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Review: Roland Micro Cube GX + Cube-80 GX

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Roland’s popular Cube-series of COSM-combos has recently been updated.

The new Cube GX-amps boast some new features, like the iCube Link (first seen in the Cube Lite), which allows you to use the guitar combo as a soundcard with Apple iOS devices.

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The Roland Micro Cube GX (current price in Finland 134 €) is the newest version of one of the most successful battery-powered practice amps ever.

At first glance the GX-version looks very similar to the Micro Cube’s previous incarnation, with only the large Cube logo on the metal grille hinting at the combo’s updated status.

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The Micro Cube GX’ back panel is a good deal smaller than on the last version.

The new combo sports mini-sized headphone and line-level outputs.

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The GX still runs on six AA-batteries, but the new battery compartment is much easier to use.

A power supply can be found in the…

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Review: Marshall Custom JTM1 Offset

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Marshall Custom Offset – teaser

Last year Marshall celebrated their 50th anniversary by releasing a whole range of limited-edition one-watt combos and half-stacks.

Now we’re in for a cool reprise, as Marshall announced a limited edition of 1,111 of a Custom Offset half-stack in Frankfurt earlier this year. The Custom Offset is based on their JTM1 50th Anniversary amp.

A couple of these rare amps even made it to Finland. Kitarablogi.com managed to get hold of one half-stack for a quick review.

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Marshall Offset – full front

The Marshall Custom JTM1 Offset (price in Finland approx 1,000 €) takes the JTM1 as its starting point, but takes the concept even further down the vintage road to give the Custom Offset the look the company’s first batch of JTM45 models. There’s the famous light grey/beige grille cloth, and the offset control panel, which has given this amp its name.

Marshall Offset – full back

As can be expected at this price…

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Review: DV Mark Multiamp

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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DV Mark Multiamp – beauty shot 1

One of the hottest new products at this year’s Musikmesse was the Multiamp from Italian makers DV Mark.

The DV Mark Multiamp head niftily combines pro-quality amp and cab models with top-drawer effects and a very powerful – yet unbelievably lightweight – 500 Watt Class-D power amplifier.

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DV Mark Multiamp – full angle right

The DV Mark Multiamp (current price in Finland: 1.380 €) is build to withstand serious use, yet is still manages to look elegant. The whole chassis is made from sturdy folded metal, with the front panel finished in a fetching cream white.

You can put the Multiamp on your speaker cabinet (or on your table), or install it in a 19-inch rack. DV Mark have supplied the necessary mounting brackets and screws with the amp.

DV Mark Multiamp – full back

A very quiet, brushless fan keeps the unit cool.

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DV Mark Multiamp – front panel

DV Mark’s Multiamp has been designed with user-friendliness as one of the main…

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Review: Roland Cube Lite

Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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The brand-new Roland Cube Lite (current price in Finland: 155 €) is the latest model in Roland’s successful Cube-range, and the mega-selling Micro Cube’s little sibling.

Contrary to its name the Cube Lite isn’t square-shaped, but rather a stylish stereophonic (2.1) practice amp that looks more like the company’s acoustic combos. Due to its very compact size there wasn’t enough space left for batteries – the Cube Lite runs exclusively on its PSU, which is included in the package.

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The Cube Lite offers you three different COSM-modelled amplifier choices, called JC Clean, Crunch and Extreme. Apart from the Drive- and Volume-controls you’ll also find a two-band EQ-section.

The combo’s effect selection has been simmered down to a chorus and a reverb.

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All of the Roland’s inputs and outputs are found on the combo’s back panel: In addition to the regular guitar input and the mini-jack for the headphones…

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Review: Yamaha THR5A, THR10C and THR10X

Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Yamaha – New THR-amps

Yamaha’s popular series of THR practice amps has recently got three new members:

The brass-metallic coloured THR5A is a 5 Watts combo aimed specifically at electroacoustic guitars, and features digital microphone modelling, amongst other things.

The regular Yamaha THR10 has now gotten two sister models. The black THR10C concentrates on “classic” and “boutique” tones to satisfy the friends of classic Sixties and Seventies Rock and Blues. The army-green THR10X is aimed squarely at the connoisseurs of all things hard and heavy, concentrating on Hard Rock-, Metal- and Thrash-tones.

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The main design concept is uniform across the THR-range:

Yamaha THR10X – side view

All combos have a sturdy metal chassis with plastic sides. The overall design clearly takes a lot of cues from today’s high-end tube Hi-Fi gear.

All THRs come equipped with a digital tuner.

Yamaha THR5A – back view

All of the small amps feature a built-in USB-soundcard, which can be utilised for recording purposes (Steinberg’s Cubase…

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Review: Vox AmPhones

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

Vox Amphones – and guitar

Vox Amplification have given their headphone practice amps a new twist by taking their successful AmPlugs and transplanting them directly into a pair of quality headphones. So now they give us the Vox AmPhones (current street price in Finland approx. 120 € each), made in co-operation with Audio-Technica.

At this moment the AmPhone-range comprises three guitar models – the white and grey AmPhone Twin, the silver/brown AmPhone AC30, as well as the none-more-black AmPhone Lead – plus…

Vox Amphones – Bass

…a red and black AmPhone-model tailored for use with electric bass.

Vox Amphones – battery compartment

In standard headphone use the Vox AmPhones naturally don’t require batteries. The headphone amp, on the other hand, runs on a pair of AAA-batteries, which are inserted into the right side headphone.

Vox Amphones – plugs

All of the Voxes are equipped both with a mini phone jack, as well as the standard size counterpart.

Vox Amphones – switch + effect control

The headphone amp’s electronics and corresponding controls have been…

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Review: Blackstar ID:60TVP

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Blackstar ID60 TVP – opener

At last year’s Frankfurt Musikmesse Blackstar launched their ID-series of programmable guitar amps. Now these amps are finally available in Finland.

The new series is a first in Blackstar’s product range – guitar amps without any valves. These are the company’s first digital modelling amps, and Blackstar being Blackstar, they’ve come up with a couple of exciting new features for the occasion.

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Blackstar ID60 TVP – full front

The Blackstar ID:60TVP (current price in Finland: 499 €) is a mid-size, 60 Watt guitar amp, equipped with a single 12-inch speaker.

Blackstar ID60 TVP – side view

The compact combo’s cabinet is covered in a black, leather-like vinyl, and sports black plastic corner protectors.

Blackstar ID60 TVP – full back

The ID:60TVP’s back is almost completely closed, which no doubt helps with achieving authentic stack tones.

Blackstar ID60 TVP – Blackbird 70 speaker

Blackstar use their own Blackbird-series speakers for the ID-series, which are made under license in China, just like the amps themselves.

Blackstar ID60 TVP – top handle

One downside to valve amplifiers has always been their…

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Review: Vox AC4 Blue

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

This is what it looks like – the brand-new Vox AC4 C1 Blue. I can already hear many of you thinking “What? Another AC4? Is it any different to the white AC4 TV?”

Granted, it is somewhat bewildering that Vox have several similarly named products in their range, so let me run you through the differences quickly:

At the moment of writing there are five different Vox AC4 valve amplifiers available. The Vox AC4 TV – which is available in three different guises – is the most affordable alternative, and aimed at the same market segment as ultra-compact modelling combos, such as the Roland Micro Cube.

At the other end of the price spectrum you can find the Vox AC4 HW, which is a very stylish hand-wired (HW) combo for the vintage fanatic. Just like the Sixties original, the AC4 HW is also equipped with a 12” Celestion…

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Review: Roland GA-112

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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One of Roland’s many new products for 2012 is the GA-112 – a COSM-based guitar combo using the company’s modelling technology to come up with a sound all of its own.

The GA-112 – as well as its larger 2 x 12″ brother, the GA-212 – utilises a specially designed COSM-model called Progressive Amp. Progressive Amp promises to give you the full scale of possible amp tones – from ultra-clean all the way to bone-crushingly dirty – from a single digital amp model, using only the gain-control and the combo’s EQ.

The 100-Watt Roland GA-112‘s (current price in Finland: 844 €) looks combine many features from older Roland guitar amps.

The front panel is somewhat reminiscent of the legendary Jazz Chorus combo, while the cabinet’s black vinyl cover, as well as the extremely sturdy metal speaker grille have been borrowed from the company’s long-running Cube-range.

The GA-112’s chunky…

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Review: Roland AC-33RW

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Roland’s AC-33RW (current price in Finland: 467 €) is the new sister model to the all-black AC-33. The acoustic combo is finished in a faux-rosewood finish – the same kind as seen on many pieces of furniture.

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The AC-33RW is the company’s smallest amplifier for acoustic guitar and vocal. It can be plugged into a wall socket, using the power adapter included with the amp. Alternatively, the AC-33 also runs on eight AA-size batteries, giving you somewhere between eight and nine hours of continuous use (depending on the type of battery used).

The AC-33RW weighs only a little over four and a half kilos, but is still able to dish out a whopping 30 Watts of power (20 W, if run on batteries)! The cabinet comes equipped with a pair of five-inch speakers, with a bass reflex port placed between them.

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There are two channels on offer…

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