Amps

Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: <i>Gear!</i>

Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: Gear!

THE 115th NAMM show is in the books, and it was a big one according to show organizers. The National Association of Music Merchants said a record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands were showcased at the 2016 affair, a 7% increase in exhibiting companies over last year’s event.  more...
Matchless Amplifiers: Boutique for life

Matchless Amplifiers: Boutique for life

IT WAS MILESTONE DAY the day we rolled up to Matchless Amplifiers’ headquarters in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t have known it just by idly stopping by. The shop was quiet, but busy as most of the craftsmen and women that work to make the established builder’s line of boutique amps moved between their stations and lunch.  more...
John Thompson is one Bad Cat

John Thompson is one Bad Cat

IT’S BEEN A long, strange trip for Bad Cat Amplification. The only part of the story that is truly clear is that there are a fair number of twists and turns in the tale. Each of the involved parties has told different histories of the boutique brand since hitting the scene around the turn of the millennia. The story can be traced back to boutique forefather Matchless Amplification and its 1999 bankruptcy.  more...
Hello Portland! A tour of gear shops in the Rose City

Hello Portland! A tour of gear shops in the Rose City

DREAMS OF THE west coast usually center on the warm and more glamorous climbs of southern California, with its miles of scenic beaches dotted with quaint, comfortable coastal burgs offering equal amounts of sunshine and serenity. Let’s face it, as you move north along the Pacific Coast Highway things start to get dicey. The sun fades in a cloak of persistent gray and a general gloom becomes the harbinger of the days ahead. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest!  more...
M.I. knows MI

M.I. knows MI

YOU MAY know Sydney-based MI Audio for their popular and ever-expanding range of effects pedals, but Aussies have long known that they also make exceptional amplifiers too... and thanks to a trip to Winter NAMM this year, many more have been made aware of their high gain heads and classic combos. The MI in MI Audio stands for Michael Ibrahim, founder and electronics genius behind the brand who, from a very young age, was exposed to electronics as both of his parents were electrical engineers.  more...