DV Mark Micro 50 Amplifier Head
The first thing I thought when taking this unit out of its box is that it looks like a compact bass head. Funny that, the concept that a company could go and steal its own ideas and deliver them in a whole new light. Well, that is exactly what DV Mark has down very successfully with the DV Micro 50, taking their trendsetting compact bass head design and bringing that to a guitar amp. Seriously, this was staring us all in the face for some time, yet the Italians beat off all the imitators to deliver their very own imitation of their very own product for a very different player.
Laney GHR Series Amps
Sporting a hip red and black, look the new GHR line of amps from Laney are the result of their research into what they call ‘Red and Black’ tone elements – ‘Red’ for tube preamp distortion and ‘Black’ for output distortion. The key is then the balance between these two to find the sweet spot for each individual player’s tone.
AMP1 is a new take on the guitar amplifier, crammed into what is seemingly an effects pedal on the surface, but is so much more inside. The AMP 1 is the brainchild of German guitarist and amp designer Thomas Blug who is renowned for his past work with another well-known German guitar amplifier manufacturer in Hughes and Kettner. Now, he has built an amp that delivers the sounds he wants in a portable design that will change the way on which you think about guitar amp heads.
Marshall Code Series Amplifiers
We all know Marshall amplifiers. We have seen the huge stacks on concert stages time and time again and for a very good reason. British amplifier manufacturing owes a lot to Marshall and the legendary models they have produced over the years. As does just about every other company that has brought out modelling amplifiers. Just about everyone has in some way or another, be it indirect or a not so subtle copy, drawn from the sounds of many great Marshall amps from over the years. So why then, in a marketplace where everyone got on the amp modelling bandwagon years ago has Marshall held back and not gone wild? Is it because they had the sounds people wanted to model to begin with, or was it because they simply saw no value in the concept? That’s not for me to speculate, but what I can tell you is that now, after all these years, Marshall have finally gone into the amp modelling deep end, but they have gone about it in a very unique way. This is not just another ‘me too’ product, this is Marshall Code.
Matchless unveiled the SC Mini amp at NAMM in 2015 in prototype form, and after a little bit of tweaking, the design is now locked down and these amps are now making their way out into the big wide world. There are plenty of low-watt valve combos out there so let’s look at what sets this one apart.
VHT Special 6 Combo Amp
Hardwired tube amplifiers are typically only seen in the realm of higher end, boutique manufacturers. However, the VHT Special 6 aims to bring a combination of quality construction and unique features to the masses - capturing the essence of vintage American-style amplifiers and delivering it at an egalitarian price point.
Sherlock BUDDY 15DR
Dale Sherlock is a legendary figure in the Australian amp-building scene, and it was great to see so many folks flipping out over his creations at the Melbourne Guitar Show back in August. His Fat Head amp is very highly regarded and we’ve looked at the Grid 30 and Angry Ant in these pages before. Sherlock’s popular mods and MIDI upgrades are great ways to add extra functionality to an amp, but when it comes down to it everything with Sherlock is about tone and getting it right.
Vox VT20X Amplifier
Vox’s long-running ValveTronix line of amplifiers and processors has been consistently reliable and great-sounding, to the point where I know of several guitarists with really, really nice amps who have instead used ValveTronix stuff for recording. The latest iteration of the ValveTronix concept, the VT20X has a whole new modelling engine designed to sound better than ever.