Snap-on guitar amp gets bigger, more featured and more powerful
Back in 2016, electrical engineer Chris Prendergast launched a Kickstarter project for the JamStack portable guitar amplifier that snapped onto a strap peg and blasted out tones generated by a smartphone. Now the bigger and better second generation has launched.
The Jamstack 2 is promised to be a good deal louder than the first generation, thanks to two custom-designed 2.5-inch speakers driven by a 30-watt Class D pre-amp. Frequency range is reported to be 40 Hz to 20 kHz, sensitivity is 101 dB and impedance is 4 ohms.
Where the original needed a smartphone to deliver digital effects and more, the Jamstack 2 comes with built-in Arm-based effects and a tuner (via LEDs surrounding the control knobs). Players can still wirelessly connect with a smartphone running the system's companion app or third party music production apps though, for looping, recording and so on. There's a mount available that will keep your phone within easy reach while playing, so you can tweak tones as you rock out.
The cooked-in SKAA wireless technology serves as both receiver and transmitter, meaning you can wirelessly connect up to three units together for spaced-out stereo, use wireless headphones, feed in another instrument (such as a bass) for accompaniment, and more. It does come with a physical headphone output too, which doubles as a microphone input for vocals or other instruments.
When not being used to amplify chops and riffs, the unit can serve as a Bluetooth speaker. Its battery is reported good for six hours per charge, and the unit can serve as a portable smartphone charger too.
If you've already got a heavy instrument, like a vintage Les Paul, then adding this 13.78 x 7.08 x 7.48-in (35 x 17.9 x 18.9-cm), 1.76-lb (800-g) box of tricks to the body end could make matters worse, and probably means that seated noodling is best. That said, you can still attach a guitar strap and play while standing.
A bunch of accessories, including a roll cage and wall mount, are also being offered, though issues with Indiegogo's platform are likely to make these post-campaign options.
The Jamstack 2 campaign has already met its Indiegogo funding target, with a month left to run. Pledges start at CAD 287 (about US$220), and if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in April, 2021. The video below has more.