Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software guitar | Budget Boutique Guitar Amp Blog | Mack Amps

Subscribe to Mack Amps Blog

Your email:

Follow Me

Ask Mack!

Got a question about our amps? Cabs? Amp design? Electric guitar tone?
Ask Mack founder Don Mackrill.

Browse by Tag

Mack Guitar Amps Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

1x10 CB NEW Guitar Speaker Cabinet from Mack Amps!


April 8, 2012, Richmond Hill, Ontario: Mack Amps is pleased to announce the launch of a new electric guitar speaker cabinet - the 1x10 CB!Mack Amps 1x10 CB guitar speaker cabinet

The 1x10 CB is a 10" guitar speaker cabinet featuring an Eminence Redcoat 'Ramrod', 10" ceramic magnet speaker.

The 1x10 CB replaces the 1x10 OB (open back cabinet).  In addition to the Eminence Ramrod speaker in place of the OB's Eminence Rajin Cajun speaker, the new 1x10 CB's cabinet is 50% deeper than the OB's and features a tuned port.  Both of these new design elements help to give the 1x10 CB a warmer and deeper voice compared to the OB.

"The 1x10 OB was popular with Mack Amps Gem owners, but we kept tweaking and playing with designs that would provide even better 'at home' and low volume guitar tone," said Mack Amps founder, Don Mackrill.  "The result is a small guitar speaker cabinet that produces big sound.  Most guitarists are surprised that so much bass and warmth can come from a 10" speaker cab."

The Eminence Ramrod was selected for the new 1x10 CB because of its British character, lush cleans and because it LOVES overdrive and distortion!

Deeper cab, closed back, tuned port.  More warmth and bottom!

Based on the experience gained from designing the Mack Amps 1x12 CB speaker cabinet that also features a tuned port, the quest for more warmth and body in a small 10" speaker cabinet naturally focused on a tuned port also.  Mack Amps 1x10 CB guitar speaker back

At high volumes the 1x10 CB sounds like many of the smallish 1x12 cabs on the market.  However, when low volume is required for at home playing or perhaps in the studio bass response becomes even more important. 

As the volume drops the perception of bass frequencies (see the article "Maximize Low Volume Guitar Tone" to learn more) decreases relatively more than midrange and treble frequencies.  That's why many hi-fi amps have a 'loudness' control - to boost the bass when listening at low volume.

To counteract this natural phenomenon, and help guitarists that play at home (ALL of us!), the new 1x10 CB has been designed to produce relatively more bass frequencies than traditional 10" guitar speaker cabinets.

Check out the new Mack Amps 1x10 CB guitar speaker cabinet!


blog comments powered by Disqus

Did The Designer Ever Use This Thing?


I'm driven to distraction when I purchase something, try to use it and discover an obvious design flaw that either renders it useless or much less functional than anticipated.  Here's an example that happened just yesterday.

Bought a new PC two weeks ago and have been gradually getting it squared away since then.  Last thing on the list was to buy a new desk lamp as the office is a little dim and I like task lighting anyway. 

No problem.  Off I went to the local store that sells EVERYTHING and is EVERYWHERE.  They have a good selection of desk lamps so it was easy to find something functional that looks good.  $40.00.  More than I anticipated, but the lamp is attractive and it features a bright halogen lamp for good illumination.

Minutes after returning home the lamp was assembled and shining light on my desk.  Great!  Now to do some on line parts ordering ...

60 minutes later the lamp shade fell off the lamp onto the desk.  Bang!

After having climbed down off the ceiling like the cat in the Bugs Bunny cartoon, I examined the lamp to find that it is entirely made of plastic.  The plastic components had melted from the heat generated by the halogen lamp and the shade had fallen off.  The lamp is now useless and must be returned for a REFUND (not an exchange thank you!).

CLEARLY, this lamp made it all the way from design to manufacturing to distribution WITHOUT EVER HAVING BEEN TESTED FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME.  The designers never really tested their product!

How can a product end up in hundreds of stores across North America (around the world?) in such a flawed state?  Think of the resources that are being consumed as a result of this situation.  Goodness knows how many lamps were manufactured.  They're all destined for the junk pile now.  Not to mention the time and money coming out of the economy to gather and dispose of all the lamps and to placate customers.  Frightening.

What does this mean to Mack Music?  It further reinforces why we spend so much time testing, tweaking, seeking feedback and improving our products.  Commitment to quality means at least sticking with the basics: if you're going to design something, use it before you launch it! 

How basic is that?  Fundamental.  How important is that?  Critical.

Virtuoso Tone without the Prima Donna Price!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Mack Gem Budget Boutique Guitar Amps at NAMM 2010!


It's the middle of January, which means it's NAMM time in Anaheim, CA!

Once again Mack is at NAMM in the Eastwood Guitars booth.  This year we are featuring our new Gem head and combo.

Mack Gem Head

Gem head on 1x10 OB speaker cab beside Eastwood Guitars Tuxedo and Mandocaster (see above). 

Wendell Ferguson plays Mack Gem 

Wendell Ferguson plays Tuxedo through Gem combo. 

Mason Stoops and Wendell Ferguson play Mack Gems 

SUPER HOT country pickin': Mason Stoops (plays a Mack Heatseeker HS-18 when not at NAMM!) and Wendell Ferguson jam using Gems.  These guys drew a BIG and very appreciative crowd! 

Mike Robinson Eastwood Guitars Electric Uke 

Eastwood Guitars founder Mike Robinson and new solid body, electric uke! 

Steve Makk and Mike Robinson 

Steve Makk, Mack Amps' electronics design and manufacturing partner, with Mike Robinson.

blog comments powered by Disqus

NEW ARTICLE: Tube Tone Crystal Ball 2010 - Guitar Amp Trends and Future Predictions!


It's once again time to take stock of what's happening in the world of tube guitar amps. I'll examine some interesting happenings in 2009, make some predictions and revisit Tube Tone Crystal Ball 2009 to see if any of last year's guesses came true!

Read about guitar amp current trends and predictions...

blog comments powered by Disqus

NEW ARTICLE: What Is A Boutique Guitar Amp?

Most guitarists instantly create an image in their minds when they think of 'boutique' guitar amps. But, what does the term really mean?

Perform a Google search on the term "What is a boutique amp" and you will find many threads from many gear related forums where members debate the meaning of the term and the criteria by which a boutique amp is defined.

In this article we'll sort through the debate and see if there is an underlying theme that describes what makes an amp worthy of being called 'boutique'.

Read more about what a boutique guitar amp really is...

blog comments powered by Disqus

NEW ARTICLE: Maximize Low Volume Guitar Tone


In this article we take a look at what happens when you listen to an amplified electric guitar at low volume.

Admittedly, that's kind of an oxymoron - who cares about playing an electric guitar at low volume, crank it!

However, there is a high percentage of guitarists who spend most of their time playing at home or in situations where low volume is all they can get away with.

So, we're going to explore what happens to the sound coming out of your amp when you turn down and how to enjoy your low volume sessions to the greatest extent possible.

Read the full article...

blog comments powered by Disqus

Guitar Teachers: Mack 'Gear Guru' Program - Teach With A Gem and Get More Students!


Mack Amps is pleased to announce the launch of the 'Gear Guru' program targeted at independent guitar educators who teach from home or a dedicated teaching studio.

Many teaching studios use basic amps and their students don't sound their best.

Becoming a Gear Guru means you can buy a Mack Gem amp at the Gear Guru discount price, teach with it and differentiate your instruction business by allowing your students to sound great!

The result will be happier students, more loyalty, lots of street 'BUZZ' and more business!

Also, Gear Gurus can sell Gems to their students - or anyone - and earn a commission on every sale.

The Gear Guru program - make learning the guitar more fun, differentiate your teaching business, get more students and earn extra cash!

Check out the Gear Guru program here or call 416.705.9620.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Hanging with Steve Gunner and Tommy Mack at a Creedence Clearwater Revisited Gig


On Tuesday, July 28 I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with MEAs Steve Gunner and Tommy Mack while they did their thing at a Creedence Clearwater Revisited gig at Ontario's Casino Rama.

Steve sings and plays keys, acoustic guitar, harmonica and percussion for platinum selling CCR.

Tommy is CCR's guitar tech and the guitar player, singer and songwriter behind Austin's The Lifters and The Waymors.  Tommy is currently working on his first solo album due for release in early 2010.

The day started just prior to sound check where I found Tommy working on a guitar back stage - surrounded by a group of stage hands listening to a funny road story.  Hang around with Tommy for more than a few minutes and you'll hear lots of those!

Witnessing sound check from back stage (side stage actually) was very cool.  The band was very casual as to be expected, but incredibly tight as they jammed a bit and ran through some tunes.

At the end of sound check I was introduced to CCR's lead guitarist Tal Morris who immediately said "Let's get your amps on stage, I want to try them out!".

With that the Heatseeker HS-18 and HS-36 and Skyraider SR-30 heads along with the two 1x12 CB cabs I had brought with me were set up on stage beside Tal's customary Marshall half stacks.

Tal then spent about 10 minutes playing through the SR-30 and a

Tal Morris | Creedence Clearwater Revisited
few minutes through the 18 after which he proclaimed "I like the blue one (SR-30) the best.  You've done a great job."

Nice to hear!

With the amps still on the stage, CCR's lighting director Ryan Krebs (a songwriter out of Austin, TX currently collaborating on two albums), set up a very cool lit background and tweaked the on stage lighting in preparation for a photo shoot.

Steve and Tommy struck some poses with the Mack amps on stage and jammed a bit too as I snapped pictures. 

Steve Gunner | Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Tommy Mack | The Lifters

About 30 minutes before the gig was to begin I took my seat - beside Tommy's work bench - to watch the gig.  Right on the dot of 8 PM the band took the stage and launched into the first song.

It's always a pleasure to watch consummate professionals ply their trade.  It was particularly interesting to watch CCR up close with a running commentary from Tommy as to what was going on on stage from an insider's perspective.

Each song was played to perfection and sounded excellent.  These players are very polished and precise yet the music sounds bluesy and soulful - just like CCR songs should!

Of course, the crowd loved the music, the banter from the stage - the band has a genuinely good time with their faithful audience - and the comedy 'bit' Tommy does with lead singer John Tristao - Tommy spent a few minutes polishing John's bald head with a towel!

Aftre three (!) encores the band finished off signing album covers and autographs from the stage and the crowd reluctantly filed out of the concert hall.

But, the night wasn't over!

After the gig the band, the crew and yours truly spent a few hours in the Casino Rama bar hanging out.

This is when I met Stu Cook and Doug Clifford (Cosmo), CCR's original and iconic bass player and drummer.  Stu and Doug are genuinely nice guys.  Both of them spent lots of time with their fans chatting and signing autographs.  They were both tireless!

I had a very interesting conversation with Stu regarding bass amps.  He's very knowledgeable and I came away with some good ideas about what touring bass players need in a bass amp - stay tuned!

Of course, Steve and Tommy and I spent a lot of time sharing stories and views on music, guitar and gear.

These two guys have a great sense of humor and are really very nice people.  We had a great time hanging together and I look forward to the next time CCR has a nearby gig!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Mack Gem Launch - World Wide Buzz!


Since the official launch of the new Mack Gem guitar amp, word has been spreading... globally!

Check out the following links to online news outlets and forums that have picked up the Gem story!,n.4176.html


blog comments powered by Disqus

How Guitar Amps Are Voiced

What is tube guitar amp voicing?

The following discussion will dive into the guts of amp design.  However, I’ll embark on this voyage with a promise that you won’t need to open your calculus textbooks to understand what’s going on (you do have calculus textbooks, right?).

First some background.  Amps are filled with various components ... transformers, potentiometers, resistors, capacitors, etc.  In this article we’ll focus on how selecting specific values of resistors and capacitors at specific points in an amp’s circuit change its tone.

Resistor Capacitor 3We don’t need to delve into the details of resistors and capacitors.  All we need to know is that they are individual components that, when connected in various configurations, alter the sound of the electrical signal from your guitar as it passes through them ... basically they can roll off highs or lows or enhance or diminish mids.

Even in a simple tube amp there are multiple points in the circuit where a designer has to make a decision as to exactly what value of resistor and capacitor to use so that the signal passing through the amp will be altered to meet that particular amp’s tone objective.

Read an article about how guitar amps are voiced


blog comments powered by Disqus
All Posts