Having received a tip-off about a cute-looking amp, we tracked it down to a company working out of El Paso, Texas. This valve amplifier is available only online from Glow Audio's website – and will set you back around £300, including postage. Available in six colourful, striking finishes, the Amp One is easy on the eye, and runs pretty hot, too.
Glow doesn't do frills: alongside the speaker terminals, USB connection and headphone input, there's just one line level input – perhaps this is why there's no remote control, either. On the subject of connecting, Glow Audio recommends speakers with a sensitivity rating of at least 90dB, which may not be particularly easy.
This is clearly rather limited, but it does at least produce an open, reasonably detailed, (almost sickly) sweet sound. Listening to Amy Winehouse's Tears Dry On Their Own, her vocal has plenty of the required emotion, full of breaks and affectations along the way, though there's a hint of edginess when she really lets fly.
Decent timing but lacks punchTiming is decent, though the bottom end lacks punch, meaning pacier tracks sound a touch sluggish and it can't really attack when required. Radiohead's Reckoner from the In Rainbows album is a tricky track to keep a hold of, but the Amp One does its best, only losing a touch of subtlety along the way.
This is a fine effort from Glow Audio. We can find faults when compared to the best amplifiers around at this price – not least to the specification – but if you're taken by the styling and fancy something a little different, we see no reason to dissuade you from heading out to El Paso… or perhaps just getting one sent over.