Monoprice/Laney 15 watter

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Strato50, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

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    I will likely be picking up one of these soon. Some strong claims were made above regarding build quality, which were then refuted. Anyone else care to weigh in with their experience? I would guess more than a few amp users would have changed tubes by now, so the tube socket claim should be easy enough to verify, unless the build has changed considerably from iteration to iteration.
     
  2. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Well, that’s the point. I got mine for about $175 delivered. There’s better if you want to spend $300 or more (though some do say it’s as good as some of those). I changed the speaker in mine to a WGS Liberator and the sound got even better. I also did a mod that allowed it to be used as a speaker cabinet so I can plug other heads into it. I bought a tiny Blackstar HT1-RH on clearance from Sweetwater which sounds terrific through it and later found a Blackstar HT-20 Studio head used for $250 which has much nicer cleans and a sweet gain channel that I also plug into the Monoprice 15 as a speaker cab. But that HT1-RH and HT-20 would have otherwise needed a decent 12” speaker cabinet for another $150+ minimum. So with the speaker jack mod mine’s doing some double and triple duty for me!
     
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  3. Cleeve

    Cleeve Tele-Holic

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    191F4373-93D5-4F37-BEF6-69ADE3B8577C.jpeg
     
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  4. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Cleeve
    Please say if the one in the photos is the first iteration of this amp with top controls, or the current "Stage Right" one? That would be helpful.
    Thanks.
     
  5. Dobronaut

    Dobronaut Tele-Meister

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    I'm in the UK, so I've got the Laney cub 12r. It's a great lightweight amp for small gigs. I gig it every week in small venues, and its very good with the Tele, but great with the Lap Steel. Before this I had a vox ac10 ,and a fender superchamp. The vox had so many issues it was sent back under guarantee, and the fender had a cabinet rattle that just wouldn't go away, so that got moved on. I'm sticking with my Laney.
     
  6. Cleeve

    Cleeve Tele-Holic

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    That’s the newer front control “stage right” one.
    I’ve never seen the top control one.
     
  7. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    So the misgivings that Silverface expressed above re build quality may only apply to the earlier version.
     
  8. Cleeve

    Cleeve Tele-Holic

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    I'll see how the customer service handles my need for a replacement reverb tank.
    I will take some pictures of the insides of the chassis tomorrow or the next day.
    I think there are three circuit boards, one for the front controls and jack, one for the power supply and tube circuit, and a third small one for the reverb drive and effect loop and jacks.
    All are fiberglass, and are nicely laid out.
    One thing that may put off some repair techs is the use of surface mounted parts on the reverb driver/buffer board, as well as some surface mounted components on the main board. For high voltage things in the tube circuits, they use through-hole components, including metal-film resistors.

    Things I don't like about the amp-
    The black lettering on polished steel front panel becomes invisible when the reflected image of the floor is black.
    The input jack is metal and plastic.
    The power cord exits the chassis from the back in such a way that the cord won't neatly pack into the back of the amp, it has to detour around the rear tube-guarding panel.
    It would have been nice to have included the reverb foot switch.
     
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  9. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I play mine at home daily and take it to band practice. The honeymoon phase has never ended and I've had it well over a year. It's juicy and jangly with great harmonics. Sounds SO good with a tele or strat. Mine's the first gen with stock speaker. I put different tubes in it but can't remember what they were. TAD power tubes maybe. Never touched the bias. Sounds fine to me.
     
  10. djm930

    djm930 NEW MEMBER!

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    First post for me. I've been reading about different 15 watt tube amps for a while and decided to give the Monoprice a shot at some time in the future, but I couldn't resist the Black Friday Special now running: $150, shipping included. This will be my first tube amp.
     
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  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    If they are now using chassis-mounted tube sockets that's an improvement that will help with heat issues.

    OTOH if - like the newer Laney I saw - they are using socket, but mounted on a PCB it's a little better - but not a huge improvement unless you change tubes fairly often (and carefully). there's still a problem of heat transfer.

    $150 for a decent-sounding amp *may* be a good price, especially if you are a home-only played that doesn't push his equipment hard.

    But without exception they are using cheap parts that "function". However, remember that they HAVE to turn a profit - so how much raw parts cost and labor AND overhead (running the company - rent, salaries, R&D, lights, maintenance supplies & labor etc etc) and marketing costs - and so on - can a company put into a $150 tube amp and make it be a "good" one??

    At that price it's nearly "disposable". Would anyone have a tech perform $100 in repairs on one? Hardly worth it - it would make more sense to pull the tubes, toss the chassis and use what's left as a cheapo speaker cabinet.. And installing NOS tubes or a British Celestion speaker might kick the sound up - but the durability won't change. Sort of "gilding the lily".

    I'm only mentioning this stuff so expectations are not too high. Again - for a home player that doesn't plan on cranking one up much it might be a fun purchase.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  12. ultra80096

    ultra80096 Tele-Meister

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    I really appreciate experts that comment on tube threads, & have learned greatly from the posts. A couple years ago was my first time dipping my toes into tubes. I'm a convert, now able to recap, service, & mod different amps, although by all means not an expert. Still learning.

    That being said, here's my thoughts & experience on these amps. I own two of the 1st gen 15 watters. Upon receiving, opened up, looked, set bias, closed back up.

    They are pretty much a rebranded Laney Cub 12R other than the reverb circuit. The control & board layout, circuit values, etc. Google it, it's true. There may be differences in the cab structure. So on sale these at $150, are worth less as a production amp as the Laney at double the price? Forget resale $, I'm not selling. How about the Fender Blues Jr. at 3/4 to quadruple? Gobs of info on the pros & cons of them, Satisfied & unsatisfied players. Mods up the yazoo to make them sound better. I've actually been into two recapping & doing mods. They are built NO better than the Monoprice or Laney. One goes with me to monthly jams for 4-5 hr stints for the last year or so. Also an occasional gig. The other sits at our jam/practice space.

    No trouble what so ever with either amp. Not a hiss, hum, or any other troubles. Still on the stock junk tubes even. Maybe I'm just lucky. I and others that hear them think they sound great. At my age, I'll probably never spend the bucks to have an original Fender or other High-Dollar amp. I'm not a pro player, too late in life to consider it. I just love playing & playing out when I can.

    Will one possibly loose it's cookies some day? Maybe, maybe not. Can I fix it, maybe, depends how severe the damage. How much will I loose for all the fun I've had with it? Probably less than the hit I'd take just on resale of a new high dollar amp. In my case, $150.

    Didn't mean for this to be such a long post, nor a rant of any kind, but to me, they've been a great bang for my $. Going to keep on rocking them.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  13. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    So I ordered a new one, I'm much more pleased with it than the "top loader" The 'verb tank is inexpensive, but sounds much better than "ol blue" the whole thing seems better put together, no one will mistake it for a 1500 amp, but the covering is neater, the grille cloth is straight and taut. I won't use it often, but it seems improved and at $50 less than the old model no complaints at least out of the box. It's also nice to be able to see the controls when tilted back on a chair..
     
  14. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

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    I just love the tones out of this amp.
     
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