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"The big news is the new preamp design and the foot switch feature that effectively makes the 2G a two channel amp," said Mack Amps founder Don Mackrill. "The re-voiced preamp has more clean headroom and still produces gorgeous crunch in the Hot setting and the Melt setting has even sweeter distortion than the original Gem."
The Gem 2G includes Mack's innovative power switching feature that lowers its output from 4 watts to 0.4 watts without changing tone. Unlike many low power amps that use a preamp tube in the power stage, the 2G's lush tones come from an EL84 power tube.
Behind the scenes, the Gem 2G's power supply also got some attention. "A sign of a well designed amp is how quiet it is," Mackrill said. "The original Gem was already quiet for a single-ended amp, but we continued to innovate and the 2G's hum is almost inaudible."
Mackrill had this to say about the Gem 2G's position within the crowded 'Under-10-Watt' amp market:
"Compared to a $200 to $300 amp made overseas that needs an upgrade kit for another $100 to even $300 and a bunch of your time to make it sound good, the Gem 2G sounds fantastic right out of the box, has way more flexibility and is hand made in Toronto for about the same price or even less."
The Gem 2G:
• 4 watts switchable to 0.4 watts
• 1 X EL84 cathode biased, Class A
• 1 x NOS 6AC10 triple triode preamp tube
• Switchable preamp gain stages/channels - front panel and footswitch
• Volume, gain, tone controls
• Anodized aluminum, red cabinet
• 8" W x 5 1/2" H x 4" D
• 4 lb
• 117/120 VAC, 60 Hz
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