NAMM 2014: best new amplifiers
Blackstar ID: Core
NAMM 2014: As ever, there was plenty of new noise-making gear at NAMM this year, but it was British brand Blackstar that bagged the Best In Show award for its new ID: Core series.
The new entry-level guitar amp line features three models, the ID: Core 10 Stereo, the ID: Core 20 Stereos and the ID: Core 40 Stereo, and each punches way above its diminuitive size.
Check out the full details of the ID: Core range here, and watch the demo video below to get the full low down:
Ibanez TSA5TVR Tube Screamer
There was a big trend for retro-flavoured amps with modern features this year (hello, Fender Vaporizer), and while the the Ibanez TSA5TVR Tube Screamer might not be winning any awards for snappy naming, this is a hell of a lot of amp in a tiny package.
The 5-watter follows in the footsteps of the TVR series by plumbing a Tube Screamer pedal into the amp itself, and wraps the whole thing up in a gorgeous sea-foam green tinged package with cool little legs.
Find out more about the Ibanez TSA5TVR Tube Screamer
Orange Dual Dark Series
Orange got heavy this year, with the release of its heaviest sounding set of amps ever.
The Dual Dark series, in case you didn't guess from the dastardly black livery and, well, the name, is the highest gain amp that Orange has ever released, and it's an absolute stormer. We reckon it's going to be incredibly popular this year, so give one a try as soon as you can.
Find out more about the Dual Dark Series
The relaunch of Magnatone amplifiers has been nothing short of astonishing, with guitarists of all stripes discovering or falling in love once again with that classic "True Dimensional Sound".
We took a tour of the Magnatone stand over in Anaheim and were blown away by the tone and sheer vibe on offer from these resurrected beauties.
Find out more about the relaunch of Magnatone
Marshall Custom Shop Tattoo Series
Ok, so technically these aren't new amps, but just look at them.
Marshall have teamed up with five of the UK's leading tattooists to produce a range of limited edition custom shop amps, and the results are pretty impressive in our opinion.
The artists were let loose on a ton of amps, including a JVM1H all-valve 1-Watt head with a C110 1x10” cabinet; JVM215C all-valve 50-Watt 1x12” combo and JVM410H all-valve 100-Watt head with a 1960A angled 4x12” cabinet.
Find out more about the Marshall Tattoo series
Line 6 AMPLIFi 150
Is Line 6's new-for-2014 launch a game changer?
Well, quite possibly. While the company's claim to have reinvented the guitar amp may be a touch grandiose, it has certainly come up with something cross-genre and quite different - an amp designed for two very different roles... roles, however, that can be combined for extra practicality.
What this means is that you can listen to your favourite tracks and play along with them at the same time with no compromise in the quality of either guitar sound or music reproduction
One unit – two functions, comprehensive range of models, easy editing, good looks. Really, what more could you want?
Check out our exclusive review of the Line 6 AMPLIFI 150 here
Vox Night Train G2
Vox rolled out the latest incarnation of its popular Night Train amps, introducing the G2 range at this year's show.
The latest Night Trains retain the bulk of their predecessors features, but adds digital reverb, more channel options and re-voiced tones.