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Amplifiers

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

Orange Amps has given its computer/amp mash-up - the OPC - a system upgrade, and a drop in...

The combined computer and guitar amp introduced by Orange Amps last year - and which subsequently found itself being used in a successful Guinness World Record attempt by fingerboard speed king Tiago Della Vega - has just had some of its internals upgraded, and been given a bit a price cut, too. The Windows 7 OPC is now available with up to Core i7 processing power and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 port connectivity and hundred of dollars worth of bundled music-related software.  Read More

The Megaphone comes in white, black, and gold and amplifies tunes from your iPhone or iPod...

Have you been looking for a speaker system for your iPhone? How about a giant megaphone instead? Not unlike the Horn Stand Amplifier on steroids, the appropriately named "Megaphone," is a giant horn that will amplify the sound from your iPhone in a way that's bound to turn at least a few heads. Essentially just a giant megaphone, the horn's design amplifies the sound from your phone rather than a speaker system, with the actual volume control being taken care of on your handset rather than on the horn.  Read More

Two Woo Audio WA-234 MONO mono-block headphone/speaker amplifiers

Actually it's two US$5,000 amps because these rather spectacular looking beasts are mono-blocks. They are two completely separate, but matched, mono amplifiers. Now it's no secret that the world of audiophile hi-fi sound systems can be a place of strange voodoo and esoterica - where the Law of Diminishing Returns becomes a way of life for deluded males of a certain age (never women it seems) but let's check our cynicism at the door for the moment. There is something interesting going on here and it may just turn out that at $10,000 for the pair, these amps are a (relative) bargain.  Read More

The Kemper Profiling Amp

Since the late 90s, the holy grail of music technology companies like Line 6 and others has been to digitally re-create guitar amplifiers so that hundreds of iconic tones could be stored in one box and used in the studio or live. Unfortunately, the dynamic behavior and feel of a tube amp is an extremely complex system to understand and while many thousands of guitar amp modellers have been sold due to the sheer convenience, they could not be said to be entirely convincing. In September, a new product called the Kemper Profiling Amp will hit the streets that aims to do away with that complexity and within 30 seconds perfectly re-create any guitar amplifier.  Read More

The Horn Stand Amplifier supposedly increases the iPhone 4's volume by 13 decibels

We’ve already seen the dBCase that redirects sound from the iPhone 4’s down-facing speakers to pump on the volume of the device, but if you’re looking for something a bit more old school – or rather, olde school – to do the same job then the Horn Stand Amplifier might fit the bill. Made from flexible and washable silicone, the Horn Stand Amplifier borrows its form and function from the old-fashioned horn-speakers used on gramophones, slipping over the iPhone’s speakers to channel the sound through the trumpet-shaped tube and supposedly increasing the idevice’s volume by 13 decibels.  Read More

Brisbane's Tym Guitars has housed a 50W combo amp in a foam frame, making the FAMP a light...

As most musicians will tell you, playing in front of a live audience is what makes it all worthwhile. Unless you're successful enough to have a dedicated road crew, though, loading and unloading the equipment can be backbreaking work. All that could change thanks to an experiment in "what if" amp building by Tim Brennan of Brisbane's Tym Guitars. He says that late nights, stupid conversations and an obsession with building things that people might laugh at has resulted in the FAMP – a 50W guitar amp combo encased in a foam housing.  Read More

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