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Mackie Hotwire VT12 125W 1×12 Combo Amp W/Extension Cab & Footboard.
Here is another amp that you won’t find every day.
These were an extremely cool design that Mackie never fully produced. I don’t know the exact numbers as far as how many were made, but I have read it is well under 100 units.
Regardless of the rarity, this was a super cool amp with a number of groundbreaking, useful, features.
It comes, not only with the original foot controller, but also the 1×12 extension cab as well.
Near mint condition, it is still so new that the handles on the amp and the cab are stiff because they have never been used.
The Mackie Hotwire VT12 Amplifier is a great sounding and extremely portable guitar amp to carry to gigs and recording sessions instead of trucking around a half a dozen or so boutique and classic tube amps. Four years after this seemingly simple revelation, the Mackie Hotwire VT12 emerges as the only tube amplifier capable of honestly being associated with the words great tone, flexibility and portability. To accomplish this, Mackie took a completely different approach, unlike anything that’s come before, and without assumption or compromise.
The result is a Mode Switching guitar amplifier, which is a fancy way of saying that Mackie preserved the proper use of the critical physical components and circuit designs found in real tube amps rather than trying to recreate classic tones by artificial means. Using real Class A and Class AB operation and performing complex circuit re-wiring on the fly, the VT12 gets its great guitar tone from time-tested analog circuitry, and reserves the modern technology for effects processing, where it belongs.
You will be equally taken by the painstaking attention to detail and unforgiving standards of performance that the VT12 has been held to. In the end, however, these are all just words on paper until you experience this Hotwire amplifier’s soul. And more importantly, the soul of your own music pouring out of a brilliantly designed musical instrument that keeps its focus where it belongs: on pure, uncompromised tone.
Mode Switching: The Heart of Hotwire.
To understand Mode Switching, you have to first understand that the tone of any great tube amplifier is the result of distinctive tube types, specific preamp circuitry, rectifier design, power amp circuitry, speaker voicing and physical cabinet structure all converging into a single and soulful piece of gear. When any link in this well-proven chain is compromised, the resulting tone is equally compromised without exception.
The Mackie Hotwire VT12’s patent pending Mode Switching technology electronically rewires the entire analog circuit path, changing the character of its preamp and power amp sections and re-voicing the speaker to actualize the recreation of classic (and through its extensive editing options, customized) amplification. Because Mode Switching physically changes the fundamental analog circuitry of the amp itself, each of Hotwire’s twelve basic Modes is inspiring and real–from the expressive pluck and growl of Class A, ’60s era classic tube combos, to the power and grit of Class AB American monsters. In between, you’ll find everything from sparkling hi-fi to dynamic crunch tones, all responding to the slightest nuance of the player’s touch. Hotwire delivers the rich body and natural tone demanded by the finest electric and acoustic instruments.
Shedding the Weight: A Bold New Power Section Design Focused on Tone
The power section of any tube guitar amp consists of a power supply and a power amplifier. They serve different purposes, yet work together and interactively to create the amplifier’s signature tonal character and dynamic response.
Traditionally, tube amplifier power sections have required massive iron power and output transformers. While they’re bulky and heavy, they provide the coveted sag and bloom that play a primary part in the feel of a great tube amp. These characteristics are critical to the nature of what guitar players simply refer to as the tube sound. Because the analog components found in traditional designs are inherently imperfect, they dynamically sag and limit range as a player digs in, resulting in natural compression that gives the amp its distinct character.
Mackie’s driving vision was to design a power section like nothing before. It had to deliver uncompromised, soulful tone, while also providing something every guitar player has dreamed of since lugging a tube guitar amp up a flight of stairs: light weight. It’s here that Mackie faced one of the primary challenges to delivering on the lofty goals of Hotwire.
The solution was to create the first modern, lightweight, switching power supply with the classic, purposeful limitations of a well-designed tube amp power supply ” call it recreating imperfection if you like ” and couple it with a discrete MOSFET power amplifier, the first of its kind created specifically for guitar applications.
Thanks to the engineering wizardry of Cal Perkins, Hotwire’s MOSFET power amp design steps completely around the pitfalls of common bipolar or chip-based power amplifiers by incorporating premium discrete, hand-matched output devices in a proprietary high voltage, low feedback design. It shares all of a real tube amp’s critical elements of tone recreation, performing faithfully and accurately at peak power levels, while retaining the feedback stability critical for exceptional tone and feel.
Classic Class A or AB, At Any Output Level You Want
Mackie’s smart power design opened new doors to creating classic tube tone more accurately. After all, one of the deciding factors in a tube amp’s tone is the amount of output power being delivered to the speaker. A low-watt, single ended Class A amplifier delivers a distinctive, “greasy” overdrive and super-sensitive response to the player’s attack on the strings. Slip in a higher output power amplifier design and it’s simply not the same amp. The same holds true for every classic amp, big or small.
The Hotwire guitar amplifier provides eight power output levels to perfectly pair the power amplifier’s headroom and overall output level with the desired preamp circuit configuration. Dial in from 1 to 120 watts to balance the accurate interplay between preamp, power amp and speaker and you’ve got more flexibility than any guitar amp has ever offered before.
- 2 X 16 character amber-backlit LCD display
- One-button Buzz filter, for eliminating noise due single-coil pickups or other noisy input sources
- Notch filter, for reducing feedback from acoustic instrument sources
- Manual mode, for simple “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” operation
- Rear-panel microphone input with independent level and processing control
- Onboard compressor/limiter
- Click (metronome) function, with variable sample type, tempo, and level
- Onboard chromatic tuner
- Tools menu, providing access to numerous utility functions.
- Insert loop, for inserting external effects and/or signal processors.
- Stereo line inputs, for jamming along with a CD or MP3 player.
- Cabinet emulated stereo line outputs.
- Stereo headphone output.
- External speaker jack, for connecting an optional EX12 extension cabinet