New Year New Gear: PRS unveils new SE Series electrics, Vox offers the Mini Go portable amp range and IK Multimedia wows with feature-packed AmpliTube 5

We may be just a few weeks into 2021, but the year has already provided us with plenty of great new products from the MI world. 

But have no fear – Guitar World's Paul Riario and Alan Chaput are here to help you find exactly what you need to bring your playing to the next level. They've waded through tons of new equipment so you don't have to (and also because they really, really love it). 

With that in mind, check out three products – PRS’s SE Series electrics, Vox’s Mini Go range of affordable and portable modeling amplifiers and IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 5 amp modeling and effects software – that have grabbed Paul and Alan's attention, in this installment of New Year New Gear. 

New Year New Gear

SE Custom 24-08 (Image credit: PRS)

PRS has unveiled new SE models and features, beginning with the SE Custom 24 – now available with a shallow violin body carve, and the new-to-the-line SE Custom 24-08.

The Custom 24-08 adds more pickup sounds to the iconic model via two mini-toggle coil-tap switches that split either or both humbucking pickups into single coils.

Otherwise, specs follow the classic Custom model – maple top, mahogany back and neck, 24 frets, 25” scale length, and PRS's patented Gen III tremolo and dual 85/15 pickups.

Additionally, Zach Myers has revamped his signature SE with a new “Myers Blue” finish, as well as a figured maple headstock veneer also stained Myers Blue and vintage-style tuning pegs with black buttons and all-black pickup bobbins. 

Other updates to the SE Series include the introduction of Tobacco Sunburst on SE P20 Parlor acoustics and a Faded Blue Wraparound Burst with maple veneer on the SE Kingfisher bass.

You can order PRS's SE models at ProAudioStar.

New Year New Gear

(Image credit: Vox)

Vox is one of the most respected names in amp building, and new for 2021 is the company’s range of affordable Mini Go portable modeling amps. 

The lightweight combos boast onboard effects, loopers and rhythm machines, and utilize the same VET modeling technology as Vox’s Cambridge 50 combo to offer big-stage sounds.

The new line consists of three models – the Mini Go 3, with a five-inch three watt speaker, the Mini Go 10, featuring a 6.5 inch 10-watt speaker, and the largest and loudest Mini Go 50, boasting an eight-inch 50 watt speaker with adjustable amp output wattage as well as three programmable amp settings.

Each amp offers 10 realistic and responsive amp models, including the legendary Vox AC30, a 1980s-style stack and a high-gain amp. The built-in rhythm machine, meanwhile, can play three variations of eleven different genres for a total of 33 fully adjustable backing patterns.  

The larger Mini Go 10 and Mini Go 50 offer an onboard looper function, featuring up to 45 seconds of record time that can be quantized – if playing along to the rhythm machine – to match tempo and pattern.

Both amps are also paired with the Vox VFS3 footswitch – a three-button switch that controls a variety of functions such as programs, effects, rhythm and looping.

All three models can be powered by an included AC adapter or any mobile USB battery.

The Mini Go 3, 10 and 50 are priced $169, $229 and $299, respectively.

Vox Mini Go amps are available for preorder at ProAudioStar.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube 5

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)

Coming a full five years after its predecessor, IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 5 has long been highly anticipated; the software delivers on all its expected promise – and more.

The newest version of the popular amp modeling and effects platform boasts 129 new gear models (including amps like the PRS Archon 50, Friedman Pink Taco PT-20 and Diezel VH4, as well as 19 rack units), a redesigned cabinet section with new VIR technology and improved power amp/speaker cab interaction.

There’s also an all-new resizable interface that allows for creating and routing rigs with ease, with improved gear selection, drag and drop placement and support for one, two or three-amp rigs with up to 57 simultaneous effects.

Also onboard is IK’s new Volumetric Impulse Response technology, for which the company measured 600 IRs per speaker of every cab model using robotic automation, resulting in a total of a whopping 143,000 IRs. This allows guitarists the ability to accurately adjust mic placement and capture the interactions between speakers, cabinet and floor, using a new 3D grid interface

What’s more, you can also import and load your own IRs, and there’s also a new mixer window, as well as a redesigned Custom Shop that allows the user to build a custom gear collection via an easy-to-navigate interface.

AmpliTube is available in two versions, AmpliTube 5 Max and AmpliTube 5 SE, at ProAudioStar.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.