The basic question is. Is it worth to buy a new transformer (not from laney) and replace the broken one? Or should I get my money back $300 and look for another amp?
Here is my little story.
Looking for a small inexpensive but decent amp I came across the Laney LC15R. I found a used one in Brazil that I could try at the store. It sounded great! Low gain but tight and smooth sweet tone with beautiful harmonics. It had JJ tubes and the old HH invader speaker (I think thats what they are called). Thinking I could get a better deal in US I decided to wait. Back home, after a insane amount of googling I found a store that could sell me the LC15R for $300 new! They usually go for around $400 at the major stores.
About 6 or 7 days later the amp arrives. It really didn't sound like the amp I played at the store. For the price the new celestion speaker was quite nice. However the preamp sound was not great. It was harsh and buzzy. Now the weirdest thing was the power amp. When I cranked it up it got some really really strange harsh distortion with some oscillation and strange mush on the lower strings. This wasn't even at max volume. The cleans were really good though and I could also sound not great but decent enough plugging the J-station on the FX loop. WAY better then with the solid state crate that I use for practise! After a couple of hours of playing, the amp commits "Hara Kiri" and stops working.. I ordered a complete set of JJ tubes and replaced the stock ones with them. The problem remained the same. I then sent the amp back to the guy that sold me. He told me the output transformer died. Now he is trying to get a new transformer from laney and replace the broken one.
I did quite a bit of research on this and found out that the LC15/R has known transformer burnout problems. I fear that even if the guy replaces the transformer with a new one from laney I'm going to have the same problem sooner or later again. But if I buy a better transformer and have this guy install it, I will probably have a more reliable amp.
If I buy another amp like the Laney LC15 (no R means no fx loop & reverb) I may have the same problem with the transformer.
The other options are to get my money back and look for another amp. Like fender blues junior, pro junior or a used peavey classic 20. But I don't know how those fenders are good for rock and metal (with a pedal).
The guy at the store also said he could give me a deal on a laney VC30. But I really wanted a amp with 20watts or less. I already can borrow a Mark III 100w head any time if I need it real loud. And I'm not sure how reliable those VC30s are.
What do you guys and girls think?