Laney AH200 Review and Usage Tips for Live Band & Recording

LaneyAH200 is a multipurpose power amplifier for live band and recording use. This is an actual review of the capabilities of this amplifier and highlights its best practices and limitations.

AH200 in Live Venue Use: Power Rating

LaneyAH200 is rated with 160 watts output. This is suitable for a live venue with at most 45 people.
Bear in mind that each person in the venue would absorb the sound coming out from your PA system, so if you are planning to buy a power amplifier you need to examine the number of your audience.

If you are using a power amplifier for a live venue more than 45 people (say for example 100 or more), you need to have a power amplifier with more than 160 watts (e.g. 300 watts or more).

Below is rough guideline in determining how much PA wattage you need:

Wattage requirement table for power amplifers

Wattage requirement table for power amplifers

Since Laney AH200 is rated at 160 watts, it can handle:

Recommended number of audience for each specific application:

Speech only application = 160/0.75= 213 audience
Solo music performance or duets= 160/2.5 =64 audience
Live band performance = 160/3.5 = 45 audience

For example, you can use AH200 to power the live band performance in a home party with less than 45 audiences. The resulting loudness is sufficient for this number of audience.

5 Channels for Flexible Live band Inputs

AH200 has 5 channels with built in EQ/treble/bass and gain adjustments:

5 channels Laney AH200

5 channels Laney AH200

In total, it can accommodate around 11 inputs. It is because each channel accepts two inputs + one aux. Connectivity details are as follows:

-Channel 1 accepts XLR mic input and another line input= you can connect your XLR output mic here and then plug another instrument to line input.
-Channel 1 and 2 has XLR mic inputs.
-Only channel 3 has hi-z inputs (for plugging high impedance instruments like passive bass guitar and electric guitars)
-Each channel has line inputs.
-You can connect another instrument through Aux inputs.
-CD players and computer line outputs can be connected to CD input of the amplifier.

For optimum results, you would only want to use 5 distinct inputs at most so that you can assign a unique EQ/gain setting for every instrument per channel. Supposing you would like to use Laney AH200 for a live acoustic band use. An optimal connectivity are as follows:

1.) Connect a dynamic microphone with XLR output (such as SM58) to channel 1 (for vocals). You can additionally utilize the Channel 1 line input for backup vocals.

2.) Connect one guitar (acoustic or electric) through an external DI box first then connect the DI output to the AH200 Channel 2 Microphone input. If you have a rhythm guitarist, you can plug it directly through Line input of channel 2 provided the guitar output is already amplified (e.g. an acoustic guitar with active pickup)

3.) Connect one bass guitar to channel 3 Hi-Z (high impedance input).
4.) Connect keyboards through Channel 4 line input.
5.) Connect the drum box (cajon) through Channel 5 line input.
6.) If you have additional strings (like a violin) you can pass it through AH 200 Aux input. You can adjust the incoming volume with Aux level.

Laney AH200 in action

Laney AH200 in action