Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx II XL+
It’s almost easier to list the players who don’t use a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx than to name those who do. This two-rackspace unit has become utterly ubiquitous in studios and onstage. Periphery base their sound around it while guitarists like Steve Vai and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci like to use it for its effects alone, integrating it within a physical amp rig. Whatever way you wish to use it, the Axe-Fx is able to accommodate it. And that’s where the new Axe-Fx II XL+ comes in – as players find more and more unique ways to use the Axe-Fx, so too has the system evolved.
Jet City Custom 22 Head & 24SVe 2x12 Cab
Say what you will about their foreign policy, health care system, celebrity obsession and love affair with machines that kill; if there’s one thing the Americans know how to do well it’s rock ‘n’ roll. Somewhere between Robert Johnson unintentionally changing the face of music forever and half of Metallica playing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ in an ice hockey rink there lies an indelible and seemingly innate ability in the vast majority of patriots to not only understand how to make a rock-box sing, but also how to make other people enjoy it as much as the maker. When it comes to American instruments there is a self-propagated heritage and prestige that few nations, other than the British of course, can hold a candle to. Jet City and their ever-growing catalogue of brawny builds are relative newcomers in the pantheon of Yankee engineering, but in that seven or so years they’ve kicked up enough dust to turn some lofty heads. Fireworks go off, tri-coloured streamers sail to the ground and into the ring comes The Custom 22.
Eden Amplification E-Uke Amplifier Combo
Eden Amplification will be most familiar to bassists. The high-end bass amp manufacturer is responsible for the well-regarded boutique World Tour Amplifier and D-Series Cabinets – the choice of many session musicians and bass purists. It’s the attention to detail and a strong history in quality craftsmanship that defines their distinguished product range, which is also what led to the company becoming a member of the Marshall Amplification family. That’s why it is no surprise to see Eden produce the E-UKE – a 20W amplifier specifically designed for the ukulele – with the company always in the market to assist the serious player in search for that tonal sweet spot.
DV Mark DVC Guitar Friend 12
Back in my day (if you didn’t just read that and didn’t roll your eyes then you have no idea what you’re in for) practice amps used to be a very specific animal. Most of them were 10 watts of scooped, squelchy, plywood abomination that you put up with just long enough to convince yourself it was time to upgrade to a more serious rig. Seems to me that kids these days have come to expect a little bit more from their first noisemaker. That’s where DV Mark’s charmingly named DVC Guitar Friend 12 comes in.
Sherlock Amps Rock Bender 15 DR
When a lot of us hear the name ‘Dale Sherlock’ we think of his brilliant Fat Head amplifer, a highly regarded interactive amplifer designed with pro players in mind - and featuring MIDI control and all sorts of ‘inbuilt mods.’ But Sherlock also has a knack for much more simple amplifers like the Angry Ant or the Buddy. The Rock Bender is offered as a 6V6-loaded alternative to the Buddy.
Vox AV Series Guitar Amplifiers
Being the self-congratulatory tone-tourist that I am, I must admit I approached the Vox AV range with a certain amount of trepidation. I’ve been burned before and so anytime I see the words ‘modeling amp’ in a description I become dubious, and I’d struggle to believe I was the only one to think this way. Having spent some time in front of the newest addition to the Vox oeuvre however, I must admit I am pleasantly surprised.
JET CITY AMPLIFICATION JCA 22H GUITAR AMPLIFIER
Amplifiers by Soldano Custom Amplification come with a hefty price tag, so designer Mike Soldano teamed up with Jet City Amplification to offer a series of amps that carry through the essence of his designs at a much lower price point than the sometimes shocking price tags found on amps like the legendary SLO-100. The JCA22H is basically the company’s renowned JCA20H amp but with a second, footswitch accessible overdrive channel along with a tube-buffered serial effects loop.
DV Mark Silver Gen 15W Tube Amplifier
The first thing I noticed about the Silver Gen 15 from Mark World’s DV range is just how light it is. On paper, you read things like ‘class A’ and all the usual amp maker buzz words and expect a little bit of grunt work getting it out of the car, but this is not the case here. The manual proudly boasts portability.