Lab Series L5 100W Combo Without Speakers

$299.00

Description

Amp works A-Okay, and we just removed the chassis and cleaned all the pots and connections – but it’s being sold without speakers. A great example of solid state amps done right – good enough in fact that the L5 was used by Allan Holdsworth on his first few albums, as well as Ty Tabor on the early King’s X albums and its most noteworthy user, B.B. King found his signature tone in an L5 in the late 70’s and continued to use them through the end of his career. B.B. became an official endorser in 1981 but was already a devoted user by then. If most people listen to any of these recordings they’d likely assume they were hearing a tube amp. The dynamic range and touch sensitivity – and Allan and Ty’s pure sounding crunch, don’t share much with other solid state amps of the day. Lab series are frequently thought to be “Gibson” amps, but Gibson was just sort of an in-law to the Lab company. Gibson’s only relation was distribution of the Labs, and the fact that both companies were owned by Norlin. The actual credit for design and manufacture goes to Moog, of analog synth fame. Although the L5 is the most noted of this series, there were several others in the line including the L7 and L9 which were identical amps but with a different speaker configuration. These are loud amps, rated at 100W RMS and unlike most solid state amps where 100 watts was roughly the equivalent of a 35 watt tube amp, this was a loud 100 watts. Specs and features include: 100 watts through 2X12″ speakers; dual channels; channel one is a basic Fender-style layout with Bright switch and Vol-Bass-Mid-Treb knobs. Channel 2 features a lot more control. In addition to the Bright switch, Volume, Bass, and Treble, it features an active type EQ with a semi-parametric midrange control with mid frequency adjustable from 100Hz to 6400Hz along with a corresponding cut/boost knob. It also features a Multifilter knob, essentially a 6-band EQ with fixed settings (centers at 1000Hz, 1370Hz, 1900Hz, 2630Hz, 3630Hz and 5000 Hz.), where you control only how much of the signal thru it gets mixed back with the main signal – sort of like a flanger’s comb filter with the sweep set to zero. It also features a good sounding reverb and an onboard compressor that’s a personal favorite, with a knob to control the amount of compression with a corresponding LED that lights up when the compressor kicks in. Lastly, a Master Volume knob lets you overdrive the preamp circuit while keeping the output level down. On the back of the amp you have a footswitch input for reverb on/off, effects loop, and an unusual on/off switch that locks in to prevent inadvertent shut down. There are a few Lab Series sites on the web including DIYGuitarist. Again, this amp does not include speakers. It had a pair of early Celestions that were worth almost as much as the amp and they were sold separately. Speakers shown are just to highlight speaker alignment and are not included. Overall it’s in decent used condition but far from collector’s grade. Buy it because it’s a good sounding amp – not because it’s a lovely example. If you haven’t heard one of these, you’re likely in for a treat and at $299, a good buy on a powerful 2X12 combo.

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