Dating sound city amps
Matamps undeniably look good and their manufacturing is of a very high standard and well thought out, with a clever mix of printed circuit board and tag-board construction.
Just like pretty much all of the other brands of this era, Laney was building compact valve PA systems 40 years ago, like this PA100.For more information on Sound City amplifiers, check out the Soundcitysite website.It contains a lot of useful information and schematics. Lyndon Laney started building amps for local bands in the 60s (amongst which Black Sabbath).Contrary to popular belief, Sound City amps are not clones of Hiwatts.Some like this one are close to the early Custom 100 of the famous brand, but some models like the L/B 120 bear no resemblance at all.Even the closest models do not sound like Hiwatts because they usually have an emphasised bass end that the others lack, and because as a a result, they have a reduced headroom.
Basically, it means that the Arbiter brand amplifiers are warmer and crunchier. I prefer Sound City amps when amplifying bass: you can seriously sculpt the mid frequencies and they tend to compress quite a lot which gives them a very satisfaying tone.
The AOR series from which comes this Pro-Tube Lead is in my opinion the last of the Laney series offering acceptable quality for touring purposes.
The component and construction is comparable to Marshalls from the same era (end of the 80's, beginning of th 90's), with good quality pots and valve bases connected to the PCB by flying leads.
In this respect, the GT120 is reminiscent of a 70's Orange Overdrive.
The tones are definetly in the vintage camp with a low mid emphasis and a comparatively limited high end range, but they don't match the old Orange amps for rock tones in my opinion.
The 6 channels allow all sorts of experimentations: you can use one channel for clean and another for crunch, or use both in parallel for an unusual sound.