Laney Ironheart IRT-Studio Review

Laney Ironheart IRT-Studio

Oh, it was a great and fun time Rosli had recently when Laney Amplification gave him the Ironheart IRT-Studio and IRT112 cabinet. Like a child excited to receive presents!

Shout outs to Laney Amplification and Ian Wright for welcoming Rosli into the Laney family and making this possible, and also to Azman Nirwan for his help as well.

Good things are meant to be shared, and so here’s Rosli’s review of the IRT-Studio.

(Holiday seasons and bonus time are round the corner. So if this review and the fantastic IRT-Studio stokes you, go get it.)

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At moment it was unboxed, the smooth and clean lines of IRT-Studio made my heart skipped a beat. Then excitement gave way to sheer pleasure. The IRT-Studio package comes with a footswitch for the channels and the boost, and a nice carry bag for this 2U rack mount machine.

All together, 3 Channels: Clean, Rhythm and Lead and it comes with 1-watt and 15-watt inputs. I jumped straight into the 15-watt input and plugged into the IRT112 closed-back cabinet that Laney kindly gave it to me along with the IRT-Studio.

First off, I’m blown away by the Clean channel. I’ve used a 60-watts head for shows and recording but I never dived into clean channel very much. But on the IRT-Studio the tone was sparkling crystal clear and so impressive that I’m totally sold.

I first used a tele on it and the Clean channel gave me a clear separation of strings ringing throughout. From comping and arpeggiating chords, every note rings and has a nice compression. For a 15-watt machine… it has that huge beastly loudness. IRT-Studio is solid enough for gigs as it’s capable of cutting through the band and mix. I actually spent a long time playing on the Clean channel and swapping guitars to check out how it performs.

Next, the Rhythm channel. My favourite ever since I had the chance to play the Ironheart when it was introduced and it never fails me to give both tight and loose blues/jazz tones. The Gain knob has nice smooth sweep to get to my sweet spot easily. The channel is made so much more versatile when coupled with pull knobs on EQ for extra frequencies. Although the EQ section is shared with the Clean channel, it’s not a bad thing to make any dent on my newly minted impression on this new line that Laney has introduced.

Laney has a solid reputation as being one of the innovators of metal/rock amps and its products are used by most of metalheads all over the world. And so the Lead channel doesn’t disappoint at all, from nice sweet singing leads to chunky fuzzy distortions. It has so much gain it feels like muscles all pumped up. The bottom and highs are huge (can’t help but to emphasize its loudness despite its size) and the mids cut through like a razor-sharp katana.

There’s also a Digital reverb function on board IRT-Studio and it is like icing on a very tasty cake. It is not overwhelming, gels the ambience and tone nicely without any compromise needed on the settings, and there’s no change in tone at all.

The IRT-Studio has two very useful knobs for Tone and Dynamics (works like a Presence knob), so you don’t have to worry about changing the EQ on the channel drastically when you swap from single coils to humbucker or anything in-between.

I haven’t had the time to explore fully, but IRT-Studio is equipped with USB audio I/O supporting both dry and processed signals. This makes IRT-Studio shine in the studio recording department and it can also act as a re-amping tool as well. That is a very useful feature to add on!

There have been good reviews how well the IRT-Studio performs in metal and rock settings. But as I played along I realised it performs superbly as well in genres such as blues/jazz/fusion/country tones. With the guitar signal running through both power AND preamp sections, the tones coming out from IRT-Studio sound so organically sweet.

It may be smaller as compared to its other big-watt Ironheart siblings, but IRT-Studio packs so much versatility that you won’t feel you’re missing out very much.

I am truly blessed to get this machine that I can use for a project I am on now. I’ll do a video on it soon. Meanwhile, thanks for reading and I highly recommend you go and try IRT-Studio yourself at any Laney authorised distributors. Peace!

– RM

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