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Samick LA30R
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 29th, 2018
by MolyFox
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Sound Quality
Clean is OK - obviously not JC-120 standard - but good for practice. Turn the Gain up, though, and this thing sings; I don't understand the negative comments about the overdrive. It does seem to prefer single coils (Fender Mex Strat; Johnny Marr Jaguar; Tokai ST-50 work particularly well; modern Fender Strat and Tele don't misbehave as entertainingly). Epi Wildcat also awesome, and Gretsch Corvette likes it. Gibbo LP & SG, and PRS prefer the (way pricier) AC-30. The LA30R sits in my living room and is my "daily driver" - I'd keep it as house pet over my Roland DAC 15X (fuzzy more than drive), over the little Boehringer 15W analog modeling amp (since gone), or anything I've had from Crate or Line 6 (crap unless it's loud and with a band).
I've dropped it, knocked it down stairs, used it as furniture, and to no ill end. Had it for well over a decade, no probs. I have not, however, played it at "11" for six hours straight, so can't comment about heat dissipation.
I thought it was a little pricey, until I dialed it in - no regrets after that. Paid about the same as the Roli DAC-15X; they're very different amps, about equally as loud; the DAC is more versatile where the LA30R does less but does what it does better, IMHO. If you only play at home and can only afford one amp, either of these would be a good bet. Way better value than your average "first amp" - you won't grow out of it, and that is the true meaning of good value!
General Comments
Simple, solid, does what is says on the tin and does it well if you take the time to get to know it (I have my fave settings photographed, though rarely move anything apart from reverb level and master vol). Prob not for the more experimental soundsmith. Don't expect to seriously gig with this (it does have a line out, though I've never used it for live).
Reviewer's Background
Vocals, guitar, bass; live & studio; Live guitar preferences Strat + JC120 (clean), AC30 (driven), Acoustic 200W bass amp (pedal play...); Live bass Jazz or LTD/ESP + Eden 800 W Highwayman; Home, LA30R (guitar), PhilJonesBass amps (guitar, bass, Roland Gaia synth). Other junk to make loud and/or interesting noises but largely serves as Lebensraum for spiders. 
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