News and Highlights from the 2014 LA Amp Show

This past weekend, October 4th and 5th was the LA Amp show which brought together some of the best and newest boutique amp builders in the area. Los Angeles has become the epicenter of high-end and boutique amp building in the last few years with companies such as Bogner and Friedman building amps in the city. Also on display were some great new pedals and interesting accessories to further the elusive quest for tone.

Here are some highlights from the show:

Bogner Entering the Pickup Business:

The amp expert and recent pedal manufacturer is jumping into the pickup game with a new vintage PAF style humbucker. Teaming up with Arcane, these pickups will initially only be available from Bogner's website.

PRS Adds to Archon Line

PRS has been fully engaged in the amp business for some time now, with very successful results. PRS has added a 25 watt and 50 watt amp to its Archon line. These amps are fixed bias and ship with 6L6 or EL34 tubes, and were designed to have a great clean channel as well as an amazing high-gain channel. These amps range from $1249 to $1649.

Celestion Making American-Voiced Speakers for the First Time

Celestion is celebrating its 90th anniversary with two new speakers. The anniversary speaker, named the G1235XC, will be made in the UK and will be limited to 3000 pieces only, they even went so far as to break the mold after production. It will retail for $169.99.

They are also producing what they term an "A type" speaker, which is their first foray into an "American" sounding unit. This model will focus on clear voicing with a low-end response that holds together.

BC Audio Offers Real Volume Boost with Modded THD Hot Plate

BC Audio announced an exciting innovation, with a volume boost that utilizes the THD Hot Plate. Their mod, which will performed on the purchaser's Hot Plate, allows changing the attenuation volume via a foot-switch. This is not an overdrive or boost, be a real time increase in volume.

Square Amps: Beautiful Re-purposed Radios

Square Amps has a great recycling program. They take old tube radios form the 1920s and 1930s and turns them into combo amps. Each amp is unique and has a Fender Champ flavored tone, with its own unique vibe. They already have a few models up on Reverb.com, they are even more impressive in person.

Click here to see the Square Amp shop on Reverb.

And here are a few other quick takeaways from the shop:

  • Miller Amps is making great Fender and AC30 flavored amps with added modern functionality. Definitely a maker to watch out for.
  • Friedman Amps' production of the Jerry Cantrell and Phil X models has started and they should be available soon.
  • Neunaber Tech has a new stereo line of their popular effects with added features like preset modes and expression pedal blending, along with real-time parameter editing for all knobs on the pedal. They are also introducing a downloadable pedal concept similar to the Digitech IStomp.
  • Two-Rock Amps are set to release a super-limited run of 10 "Akoya" models, described as the user friendly boutique amp.
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