The Best College Dorm Room Amps – Under $120

Whether you’re looking for a quiet practice amp to bring to your college dorm, or just something that won’t wake the kids at night you’ve come to the right place. This list has everything from silent pocket amps to small, portable practice amps and everything in between – and all for under $120! (most things are well under $100).

Silent amps

I know what you’re thinking: Silent amps? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of an amp?

Well, the amps on this part of the list are silent to everyone but you!

VOX amPlug headphone only amps

The VOX amPlug headphone amps have been around since 2007, but they’ve recently gotten an overhaul. The new G2 versions feature an improved analog circuit, 9 effects (3 chorus, 3 delay and 3 reverb) and a fold-able plug to make it stow more easily in the pocket.

AC30

vox_amplug_ac30The VOX AC30 amPlug models the vintage AC30 top boost sound used by so many British bands in the 70’s.

Click to check the current price

Classic rock

vox_amplug_classicrockThe VOX Classic Rock amPlug models the classic UK 100 w amp sound. (think Marshall stack)

Click to check the current price

 

Metal

vox_amplug_metalLastly, the VOX Metal amPlug models the high gain US amp sound. (Think Fender Supersonic, Mesa Boogie and Peavey).

Great for lead tone, not so great for clean. 😉

Click to check the current price

CONCLUSION

PROS:

  • 2AAA batteries (Can use rechargeable).
  • Small enough to fit in your pocket.
  • 3.5mm input AUX jack so you can pipe music into the amPlug to play along to.
  • Surprisingly true tonal rendering for the style (i.e. AC30 sounds like a vintage AC30…).
  • Built in effects (chorus, delay and reverb).
  • Less than $40.
  • It’s an amp that can fit comfortably in your gig bag, making storage a non-issue.
  • Dead simple to use.

CONS:

  • No external output beyond headphone jack (difficult to record or play back for others).
  • Limited styles. (Compared to the digital modelers on this list which have 100’s of tonal possibilities).
  • No rhythm tracks.
  • Limited effects.

iRig

irigiRig is the ultimate in portable amp modeling and recording. About the size of an iPhone, the iRig sits between your guitar and your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and select Android devices as well. Using IK Media’s AmpliTube multi-effects processor, you get:

• An integrated music player
• A dedicated recorder
• A tuner
• Large collection of digital models of amplifiers and stompboxes – vintage and new.

PROS:

  • Tons of realistic amp and effects modeling.
  • Easy to record what you play.
  • Send your output (raw or modeled) to an external amplifier.
  • Completely silent when using headphones, so you won’t wake your dorm mates (or the kids!).

CONS:

Requires a smart phone or tablet, so this is an awesome add-on but not the complete package.

Click to check the current price

Digitech Element XP

digitech_element_xpThe Digitech Element XP is a stompbox on steroids. Not as portable as the VOX amPlugs or iRig, but smaller than most practice amps (except those on this list below).

The Element XP at a glance:

• 58 effects (12 amps, 9 cabinets, 37 stomp boxes)
• 100 factory presets
• room for 100 user presets (edits to the factory presets)
• 20 tone/fx bank combinations
• Built-in chromatic tuner
• Built-in expression pedal – for Wah effect, volume swell, overdrive boost, etc..
• Power supply included
• 45 High quality drum patterns
• 1/4″ a guitar input along
• Stereo 1/4″ output jack
• Aux In to jam along with your favorite songs

PROS:

  • You get a ton of features and modeling capability in a relatively small and inexpensive package.
  • Recording is easy since the stereo line out can be run into another amplifier or mixer for direct recording.

CONS:

  • Not quite as portable as the iRig and amPlug.
  • Can be easy to get lost in effects and amp tweaking for the novice.

Click to check the current price

VOX stomplab IIG

vox_stomplab_iigThe Vox StompLab IIG (A.K.A. Vox StompLab 2G) is much like the Digitech Element XP, except perhaps a bit easier to use and built with metal housing.

Features include:

• 100 presets categorized into styles such as rock, blues, metal, and pop.
• Easy to use and intuitive interface.
• 103 types of modeling effects.
• Edit and save 20 of your own user models.
• Battery (4 AA) or AC adapter powered.
• Tuner.
• Headphone out line.

PROS:

  • Easy to use, despite the large array of models and effects.
  • Solid, yet compact build.

CONS:

  • Not as complex or versatile as the Digitech Element XP
    Not as simple to record as the iRig
  • No looper or rhythm samples

Click to check the current price

Zoom G1Xon

zoom_g1xonThe Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects With Expression Pedal.

• 75 effects, including distortion, compression, modulation, delay, reverb, and 14 realistic amp models
• Built-in expression pedal for overdrive, volume control, wah-wah, or filtering
• Onboard chromatic tuner and Looper
• 68 rhythm patterns
• Separate input jacks for connection of guitar and personal music player, plus an output jack that can be used with amplifier or headphones
• Runs on 4 AA batteries or optional AC adapter, with alkaline battery life of 20 hours

PROS:

  • Has rhythm generator and looper, making it fun and easy to creating your own backing tracks to jam over.

CONS:

  • Not as solid looking as the Vox Stompbox IIG.
  • Looper only has a 30 second buffer.

Click to check the current price

QUIET COMBO AMPS

You may be surprised to learn that many major amp manufacturers today have a battery powered, mini version of their amps available. Most run on a single 9-volt battery, others on the standard AA size.

Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Amp

Marshall-MS-4-Micro-Stack-AmpThe Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is what it sounds like – a miniaturized Marshall Stack.
At a glance:

  • 1w battery powered guitar amplifier
  • 2 independent speaker cabs – each with a single 3? speaker
  • Amp head with Gain, Volume and Tone controls.
  • Powered by a single 9v battery or optional AC power adapter
  • Headphone jack

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is small and stands only 9 3/4? tall, and is switchable between Clean and Overdrive modes.

Click to check the current price

Fender Mini Tone-Master

Fender-Mini-Tone-MasterThis is a miniaturized version of the classic Tone-Master and Fender does a great job of keeping true to the authentic Fender details here – cab corners, retro grille cloth, and vintage white control knobs.

At a glance:

  • 1w battery powered amplifier that features two 2? speakers.
  • Gain, Volume, Tone and Power controls.
  • Powered by single 9V battery (included), or AC adapter

Click to check the current price

Fender-Mini-57-Twin

This is quite simply a battery powered, highly portable version of the original Fender ’57 Twin Amp.

Fender-Mini-57-Twin

At a glance:

  • Completely captures the vintage 50’s look with its miniature chicken head knobs, down to its tweed covering and brown grille.
  • Made of real wood and not plastic.
  • 1w battery powered guitar amplifier with twin 2? speakers.
  • Built-in distortion, Power, volume, and tone controls.
  • Runs on a single 9V battery or power adapter.

Click to check the current price

The VOX MINI3 G2.

The Mini3 might just be the ultimate battery powered modeling amp – It’s powerful enough for street performances or picnics with the family or wherever, and check out the features:

VOX_MINI3_G2_ivory

  • Based on the VOX Valvetronix family of amps and includes a new Bassilator circuit that provides richer low-end frequencies.
  • 8 editable effects.
  • 11 amp models.
  • A direct line connection for ultimate clean tone, or portable PA!
  • powered by 6-AA batteries or AC adapter.

Click to check the current price

Vox-AC1-RhythmVOX

The AC1 RhythmVOX is a great battery powered practice amp AND also a rhythm box too!

At a glance:

  • 66 Rhythm/Song Patterns for rhythm practice and experimentation.
  • A host of song style beats.
  • Configurable beat patterns, tempo and volume.
  • Gain, tone, and volume controls.
  • Headphone jack.
  • Aux In jack – to jam along with your CD or MP3 player.
  • A pair of 3? speakers.

Click to check the current price

Orange Micro Crush

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 is all Orange, from the woven grill to rubber footstools and trademark Orange finish. it’s also wood, and not plastic.

Orange-Micro-Crush-CR3

At a glance:

  • 3w battery powered amp.
  • Single 4? speaker.
  • Clean and Overdrive channels.
  • Tone control.
  • Chromatic tuner.
  • Headphone jack
  • Runs on a single 9v battery or AC adapter.

Click to check the current price

CONCLUSION

PROS:

  • Each has a headphone jack, so you can practice without waking the neighbors but also has a speaker (or 2) so you can play without headphones.
  • The run on batteries, so you don’t need to worry about an outlet or power strip and can take it anywhere.
  • Very portable

CONS:

  • Not as fully featured as some of the modeling boxes on the list (eg: iRig, Digitech, Stomplab and Zoom)

THE LEGENDARY PIGNOSE 7-100

The Pignose 7-100 is a unique looking and playing amplifier. It’s genius is its simplicity. It has a single knob that looks like a pig’s nose and is located on the front. That one knob controls the power, volume and distortion. It works with your guitar’s volume knob too, so the tonal possibilities are surprisingly diverse.

pignose-7-100

At a glance:

  • 5w amp with 5″ speaker.
  • Runs on 6 AA batteries or an optional AC adapter.
  • About the size of a shoe box and weighs around 5lbs.
  • Hinged design and can be played either fully closed, wide open or at any point in between.
  • It also has an open space inside that can be used to store the AC adapter or guitar cable when not in use.
  • A preamp out jack which makes it possible to play the Pignose through a larger and more powerful amplifier (or PA) or straight into a mixing board.

The Pignose 7-100 has a distinctive look and sound that is like no other. It’s stylish and funky, and is definitely a conversation starter.

Read the full review here

Click to check the current price

 

Related Posts:

Orange Micro Crush PiX: CR3 vs CR6

The Orange Micro Crush PiX line of amps is Orange Amplifiers’ entry into the portable battery powered amplifier market and They are a worthy addition.

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 and CR6 are both decked out with with a woven grill, tiny rubber footstools and the trademark Orange finish, just like their big brothers in the Orange Amps family.

What sets the Orange Micro Crush PiX amps apart from other battery powered amplifiers is that they are not plastic – their wood and metal construction makes it a bit more durable than some other mini-amps.

Orange Micro Crush PiX CR3

Orange-Micro-Crush-CR3The Orange Micro Crush CR3 Amp is a 3w solid-state amp and features a single 4″ speaker. It has no on-board sound effects (most portable battery powered amplifiers don’t), but features an overdrive channel and tone and volume controls.

The clean tone is a bit on the light side, which may make it a bad out-of-the box pairing with a telecaster (though you could always roll the tone knob back on the guitar itself to even it out). But the overdrive channel is where the Micro Crush CR3 shines – it’s just incredible for such a little thing. I’d call it a Tiny Terror, except that name is already taken. Let’s say it’s a Micro Terror, or Tiny Beast. 😉

I already reviewed the CR3 a while back, so you can read the full review here.

Orange Micro Crush PiX CR6

Orange-Micro-Crush-CR6The CR6 is like the Micro Crush CR3’s big brother. Like the CR3, the CR6 is also a battery powered amplifier, so it’s totally portable and you can play it without disturbing the neighbors (unless you really crank it and live in an apartment..)

The features at a glance of the cr6:

  • Controls: Gain, volume, tone
  • Inputs/Outputs: Headphone line out; auxiliary line in
  • Output: Stereo, 6 watts
  • Speakers: 2 x 4″
  • Built-in Tuner
  • Wood cabinet construction
  • Battery power (18V AC power supply sold separately)

The Micro Crush CR6 lets you play with headphones, so as not to annoy the neighbors (or any co-habitants), but the twin 4″ speakers can put out plenty of decibels for their size. Meaning, you can still rock out when you want to.

The Micro Crush CR6 has decent clean tone and great Orange amp crunch tones.

Watch the Demo:

CR3 vs CR6

OK, so the CR3 and the CR6 are very similar, but how are they different?

Differences between the Micro Crush CR3 and CR6:

SPEAKERS:

  • CR6 has twin stereo 4″ speakers
  • CR3 has a single 4″ speaker

INPUTS:

  •  CR3 has only an instrument input
  •  CR6 also has an aux input, so you can plug in your
    favorite mp3 player and jam along

WATTAGE:

  •  CR3 is 3W
  •  CR6 is 6W

SIZE:

  •  CR3 measures about 6″ x 6″ x 3″ and weighs 1.87 lbs
  •  CR6 measures 10.5″ x 8″ x 5.5″ and weighs 4.5 lbs

Both the Orange Micro Crush CR6 and Orange Micro Crush CR3 are made of solid wood and feature the same Orange grill covering as the larger Orange amplifiers. Both are battery powered amplifiers that are completely portable and compact and both are excellent practice amps.

Neither one is appropriate for gigs, and they likely won’t keep up with a full band in practice. But that’s not what they’re for anyway. These little guys ooze Orange tone and vibe, and they’re small enough to leave in the living room without attracting too much undue attention from significant others.

Price:
The Orange Micro Crush CR3 Amp sells for around $80 (with power adapter!), while the Orange Micro Crush CR6 is currently only available through certain 3rd party sellers and can be found for around $150 at the time of this review. Yes, the CR6 is quite a bit more money, but it’s also getting harder to come by so it’s a bit of a collector’s item too so it should hold more of its value.

Conclusion:

You don’t get any effects, but that’s common with this size amplifier. What you do get is a very portable little practice amp and a good taste of Orange tone.

These are excellent amps for rock and metal, and each Orange Micro Crush makes a great addition to the office or living room for those times when you just want to plug in an play, but don’t want to (or can’t) rattle the windows.

Related Posts:

The legendary Pignose 7-100 Portable Amp Review.

The Pignose 7-100 Legendary small portable amp might just change your life…

One of the best things you can do as a guitarist to improve your playing is to shake things up a bit. Change your routine. Change what you play or how you play it. Many times this leads to buying a new piece of guitar gear, which is OK – provided you don’t fool yourself into thinking it will make you play like a specific guitarist….

For example, buying an Eric Clapton Fender Stratocaster will not make you play (or sound) like Eric Clapton. It will make you sound like you, playing an Eric Clapton Fender Stratocaster.

But that’s not to say that changing guitar gear won’t change your sound. It absolutely will – if it’s different than what you currently use.

If you only ever play electric guitar, then learning to play on an acoustic guitar will change how you play the electric (and vice versa).

To that end, I am recommending you take a look at the Pignose 7-100 Legendary. It’s a small, portable amplifier with a look and sound all its own.

It’s a vintage look and unique sound, but it’s best feature is its simplicity.

Behold: The Pignose 7-100

pignose-7-100The Pignose 7-100 is a 5w, truly portable amplifier. It’s a solid state amp with a 5″ speaker and runs on 6 AA batteries or an optional AC adapter.

It’s small, about the size of a shoe box and weighs around 5lbs. You can even attach a standard guitar strap and sling the Pignose over your shoulder, for maximum portability.

It features a hinged design and can be played either fully closed, wide open or at any point in between. And if you have a buddy open and close it while you’re playing, you can achieve a sort of poor-man’s wah-wah effect.

It also has an open space inside that can be used to store the AC adapter when not in use. I don’t have the adapter and have opted for rechargeable AA batteries instead, so I use that cavity to store my guitar cable.

The Pignose 7-100 also has a preamp out jack which makes it possible to play the Pignose through a large and more powerful amplifier (or PA) or straight into a mixing board.

pignose-7-100-inside.jpg

Pignose 7-100 Inside View

But what makes the Pignose 7-100 standout as a way to shake up your playing and get you out of your rut is it’s super-simple feature set. It has exactly one knob on the whole thing. That’s it.

Oh, and it’s shaped like a pig’s nose. Very cool.

Turn it to the the right until it clicks, and it’s on at very low volume. Volume increases as you turn the knob further to the right, but the tone changes with it.

You see, this is where the Pignose 7-100 gets interesting…

Why I recommend the Pignose 7-100

The Pignose 7-100 has a distinctive look and sound that is like no other. It’s stylish and funky, and playing through it is bound to change how you play and how you think about playing.

Here’s why…

How to use a Pignose 7-100

I know a lot of players who never touch the knobs on their guitars. I’ve even seen instructional videos that claim the control knobs on a guitar should never be touched. They say to leave them all – volume, and tone for all pickups – on 10, and just adjust the settings on the amp. They claim that anything less than 10 will simply rob your tone and make you guitar sound crappy.

That’s complete and total bullstein.

Those knobs are on your guitar for a reason! Truly great players know this, because they took the time to learn it.

This is why I love the Pignose 7-100 so much. It sounds like total crap, if all you do is crank it to the max and do the same on your guitar tone and volume knobs. But dial those back, and you get some sweet tone for a 5″ speaker.

You see, the Pignose 7-100 is really a teacher. It practically forces you to learn to play more dynamically, and use the knobs on your guitar to achieve good tone. It’s a different way of thinking than many are used to.

How to get a clean tone from your Pignose 7-100
  1. Turn the volume to max on the Pignose 7-100, and the volume on your guitar to just above off.
  2. Turn the volume on your guitar to max, and the volume on the Pignose 7-100 to just above “on”

From there, you can increase the volume on the guitar and/or the Pignose 7-100 to get more overdrive and (eventually) increasingly fuzzy distortion.

Yeah, crank everything to the max and it will sound like an amp with a blown speaker. But learn to control the subtleties of your tone, and you will be rewarded with a great sound and a remarkably responsive little box of sweetness.

Here’s an example tone Demo:

Pignose 7-100 Blues demo

Here’s a really good demo of the blues possibilities (WARNING: the volume in the beginning is low, but gets LOUD when he starts playing..):

Conclusion

Are there better all-around amps that are just as portable? Sure. The Roland Micro Cube and Vox Pathfinder are two solid contenders, but the Pignose 7-100 is it’s own creature. It looks different, sounds different and plays different.

If you want something that’s easy to carry from place to place and different enough to help you break out of any rut you might be in, then the Pignose 7-100 Legendary portable amplifier fits the bill.

Related Posts:

The 8 Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps Today!

Battery powered guitar amplifiers have come a long way. Technology has advanced to the point where you can now get classic Fender or Marshall tones in an amp about the size of a lunch box.

Better still- you can get classic Vox tones with a built-in beatbox for honing your rhythm chops anywhere you go. Or get virtually 11 different amps all in one, small portable battery powered amplifier.

The times, they are a changing but I think these changes are a good thing.

Here are 8 of the best battery powered guitar amplifiers on the market today, from big-name makers.

Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Amp Review

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is what it sounds like – a miniaturized Marshall Stack.

Marshall-MS-4-Micro-Stack-Amp

It’s a 1w battery powered guitar amplifier featuring 2 independent speaker cabs – each with a single 3″ speaker – and an amp head with Gain, Volume and Tone controls. The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is small and stands only 9 3/4″ tall.

The amp is switchable between Clean and Overdrive modes, and the single Tone control lets you adjust the balance between bass and treble. The Marshall MS-4 Is a playable little amp that is well suited for classic rock and blues, but not jazz or metal.

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is powered by a single 9v battery or optional AC power adapter and sells for about $60.

read more for a full review and demo of the Marshall MS-4 Micro stack.

Marshall MS-2

What a great time we live in!

Marshall-MS-2-Mini-Amp

Modern technology has now made it possible to grab the Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp and take that Marshall tone with you – anywhere.

The Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp has that classic Marshall look and crunch, with surprisingly loud volume for such a little thing. it’s just 5-3/4″ high and even includes a belt clip!

It features controls for overdrive, tone, and volume and is powered by one 9V battery.

The Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp is a 1w battery powered amp that makes a great and fun gift or a truly portable practice amp, and sells for around $45

Demo

Fender Mini Tone-Master

Last up on the mini Fender hit parade is the Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp. This is a miniaturized version of the classic Tone-Master. As with all amps mini, the Mini Tone-Master provides pretty nice tone – considering its tiny size.

Fender-Mini-Tone-Master

Fender does another exceptional job of keeping true to the authentic Fender details here – cab corners, retro grille cloth, and vintage white control knobs.

The Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp is a small 1w battery powered amplifier that features two 2″ speakers, Gain, Volume, Tone and Power controls. It runs on a single 9V battery (included), or AC adapter and measures 6-1/2″ W x 6-1/8″ H x 2-1/4″ D

Unlike the Fender ’57 mini, the Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp is all plastic, but lightweight and small. It sells for $29.99.

Clean DEMO:

Distortion DEMO:

Fender ’57 Mini

Fender-Mini-57-Twin

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp is for all the Fender Tweed fans out there. This is quite simply a battery powered, highly portable version of the original.

Measuring at just 2.8″ x 9″ x 8″ and weighing less than 2 lbs, this is a ’57 Twin for your desk or to just grab and go practice anytime!

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp completely captures the vintage 50’s look from its miniature chicken head knobs, down to its tweed covering and brown grille.

It’s a bit more sturdy than many other battery powered guitar amplifiers out there, since the Fender Mini ’57 Twin is made of real wood and not plastic.

Beyond the vintage look, it’s a rocking little amp too. The Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a small 1w battery powered guitar amplifier with twin 2″ speakers, Built-in distortion, Power, volume, and tone controls. It runs on a single 9V battery or power adapter.

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp sells for about $43, and would make a nice addition to a game room, or office or bedroom.

read more for a full review and demo of the Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp.

Fender Mini Deluxe

fender-min-deluxe-amp

The Fender Mini Deluxe looks exactly like a shrunken Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. It even includes identical “dogbone” handle, chrome control plate, mini chicken-head knobs. It’s a 1w, battery powered guitar amplifier with a single 2″ speaker. The Fender Mini Deluxe runs on one 9v battery, and includes headphone out, Volume, Tone and Drive controls.

The Fender Mini Deluxe measures at 5.8″ x 6.2″ x 2.8″ and weighs in at just over 1 lb. It’s highly portable, and great for practice anywhere.

The Fender Mini Deluxe sells for around $35.

read more for a full review and demo of the Fender Mini Deluxe.

VOX Mini3 G2 Modeling Guitar Amplifier Review

The VOX MINI3 G2 is quite possibly the ultimate portable modeling amp.

VOX_MINI3_G2_ivory

The VOX MINI3 G2, Ivory

It’s powerful and portable enough for street performances or picnics with the family or wherever.

Unlike some other battery powered amps, the VOX MINI3 G2 is not a toy. It’s a serious modeling amp based on the VOX Valvetronix family of amps and includes a new Bassilator circuit that provides richer low-end frequencies, which is great high-gain players looking for a deep metal tone.

The VOX MINI3 G2 features 8 editable effects, 11 amp models and a direct line connection for ultimate clean tone, or portable PA!

The VOX MINI3 G2 runs on 6-AA batteries or AC adapter, weighs 6.6 lbs (3 kg) and measures10.32″ (262mm) x 6.85″ (174 mm) x 8.78″ (223mm).

read more for a full review and demo of the VOX MINI3 G2 .

Vox AC1 RhythmVOX Portable Practice Amp Review

Vox-AC1-RhythmVOX

The AC1 RhythmVOX is not just a great portable practice amp, but it’s a rhythm box too. The RhythmVOX features 66 Rhythm/Song Patterns for rhythm practice and experimentation. From straight forward metronome to song accompaniment with a host of song style beats, the AC1 RhythmVOX is a box of fun.

The quality of the beat patterns is excellent and the tempo and volume of each can be controlled in an intuitive way, so you can quickly dial in the settings you want.

Features include gain, tone, and volume controls, headphone jack, Aux In jack – to jam along with your CD or MP3 player and a pair of 3″ speakers.

Coming in at about the size of a lunchbox (7″W x 2-1/2″D x 5″H) and weighing about 1 lb, the Vox AC1 RhythmVOX is a truly portable battery powered amp, but also runs on AC adapter.

read more for a full review and demo of the AC1 RhythmVOX.

Orange Micro Crush

orange-micro-crush-amp

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 a 3w battery powered amp from famed Orange Amplifiers. With a single 4″ speaker, overdrive channel, and tone control, this little guy can rock!

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 is all Orange, from the woven grill to rubber footstools and trademark Orange finish. it’s also wood, and not plastic.

The CR3 has a chromatic tuner, headphone jack and runs on a single 9v battery 9or AC adapter).

It may be small, but the Orange Micro Crush CR3 is all Orange and it’s a little beast.

read more for a full review and demo of the Orange Micro Crush amp.

Related Posts:

VOX Mini3 G2 Modeling Guitar Amplifier Review.

The VOX MINI3 G2 is not only proof that great things can sometimes come in small packages, but is also possibly the ultimate portable modeling amp.

It’s powerful, portable and extremely versatile – what’s not to love?

VOX_MINI3_G2_classic

The VOX MINI3 G2, Classic

In fact, the VOX MINI3 G2 Modeling Guitar Amplifier is portable and powerful enough to take out for street performances or picnics with the family or wherever.

With professional looks and compact design on the outside, and advanced modeling technology based on the VOX Valvetronix family of amps, the VOX MINI3 G2 is no toy!

What’s different in the G2 from the MINI3?

As you may have noticed, this review is for the VOX MINI3 G2, so you may be wondering: just what’s different between the VOX MINI3 (first generation) and the G2 (second generation)?

The bulk of the differences boil down to two things:

  1. The Bassilator Circuit
  2. Improved sound effects

The Bassilator Circuit

The VOX Bassilator is a newly designed circuit that provides richer low-end frequencies, beyond what is available by EQ alone. This is a big plus for high-gain players looking for a deep metal tone.

The effect of the Bassilator circuit can be heard at low level volumes as well, and really rounds out the sound.

Improved sound effects

The VOX MINI3 G2 features revamped on-board effects that are less digital sounding and easier to use than the first generation MINI3.

VOX MINI3 G2 Features at a Glance

  • Direct line connection for a keyboard or other source that is
    clean and free of distortion.
  • New Bassilator circuit – delivers a rich low end, especially
    with high-gain models
  • Built-in tuner
  • AUX input (ideal for connecting an MP3 player)
  • AC or battery powered portability (6-AA batteries)
  • Dedicated mic input with separate volume and reverb/delay
    controls – ideal for vocals
  • 11 amp models
  • Detachable shoulder-type carry strap for transporting your
    MINI3 with ease.
  • Audio Inputs: INPUT , MIC IN , AUX IN
  • Audio Outputs: Headphones
  • Speaker: 1×5 inch; 4Ω
  • Signal processing: A/D conversion = 24-bit, D/A conversion =
    24-bit, sampling frequency =44.1 KHz

11 Amp models

VOX_MINI3_G2_ivory

The VOX MINI3 G2, Ivory

The VOX MINI3 G2 provides 11 different amp models, across a wide range of genres. This is the heart of its versatility. It nails the British VOX tone (as one would hope! 😉 ), but also classic vintage through modern high-gain – and even rare boutique amps!

The VOX MINI3 G2 uses the same Valvetronix software that has earned VOX much acclaim for its warm, natural tube modeled tones.

There is also a Clean model that can be used with virtually any instrument you’d care to plug into, making it usable with not just electric guitar, but acoustic-electric guitar and even keyboards.

Here’s a run down of the amp models available on the VOX MINI3 G2:

  • BTQ CLEAN
  • BLACK 2×12
  • TWEED 4×10
  • AC15
  • AC30TB
  • UK ’70S
  • UK ’80S
  • UK ’90S
  • CALI METAL
  • US HIGAIN
  • LINE

Effects

VOX_MINI3_G2_topAs mentioned above, the VOX MINI3 G2 features improved effects that are even easier to use than the first generation. And for reverb fans out there, the VOX MINI3 G2 features a dedicated reverb and delay effects section!

Extra care and attention have been given to the VOX MINI3 G2 effect interface to make it even easier for you to not only select, but also configure each effect. The tap tempo button, for instance, makes it simple to synchronize the delay time to the temp you wish to play.

Each effect is also editable, which means that once you have the effect set to where you like it, you can save it and go back to it with the twist of a knob anytime you like.

Here’s a list of the effects provided by the VOX MINI3 G2:

  • Compression
  • Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Tremolo
  • Delay/Reverb
    • Analog
    • Tape echo
    • Spring
    • Room

The VOX MINI3 G2 is a portable battery powered amplifier.

VOX_MINI3_G2_black

The VOX MINI3 G2 , Black

The VOX MINI3 G2 is ultra portable, weighing in at 6.6 lbs (3 kg) and measuring 10.32″ (262mm) x 6.85″ (174 mm) x 8.78″ (223mm). It runs run 6-AA batteries, or an optional AC power adapter. The battery run time varies with style of play, but VOX states you should get up to 10 hours of play on a single set of AA batteries.

There’s also a detachable strap, so you can carry your VOX MINI3 G2 by hand or over the shoulder.

The VOX MINI3 G2 is versatile!

With 11 amp models and 8 customizable on-board effects, the VOX MINI3 G2 is a highly versatile portable guitar amplifier – but it’s even more versatile than that!

You see, the VOX MINI3 G2 is not just a great little guitar amp. It’s “LINE” model of amp, is pure clean tone that makes it ideal for acoustic-electric guitar, keyboard or even mp3 which makes it an excellent, portable PA system!

The VOX MINI3 G2also has a separate mic input with its own dedicated volume and reverb/delay controls.

This make the VOX MINI3 G2 HUGE for busking or on-the-fly performances wherever you may be.

The VOX MINI3 G2 is pure VOX.

The VOX MINI3 G2 is a great portable, battery powered guitar amp that’s capable of so much more, but it also keeps to the VOX tradition. From the trademark diamond grill design to the “chimey VOX cleans” and British Crunch, the VOX MINI3 G2 is pure VOX quality and design.

DEMO:

Demo from VOX:

Amp model demo, from The ToneKing:

Effects Demo:

 

The VOX MINI3 G2 sells for about $120 and comes in 3 color variations:

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Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Amp Review.

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is Marshall’s entry into the portable battery powered amplifier. In keeping with path set down by other amplifier makers, the Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is like a Marshall stack that’s been hit with a shrink ray.

Marshall MS-4 Micro stack Features

Marshall-MS-4-Micro-Stack-AmpThe Marshall MS-4 Micro stack Amp is a 1w amplifier and features 2 independent speaker cabs (each with a single 3″ speaker), an amp head with Gain, Volume and Tone controls. The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is truly a micro stack and stands only 9 3/4″ tall.

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is switchable between Clean and Overdrive modes. The single Tone control lets you adjust the balance between bass and treble.

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is powered by a single 9v battery or optional AC power adapter.

Conclusion

Marshall plugs the amp as being, “Powerful enough to blow the windows out of a doll house!”.

Maybe, if doll houses had windows. Then again, maybe not.

While it does pack a punch for a 1-watt amp, it has relatively weak distortion and poor cleans compared with similar portable battery powered amplifiers.

Marshall states the Marshall MS-4 Micro stack features a “Smokin’ stack design” and “Screamin’ stack sound,” but it’s plastic construction and weaker tone are its downside.

It’s a playable little amp that is well suited for classic rock and blues, but not jazz or metal. The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack definitely nails the Marshal stack look, but in the end it’s more style than substance.

But still, the idea of having a Marshall stack on your desk at the office is pretty sweet, right?

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack Amp sell for about $60.

 

Check out the Demo:

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Orange Micro Crush CR3 Amp Review

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 is Orange Amplifiers entry into the portable battery powered amplifier market and it’s a worthy addition.

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 Amp is a 3w solid-state amp and features a single 4″ speaker.

Like its big brothers, the Orange Micro Crush is decked out with with a woven grill, tiny rubber footstools and the trademark Orange finish.

Orange Micro Crush CR3 Features at a glance

orange-micro-crush-amp

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 is a pretty basic combo amp. You won’t find any bells and whistles (ie: effects like tremolo and reverb) on portable battery powered amplifiers, but the Orange Micro Crush has the following features:

  • An integrated chromatic tuner with a row of LED’s for every note (including sharps).
  • 1/4″ headphone jack
  • Overdrive channel
  • Standard tone and volume controls.
  • 4″ speaker
  • 3w of power
  • 9v battery, or AC adapter

The Orange Micro Crush is not plastic – it’s wood and metal construction makes it a bit more durable than some other mini-amps.

Conclusion

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 Amp is a solid entry into the portable battery powered amplifier market and sells for $79 (with power adapter!).

You don’t get any effects, but that’s common with this size amplifier. What you do get is a very portable little practice amp and a good taste of Orange tone.

The clean tone is a bit on the light side, but the overdrive is incredible for such a little thing. I’d call it a Tiny Terror, except that name is already taken. Let’s say it’s a Micro Terror, or Tiny Beast. 😉

It’s an excellent amp for rock and metal, but you will probably want to pass on it if you’re looking for a good clean tone in such a small package. If you’re looking for good clean tone in a mini-amp, check out the Fender Mini Deluxe.

The Orange Micro Crush makes a great addition to the office or living room for those times when you just want to plug in an play, but don’t want to (or can’t) rattle the windows.

Orange Micro Crush Demo:

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Fender ’57 Mini Twin Vintage Tweed Amp Review

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a great way to take that vintage tweed look with you wherever you go. Measuring at just 2.8 x 9 x 8 inches and weighing under 2 lbs, this little guy is made to grab and go.

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp captures the vintage 50’s look with its tweed covering, brown grille and miniature chicken head knobs. The Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a truly portable, battery-powered amp that’s great for practice, or just jamming in a bedroom, office or hotel room.

Fender-Mini-57-Twin

Whether you want to practice at night without waking the wife/kids/neighbors, or just want to grab an amp and go when you have a few extra minutes, the Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a great choice. It’s also made of wood, and not plastic like most other portable amps.

Fender Mini ’57 Twin Features

  • Super-realistic look
  • 1 watt
  • Twin 2″ speakers
  • Tweed-covered wood cab
  • Built-in distortion
  • Power, volume, and tone controls
  • 9V power adapter jack
  • 1/4″ headphone jack

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a great little amp for the size. It’s quite capable of putting out a decent volume on overdrive, and but clean enough to play quietly too.

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin runs off of a single 9v Battery or AC power adapter (not included). The Planet Waves 9V Power Adapter is recommended, and available for less than $10.

Conclusion

Sure it’s small, but that’s the point. This puppy oozes vintage style, and can produce some decent tones. Actually, pretty remarkable tones for its size.

The Fender ’57 Mini nails the vintage 1957 tweed look, and proves that great things sometimes do come in small packages. It’s the perfect gift for the Fender fan in your family.

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp sells for about $43, and would make a nice addition to a game room, or office or bedroom. It’s a truly vintage looking conversation piece that rocks.

 

Fender Mini ’57 Mini Twin Demo:

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Fender Mini Deluxe Amp Review.

Honey, I shrunk the Hot Rod Deluxe!

OK, so it’s not as powerful as that, but this little puppy can still rock – for its size!

The Fender Mini Deluxe looks like the “Mini-Me” to the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe – it includes identical “dogbone” handle, chrome control plate, mini chicken-head knobs. The Fender Mini Deluxe has Fender tone too (just a bit less of it than it’s 40w, tube powered big brother)! In fact, it’s a 1w solid state amp with a single 2″ speaker.

Fender Mini Deluxe Features

This is where I usually state the “features at a glance”, but to be honest – the Fender Mini Deluxe is a really simple battery powered amp and there isn’t a lot of room for bells and whistles. These pretty much are the features:

  • One watt of power
  • Single 8 ohm, two-inch speaker
  • 9V battery-powered
  • Headphone out
  • simple controls: Volume, Tone, Drive

Is the Fender Mini Deluxe a toy or a real amp?Fender Mini Deluxe

This is the big debate.

People who love the Fender Mini Deluxe say it’s the real deal, while people who bought it expecting a “real” amp say it’s a toy you’d expect to buy at Walmart.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

The Fender Mini Deluxe is pretty awesome for its size ( 5.8 x 6.2 x 2.8 inches and just over 1 lb) and price, but it will not compare to a traditional practice amp. It’s surprisingly loud for its size, but it won’t rattle any windows.

Yes the Fender Mini Deluxe is a bit of a novelty, but it’s a rocking novelty well suited for late-night, dorm or apartment practice. And selling for around $35, the Fender Mini Deluxe Amp is a very well priced novelty at that.

Besides, the damn thing is just so cute!

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Vox AC1 RhythmVOX Portable Practice Amp Review.

The AC1 RhythmVOX ups the ante on the battery powered guitar amplifier stage. It’s a great portable practice amp, but the beauty of the RhythmVOX lies in the 66 Rhythm/Song Patterns it provides for hours of fun.

Vox-AC1-RhythmVOXThe RhythmVOX can be used as a straight forward metronome, or song accompaniment with a host of song style beats.

Coming in at about the size of a lunchbox (7″W x 2-1/2″D x 5″H) and weighing about 1 lb, the Vox AC1 RhythmVOX is a truly portable battery powered amp.

AC1 RhythmVOX Features

Rhythm Features

At the heart of the AC1 is a Rhythm box. Sure, the RhythmVOX is a great little amp, but what really makes it stand apart from the rest of the portable battery powered amps are the Rhythm Features.

Rhythm specs at a glance:

  • Includes a total of 66 built-in Rhythm/Song Patterns
  • Tempo range: 40-240bpm
  • One extended-length additional song pattern

The Vox AC1 RhythmVOX includes 10 rhythm patterns ranging from standard, metronome beats – including 4 beat, 8 beat and 16 beat – to more advanced style-based pattens like blues, funk reggae and jazz.

Add to these patterns, the ability to select 6 different variations of each and you get a total of 66 rhythm parts to chose from! Also included is an extended, multi-measure drum part.

The quality of these beat patterns is excellent. The tempo and volume of each can be controlled in an intuitive way, so you can quickly dial in the settings you want.

Amp Features

The AC1 RhythmVOX is much more than just a rhythm box, it’s also a very competent little amp.

Here are a few of the amp features:

  • gain, tone, and volume controls
  • A pair of 3″ speakers delivers a full-bodied sound
  • A dedicated E-string tuner
  • headphone jack (essential for private practice)
  • Aux In jack – to jam along with your CD or MP3 player
  • Optional AC power adapter

The AC1 utilizes the same analog circuitry as the Vox amPlug series of headphone amps, and includes an Overdrive switch for increased sonic variation- on for high-gain sound;off for a bright, clean sound.

The RhythmVOX is a truly portable battery powered amp that runs off 6 AA batteries for up to 26 hours of play, but an AC power adapter is also available.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a beginner who is using the RhythmVOX to help practice keeping the beat or a more advanced player looking to break out of your rut and create some new avenues of exploration, this little guy delivers the goods.

AC1 RhythmVOX is impressive for a portable battery powered practice amp with a full compliment of tone shaping possibilities through the tone, volume, gain and overdrive controls. You’ll be surprised how good a pair of twin 3″ speakers can sound!

But the AC1 is also a great little beatbox, destined to send you down a host of new playing possibilities

The AC1 RhythmVOX currently sells for about $49 on Amazon.

Demo

I’ll finish things off with a demo of the Vox AC1 RhythmVOX in action:

(click here if the video above doesn’t play.)

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