NAMM 2024: “The first time in the history of guitar amplification”: Laney breaks new ground as its new BCC Ironheart tube amps are released alongside a matching plugin

Laney BCC Ironheart amps and plugin
(Image credit: Laney)

NAMM 2024: Laney’s latest announcement marks something of a historic moment in guitar amp production, as it releases three new physical amps alongside an accompanying digital plugin version.

The three new BCC Ironheart amps appear to be replacing and upgrading the now discontinued IRT Ironheart range of tube amps and, like its predecessor, the range includes one 30-watt 1x12 combo, plus a 60-watt head and a 120-watt head. Now though, they are all produced in the firm’s UK Black Country Customs workshop –hence the BCC designation.

Alongside the new production base, there’s a revamped boost circuit, which enables it be driven to high gain heaven without getting muddy on the bass side, plus a host of connectivity, including a speaker emulated line out with switchable cab sim, FX loop and a host of speaker outputs.

The big news here though is the concept of launching an amp with a matching plugin, which now it has happened, suddenly seems like an obvious choice to make, but is a first for the industry.

"We're incredibly excited to unveil the Ironheart plugin," says Laney’s Product Manager, Simon Fraser-Clark. 

“As a brand, Laney have always been creative thinkers and innovative designers and it’s an evolutionary step to offer the unparalleled flexibility and tonal possibilities of our awesome Ironhearts, in digital form. This marks a significant milestone in the industry, merging the best of British analogue and digital technologies to cater to the evolving needs of modern musicians.”

Unlike the behemoths like Fender, which have the resources to create software in-house, Laney has partnered with a third party, teaming up with Aurora DSP to produce the plugin.

Laney BCC Ironheart plugin

Laney’s BCC Ironheart plugin (Image credit: Laney)

The resulting Ironheart software can be used as a standalone digital amp, or integrated into a DAW and comes complete with two Laney IRs, various mic options and two models of the firm’s Black Country Customs pedals, the Steelpark and Monolith.

Best of all, it comes bundled free with any purchase of a physical amp and it can also be purchased separately. Guitar World reckons its safe to predict we’ll be seeing a lot more matching software released alongside physical products in the near future. 

Back on the amps themselves… the Ironhearts were originally developed following Laney’s work on Tony Iommi’s signature amp, the TI100 and still carry some of that heavy DNA. 

As such, all of the amps – and indeed, the plugin – feature three channels (clean, rhythm and lead) and are described as “extremely versatile, aggressive sounding” amps. 

The circuit uses EC883 (aka 12AX7) tubes in the preamp and 6L6 power tubes, a classic high gain pairing – found in the likes of the EVH/Peavey 5150 among many others – which Laney says results “a harmonically rich, creamy overdrive with a punchy and defined low-end response.”

Prices are set to be $1,299 for the 30-watt combo, $1,499 for the 60-watt head and $1,799 for the 120-watt head.

Laney has broken more new ground this NAMM, by unveiling the world’s most powerful FRFR cabinet – a 2,600W 4x12 that’s almost as loud as a jetplane taking off. Really.

This also isn’t the first time Laney has teamed-up with a third party for a software solution, back in 2021 it released a collection of 15 cab-sims in collaboration with Two Notes. 

For more information on the new BCC Ironheart range, head to Laney.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.