Top 5 new Amps from NAMM

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If you believe there will never be too much Amps on earth, you’ll be happy to learn the 2018 Winter NAMM is not short of news — including new amps.

To not miss anything, here’s the Top 5 new Amps from NAMM:

 

1) PRS – Mark Tremonti MT-15

If you read my Winter NAMM and 2018 Predictions article, this new PRS amp is not really a surprise for you. Due to some pictures on Instagram and some interviews, we already knew that Mark Tremonti was working with PRS to build some kind of 15 watts mini-Archon amp. However, we didn’t knew much about its specs.

It’s finally now official — for Winter NAMM 2018, PRS introduces the new Mark Tremonti MT-15 amp. The MT 15 is a two channel amp with balanced aggression and articulation. Powered by 6L6 tubes, the MT 15 has a large, bold sound, so you can dig in heavy with rhythms but also get singing lead tones out of one amp.

Additional features include an effects loop and bias adjusters that are accessible from the back panel for ease of servicing. Also, don’t get fooled by its wattage number — despite its 15 watts, the MT 15 sounds more like 50, so a half power switch that takes the MT to 7 watts is a welcome edition.

 

2) Two-Rock – Bloomfield Drive 

I’m not gonna lie — I’m completed biased for this news. As a Two-Rock owner and happy user myself, I have a particular affection for this brand. However, I’m not the only one and Two-Rock is very often considered as the crème de la crème. Having a product line full of amps, used by some of the best guitarist in the world, probably helps to maintain this status.

Therefore, any new amp from Two-Rock is not something anyone wants to miss. This year — for the Winter NAMM 2018 — Two-Rock is officially introducing the new Bloomfield Drive amp. The Bloomfield Drive is a revisited 2 channel platform that comes stock with a new proprietary output transformers that allow for 4 x 6L6 power tubes to be switchable from 100 to 50 watts (Head version) — and 4 x 6V6’s to be switchable from 40 to 20 watts (Combo version) — without any impedance mismatch or sacrifice of tone and feel.

Two-Rock amps have good reputation for the responsiveness, depth and bandwidth of their clean channel. This Bloomfield Drive is no exception and sounds instantly familiar. The articulation and touch dynamic of the lead channel is not too shabby neither — as a cascade extension of the clean channel, the new lead channel gives the player rich harmonics, added gain and a beautiful sustain; add the foot-switchable tone stack bypass to either channel to push the amp to another dimension of overdrive tones.

The Bloomfield Drive features a new sophisticated all tube spring reverb circuit specifically designed to not interfere with the overdrive channel and still retain clear note definition, a sweeter top end and maintain touch sensitivity when you push the gain.

 

3) Orange – Rocker 15 Terror

Line 6

When we look at the current amp market, there’s absolutely no doubt the tube amps got a second breath life because of the new trend of small size, low wattage “lunchbox” amps. This new trend of amp type became success in the mid-2000s because one amp: the Orange Tiny Terror!

Since then, the Tiny Terror has been followed by many similar amps — from almost every amp manufacturers on the planet. But it’s always a great pleasure when the new amp is from Orange itself. This year for Winter NAMM, 12 years after the Tiny Terror announcement, Orange is introducing the new Rocker 15 Terror. Capable of 15, 7, 1 or 0.5 Watts of output the Rocker 15 Terror is the head only version of the enormously popular Rocker 15 Combo.

Even when with a scaled down power, the Rocker 15 Terror takes full advantage of its EL84 output section to deliver a remarkably fat and full tone — with a warm tube compression and saturation — without disturbing your family or neighbours. It also features a proper tube driven effects loop for total purity from input to output.

 

4) EVH – 5150 III 6L6 50W (version 2.0)

If there’s really one guitarist that doesn’t need any introduction in the guitar world — or even in the world at all — it’s for sure Eddie Van Halen. He’s regarded by many as one of the greatest guitarist of all time for both his skills and his sound — the famous “brown sound”. So even if we will probably never reach his skill level — and never has his hands — we can still keep hope to get his sound by getting his famous 5150 amp.

Thanks to Eddie for starting his own company — simply named EVH — and product line to now make his 5150 amps available to everyone. The Winter NAMM is then the opportunity for EVH to introduce a new “2.0” update of the 6L6 50 Watts version of the 5150 III. This new update delivers a full-spectrum of tone — channel one powers crystal-clear clean tone, channel two ranges from chunky overdrive to tight distortion, and channel three screams with liquid gain.

Channels one and two each have dual concentric gain/volume controls, with shared EQ (low, mid, high). Channel three has its own gain, volume and EQ (low, mid, high) controls. All three channels also have global presence and global resonance controls.

This amp head also includes selectable impedance (4, 8 or 16 ohms), dual parallel speaker output jacks, effects loop, headphone jack, line out and a four-button footswitch with 1/4” input jack and MIDI input.

 

5) Marshall – Origin 50H

If you just randomly ask anyone in the street to name a guitar amp manufacturer, you’ll have a very high chance to hear the name of Marshall — in case you wouldn’t get an answer you would at least get the “black & gold amps” answer.

For more than 50 years now, Marshall makes history by building iconic amp models — from the JTM to the Bluesbreaker, Plexi, JCM-800 & 900, DSL and of course the JVM. For Winter NAMM 2018, Marshall is now introducing a brand new model — the Origin 50H.

That’s another new product I was expecting as I wrote in my Winter NAMM & 2018 Predictions — and Marshall didn’t let us down on this one. The Origin50H is a single-channel all-tubes amp that captures the original feel & tones — from the original Marshall amps from the ’50s and ’60s — to deliver classic and rich sounds with contemporary features.

It uses 3x ECC83 preamp tubes and 2x EL34 power tubes to generate those classic British tones. It features a 3 positions power scaling switch (1, 10 and 50 Watts), allowing you to increase or decrease the headroom — to define when the amp will start to break up and distort. It also allows you to suit your playing to all environments (including at bedroom level).

The Origin 50H features a two voices preamp (Normal and High Treble), with a Tilt control to blend them and offer you a large variety of tones. The gain boost feature allows you to develop your sound by adding an extra level of gain to deliver crunch to your tone. It also makes a great platform for your pedals, both in front of the amp and in the effects loop.

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About the Author: French by birth but Texan by heart, I had different careers in multiple areas that don’t really make sense when they’re all laid down on my resume. Amongst them I’m a former military officer (mainly confidential stuff I can’t talk about) — I’m a former network architect (the stuff with switches, routers, optical fibers, satellites and wireless things that allow people to be connected) — I’m a former R&D engineer and product designer (mainly for electronics instruments in the Music Industry) — I’m also a former sound engineer that worked in professional recording studios (but nobody cares about that anymore) — and I even thought once in my life I was someone almost important doing things almost awesome... Now I’m just a professional amateur spreading my 2 cents online about anything and everything to anyone with too much time in their hands — and if you’re reading this bio, you might be one of them that just wasted 2mn of your life you will never get back. Sorry...