Winter NAMM 2016 – What’s Hot?

Well, it’s been a busy past year with work and family life – barely leaving time to blog.  But fear not, Rowbi couldn’t resist blogging after seeing all the news this evening about numerous guitar related gear being released at Winter NAMM!

Line 6 look to have come up trumps with the Firehawk 1500 – I recall when I first found out about this beast when it was only an idea, I was staggered that they’d fit in a 1500 watt power amp into a large combo – however when you think that the Line 6 StageSource PA speakers are 1400 watts then it seems sensible for a guitar amp come FRFR PA system.  Essentially for me, this is the Vetta III, and compared to other similar offerings it just has no competition for the great value ~£750 price tag.  Check out the cost of Boss’ new Waza Craft amp head and cabinet (it’s ~£3000, yes look again, that’s no typo) – silly money for the Boss.

Click here for more info on the Firehawk 1500.

Firehawk_1500The Amplifi range has a new baby in the Amplifi30 – Fab products all round (I have the TT and 75 courtesy of Line 6 beta testing) and the 30 watter will deliver a great solution to those needing a guitar amp/Bluetooth streaming speaker – but in a smaller and better value product.

Click here for more info on the Amplifi30.
Amplifis

Next we come onto Marshall. They’re taking a very different approach with their new CODE modelling amps – only modelling their own valve amps. Of course they own prime examples of their own amps which I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand in the Marshall museum – so who better to model Marshall amps than Marshall themselves. It’s sort of a competitor to the Amplifi range above, as there’s Bluetooth editing and streaming included – however with the range of amps only being Marshall some might say it’s a bit limited… Not me though, Everyone loves Marshall amps, and you’ve got every style of amp covered here – what’s not to like! Some of the demo videos so far released show they’ve recorded the demo on the CODE25 and CODE50 combos, thus showing that the best tones are available across the whole range – not just from the flagship 100 watt head!

Click here for more info on the Marshall CODE amplifier product line.marshall-code

There’s not much to say about the FBV3 – the previous version (the Shortboard MKII) has been around a while.  It’s great to see the long list of previous products that the FBV3 works with (Going back to the Spider II, POD2, Vetta, HD147) as well as of course supporting the latest products too.  It’s essentially a Firehawk style pedal with multi colour footswitch indicators – nice1.

Click here for more info on the FBV3.FBV3

OH MY GOD!!!!!! A 20 watt Silver Jubilee head (and combo)!!!! I’m sure many guitarists prayers are answered right here.  Combo includes a Celestion G12M Greenback, and both have a 5 watt low power mode.

I’ve nothing else to say except: AWESOME!

Click here for more info on the Mini Jubilee.

marshall-mini-jubilee

I’ve owned  and gigged with Line 6 Relay G50 and G90 units in the past and they were absolutely solid and faultless.  Pro guitarists also seem to really rate the G90 units, so I’m pleased my thoughts on them are shared by those who are more qualified than I am to make judgement.  The introduction of the G10 is a stab at simplifying what was already a simple set of wireless systems – however with any settings came a tiny bit of complexity that the average guitarists just wouldn’t want or need.  Sure a pro player needs to be able to select up to 12 different wireless frequencies, but most do not.  The G10 is so simple that I’m sure it will be a big seller!

Click here for more info on the Relay G10.

Relay_G10

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Rowbi Investigates – Are Marshall Releasing a 2203BLS After all?

BLS You will likely have seen my previous posts that detailed rumours (and some confirmation from Zakk himself, see this article: https://rowbinet.co.uk/2012/01/04/marshall-golden-jubilee-the-holy-grail/ ) that Marshall were planning to release a new Zakk signature just, we assume looking like those in the picture above.  Zakk called them the Steel Curtain Of Doom – I and others referred to them as the 2203BLS.

Since my old pal Zakky announced last month that he is starting Wylde Audio, and other reports have confirmed that some of his main endorsements have ended, detective Rowbi has been hot on the trail of who will actually be building these new amps for Zakk – as surely he’s not reinventing the wheel?!?!¿¡¿¡

First, check out the 5:04 mark in the following video – hmmm, that mini stack clearly resembles that of a Marshall MG15CFXMS!
What really caught my eye was the flashing tap tempo light:
MG15CFXMS-2-2
Next, check out that same video at 5:09, and you’ve guessed it – another Marshall look-a-like!  This time it’s the Wylde Audio Master Practice 15, which is a real dead ringer for love a Marshall DSL15C:
marshall-dsl15c-15-watt-combo-amp-review3-2
So, this got me thinking, is the Master 100 just a 2203 as Zakk has famously used over the years? The front panels seem to match up, and he’s also showed it off in a steel curtain cosmetic version that matches his current Marshalls:
 wylde-audio-master-100-half-stack-steel-curtain
So, with the above points in mind, are Marshall making these Wyde Audio amps? Or has Zakk borrowed or ripped off the designs?
Only time will tell for sure – but I know what my money is on!

NAMM 2015 – Line 6 Firehawk FX

 

Line 6 Firehawk FX

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No, it’s the latest amp sim and multi FX to come from those boffins over at Line 6!

A mash up between an Amplifi FX100 and POD HD, gives you a streamlined interface, some great Amplifi (X3) and HD amp tones, and a very rich selection of FX (200 in total, with 50 from the POD HD).  It doesn’t have quite all of the features of POD HD500X, no dual signal path, no MIDI, etc – But for some this will be an ideal piggy in the middle!

You can jam along to Bluetooth audio sources, and edit presets using an iPad, iPhone and Android.  You can also use the tone match feature in the remote app, to auto select you a guitar tone to jam along to what you’re listening to.  This helps you to focus on playing more!

There’s a USB interface for recording and playing back audio if that’s what you like.

There are many preset locations, as well as the ability to use additional footswitches to turn on and off FX within a preset – and I like the dim/bright footswitch LEDs that glow dimly when an FX block is off, and brightly when it’s on (just like a Line 6 M13).

If you’re a Variax user (original Vax, JTV, or new Variax Standard) you can use the build in Variax VDI input too – or alternatively there’s the standard guitar input.  If you do have a compatible Variax, the Firehawk can also switch your Variax guitar models and the tunings too, all as part of a preset change (i.e. pressing a footswitch) – NICE!

Check out http://www.line6.com for more info.

NAMM 2015 – Marshall Reissue Silver Jubilee 2555X

Marshall_2555X_Stack_2015

Remember this momentous occasion!  The reissue of the Marshall 2555 Silver Jubilee in January 2015 at the Winter NAMM show.

The reissue head will be called the 2555X, and the cabs (containing 4 x V30 speakers) are the 2551AV (angled) and 2551BV (straight).   Never let it be said that Marshall didn’t release a significant Jubilee model around their 50th anniversary (ok, so it’s their 53rd this year in 2015 🙂 )

2555X-Front

Full specs and the official press release below:

Marshall Launches a Modern Re-Issue of the Legendary Silver Jubilee 2555 Stack

1987 was a very special year for both Marshall Amplification and its founder, Jim Marshall, as it marked 50 years in the Music Industry for Jim, and the 25th Anniversary of his iconic British guitar amplification brand. To celebrate these two momentous occasions, Marshall released the Silver Jubilee Series of amps, clad in silver vinyl. Of this critically acclaimed series, the 100 Watt 2555 stack quickly became one of Marshall’s most popular and significant products. It was adopted by countless artists, including the one-and-only Slash.

Due to incredible public demand, Marshall is offering a UK made, modern re-issue of the highly sought after 2555 stack that exactly duplicates its features and legendary tone. The models are the 2555X head plus the angled-front 2551AV and straight-front 2551BV 4×12” cabinets (sold separately).

2555X-Rear

Here are the features:

2555X 100/50 Watt valve Head Features
• 3 x ECC83 (12AX7) preamp valves and 4 x EL34 power valve
• Silver vinyl and silver front panel
• High/Low Output selection switch – this switches the power stage between Pentode operation (100 Watts) and Triode (50 Watts)
• 2 footswitchable channels – Rhythm and Lead.
• Presence, Bass, Middle and Treble EQ controls
• Output Master/Pull channel Control. This footswitchable push/pull control switches between Rhythm and Lead settings.
• Lead Master Control which sets the Lead mode volume.
• Input Gain/Pull Rhythm Clip Control. When pulled out if adds extra crunch to the Rhythm Mode of the 2555X.
• Series Effects Loop
• DI Output for PA or recording
• Footswitch included
• Made in Britain with Pride

Check out my buddy Chris George doing what he does best in the video below:

2551AV and 2551BV Cabinet Features
• Angled (2551AV) and Straight (2551BV) fronted 4×12” versions available
• 4 x Celestion ‘Vintage 30’ speakers (70 Watts a piece)
• 280 Watts
• Silver vinyl
• Mono/Stereo Switching – 16 or 4 Ohms Mono; 8 Ohms per-side, Stereo
• Castor wheels included
• Made in Britain with Pride
For more information on Marshall Amplification visit: www.marshallamps.com

NAMM 2015 – Marshall 50th Anniversary Of The Stack – Ltd Edition 4×12 Cabs

50th_Full_Left_SM

Cool!  it’s the 50th anniversary of the Marshall 4×12 cab, so Marshall have quite rightly decided to release a 50th anniversary 4×12 cab.

Full specs and press release below:

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the iconic Marshall stack, and to celebrate this we are delighted to announce the launch of two very special 4 x 12” speaker cabinets: the 812A50 angled cabinet and the 812B50 straight cabinet, which will be launched at NAMM 2015. The 50th Anniversary cabs are limited edition and will be available only until the end of the 2015.

These British built commemorative 4x 12”s will feature original cosmetics: authentically reproduced fret cloth, leather strap carrying handles, and era correct Celestion G12M speakers with solder tags. Both angled and straight cabs will bear a special plaque identifying them as limited edition 50th anniversary. And because not every guitarist will want or need a full stack, each cab will be available to buy separately.

For more information on Marshall Amplification visit: www.marshallamps.com.

Marshall’s Golden Rule

Gold Covered Marshall

Marshall Amplification posted this on their Facebook recently – with no real clues about what it is – and a hint that it will be released soon.

I’m guessing that it wont be anything to do with their golden jubilee 2 years ago, and to me it looks like a smaller headbox than a full width 750mm wide 100watt flagship amp…. But what do I know anyway!

Line 6 AMPLIFi Detailed Review

 

Amplifi1

As a father to a cheeky but adorable 2 year old girl, I often find myself with a little time to spare late in the evening to pretend that I’m the next Joe Satriani or Angus Young.  With the aforementioned dozer being fast asleep at such hours of the evening, it would be ideal if I had a whiz bang tool that allowed me to very quickly plug in and jam along to some Satch or AC/DC in my living room, or with the possibility to use headphones if I wanted to play loud without anyone else hearing it. The same features would also make such a product ideal for any bedroom rock star or a student who cant make too much noise in their dorm room.
I suppose it would also make sense that such a tool has super flexible features like streaming music from any Bluetooth device (phones/tablets/PCs/MACs) and is loud enough to rehearse and gig.
What about making it look especially cool and edgy with a funky updated vintage vibe going on so that it looks as good in a living room as well as on stage. Then lastly give it a price point that is affordable for even the smallest budget.

Well prepare yourself….. As those clever boffins at Line 6 have only gone and delivered an innovative and feature rich amp that fits all those requirements and more to boot! Its called the AMPLIFi, and is apparently such a new take on the humble guitar amp, Line 6’s marketing material suggested that the AMPLIFi is ‘The guitar amp, reinvented’. That is perhaps an overstretch, and I would have gone for ‘The guitar amp, evolved’.
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NAMM 2013: Line 6 Expands Functionality of DT-series Amps and POD® HD-series Multi-effects with Free Firmware Updates

DT25

Line 6 DT50

PodHD-PRo

DT-series amps and POD HD-series multi-effects now offer guitarists more tones, features and flexibility than ever before

ANAHEIM, Calif.—January 24, 2012—Line 6, Inc. (NAMM room 212A), is pleased to announce the availability of two firmware updates that dramatically increase the functionality of DT-series amps and POD® HD-series multi-effect processors. These free updates feature new HD tones, more configuration options and unprecedented flexibility.

V2.0 Firmware for DT-series amps

Co-designed by Line 6 and tube-amp guru Reinhold Bogner, DT-series amplifiers combine reconfigurable analog topologies with Line 6 technology to provide boutique feel and sonic versatility. Firmware v2.0 introduces the following features:

  • 30 HD preamps (increased from 4) give guitarists the ability to create unique amp tones by pairing any preamp with any combination of dynamic topologies—including negative feedback loop, operating class, power tube mode, and more—within Reinhold Bogner’s reconfigurable tube power amp
  • Musicians can load a DT amp with up to eight unique voicings (four on channel A, plus four on channel B), providing a wide array of tones for performance and recording
  • Each voicing can be configured with a choice of 12 reverbs, all of which feature unique parameter settings
  • Reverb spillover allows the reverb to finish its decay when switching between Channel A and Channel B
  • Each amp model can have its own unique 12AX7 boost setting*

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NAMM 2013: Line 6 Expands StageSource Family: L2t & L2m Loudspeakers

L2t

file_r148321file_r14832

Line 6 Expands the StageSource Family with New L2m and L2t Loudspeakers for Musicians on the Go 

Exceptional sound, unparalleled DSP power, modular architecture and easy digital networking make the new loudspeakers as powerful as they are portable

ANAHEIM, Calif.—January 24, 2012—Line 6, Inc. (NAMM room 212A) today announced the new StageSource™ L2m and L2t loudspeakers, expanding the StageSource family with models designed for even greater flexibility and portability. With unmatched sound, unparalleled DSP power, modular architecture and proprietary L6 LINK™ digital networking, the new StageSource L2m and StageSource L2t loudspeakers deliver more than any other loudspeaker for musicians.

“StageSource L2-series loudspeakers are designed to deliver great sound from solo performances in coffee shops to full-on rock shows,” said Max Gutnik, Vice President of Product Management, Line 6. “We took the same unsurpassed sound quality, powerful DSP, feedback suppression and digital networking technology as our award-winning StageSource L3 series, and placed it within an even more portable form factor. As a result, StageSource L2 provides more than any other powered loudspeaker in its class—and delivers unparalleled power, ease and flexibility when combined with StageScape M20d as part of the Line 6 live sound ecosystem.”

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NAMM 2013: Marshall Slash SL-5C First Photos + Specs

SL-5

SL-5 2Marshal SL-5C 2Marshal SL-5C 1

Marshall Amplification is pleased to announce the launch of the new SL-5C Slash Signature Amplifier.

The SL-5C is an all valve 5 watt amplifier incorporating various features, but above all else that distinctive Slash tone.

Working closely with Slash after the success of the AFD100, it was deemed appropriate to make a more accessible amplifier that is ideal for home or studio use. The SL-5C has two channels; Clean and Overdrive. A single volume control for the clean takes you from authentic Slash clean to Marshall crunch. The Overdrive channel, consisting of volume and gain, nails the AFD style tone and more. Both of the channels have obviously been approved by Slash himself. A master EQ section of Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence is included, as well as high quality custom voiced digital reverb. On top of providing 5 Watts of valve power, the SL-5C can also be switched to just 1 Watt at any time giving you perfect Slash tone at bedroom volume. The amp also has high and low sensitivity inputs.

At the heart of the amp are three ECC83 preamp valves and a single EL34 valve for its power stage. Slash’s favourite Celestion ‘Vintage 30’ 12” speaker brings the amplifier to life.

Specs
Power: 5 watts or 1 watt
Type: Combo
Channels: 2 Custom Voiced footswitchable Channels – Clean & Overdrive (footswitch included)
Controls: Green/Red Channel Status LED’s, Full EQ section, Presence Control, Digital Reverb (footswitchable), High/Low Sensitivity Inputs
Power Tubes: 1 x EL34
Preamp Tubes: 3 – ECC83
Speaker: Celestion Vintage 30 Speaker
Power Output: Dual Output – 5 watts or 1 watt
Speaker Outputs: 8 & 16 ohm
Front panel includes Slash signature
Notes: Expected to ship May 1st 2013