Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Amplifiers

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

Peavey is now shipping three Vypyr VIP amps featuring variable instrument input

While Peavey regularly releases electric guitars, like the excellent AT-200 for example, it's perhaps best known for its amplifiers. Five years after unleashing its Vypyr line of modeling amps, the company debuted three new additions at NAMM earlier this year. The first to sport a variable instrument input technology that allows them to be used for bass, acoustic or electric guitars, the Vypyr VIP amps are now shipping.  Read More

Freshly unpacked and ready for testing – the Yamaha THR10C home/studio amp with Virtual Ci...

Though ready and willing to take full advantage of all that the digital tone modeling revolution has to offer, like many guitar gearheads, I fall back on my trusty tube amps and analog stomps when it's time to get serious. Color me intrigued, however, when Yamaha's two-strong THR Series solid state combo amps hit the shelves at the beginning of last year – featuring the company's Virtual Circuitry Modelling (VCM) technology for authentic-sounding tone, even at low volume. Three new models made a U.S. debut at the Winter NAMM Show back in January 2013, and I've been discovering exactly what VCM tubes sound like with the THR10C solid state boutique home/studio amp.  Read More

Amp in a Can is a portable guitar amplifier housed in recycled cardboard tubing

OK, I admit to cheating a little bit with the title. The Amp in a Can is not really a tube (valve) amp at all, but rather a cheap and cheerful portable guitar amp housed in cardboard tubing that weighs less than 200 g (7 oz).  Read More

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