“We’ve made it feel like you're playing a tube amp”: Laney rolls out the Lionheart Foundry series – can these feature-packed solid-state combos compete with their tube-driven counterparts?

Laney Lionheart Foundry
(Image credit: Laney)

Once upon a time the great argument on planet guitar was the merits of tube amp versus solid-state amps, which sounded better, which were more reliable, and so on and so forth until the digital revolution came for the guitar amp and we all moved on. 

But Laney did something today that might just reignite that debate – and what the heck, will perhaps take on the digital amp modeller too – as it launched a solid-state Foundry version of its Lionheart series.

This new series of solid-state combos is designed to make players thing again. It comprises three 60-watt combos, each with two channels, plus a footswitchable boost that ostensibly transforms these into three channel affairs. 

Dressed in the blue vinyl with wheat grilles, they look the part, a chip of the old Lionheart block. With the brushed chrome control panels and chickenhead knobs, they’re a dead ringer. But do they sound it?

Laney is confident that they do. They are close to saying they sound better than their tube-driven forebears, and when you consider the fact that these will be low to zero maintenance, with the larger of the two amps shipping with onboard tremolo and chorus (all three have a spring reverb from the Black Country Customs reverb pedal), plus XLR outputs with Laney’s onboard IR tech emulating the brand’s  GS112 and GS412 speaker cabinets there is a lot to recommend the Lionheart Foundry series. 

“The starting point was mapping the complete all-tube topology of our award-winning Lionheart range into this analogue amp,” Laney says. “It’s not just about mimicking specific tones like some of the modeller amp products out there but replicating the truly dynamic interactive feel and touch sensitivity that makes a great tube amp so expressive and addictive to play.” 

Laney Lionheart Foundry LFSuper-212

(Image credit: Laney)

The Lionheart Foundry combos are designed for the stage, studio and the home. When playing in domestic settings, there is a single-watt setting so you don’t disturb the neighbours. And at 60-watts, there should be a decent amount of volume coming through the custom-made HH 12” drivers. 

If your drummer is a heavy hitter and you have the larger LFSUPER60-112 and its vertically orientated 2x12” sibling, that signal could always be sent direct to the desk via the aforementioned XLR.

Laney Lionheart Foundry Range Demo - YouTube Laney Lionheart Foundry Range Demo - YouTube
Watch On

The original Lionheart tube amps had a very handy Bright switch, which worked gangbusters on guitar’s with slightly muddy pickups. These have that, but there is a Dark mode on channel two that should take some of the ice-pick off your single-coils. 

One of the benefits of solid-state designs is the weight. These are easy on the back. The smallest weighs in at 9.4kg, with the 2x12 tipping the scales at 15.8Kg. And one of the big selling points here will be the price. The entry level LF60-112 is priced at £279/$429. The effects and IR-equipped LF Super60-112 and LF Super60-212 are priced £349/$539 and £429/$699 respectively. 

And if that hasn't sold you just yet, maybe the Italian funk guitar maestro Giacomo Turra can convince you otherwise. Here is his demo of the Super60-112, which is so funky it could be banned in some territories. For more details, see Laney.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.