The Milkman The Amp 50 is a Class D hybrid tube/solid-state amp that can fit on your desktop (or your pedalboard, although it’s not super-compact). It uses a 12ax7 preamp tube that can be pushed or overdriven just like any tube amp.
The power stage can be run into a speaker or DI out into a recording interface or PA. It also works in “pedal mode,” as a gain stage or tone sweetener. The Amp 50 also features classic onboard effects found in many vintage amps: spring reverb and tremolo.
We added it to our article about the best guitar amplifiers in a pedal format.
Milkman The Amp 50, Builder’s Notes
What is The Amp? First and foremost, it’s a 50W Guitar amplifier. The preamp is based around a single 12AX7 running at high voltage in a discrete Class A circuit. The tube preamp reacts with a guitar the same way any tube amplifier does: it generates harmonics and the sweet sounding high fidelity tone that tubes are known for. Along with tube EQ. there is on-board reverb and tremolo effects so that The Amp can be used as a grab and go amplifier. Foot switches for bypassing the effects are built in. A Class D power section delivers 50 watts into 8ohms, or 100 watts into 4ohms. The Speakon combination jack for speaker output takes either a standard 1/4” connection or a locking Speakon connector for extra security.
The Amp has an integrated headphone amplifier which sounds identical to the output from a speaker. This is perfect for practice, auditioning pedals, or for those times when noise is not appropriate. The Amp can operate with no speaker attached so it can live on a pedalboard and go wherever the pedals go. Speaking of travel, The Amp has a universal IEC power input. It can run from 100 to 260 VAC. No matter where it is on Earth, it can be plugged into a wall socket and used with no need for additional power accessories.
How about a compact studio quality tube preamp? The internal XLR output delivers a balanced line level output. There is no modeling or simulation involved, no menus or presets to give option anxiety. It is very straightforward and simple to get great tone from the tube preamp of The Amp and use it as the front end for a modeling system, recording setup, or for playing direct on stage.
The Amp also has “pedal level” output where it can be used as the front end of a pedal board or as an amp like effect on the back end of a pedal board. There is no substitute for the marriage between a magnetic guitar pickup and the first stage of a tube amplifier, and this is something that is missing with modern pedal board setups. Using The Amp in front of a pedal chain will add harmonics and tube musicality to the entire signal chain starting right where it matters most: between a guitar pickup and the grid of a tube.
Using The Amp further down the signal chain creates unique tonal possibilities. It plays well with pedals, and it can add extra EQ or reverb to an existing amplifier. The Amp can drive the input of an amplifier as an extra tube gain stage. It can be a backup for a vintage amp needing service, or used in place of anemic backline gear on your travel gig. At 2.5lbs, and with so many different uses, The Amp may be your new best friend.
25W 16ohm Output
50W 8ohm Output
100W 4ohm Output
Reverb and Tremolo
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
8-1/2″ W x 3″ H x 6-1/2″ D 2.5lbs