NAMM 2022: BluGuitars has officially launched its much-anticipated, analog-based “programmable” amp and effects unit, the AMPX.
Guitar World first reported on the prototype AMPX back in January 2020, when BluGuitar offered visitors a sneaky glimpse at that year’s NAMM show, but now the unit is finalised and ready for production.
The German manufacturer claims it is “the first amp ever that can reproduce entire amplifier designs using full analog quality and delivering real tube tone and feel.”
Key to this is the tone-shaping tech and nano-tubes (essentially, compact solderable tube components) found in BluGuitar’s AMP1 designs. These are used to create a flexible, programmable pedalboard amp that can recreate classic circuits using analog parameters (albeit not vintage components), and direct it to a valve-based 100-watt power amp. BluGuitar calls this element ‘Neural Analog Amp design’.
The AMPX then combines this with a series of onboard analog effects (including compressor, boost, overdrive, fuzz and tremolo) and a digital effects bank (offering pre/post, stereo or mono chorus, phaser, flanger, univibe, delay and reverb) – all controlled by a 16-core processor.
The new unit reportedly includes all the tones available from the AMP1 Mercury and metal-focussed AMP1 Iridium Edition and there’s an array of amps, effects and cabinet presets available via the BlugPrints sound library.
In terms of the controls, there’s an interesting approach to the ‘simplicity versus depth’ dilemma inherent in all multi-effects/modellers. At first look you’ll see a simple array of basic amp controls on the front panel but you can lift the top flap to reveal the ‘X Controls’, which allow players to tweak the parameters of the presets.
The core unit is all wrapped up in a box less than 17” x 8”, but there’s a wealth of connectivity on offer, including two speaker outputs, a line out, headphone jack, effects loop, MIDI I/O and two expression pedal inputs. In addition, BluGuitar’s new supplementary AMPX ‘Wings’ will offer a choice of optional extra pedals and controllers to connect to the AMPX.
“I’ve been designing guitar amps for decades now,” says the firm’s CEO, Thomas Blug. “I’ve always wanted to create an analog amplifier that can authentically recreate any other amp sound I can think of – and with the AMPX, I’ve got it!
“Our ground-breaking Neural Analog Amp design, which offers the capability to edit and save analog circuit parameters at a component level – kind of like a virtual soldering iron for analog amp tuning – can now combine with our 100-watt Nanotube power amp stage, and I think the result is the most powerful guitar amplifier ever. It’s your whole guitar rig in one pedal-sized device! We can’t wait for the world to experience AMPX!”
Final prices are TBC, but current estimates are looking like $/€1,990.
For more information on the AMPX, head to BluGuitar's official site.