REVIEWS

Laney Ironheart IRF Loudpedal | REVIEW

Published 4 months ago on November 11, 2023

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Laney Ironheart IRF Loudpedal | REVIEW

MSRP: (UK) £189 / (US) $299

The Laney Ironheart Foundry Series Loudpedal puts 60 watts of screaming 2-channel amplification at your feet, plus a foot-switchable boost circuit to boot! The Loudpedal looks like a stompbox, but it works like a high-end amp complete with low- and high-gain channels, five gain voices, and a 3-band EQ tone stack. The pedal can be plugged straight into a cabinet for use as a head or sent direct to a console or a PA. Any guitarist who craves pedal-sized firepower with a real-deal Laney feel will find the Loudpedal absolutely fits the bill. Nick Jennison tells us more.

As much as my heart belongs to 100w valve amps (plural, since I'm often running in stereo), the occasions when I get to use these tonal leviathans are becoming fewer and fewer. I travel by train, splitter van or plane for many of my professional engagements these days, and this necessitates a much, much smaller rig. I've managed to shrink my live gear to fit in a medium-sized Peli case, but there are times when even this is too much bulk.

Enter the Laney IRF Loudpedal. I was first introduced to this marvellous little device earlier this year on a run of shows where excessive volume was punishable by death - or worse, non-payment. I rolled in with my heavily scarred and sticker'd Peli, and the other guitar player rocked up with just a gig bag, from the pocket of which he produced this little pedal. I scoffed. Then I heard it. Then I wanted one.

Let's back out a second. The Loudpedal IRF is essentially a 60w solid-state take on the Laney Ironheart, but in miniature. Yes, this pedal is an AMP, and will power a speaker cab with surprising authority. It also has a speaker emulated DI out for direct recording and FOH/IEM applications.

It sports two channels with a shared cut/boost EQ and a shared foot-switchable boost. The second channel is pure Ironheart grit, with enough gain for hard rock styles even without the boost, and gobs of articulate aggression with the boost engaged. The first channel by contrast, is a total chameleon. Set the gain low, and it's a sparkling high headroom clean that grits up really quickly as you wind the gain up before morphing into a fluid, high gain lead tone in the last quarter of the knob's travel. In essence, you have two channels that you can set up to be basically any two sounds you like. Clean and dirty? Easy. Clean and pushed clean? Yep. Heavy rhythm and lead? Yep. Angus and Malcolm? Yep.

Further expanding your tonal palette is the boost function. This pre-gain boost is fairly clean, but has a distinct bias towards the upper mids in the manner of everyone's favourite gold overdrive. This is footswitchable, and can be applied to either channel - although a slight niggle of mine is that metal players might benefit from a switch to assign the boost to only channel two, but that's a MAJOR nitpick.

The internal speaker sim is fixed, and you can't load your own IRs, but honestly, at the price point it's hard to complain. The voicing is very good for a lot of situations, with a mid-focussed voice and rolled off top end that excels in the live domain. And of course, if you're recording, you can always switch the internal speaker sim off and apply your own IRs in your DAW.

Which leads us to the price. At the time of writing, the Loudpedal is well under £200. That's nuts. For something so compact, so versatile and with so many great sound on tap, that feels like a robbery. Grab one at this price before Laney comes to its senses and doubles the RRP.

For more information, please visit:

laney.co.uk

For more of our latest reviews, click here


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