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Amplifiers


— Electronics

Pint-sized DacMagic XS USB DAC headphone amp packs a powerful punch

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
— Music

Demeter creates the Mighty Minnie pedal board 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
— Electronics

Tiny digital chip delivers up to 20 W audio output

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
— Music

Peavey ships Vypyr VIP amps with 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
— Music Review

Review: THR10C high-end boutique home/studio amp from Yamaha

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
— Music

Flex SmartAmp takes a best-of-both-worlds approach to guitar amplification

Ever since its inception, the digital or "modeling" guitar amplifier has caused a great deal of debate amongst players. On one hand, a digital amp gives you versatility, with a multitude of emulated amp "models" and tones that can be dialed up within seconds. A regular vacuum tube amp is far less versatile, but purists will argue that the warm tube-sound it produces can never be replicated by digital modeling. In an effort to bridge the divide between the two, MI Audio has created the Flex SmartAmp, a tube-driven, analog guitar amplifier that can be digitally controlled using an iDevice. Read More
— Home Entertainment

BassNation Audio unleashes BlackBox Speaker System

Like the just-released Hanwell from Marshall, the BlackBox speaker system from BassNation Audio has the look of a guitar amp but delivers its quality audio amplification payload for a fraction of the price. Any device sporting either a 3.5-mm jack or RCA phono outputs can be used as an audio source (TVs, games consoles, smartphones and music players, for example), and multiple units can be stacked on top of each other for increased volume ... and some extra points in the cool department. Read More
— Music

NYNE’s NH-6500 iPhone and iPad dock doubles as a guitar amp

Home audio developer, NYNE, has revealed an all-in-one docking tower for iPods and iPads that promises to play music from a wide variety of sources and includes a convenient new feature for musicians. Aside from connecting to other devices using the typical Bluetooth, USB, and 3.5-mm connections, the NH-6500 speaker also converts into a functional guitar amp with the addition of a guitar control. Read More
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