Reviewed: Marshall Studio Series Amps
Marshall are responsible for some of the most iconic amps in guitar history. JTM, JCM, Jubilee, Plexi -- the list goes on. For most people, Marshall are associated with louder, bigger gigging amps that can really move some air. Yes, there are some great nuances in the aforementioned amps, but typically they match the stereotype . Aiming to put some of their classic tones into smaller formats the Studio Series sees the introduction of 20 watt models that can be used for home, recording and gigs.
Reviewed: Ashdown Woodsman Parlour Acoustic Amplifier
Amplification options for the singer-songwriter, duo or small band lineups have often been few and far between in the lower price bracket. Typically, you are stuck with a dedicated PA and mixer with an expensive acoustic guitar amp (or heaven forbid, an acoustic into an electric guitar amp). As a dedicated acoustic guitar amp with a mic input, Ashwood's Woodsman Parlour looks to give the blues, folk and country crowd a compact combo for jamming, rehearsing and even small gigs.
Reviewed: EVH Gear 5150III 6L6 2x12 Amplifier
The first Peavey 5150 was produced in the 90s for Eddie Van Halen, and subsequent models have pushed the boundaries for controlled, articulate tone.
Reviewed: HeadRush FRFR-112 Cabinet
HeadRush jumped into the market a few years back as a serious competitor in the digital modeling effects market with its popular HeadRush Pedalboard. Utilising technology from Avid’s Eleven Rack, and indeed some of the personnel behind the unit, the pedalboard can be used for both live and studio work giving you tons of sounds, parameters and processing.
Reviewed: Line 6 Powercab 112 and Powercab 112 Plus
Line 6 take their modeling very seriously. The Helix (and original POD) offer amps, cabs and effects tones to use in the studio and on stage to give you a huge sonic palette with a myriad of tweaking options. Further developing this concept, Line 6 has introduced the Powercab range of active guitar cabinets designed as a live sound reinforcement device. Yes, it takes on the FRFR ethos that many modelers utilise, but it also incorporates specific cab sounds for added tonal flexibility.
Reviewed: Line 6 Spider V Practice Amp
Every time I sit down at my crowded little desk to write I am accompanied faithfully by one of my oldest and most prized possessions. When I was around 12 years old I was given my first electric guitar package for a birthday. While the cable, strap, picks, pitch pipe and even the axe itself have all fallen foul of the intervening years, my first ten-watt practice amp remains plugged into the wall at all times. Although practically worthless as amps go, it has always been my go-to for quick access to ideas or a cheeky shred before leaving the house. I’ve even used its terribly low headroom to record a number of times as it lends a ferocious amount of colour to guitar, bass and snare alike. Loosed of many of the trimmings of its more powerful counterparts yet not at all limited in doing so, the Line 6 Spider V 20 seems custom built for exactly this purpose.
Reviewed: Kemper Amplification Profiler
Modeling effects are hardly a new idea. Companies have been trying to replicate the nuances of tonal triumphs for decades, a case in point being the swelling market for clones of prized overdrive pedals. For years the use of professional digital imitators carried a stigma of philistinism around with it, largely due to manufacturers’ inability to overcome the indelible effect that digitisation has on fidelity. It seems like players are realising the potential inherent in some of the more top of the line examples and utilising them in live touring rigs. Cue the rise of Axe-FX as one of the most divisive names in today’s riff game, and the engineers at Kemper have certainly come nipping at its binary heels.
Reviewed: Vox MVX150C1 Combo and MVX150H Head and Cab
Is there a way to be everything to everyone? Is it possible to please every comer no matter what his or her particular predilection may be? Is there even a point trying or is it simply too much to ask? These are the basic questions behind much of the research and development that has poured into the design and manufacture of most, if not all of the musical instrument, effect and amplification products available on the market today.