studious amplifiers

An ultra-minimal amp with two EL84s—and a unique voice.

If Nigel Tufnel wrote amp reviews, he might have said this about the Moseley: “How much more minimal could it be? And the answer is none—none more minimal.”

As is so often the case, Nigel wouldn’t be 100 percent correct. This amp would be even more stripped-down if it lacked its volume knob, treble, and bass controls, and speaker impedance selector. Still, this is about as simple as boutique combo amps get.

It’s a bit like plugging into an old tube-powered portable P.A. head.

And that’s clearly by design. Moseley, an 18-watt combo from Chicago’s Studious Amplifiers, is practically an exercise in design simplicity. It’s a dual EL84 combo housed in a plain yet beautiful solid-wood, dovetail-jointed cabinet. (Our review model’s cab is pecan, but Moseley is also available in walnut, maple, Brazilian cherry, and bamboo. It also comes in a head-only version.) It looks a lot like a DIY hi-fi project from 1961—and I say that with the utmost fondness. It manages a hip, mid-century modern look without being kitschy.

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