British amplification heavyweight Laney has vastly expanded its bass gear offering for 2021, announcing the all-new Digbeth series – which seeks to combine vintage tone and looks with modern functionality – as well as three new additions to its Black Country Customs pedal lineup.
Named after the location of Laney's original factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, the new range comprises two compact bass heads – the 500W DB500H and 200W DB200H, each offering a range of FET and tube tones – three matching cabs – the DBV810-4, DBV212-4 and DBV410 – and a dedicated preamp pedal, the DB-PRE.
New additions to the Black Country Customs series include a compressor (The Custard Factory), Interval pedal (The 85) and a distortion pedal (Blackheath).
The Digbeth series
The largest of the cabs on offer, the DBV810-4 is described as a “stage-ready cabinet”, packing eight 10-inch custom-designed, vintage-voiced HH Black Label series ceramic drivers. This cab matches perfectly with the DB500H head.
At the other end of the spectrum size-wise lies the DBV212-4 – a “powerful, dynamic, compact mid-sized cabinet” loaded with a pair of vertically aligned 12-inch HH Black Label series ceramic drivers. Delivering “masses of punchy warm vintage tone”, this cab matches with either the DB200H or DB500H heads.
The DBV410 is designed for bass players who require a powerful, dynamic and compact single-cab setup. Equipped with four 10-inch vintage-voiced HH Black Label series ceramic drivers – and a 1-inch LaVoce Compression Driver for refined top-end, this cab is designed to accentuate mid-range punch, and pairs brilliantly with either the DB200H or DB500H heads.
Rounding off the Digbeth range is the DB-PRE, an ultra-portable preamp pedal which offers bass players the Digbeth tone in a “fly-ready format”. Featuring both FET and tube-based signal paths, the pedal is loaded with a comprehensive range of ins and outs, meaning it works perfectly either as a bassist's main standalone tone or as an addition to an existing rig.
In-depth reviews of both the DB200H and DB500H amp heads will appear in the June 2021 issue of Bass Player magazine.
New Black Country Customs pedals
First up in the trio of new BCC pedals is The Custard Factory. Offering “studio-quality compression”, this stompbox is designed to be transparent, simple to use and to deliver a consistent musical sound without impairing any of the fundamental quality of a bass player's tone. Features include three modes of compression – Fast, Medium and Slow – and silent switching.
Interestingly, this pedal is named after the original Laney factory's predecessor, Bird's Custard.
Named after Laney founder Lyndon Laney's bus route to work at the original Digbeth premises, The 85 offers three interval modes – +1 octave up, -2 octaves down and a Perfect 5th up – as well as a Focus control, which allows the player to further fine-tune tone, creating everything from “classic funky subs to massive synth-like chords”.
And lastly, the Blackheath seeks to offer “all the tonal distortion you're looking for in a single pedal”. Its central toggle switch allows the player to choose between two Distortion modes and one Overdrive, while further controls include Gain, Volume, Range and Colour.
For more information on either the Digbeth series or new Black Country Customs pedals, head to Laney.