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Amplifiers

The Amp1 from Thomas Blug's BluGuitar

Toneheads will doubtless already be familiar with Thomas Blug. In 2004, Fender held a competition in Europe to find the regal ruler of its iconic Stratocaster to celebrate the guitar's 50th birthday. The German fret master took the crown, and has been known as the Strat King ever since. He's also known for his mammoth tone, something he's brought to the recently-revealed Amp1 in buckets. The 100 W signature boutique tube amp is also small enough to fit on a pedalboard or throw in a gigbag.  Read More

Roland's new Cube Street EX portable amp

Roland has give its lightweight, battery-powered Cube Street amp from 2007 a powerful upgrade in the shape of the Street EX portable busking amp. Where the original featured two 2.5 W Neodymium speakers and promised 15 hours of use from six AA-sized batteries, the EX has two woofers and two tweeters for up to 50 W of output oomph, and can stay on the street for up to 20 hours on battery power.  Read More

The AMPLIFi guitar amp from Line 6

Line 6 has unleashed what's claimed to be an entirely new kind of guitar amplifier. In addition to a powerful guitar speaker sitting behind the red grille at the bottom, the AMPLIFi is also home to full range stereo speakers in the black top section. The design is claimed to offer players a wider frequency range, but the inclusion of Bluetooth technology also allows the system to be used as a streaming audio speaker. Impressive stuff, but the company didn't stop there. A companion app has been created that opens up the system to a new world of tone. The Remote app will even suggest matches for the sound of guitars in favorite songs so that you can easily nail the tone of your heroes, or jam along to tracks without sounding (too) out of place.  Read More

The Azur 851E preamp and the Azur 851W power amp from Cambridge Audio

The UK's Cambridge Audio is taking some new products to Las Vegas in January for the Consumer Electronics Show. Its existing Azur 851A Integrated Class XD Amplifier and 851C Upsampling DAC, CD Player & Preamplifier, which were launched at CES 2012, are to be joined by three new Azur 851 Series siblings – the E preamp, W power amp and D digital to analog converter. An Azur 651 power amp, some Minx bookshelf speakers and a concealable ceiling speaker are also set to make their debut.  Read More

The BluAmp Bluetooth amplifier, with BluHifi bookshelf speakers

Earlier in the year, Utah's Aaron Myer launched a Kickstarter campaign to get his BluAmp Bluetooth 50-watt amplifier into the hands of wireless music lovers. Unfortunately, the campaign didn't reach its funding target, but Myer pushed on regardless. The newly revamped BluAmp 50 has been joined by a less powerful sibling, the BluAmp 20, and Myer has hit Kickstarter for a second time.  Read More

The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta

We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta.  Read More

The DacMagic XS USB headphone amp from Cambridge Audio

It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox.  Read More

The Mighty Minnie hybrid single channel guitar amp

There are times when packing a full rig for a small venue tour is just not practical and sacrifices have to be made. When the topic of being forced to use awful-sounding back line amp rentals came up in a conversation between slide guitar master Sonny Landreth and veteran amp maker James Demeter, an idea for an amp small enough to mount on a pedal board began to take shape in the latter's mind. The Mighty Minnie hybrid single channel guitar amp that resulted is now being made available through Demeter's Custom Shop.  Read More

The Trash Amps Jam speaker/amplifier

We’ve seen big glass speakers and we’ve seen smaller models, but Trash Amps’ Jam takes the whole glass speaker thing down to a new level – it’s a speaker and amplifier, housed in a Mason jar.  Read More

STMicrosystem's new stereo digital audio amplifier

If you can find one, the new STA333IS digital audio chip and power amplifier from STMicroelectronics (STM) offers a quick and easy solution for converting digital audio into a 10 watt/channel stereo for anything from a boom box to a backyard sound system. Don't misunderstand, they currently are at distributors, selling for about one US dollar apiece. The problem is literally finding the chips. At about one-eighth the volume of a grain of rice and weighing only a few milligrams, drop one on a carpet and its gone for good.  Read More

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