I play many instruments. Bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards…I’m all over it. For every genre or style that I play, my gear has to be flexible as I am. The church that I currently play lead guitar in has been revamping their PA system for the past couple of months. We moved from personal floor monitors to in-ear monitors to reduce stage volume. So with these changes I had to move from 50watt stereo combo to a more reduced wattage amp to keep up the flow of “low volume”. But that didn’t mean I had to skimp on tone to do the job.
At Ant Hill Music, we had the Laney CUB8. I thought that this would be a great choice being that it is an all tube amp, without the tube amp price or volume. So let me tell my thoughts on this amp.
Single Ended Class A
The CUB8 features a classic single-ended Class A design, and is loaded with a single ECC83 in the pre amp section and a single 6V6GT in the output section generating 5 watts RMS of vintage tube tone. The CUB8’s control panel is overly simple: a tone control, a volume control, and a Hi and LO input. The amp could power an extra 8 or 16-ohm cab if you needed more volume
Unbelievably User friendly
Using a CUB8 is straightforward, plug in, dial in your tone and wind the volume up a little and the 6V6GT’s respond in a bright, bouncy and brilliant fashion. Drive the output section harder and the increased 2nd and 3rd order harmonics give the tone a pronounced bottom end and a lovely lower mid.
Great Tone – Simple to use
The amp in use
I set the tone and volume knobs around 1 o’clock as my starting point and plugged into the Hi input. This input is slightly hotter and provides some grit to that clean tone. I play with a several pedals in front of the input, as this has no effects loop. It played my effects flawlessly. I did have to adjust the EQ of some of my pedals but now are set up to be used in many amp setups with relative ease.
We used a Shure SM57 for the first couple of weeks, but after boosting the low end on the EQ of the mixer and started using a Shure SM58 instead, the tone widened very well. My in-ear monitors sound like the amp was a 25+watt monster. This thing really can deliver a big sound at low volumes. And the amp could power an extra 8 or 16-ohm cab if you needed more volume, but it was not needed. We had the amp turned on around 6:30am in the morning and rehearsals did not start till about 7:30a so the amp had a full hour to get the tubes warm. And man this amp warmed up really well. The amp’s tone could cover a multitude of genres with the right setup.
I had only 2 gripes about this amp. The first was that there was no boost/gain control. If you need a lead channel I recommend getting a boost pedal or something similar if you are used to using the lead channel on your amps. The second is a lack of reverb. The amp resonates very well, but a little spring reverb could go a long way. Other than that, the amp is a great purchase and the tone is awesome. The Pastor is happy which makes me very happy. He likes it when I wail, just without taking the whole audiences heads off. This thing was built solid so I hope that this will run its course for a long while. As always till next time and play on!