I've been missing both the look and feel of a real cab, and I was entertaining the idea of getting a conventional 2x12 with a power amp. While looking around I rediscovered this Laney FRFR everyone's been sleeping on and to be honest I'm not sure why. It sounds fan-friggin-fastic! You don't get a lot of tone shaping options, but there is a -6 to +6 HF control which is very nice to have for fine tuning. The cab is not very heavy, Laney lists it at 28.8 kg (63.5 lbs) and I can lift it one handed if I need to. It has pretty much identical dimensions to any traditionally sized vertical 2x12, with a pair of 12" LF drivers and an HF compression driver into a conical horn next to the lower 12" driver. Basically they took an LFR112 and extended it upwards with a second 12" on a slant. It worked.
Full disclosure, I've made no attempt to push this thing towards its power limits. I am digital to avoid going deaf. It's rated at 200W RMS/800W peak but we all know solid state power ratings are dodgy, and I don't have any information on dB per watt (efficiency).
Compared to my XiTone Active Wedge
The Laney is better. Is it unfair to compare the 1x12 XiTone wedge format to a properly sized 2x12? Maybe, but these are close to the same retail price and in my view that makes them competition. Don't get me wrong, I like the XiTone a lot, I've gigged with it, and it previously won my shootout with a Powercab 112. But next to the Laney it just sounds small and boxy. It's still a great stage monitor, especially if you want something in that wedge format pointed at you from the ground. But the Laney feels like playing through a cab, with the air moving in much the same way and the dispersion feeling more like what you expect. It is still an FRFR of course, don't expect any "amp in the room" type trickery here. But as someone who plays through studio monitors 90% of the time, I'm very well accustomed to that sound and the Laney brings the feel of the conventional cab when you're playing.
Gonna call out two things here. One is that this is a rear ported cab, which makes it punchy. A little too punchy. I might experiment with closing some or all of the ports, or I might just throw a bit of low cut in the output EQ. It kinda gives the same vibe as playing through a Mesa Recto 2x12, which is great for heavy music but can get really overwhelming for more restrained things. An LF adjust to go with the HF adjust would have been very nice. The other thing is that the XLR is retained by tension instead of a push clip. I don't like it. Doesn't affect TRS though.
Keeper. When I play through this rig, it just sounds and feels like I always wanted and expected my guitar to sound and at very reasonable volumes too. Is it super flat or a perfect translation from my monitors (Adam T5V)? Not quite. I could fine tune further. But I don't feel any real need to rework the patches I have been using, they sound great as-is. This cab has gotten very little love in the forums and social channels, but you really should give it a try.