Found this amp to a great little combo. At 165 watts, its loud! Can easily be heard over a loud kit and will cope with small-medium venues. For bigger venues, just use the DI out! Laney's are easy to use and simple. Great 7 band EQ which lets you get so many different tones out of this amp. The in-built compressor is ok, good addition but if you were serious about getting more compression or better compressed tone then you may need to look at something external like a pedal. The 15" moves a lot of air and there is no loss of highs that is sometimes associated with solitary, large speakers.
There is no CD input with this amp and no headphone socket which are both useful features when practicing at home. The 2 carry handles on the side are well placed which means one person can easily carry this around and get it and out of vehicles.
I acquired this amplifier in a slightly fortuitous way. A friend who is something of a hoarder was moving house and was having a clearout. As I helped him to shift piles of his possessions we unearthed a Laney RB4 amplifier that looked as though it had been untouched for years. He said I could have it for a tenner- it was only a few months later that I discovered that I'd robbed him blind... I called him to let him know but he was happy to stick with a tenner provided I bought him a few pints as a gesture of thanks. What a great deal I thought...
The Laney RB4 is the most compact and portable amplifier I've owned but is surprisingly heavy given its small size. It's pleasing enough on the eye and can be stored easily (mine doubles as a table- maybe I'm turning into my friend!). A plastic/rubber handle on top means that it can be carried around without too much hassle.
It works well with my bass guitar, giving a fairly average sound with no feedback. It's fine for the garage or the home but I wouldn't recommend it for performing or for larger spaces. I thought at first that it was giving feedback as I could here a persistent buzzing, but it turned out that the input connector on my guitar was loose. Controls allow you to adjust the master volume, the gain, the bass and the treble, while simple slider enable you to equalise the sound. The lack of a headphone socket is a noticeable flaw in my opinion as I like to be able to play without annoying the neighbours.
As one would expect, it's less effective with my rhythm guitar but I felt the need to experiment just to see how it would perform. If you want to hear what you're playing more clearly but don't want to invest in an additional amplifier it's probably fine for an electric guitar.
Overall it is an alright product, nothing special at all. It is a bit overpriced because other amps of the same price and quality usually offer more wattage. It makes up for the extra cost in its reliability. It is extremely reliable and very durable and can survive through anything. It is fairly heavy but at least it is a bit lighter than similarly sized amps. It is very good for people who are trying to be cost effective but if you want to be professional I would recommend a better amp. This amp also sounds a bit dull compared to most other amps. It does not really add any color to the sound as most quality amps do leaving a boring sound. It is useful for small gigs but if you take your music seriously then you should definitely go the extra mile and buy a more expensive quality amp because the sound will be so much better.
I picked up an RB4 combo second-hand for about £120. So far it's done 2 gigs and is still going strong after a year of using it for between 4-8 hours every week.
It's about half a metre square and weighs - like all combos - a lot. The spec says 25kg but it feels like more because of the bulk. It's well constructed and has taken many knocks without getting damaged. Luckily there's handles on the top and sides that help with lugging it around.
160 watts is powerful enough to be really loud in a pub or club and is great for recording, with no noticeable deterioration in sound quality. There is a DI jack at one end of the control panel so you can go through a PA or desk if you need to.
I usually go through the normal input, although there is the option of a high input. There's a limiter defeat switch that I've never really had to use, and never had the cause to use, not having ever put everything up to 11. If I've needed to go louder I've stuck it on top of a speaker and used the external speaker jack for more power.
The switch on the left hand side is the 'enhance' switch, which just seems to knock a little bit off the highest and lowest frequencies. I don't really use it.
The 7 band equalizer is great fun to play with, if you're patient enough you can get a wide range of sounds out of it. If you whack the lowest frequencies to the maximum setting you do get a bit of muddiness, but sound quality remains consistent if you avoid the extremes. It's only a 15 inch speaker so this is par for the course in my experience.
There's no headphone jack however, which means that I have to annoy the rest of the band when embarking on a 15 minute slap-bass odyssey whilst they're doing something else.
It's too early to decide whether this combo will turn out to be a true indestructible monster, only years of gigs and bad treatment can test to that, but initial signs are good. It's already survived a flood, sub-zero temperatures in storage, and teenagers interfering with it.
This straight-up, no nonsense 160 watt bass combo features a 15" custom celestion speaker, bass, treble and 7 band graphic mid, switchable compressor and switchable limiter in a solid cabinet with top and side handles. Exactly what you need for gigging, recording or just making a noise in your garage! Laney - Power To The Music