It's one of the most unusual company names I've seen, but it is also one of the most unusual speaker docks too...
Putting flesh on these cryptic bones, we have manufacturer 'Fatman' (there's a painful schoolyard back story in there somewhere) and its 'iTube Valve Dock' - the first iPod speaker dock to go completely audio crazy on us and throw in a valve speaker system, a must have feature in any rock n roller's amp array.
James Roth, MD of The Opposition Group (responsible for worldwide sales and marketing of the Fatman Brand), said "The valve amplifier differentiates the speaker system from many other iPod systems out there, providing the classic audio characteristics of valves which improves the listening experience and adds value to your iPod system." I doubt he's wrong.
Looking at the raw specs, the Dock has a lot going for it:
*Power Output 13Wx2
*Frequency Response 20Hz - 20KHz (±1.5Db)
*Harmonic Distortion 0.5%
*Signal-To-Noise Ratio 86Db
*Input Impedance 100K
*Output Impedance 4ohm, 8ohm
*Valve Type 2x6N1(ECC85) 1x6E2(EM87)
Such a list would please the casual guitarist, let alone your average iPodder.
Away from this potential acoustic bliss, the two part set-up (Amp: 260 x 145 x 130mm,
Dock: 155 x 130 x 123mm) also throws in an auxiliary input for non-Applian-devices, a video cable to connect it up to a TV, Banana Plug speaker cables and even a delicate glove for cleaning.
So after years of putting up with the overrated Bose, the high-end speaker dock market is finally beginning to flesh out. At £299.99 the iTube doesn't come cheap, but it is hitting stores now and what respectable rocker could possibly pass up the opportunity to add valve tech into yet another part of their lives...?