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Pignose 7-100 Review

Pignose 7-100 Review

Summary: Pignose is one of the pioneer brands when it comes to portable mini amps. For more than 35 years, people in the music industry have known the name, it's popularity a testament to it's enduring quality. The Pignose 7-100 Legendary portable amplifier does not taint that longstanding reputation and carries on the tradition with a fine and distinctively funky tone. It does exactly what you would expect from it, no more no less.

Tone/Volume

Some will love it, some will hate it. This is a distinctive sounding amp and isn’t designed to suit a full spectrum of tones. It does dirty/funky and does it well enough. 

Features

The Pignose hasn’t really changed in over 35 years and probably wont anytime soon. Featuring just the one volume/gain control and nothing more, it really is a no frills affair.

Price

At just over $80 (at the time of writing) it's fair to say there are a number of mini amps available for less that do a lot more. But it does have a higher build quality than most.

  • Very loud for such a small amp
  • A distinct sound that some will love and some will hate
  • Classic design and build quality
  • Lacks clarity when played clean
  •  A little on the expensive side
  • Lacks controls, featuring just a single volume/gain knob

First brought into the mainstream spotlight in the legendary blues movie 'Crossroads' (If you haven't seen the movie, then do yourself a favor!) the Pignose 7-100 Legendary Portable Mini Amp has a unique funky tone that is a real hit for some, and a little off the mark for others who prefer cleaner tones.

It's pretty much a love it or hate it affair so reviews of the Pignose can be mixed but in general it's a well regarded little amp.

If you are into funky blues then this might be the mini amp for you, but If you are looking for a clean safe tone consider something else, the Pignose will not be tamed. Check out our in-depth Pignose 7-100 review below.

A Distinctive Sound

The Pignose’s distinct tone has been present on classic recordings by artists such as Derek and the Dominos, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa and even Eric Clapton on the Layla sessions. It's been used by touring artists and also makes a great practice amp.

While the amp itself is versatile in this regard, the tone certainly isn't. It's very distinct and wont suit those looking for a crisp, clear sounding amp. It's probably best described as muddy. The cleans are not as clean as you might hope for. It’s strong in bass and mids but lacking clarity and sounds remarkably similar to Eric Claptons tone in Cream, which is great if that's the sound you are going for.

If you are looking for a clean, crisp sounding amp it would be best to give the Pignose a miss.​

But if you are after a dirty sounding, mean little blues amp that will go anywhere and punch out a surprisingly full sound from such a small unit then the Pignose 7-100 might be just the mini amp for you.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​​

Just the Basics

The Pignose 7-100 features just the  single volume knob on the outside, which is cleverly shaped like a pig nose. With pre-amp out the Pignose can operate as a pre-amp which may suit some better.

The amp is powered by 6AA batteries and doesn’t come with a power adapter, although it can be run on one. To access the battery compartment and speaker the sides open much like a briefcase.

The build quality is superior to many mini amps and looks particularly good in comparison.

Features and Specifications

  • Power: 5 watts
  • 5” speaker
  • Can be battery powered (6 AA batteries – not included)
  • Volume knob
  • Pre-amp out

Dimensions & Weight

  • 6.2 x 5 x 9.5 inches​
  • 4.9 pounds

Customer Feedback

As you might expect with such a distinctive sounding amp, customer feedback is mixed. Below are some of the more useful comments:

The tone of this amp is largely controlled my your guitar's volume knob. That said, I found it difficult to achieve a clean tone without any background distortion.

This is truly a box of sound that will amaze you! The Pignose gives FULL rich sound and warm tones.

I've been playing guitar for almost 20 years and have wanted one of these for a long time. My wife was tired of me setting amps around the house when I wasn't in the mood to play accoustic. This thing is awesome and I wish I would have bought it forever ago!!!

Urgghhh. No real ability to clean up the tone. I get that it’s a specific style of amp but some ability to influence the tone would be helpful.​

Summary

If your number one priority is portability e.g. you need to be able to take it everywhere – audition halls, school etc. (It can even fit in your carry on luggage during a flight) it's, an ideal mini amp. It's also fairly straightforward, and has a natural distorted tone that doesn't require fiddling with effects knobs or tone much at all to produce a workman like guitar tone. 

But if that's not your thing, I'd strongly suggest considering another more versatile option rather than the Pignose 7-100.

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