Shapely hybrid floor amp combines tube-driven sound with digital smarts
Startup Amonito has launched an all-in-one guitar amplification package shaped roughly like an ammonite that offers analog tube-driven sounds and digital effects. And there's a lot to like here, apart from the rather high price of entry.
Making a production bid on Kickstarter shortly, the Amonito features a 300-V power amplifier and speaker setup, together with boutique stomp effects, in a relatively lightweight package. That translates to 5.5 kg (12 lb) for the carbon fiber flavor or 7.7 kg (17 lb) for the aluminum version. Dimensions are reported to be 58 x 47 x 16 cm (22.8 x 18.5 x 6.3 in).
The upper face of the ported cabinet – which tilts toward the player like a stage monitor – rocks a circular speaker grille that's surrounded by tempered glass capacitive touch displays for viewing and adjusting parameters in a new yet familiar way, with a master encoder for taking precise control.
Inside, there's a 200-W RMS tube-driven amplifier powering a neodymium driver for the promise of "clear, rich, and full sound at any volume." Though that should be enough oomph for it to hold its own in a band setup, there are XLR PA outputs included too. And Amonito says that all of the harmonic processing is undertaken by the analog circuit's vacuum tubes and MOSFETs.
You'll find eight footswitches to the wedge end at the front, for kicking in FX presets, with SHARC digital signal processing overseeing effects like delay, reverb and tremolo, as well as the three-band EQ and "smart processing." Players can also dial in either clean boost, compression or overdrive, there are four amp model types to choose from – clean, vintage, dirty and modern – and onboard three-band EQ too, for shaping tone.
A single instrument input jack sits to one side, along with a send/return ports, and a line-out jack. There doesn't appear to be any MIDI or USB though, and no wireless integration either, which could limit its appeal among modern players, particularly given the high ticket price.
The carbon fiber version comes with "hand selected tubes" and is expected to be offered to Kickstarter backers for a boutique-level early bird pledge of €2,999 (about US$3,600), while the aluminum Classic model with "standard tubes" starts at €1,666 ($2k). That's a lot of lolly but the retail prices are expected to be €3,999 and €2,222, respectively, so substantial savings can be had if your wallet is fat to start with. The video below has more.