Silktone Launches New Astro Amp

The Astro follows a simplified design approach with just two knobs: volume and tone, and offers a wide variety of available tones and responsive feel.

The Astro amp tone control is unique, in that it controls both treble and bass simultaneously: the tone control set to noon puts the EQ flat, turn it clockwise to get a treble boost and at the same time a bass cut, counterclockwise to get a bass boost and a treble cut. You’ll also find a tone switch for full mids (Dense mode), scooped mids (Light mode) or bypass the tone stack altogether for a big gain boost (Raw Silk mode). These few controls make it extremely easy to dial in your sweet spot out of a huge variety of available tones.

The Astro is in the same vein as the flagship Silktone amp, it uses the same great cab and speaker and single KT66 power tube. The key differences sit in the minimalist circuit design allowing it to better reveal the subtle nuances of the guitar with a looser, more responsive feel and a bit more clean headroom. Remaining is the thick power tube distortion when the KT66 is pushed into overdrive. You can swap the KT66 for a 6V6, 6L6 or EL34 output tube without the need to ever re-bias, but designer Charles Henry still retains that the KT66 is the most musical of the tube options.

Street price $1599. More info:

Kemper Profiler Stage, Nueral DSP Quad Cortex & Line 6 HX Stomp (clockwise from top)

A deep dive into faux amps, futuristic setups, and how to use modern technology’s powers for good.

The jump between analog and digital gear has never been more manageable. It no longer takes a rack full of outboard gear with a six-figure price tag to help realize not only the tone you have in your head, but the expansive workflows that started to pop up in the early ’80s. We’re now about a decade into the modern era of digital modelers and profilers and it seems like the technology has finally come into its own. “This is really the first time in a while where you can have bar bands playing the exactsame gear as stadium acts,” says Cooper Carter, a Fractal Audio Systems production consultant who has done sound design and rig building for Neal Schon, James Valentine, John Petrucci, and others.

Read More Show less

Master builder Dennis Galuszka recreates the legendary "Chicago" guitarist's legacy with a collectible, limited run guitar.

Read More Show less