Laney - Speaker mod

The Laney VC15 valve amplifier. A job came in to modify a Laney practice amplifier. The owner wished to use it with the Badcat Unleash, to increase the volume which was just slightly lacking when used in a practice situation with a full band. The Unleash is a fairly unique product, consisting of a "clean" 100W amplifier/attenuator that is intended to be used in between a low power amplifier and an external speaker/cabinet.

 

The Badcat Unleash attenuator/amplifier.

The owner wished to use the Unleash with the Laney, using its internal speaker as the output for the Unleash. The problem with this plan was that while the Laney has an external speaker output that can be used, its speaker is connected internally negating the possibility of connecting the Unleash's output to it.

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The Laney came apart quite easily, requiring only a screwdriver. The amplifier section slides out with little effort and one must only be careful not to pull too hard on the connection to the internal speaker, or damage the tubes when removing it.

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This was a simple modification - the Laney's connection to the speaker internally was removed, and a 1/4 inch jack attached to it on a lead. The internal speaker connection leads were left in place, merely being insulated to avoid short circuiting the amplifier.

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The internal speaker connection could have been left intact, as the Laney's design means the internal connection is disengaged when a lead is connected to the external speaker output, however, it was deemed that this could possibly lead to damage if things were not connected in the proper order. Instead, the internal connection was removed and the amplifier must now only be used with the external speaker jack. This is similar to standard Fender valve combo designs. The amplifier can be connected to the internal speaker, or it can be plugged into another cabinet/speaker or in this case, a product such as the Unleash which can then be plugged back into the internal speaker.

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The mod was achieved without making any permanent changes to the amp. To reverse the mod, all that is required is to remove the new cable that was attached to the speaker and reattach the internal connection which was left fully intact (merely insulated to avoid short circuiting the amplifier).

 

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Care is required is to ensure the speaker or other load is connected to the amplifier before powering on, similar to many other valve combo amps. This is to ensure the amplifier is not run without a load connected, which can be fatal to tube amps. Also, when used with products like the Unleash, one must be careful not to exceed the power rating of the internal speaker (in this case 25W, as it was placed in a 15W amp). As the Unleash has a variable power output, this is safe if used properly, though user error may lead to issues. However, the mod was successful and has led to a greater use for the amp in more situations. Stay tuned for more mod posts and other news soon!