Mackie Hotwire VT12 is a lightweight tube amp

Although Greg Mackie's name has become synonymous with analog and digital mixers, among other things, it might surprise some to learn that his first product designs were guitar amplifiers. When Mr. Mackie stepped away from his day-to-day managerial role with the company, he returned to his roots by working on a guitar amplifier, the result of which is the Hotwire VT12.

The iron power section components of traditional vacuum tube amps are heavy and bulky, but contribute to the natural compression that guitar players associate as 'the tube sound'. The Hotwire replaces those heavy components with a MOSFET power section that emulates the sound without the bulk, in fact the whole amp weighs less than 25lbs.

The VT12 has a reconfigurable analog tube circuit path, which allows players to switch between Class A and Class AB-style amp circuits. The preamp profiles 12 different classic tube amps, from '60s era classic tube combos to gritty American monster amps. The multi-way speaker system, consisting of 12" speaker and a 1" compression driver, can also be reconfigured to act as an acoustic and vocal amplifier.

The Hotwire also features 32-bit signal processing and a USB jack for connection to the included software. Players can customise tube amp designs and store up to 96 presets.

Mackie's Hotwire VT12 ships in April 2008 with a list price of $1,999.99 and a U.S. street price of $1,499.99.

The MusicRadar team

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