Amplifiers

  • The THR desktop amps were already pretty good, but they didn't have any wireless capabilities. Yamaha has now put that right with the THR-II range.
  • ​Back in 2011, a digital amplifier was released that could accurately recreate the sounds of any other amp. Four years later, a Remote gave players the ability to switch Profiler models using their feet. And now the two have been merged into one with the introduction of the Kemper Profiler Stage.​
  • 2019 marks 70 years in the high-end audio business for McIntosh Labs, and the firm is rolling out a limited edition commemorative system to celebrate. But you don't have to wait until next year to jump in and grab your anniversary edition tube amplifier and preamp, the order books are open now.
  • When setting up at a gig, PA parameters usually need to be adjusted from one venue to the next. That generally involves making adjustments on a mixing console or turning knobs on the back of the PA itself. With Korg's new Konnect amp, settings can be tweaked using a smartphone app.
  • ​Boss has announced what's billed as the world's first totally wireless guitar amplifier. As well as enabling cable-free connection between guitar and amp, the Katana-Air can run on batteries – giving musicians the ability to wander around while performing, with no risk of tripping over cables.​
  • Vinyl ​has been making something of a comeback in recent years. More records in circulation means more manufacturers making turntables. Taiwan's Minfort Audio has gone for a distinctly retro look for its new TT8 turntable, but has also crammed in a healthy dose of modern technology.​
  • ​New York's high-end audio company McIntosh has announced its first hybrid integrated amplifier, the MA252. The all analog amp's retro looks are a design nod to the company's iconic MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, but only the preamp stage uses tubes – the output stage rocks solid-state circuitry.​
  • For almost 70 years, McIntosh has caused heart flutters among music lovers – both for the excellent quality of its hi-fi separates and for the prices they command. Now a new two-channel integrated amplifier sporting black glass and blue output meters has been announced, the firm's most powerful yet.
  • Martin Young of IMS Electronics has launched a hybrid tube amp on Kickstarter that's undoubtedly something of a looker. But the Desktop Valve Amplifier – housed in an enclosure machined from a single block of aluminum, with a viewing window up top – is promised to deliver top notch sonics, too.
  • ​China's budget music hardware maker Joyo Technology has launched the Jam Buddy ultra portable practice rig that's aimed squarely at players who practice a lot, but don't want to lug around a small combo amp, mess around with smart device interfaces or only listen through headphones.
  • Line 6 has installed a full-range speaker system into its new Spider V 240HC amp head, allowing players to use it as a stand-alone combo amp or connect it to a speaker cabinet to create a stereo half stack.
  • ​Fender's Custom Shop can pretty much always be relied upon to come up with something a little special for the NAMM show. This time is no exception, with the company tapping into some naval history for a couple of amps encased in oak left over from building the USS Constitution.