three-watts of power switchable down to 0.1, and with some clever onboard technology from Two Notes that might just see this become a staple in many a home or recording studio setup.
This is very much of a piece with Laney’s imaginative recent offerings. It has made small amps something of a speciality, with designs such as the Cub-Super12 offering a house-trained tube amp combo with a tone that scrubs up well for the price. But the LA-Studio takes this further – at least technologically so.
It is based on the LA30BL tube amp head, a design that dated back to a 1968 prototype that laid dormant until 2018. Only the LA-Studio takes the 30-watt Class AB platform of the LA30BL and shrinks it down, packing it with Two Notes Torpedo technology DynIR impulse response technology that allows you to seamlessly integrate it with your recording setup, using the emulated DI outputs to change the virtual cabinet, microphone and room size.
Indeed, Laney says the LA-Studio can be used almost like a plugin, albeit one you’ll have to put on a shelf, and one you can take out to gig or drive a speaker.
Connect the LA-Studio up to the Two Notes Torpedo Remote software and you can adjust mic placement, EQ, and take control of the virtual environment in which the amp is driving. The LA-Studio ships with two DynIRs from Laney, and eight from Two Notes. More options are available upon product registration, and the GUI is typically user friendly. You can also design your own IRs and save them.
As for the amp, it has controls for Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble and Gain, the latter controlling a non-master volume Supergroup gain stage – hence it is most useful to have a power brake switch on the front of the LA-Studio to attenuate its output to a manageable 0.1 watts.
There are two bass and treble inputs. Bass Input 1 is designed as a neutral platform for your pedalboard, Bass Input 2 is the same but with lower gain. The Treble Inputs have more high-end response, with Treble Input 2 also offering a lower gain setting.
Around the back of the amp you’ll find a DI output with ground lift, a headphones output, and Virtual Cab volume and level, with an LED to let you know when the DI’d signal is clipping. Other outputs include USB-A and MIDI, and eight and 16 ohm speaker outputs. The unit weighs just under 10kg.
All very modern, but even the old-school Laney heads are onboard with the LA-Studio; Tony Iommi, perhaps the greatest ambassador for the brand, uses one in his studio.
The LA-Studio is available now, priced £849. See Laney for more details.