CES 2013: These Go to Eleven

Stratocaster guitars. Marshall amplifiers. These are the playthings of the gods. The gods of rock and roll, that is. For sure, some of the sweetest sounds this side of a Stradivarius violin have come from Marshall guitar amplifiers. And now, the classic look of the Marshall (if not the sound) can be yours for home playback.

The Hanwell amplifier/speaker features a wood cabinet and obligatory black-vinyl covering. The unit uses an old-school analog-style power switch as well as good old-fashioned knobs for volume, bass and treble. Of course, the fret cloth has the vintage look and the switches, logo and trim are gold colored. Even the included 3.5-mm coiled cable has the look of a ¼-inch guitar cable. A digital readout? I don’t think so. An iPhone dock? Hell to the no. You’ll plug your audio source into the input jack, and you’ll like it.

Inside, the system has a pair of ferrofluid dome tweeters and a pair of long-throw 6-inch woofers. The PWM amplifier outputs 100 watts. Maximum acoustic output is 110 dB at 1 meter. Frequency response is pegged at 35 Hz to 20 kHz, +/-5 dB. The unit weighs 23 pounds. Your roadies can probably handle that.

Okay, sure. An amplifier/speaker that looks like a Marshall guitar amp is a little goofy. But you know what? The Congress of the United States of America has never passed a law that says that audio gear must be sensible or boring. And god willing, it never will. I think a unit like this is fun. And music playback should be fun. Lots of fun.

MSRP is $800. Sorry. Tattoos are not included.