tube combos

The Champ better watch its back.

Super versatile tone control. Throaty voice and impressive mass for a 5-watt, 8-inch-speaker amp. Happy with pedals. Drop-dead gorgeous.

Hefty price tag for a little amp.

$1,299

Magnatone Starlite
magnatoneusa.com

5
5
4.5
4

The fact that small amps excel—and can sound really big—in studio situations isn’t news as much as it’s audio engineering gospel. But while little amps like the Fender Champ, Gibson Skylark, and Danelectro DM10 have been pulling feats of trompe-l’oeil on records for decades, some small combos still sound bigger and badder than others. And I feel pretty good about making the case for Magnatone’s new 5-watt Starlite as one of the biggest sounding—and most flexible—little amps that’s ever joined this club of overachievers.

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