While this was apparently announced last year at Shanghai Music China 2018, it is being announced in the US. It’s being touted as a budget competitor to Line 6’s Helix series. At an approximate price point of $300 (I can’t find much pricing info so far..), It has 24 bit processing, dual processors, more amps/cabs/effects than you can shake a stick at, AND you can load your own Impulse Responses (IRs). I’ve only been playing with IRs for a week or so, but I can already tell you it is going to be the industry standard of recorded guitar sounds. This may finally replace my trusty Line 6 HD Desktop POD….
Blackstar Amps MkII HT Series
Blackstar really lead the charge of tiny tube amps that allow cranked tones at decent volume levels. This is how I spend most of my time playing. I had a first generation HT-1 combo briefly, I really like it, but wound up trading it towards another amp (as I tend to do). I do miss it. This updated version re-voices the amp, ads footswitchabe voicings as well as channels, AND a USB audio out to record directly to your computer. The videos I’ve seen so far seem like a welcome upgrade.
Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander
Following my theme of low volume and IRs, Boss released was seems to be a competitor to the OX Amp Top Box that I seem to see in every guitar review video on YouTube these days. This will attenuate your firebreathing tube amp, provide a post-amp EQ, reverb, and an effects loop, amongst other features. This excites me because it’s yet another device allowing a realistic capturing of your favorite tube amps at almost any volume. The more competitors there are in the market, the cheaper and more widely available the technology will become. No indication of the price yet, and anything carrying the “Waza” label won’t be cheap, but it will be quality.
Peavey Invective MH
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a total Peavey fanboy. They’ve consistently made reliable, solid equipment at a good price for a long time. Their whole MH series has been fantastic, 20-25 tube watts seems to be a sweet spot for me. When the full size Invective came out, I always thought it sounded amazing and had a surprisingly wide variety of tones. This smaller and more budget friendly version is definitely a good move.
I’ll post some more new gear that really gets me excited as I stumble upon the announcements.