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Carl Martin announces Ampster tube guitar amp and speaker sim/DI pedal

Carl Martin Ampster
(Image credit: Carl Martin)

Carl Martin has unveiled the Ampster – an all-analog amp-in-a-box and speaker cabinet simulator pedal.

On the top, the Ampster’s tube-driven circuit is marshalled by a classic amp-style control setup, including Master, Presence, Gain and a three-band EQ. 

In addition, you also get Mute and Cabinet switches. Clicking the Cabinet foot switch will select a choice of two speaker emulations: 2x12 open-backed cab and 4x12 closed-back cab. The former is indicated by a red LED, the latter by a green one. 

Carl Martin Ampster

(Image credit: Carl Martin)

Head around the back of the pedal and you’ll find a ground lift and voicing switch. There’s also some useful connectivity on offer in the form of a balanced DI out, an effects send/return, a remote input (for use with effect controllers) and a 1/4” ‘link’ output, which allows you to run the signal into an external amp.

When pushed, the Ampster’s tone is said to have a slight Marshall Plexi character – a sound Carl Martin has some pedigree in, with its PlexiTone and PlexiRanger overdrive pedals – though it’s otherwise designed to be a relatively clean pedal platform and sit right at the end of your chain.

The Ampster appears to be the kind of useful box that will find plenty of applications. It will no doubt appeal to the more analog-focussed touring players, particularly those who need a back-up amp that can go straight to FOH, or those who are putting together fly-rigs/pedalboards.

It may also find a place with players that want to bring a bit of analog life to their home recordings, perhaps feeding the DI out to an audio interface. 

Finally, as demo guy Simon Gotthelf has pointed out elsewhere (opens in new tab), we’d also bet good money you’ll spot this or something similar in the bags of FOH engineers who are looking for consistency across multiple venues.

The Ampster carries a price of $299/£239. Head to Carl Martin’s official site (opens in new tab) for more information.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.