We receive our fair share of what could be described as gimmicky products, and these new headphone amps seemed to be another in a long line to be pointed at, then forgotten, but how wrong we were.
Put simply, these AmPlugs could well be the practice tool of 2007. There are three separate units designed to offer different types of tone - Metal, Classic Rock and AC30 - and each is designed to plug directly into your guitar's input.
Plug a set of headphones into the relevant output and away you go; it's that simple. Each is equipped with three controls - gain, tone and volume - and there's an aux input to allow you to plug your CD/mp3 player in for private jam sessions.
The reason all three units will surely blow people away is that they sound staggeringly good across the board. The level of girth from the Metal AmPlug is extremely satisfying, as is the sheer level of gain, while the Classic Rock option is surprisingly versatile and full.
The AC30 option, however, is the best of the bunch as it genuinely sounds like that classic 2 x 12 combo. Clean it offers that lovely boxy character found on those Fab Four recordings, while turning it up gives an authentic crunch tone that's not too dirty or too sparkly. Really great stuff.
Try taking one or along to your next studio recording session and watch the look of disbelief on the engineer's face as you get more-than-useable tones direct to desk.
We honestly can't recommend the AmPlugs highly enough and from a stocking filler to a realistic practice tool, everyone reading this should get hold of at least one, if not all, of these.