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Amplifiers

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

The Block tube amplifier is currently a working prototype, but designer Mateusz Glowka tol...

Call me old fashioned if you will, but there's nothing more pleasing than the soft, natural and warm sound produced by a tube amplifier. The Block amplifier by industrial designer Mateusz Glówka is as much a visual treat as a sonic one. The somewhat harsh geometric lines are offset by the gratifying glow of the half dozen tubes on display outside the stainless steel and aluminum housing and, in a novel twist, the main sound board is attached with hinges so that it can be raised for dusting the electronics. The tube amplifier is a working prototype at the moment, but the designer told Gizmag that he expects production models to be available soon.  Read More

The latest boutique amp from the Gabriel Sound Garage is big on tone, but is quite the lit...

The latest hand-made amp to come out of the Gabriel Sound Garage is big on tone, but is quite the little baby. The 7 watt Gabriel Stinger continues the eye-catching bumblebee design of other family members and has been designed to recreate the vintage tones that helped shape rock 'n' roll using a combination of a single channel volume dial, one tone control, a master volume knob and some tube switching technology. Users can choose to dial in a sixties "Brit" sound or opt for home turf with the "Yank" option, or try a combination of both. The new amp will also let you up the volume but turn down the power output thanks to the inclusion of a variable voltage regulator.  Read More

The recent Eric Clapton guitar and amp auction at Bonhams New York raised $2.15 million fo...

Everything that went under the hammer at the recent sale of guitars and amps at Bonhams in aid of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre was sold, bringing in three times the amount expected. For the first time, the legendary musician offered amps and cabinets from his own collection, including a 1966 Fender Super Reverb. The sale also included instruments from Fender, Music Man, Gibson and Martin as well as memorabilia and collectibles, and attracted fans from all over the world, hoping to take home a piece of Clapton history.  Read More

Marten's new M-Amp Mono Power Amplifier uses a new technology called Adaptive Modulation S...

Sweden's Marten is well-regarded for its high-end speakers and takes a fair amount of pride in their audiophile-pleasing performance. So it comes as no surprise to learn that the company has decided that the only way to ensure optimum sound for its products is to create its own amplifier. Introduced at this year's CES, the M-Amp Mono Power Amplifier uses a new technology called Adaptive Modulation Servo (AMS) that's said to provide a wide bandwidth, really low audio distortion and high power output.  Read More

Schiit Audio has developed a headphone amplifier which produces 6W RMS per channel into 32...

Schiit Audio is set to release a new headphone amplifier which pumps out ten times the power of a typical model. The Lyr has been principally developed to drive high power orthodynamic headphones coveted by audiophiles for their excellent soundstage, and which require more juice than a personal media player's amp can provide. The power amp also features an adaptive output technology that dynamically adjusts depending on the headphone load.  Read More

The D-Premier amplifier from Devialet marries the raw power of Class D amplification techn...

When you think of high-end amplifiers, something like the NAD Master Series M2 Direct Digital Amplifier probably springs to mind. While not particularly unattractive, it's clear that function has taken priority over form. Happily, French company Devialet has injected some Parisian style into its slimline D-Premier amplifier, with utterly gorgeous results. It's no slouch in the sound department either, the company claiming that its newly-developed Analogue/Digital Hybrid (ADH) amplification technology is the next best thing to actually being in the studio or concert hall.  Read More

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