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A Magnatone for the home? Meet the Starlite 5-watt combo

Magnatone Starlite
(Image credit: Magnatone)

US amp-maker Magnatone’s boutique builds are generally renowned for two things: magnificent clean tones and extreme volume. While we suspect they won’t compromise on the former, they have finally capitulated on the latter, with the announcement of the new 5-watt Starlite combo.

An all-valve single-channel Class A amplifier, it offers 5-watts of power, via a single 6V6 tube. Over in the preamp, a 12AX7 tube is used to recreate classic Fender-style tones, intending to span the sounds created by the guitar giant’s ’50s Tweed and ‘60s designs. 

Magnatone Starlite

(Image credit: Magnatone)

The slanted rear control panel offers a super simple layout, with only two dials present for tone and volume. However, there is more than meets the eye here. The tone control spans the gap between ‘50s and ‘60s sounds, with a mid-cut that hits just below the 12 o’clock position. 

In addition, there’s a Feedback ‘on/off’ slider switch. This engages a negative feedback loop, which Magnatone says can be used to tame higher gain tones. There’s also a second, lower gain input for those who are seeking clean tones from instruments with more lively pickups.

Magnatone Starlite

(Image credit: Magnatone)

The cabinet is loaded with Magnatone’s custom 8” ceramic magnet speaker, which – like the amp itself – has also been manufactured in the US. There’s also an an 8-ohm remote speaker jack. It is, reportedly, still very loud for it’s footprint...

The Magnatone Starlite retails for around $1,299 / £1,299. Head to the Magnatone site for more information.

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.