Photokina 2014 highlights

Amplifiers

Holger Fritzlar, Sonic Chair designer with guest musician

The Sonic Chair isn't a new concept, it's been offering the public auditory pleasure in museums and libraries world wide since 2007. At this year's IFA the new improved SC02 was unveiled featuring iPad integration and an enhanced amplifier system. The good news, it's finally available to Joe and Jane Public for a mere 8,999 euros. That's without the fancy extras. Gizmag talked exclusively to one of its designers.  Read More

VOX Amplification has given new life to two 1960s iconic guitar bod shapes with the releas...

Sadly, the funding campaign for the Unlimited travel guitar with built-in speaker that we covered late last month was unsuccessful, but fear not because VOX Amplification has come to the rescue in impressive retro style. The company has dipped into the past to bring back two of its most iconic guitar shapes as modern travel/practice instruments. The beautiful VOX Teardrop and Phantom have been reborn as the Apache Series, each featuring two speakers, built-in effects and rhythm patterns, and the ability to jam along to favorite tunes via direct input from an external MP3 or CD player.  Read More

ASUS has announced a new Plus Edition version of its Xonar Essence One external digital-an...

ASUS has announced a new Plus Edition version of its Xonar Essence One external digital-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier that offers audio lovers even more control over the sound they hear. The only real change to the setup is the addition of an op-amp swap kit that gives users another five unique tonal customization options.  Read More

Brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt marry classic electronics with vintage luggage to produ...

I would hazard a guess that most readers haven't given very much thought to what happens to trusted and faithful luggage when it's retired from frequent use. If they're not exiled to the basement for storage of odds and ends, old suitcases could very well end up just being dumped in the trash. If they're lucky though, brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt might get hold of them for conversion into stylish and powerful Case of Bass boomboxes.  Read More

The Unlimited electric guitar has a built-in amplifier which can be fed digital effects fr...

Travel-friendly guitars like the Backpacker from Martin are all fine and dandy if you're into acoustic playing but those of us who prefer electric portability will likely need to seek out something like Traveler's Speedster or Bob Wiley's Ministar. The problem with the latter choice is also having to lug around an amp and cables in order to be heard. Stanford graduates Andrew Penrose and Ari Atkins have developed a go-anywhere electric guitar called the Unlimited that features a built-in, battery-powered amplifier and smartphone-controlled digital effects.  Read More

digiZoid has released version two of its Zo personal subwoofer, and Gizmag's Paul Ridden h...

Almost two years ago I reported being very impressed by the sound sculpturing capabilities of the Zo Personal Subwoofer. digiZoid has now released version 2, and brought some significant upgrades to the pocket-friendly headphone amp. With so many quality dedicated digital music players (the Cowon C2 or the Colorfly C4, for instance) and high end smartphones already offering pretty decent audio reproduction, is it worth laying out extra cash for sonic enhancement technology that sits between device and earphones? I've been giving a review unit a good testing over the last week or so in an attempt to answer that very question.  Read More

Contents of the box: the OPC, wired keyboard and mouse, power cables, Quick start guide an...

The first OPC from Orange Amps was made available in August 2010 and we've been closely following its development ever since. The bundled musician-related software has remained pretty much the same since launch but the musician's computer was given a serious hardware upgrade towards the close of 2011, and it's the new Core i7 system which I've been getting to know over the past few weeks. I've also managed to discuss some of the finer details with the driving force behind the OPC, and its lead developer, Charlie Cooper.  Read More

Fender has revealed two new small tube amps that are said to have an air of the early days...

Whether it's an old-fashioned typewriter input for tablet computers, digital cameras made to look like 35mm film classics, or custom e-bikes with a touch of vintage styling - retro-now is most definitely in. If you want a guitar amplifier to fit right in with all your nostalgia-oozing new tech, Fender's Pawn Shop Special models are here to help. The diminutive Greta is styled liked an old tabletop radio, and the more powerful Excelsior is described as one of the distinctive tube combo amps in the company's history.  Read More

McIntosh Laboratory has launched a very limited 50th Anniversary edition of its iconic MC2...

While it's true that we've seen some gorgeous examples of modern amplification at Gizmag over the years, there's still something very pleasing to the eye about those that proudly display their tube circuit credentials, like the JoyVirtue TM-6 Tube-Amp AV Center. It's not just about looks, though. In spite of many, many advances in audio reproduction technology, enthusiasts still demand the warmth that vacuum tubes seem to give to an audio signal. One of the first tube amps I ever heard was an MC275 from McIntosh Laboratory way back in the mists of a misspent youth. The company is now celebrating the Golden Anniversary of its iconic amp with a very limited edition release.  Read More

Griffin Technology has previewed its new Twenty Audio Amplifier for Airport Express at CES...

Griffin Technology has given visitors to CES 2012 a quick preview of a new audio amplifier that uses Apple's Airport Express to offer untethered digital playback from iTunes through existing non-powered speakers. The low profile amp captures streaming audio from any AirPlay-enabled source, decodes it and then sends the lossless, amplified sound through the speakers.  Read More

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