Reviewed: Fender Acoustic 100 amplifier
Nothing is more intimate than the relationship between a guitar player and their favourite, well-worn acoustic. The two are pressed close at the torso, sewn together by the vibration that one coerces from the strings of the other, the former hunched over the latter like a mother cradling her child. For most of us, this is the image of what it was like to fall in love with the instrument in the first place. Eventually, that romantic entanglement is augmented by the all too human desire to make oneself known, and the idea of performance comes flitting through the window. While there are ways and means of using electric guitar amps for projection purposes, most of which only get you to turd polish territory, the specificity of an acoustic focused amplification system has for a long time been the best option outside of relying on beat up, old house DI boxes.
Reviewed: Vox MV50 amplifier series
VOX’s new MV50 line of amps is designed to give you a unique voicing in a teeny tiny configuration blasting out 50 watts of power. There are three amplifiers in the line: MV50 AC, which is based on the venerable VOX AC 30, MV50 Clean, which is ‘inspired by classic American amplifiers’, which usually means Bassman or Twin unless indicated otherwise, and MV50 Rock, which is based on ‘more aggressive tones reminiscent of high gain British amplifiers’, often code for ‘a JCM800’.
REVIEWED: BOGNER GOLDFINGER 54 PHI HEAD
With many classics in their range including the Ecstacy, Uberschall and Shiva, Bogner have also received plenty of attention over the last few years with their Goldfinger range of amps. Harmonically rich for cleans and dirty tones, they really are gigging tone monsters capable of sounding juicy and big at usable volume levels. Adding a twist to the Goldfinger design Bogner have released the 54 Phi onto the guitar playing public – let’s see if it keeps up the Goldfinger name.
REVIEWED: ACUS SOUND ENGINEERING ONE FOR STRINGS 6T SIMON W ACOUSTIC AMPLIFIER
Acoustic sound in louder settings can often be tricky. Recreating the dynamics and nuances of an instrument designed to be played acoustically at higher volumes isn’t the same as just turning up the master volume on an amp with an electric guitar, or cranking the fader on a mixing desk. Acus are very aware of this and have established their business on the premise of focusing purely on acoustic sound reproduction. Acus state their mission as sound design that ‘amplifies acoustic sound with clarity, purity and natural tone’ – sounds like a mighty fine idea to me. Acus’ One For Strings range of amps are designed exactly for that – to amplify acoustic instruments with the 6T sitting somewhere in the middle of their product range.
REVIEWED: LINE 6 SPIDER V 240HC HEAD AND V412 CABINET
Love them or hate them, Line 6 made the first strides towards breaking digital ground in the effects world. Stompbox modelers like the DL4 opened up worlds of opportunities for guitarists across the spectrum and brought the limitlessness of DAW bound plug-in capabilities out of the box, arguably for the first time. Other companies swiftly followed suit and the modeling amplifier age came to pass. As we all know, this is one of the most spirited arguments at the tonal round table, but there is no denying the leaps and bounds that either side has made in the years since this fledgling idea took flight. Today the race to sound as real as possible is as hotly contested as ever and Line 6 take it to the stage with the Spider V 240HC and its partner in crime, the V412 cabinet.
REVIEWED: JET CITY CUSTOM 5 AMPLIFIER HEAD
America is not a nation famous for downsizing. From the luxury sedans of the 50’s and 60’s to the serving sizes of today it seems that everything is bigger not only in Texas but across the whole country. On the flip side, bucking the trend is in their blood, so it stands to reason that several American manufacturers are leading the charge in the lower wattage amplifier game. Several issues ago I reviewed Peavey’s range of 20watt versions of their most notable builds and was suitably impressed, so I was wringing my hands with glee when the Jet City Custom 5 came waltzing my way.
REVIEWED: BADCAT UNLEASH V2 ATTENUATOR AND REAMP UNIT
As we delve deeper and deeper into the mammoth stockpile of weapons of mass tonal destruction, we uncover new and unusual combinations of need and want that deserve resolution, no matter how small the target market. Things like fuzz pedals with phase circuits built in, permanently cocked wahs, buffers, noise suppressors and any number of other left of center ideas litter the fringes of Tone Town like marauders at the castle walls. Some have proven themselves worthy of board space, others not so much, but occasionally an idea comes to life that is handy in ways that none of us necessarily expected to need. Enter the Unleash V2, a re-amp unit come attenuator come speaker simulation unit so useful it’ll just about play the song for you.
Reviewed: Fender Mustang GT40 & GT100 guitar amplifiers
Redesigned and revamped, the new Mustang range of solid state amps come to the table with tech-savy amplifiers produced for the modern age. As with its predecessors, the Mustang GT series is loaded with a wide selection of amp models, effects and tone presets. The major difference this time round is the addition of Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities.