Laney Cub 12R Made With Cardboard

laney cub 12r snakeskin tolex

Laney Cub 12R Made With Cardboard

Looks like the GAS still has it’s hooks in me because I’ve been eyeballin the Laney Cub 12R tube amp for a while now. Judging from the demo clips on line it’s pretty versatile with great tone and it’s a combo which is something I haven’t had in a while now because I’m a head and cab guy in general. But a combo was in my future (if one came along at a good price). Thanks once again to Craigslist one did. Quality was not an issue mainly because I didn’t see any reviews with any mention of quality as an issue, plus it’s a Laney, and the name has a top level reputation so I never thought that it might be shit quality, but I was soon to learn a name does not always equal quality. I realize it’s a Chinese made budget model but I STILL expected more from something Laney put their name on.

Laney Cub 12R guitar amplifierAfter a week of playing I decided I didn’t like the brown Tolex, the tan colored weaved grill cloth or the angled opening. So I gathered up some snakeskin Tolex from Antique Electronics, some black grill cloth, a heat gun, contact cement etc. and proceeded to strip it down.
Up to this point I was very pleased with the performance of the little combo so that wasn’t an issue but alarm bells went off when I realized the corners were plastic, and the worst was yet to come. I was shocked to find out what the cabinet was actually made of because it ain’t wood. That’s right, no wood to be found anywhere on a Laney Cub 12R. You probably think “must be particle board” right? Wrong. In fact particle board would have been better.

Laney Cub 12R combo cabinet

Fucking cardboard!

This is made of some type of compressed cardboard similar to Masonite. 1/8″ thick on the face and 9/16″ everywhere else. It made me sick to see that a company like Laney would even think about using this crap. In fact I’ve never seen an amp or cab made of this shit material. WTF Laney?

I did the only thing I could think of which was to finish recovering it and put it back together. At least I wouldn’t have to look at that crap. It looks not too bad with the snake Tolex, black grill cloth, steel corners, and a vintage Eminence speaker (which sounds much better than the HH that came with it)* but every time I look at it I still see cardboard. Un-fucking-believable. But I gotta say it sounds great! So at this time I’m planning on building a solid wood replacement. I’ll document the build and post it when it’s all finished. As it sits right now It’s still a keeper based on the tone and versatility alone. A solid wood cabinet will make it even more desirable. We’ll see.

Laney Cub 12R covered in snakeskin Tolex

AT least it LOOKS better.

What’s your experience with what’s hiding under the Tolex? Leave an answer in the comments below. Click here for details on the Cub 12R hot transformer issue (and a solution)

Update on the speaker change (Celestion V-Type)


Dean Leslie West Peace Sign Signature Soltero, Dean Leslie West Flame Maple Tobacco Burst Signature Soltero, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Hamer Studio,, Epiphone Les Paul (Korean), Ovation Celebrity, Laney Cub 12R, Blackstar, HT-1R, Jet City JCA20H, Jet City JCA22H, Orange OR15, and a lot of dirt pedals, some store bought some DIY.

4 Comments so far

BzhyoyoPosted on  3:11 am - Aug 28, 2017

Well, I guess I’ll find out soon. Great to read your new cabinet got you the kind of improvements I hope to get from a new cab. Enjoy this fun little amp: for the price, it’s hard To beat!

bzhyoyoPosted on  3:41 am - Aug 24, 2017

just in the process of making a cab of my own for the laney cub 12 (just because I don’t like the looks of it either) so I stumbled on your page and I’d like to make a correction: what you call “fucking cardboard” is just probably MDF and it’s not such a bad choice to build an amp cab as it’s pretty neutral, resonance wise. The only problem is that Laney chose it to be a bit on the thin side.

    RussPosted on  7:56 pm - Aug 24, 2017

    Like I said, I don’t know what it is. If you drill a hole in it there is no sawdust but it fluffs like finely shredded cardboard would do. And if you glue something to it and then try to remove it the top layer of paper comes with it. If you’ve ever tried to remove an adhesive shipping label from a cardboard box it acts exactly the same. Very strange material. It’s almost like Masonite house siding only less dense. I know they had to reduce costs somewhere to get these to market at the going price, but it was just a shocker to not see plywood under that Tolex. It’s all a moot point now though because the Seismic cab worked out great. It’s bigger and the added depth along with a semi open back made a hell of a difference. Thankfully the tone didn’t really change, it just sounds bigger and fuller.

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