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Blackstar FLY 3 Review

Blackstar Fly 3

Summary: The Blackstar Fly 3 has redefined the market somewhat for this reviewer. While previously I have been impressed with a number of products defined as ‘mini amps’ e.g. under 5-Watts, in reality nothing really matches the Blackstar Fly 3 for performance, build quality and volume. It makes many of the other mini amps on the market seem like toys in comparison.

Tone/Volume

The Fly3 is loud and sounds amazing for it's relatively small size. Equally at home in both clean and overdrives tones.

Features

The Fly 3 offers everything you would expect for an amp of this size plus more. Blackstar's patented ISF technology allows great control over tone and the headphone/line out allows for recording or silent practice.

Price

An absolute steal at under $60.00 (at the time of writing). you really couldn't ask more for bang for your buck.

  • Very loud for a 3-Watt amp
  • Extremely portable
  • Headphone and line out for recording or practicing in private 
  • Sounds superb for an amp of this size
  • If you want to operate the amp without batteries you will need to purchase the proprietary DC adapter at an additional cost of approx. $20.00. It’s critical that you use the correct adapter and not a standard 9 volt adapter or the amp will very likely fry.

It’s really is a killer little amp and offers the kind of tonal quality, that your friends are going to hear it and end up buying themselves, it really is that good. Check out our in-depth Blackstar Fly 3 review below.

Sound Quality

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

The Blackstar Fly3 sounds right at home whether played clean or with the gain ramped up. The ISF contour control really allows you to make adjustments to the overall tone until completely satisfied.

When played in clean mode, the amp produces a crisp and responsive tone that is enhanced with just a small amount of digital delay.

The delay is natural sounding and not overly digital sounding as you might expect.​

You would be well within your rights to expect volume to be an issue, but it’s an exceptionally loud amp for it’s relatively small size and will suit a lot of different applications outside of playing along with acoustic drums.​

What is ISF Technology?​

ISF Technology (infinite shape feature): Blackstar’s patented contour control technology.​


Turning the ISF dial closer to 0 scoops some of the mid range giving a more US sounding tone. While turning the ISF control closer to 10 provides a more punchy midrange (a more British sound). It’s essentially a form of tonal control that still allows adjustment of the treble and bass tone controls independently.

Check out the video from Blackstar that explains exactly how ISF tone control works to create a better sounding amp.​​

Features

The Blackstar Fly3 is a very well built mini amp, sturdy yet small enough to easily take on the road. The line out recording feature is a great addition, allowing the guitarist to record ideas on the fly.​ The line in is another nice feature that allows the amp to function as a dedicated speaker for your smart phone or computer.

The digital delay is another great addition that can be tweaked sufficiently to produce a reverb like effect. The delay itself is very natural sounding.​

You can also purchase an extension cab, and transform the Fly 3 into a 6 Watt stereo amp for an additional $29.99 (at the time of writing) which represents extremely good value.

Blackstar Fly 3 Stereo Setup

Controls

Blackstar Fly 3 Controls
  • Gain
  • Volume
  • EQ
  • Delay

Specifications

  • 3 Watt
  • 3 inch speaker
  • Clean and overdrive channels.
  • ISF tone control
  • Digital tape delay
  • Headphone/line out
  • Battery or DC adapter powered (DC adapter sold separately)
  • MP3 line in (The Fly 3 can double as a dedicated speaker for your mp3 player)
  • Additional speaker available, can be run in stereo as a 6-watt amp​
Blackstar Fly3

Dimensions & Weight

  • 10.3 x 6.9 x 5.3 inches
  • ​4.4 pounds

Summary

​Put simply the Blackstar Fly 3 is the best sounding, best built mini amp on the market for under $60.00. The perfect travelling amp, it’s loud enough to offer the opportunity to play in front of people and tiny enough to travel easily with and offers a quality tone that wont fail to impress.

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Vox amPlug Review

Vox Amplug Review

Summary: A great sounding, feature packed, value for money offering from Vox that is perfect for taking on the road or practicing in privacy.

Tone/Volume

Genuine tones. The AC30 for instance, sounds like the real thing. Equally good for both clean and distorted tones. Responsive like a tube amp.

Features

Vox pack a lot of features into this small headphone amp. Each Amplug model provides three amp modes and 9 selectable effects.

Price

At just under $40 (at the time of writing) the Vox Amplug series of headphone amps represents extremely good value.

  • Authentic tones
  • Extremely portable
  • Auxiliary in for connecting independant devices.
  • Affordable gift idea at just under $40.00
  • Doesn't handle high volume terribly well
  • Tone control is a little over sensitive
  • Black writing on black plastic isn't terribly legible.

Vox's vintage style and commitment to tone over bells and whistles is always a winner in our books, but how does the Vox amPlug Guitar Headphone Amp, a headphone amp that fits in the palm of your hand fit with this great brand? Check out the full Vox amPlug review below.

Surprisingly Authentic Tone

Rest assured, for a headphone amp that allows you to practice anywhere the range of amPlug plug'n'play amps are real winners.

Most who have reviewed Vox amPlugs give them two thumbs up and are genuinely surprised just how authentic the tone really is. The AC30 for instance sounds as close to the real thing as you could possibly imagine for a head phone amp.

The difference here is the analogue circuitry, no digital at all to be found and you can really feel the difference in response. The amp brings out the nuances in your playing and feels a lot closer to the real deal than you might expect.

Having said that, once the volume exceeds 80% you will notice things start to break down.​

Enough Features to Keep you Busy for Hours​

Vox really have packed a ton of features into this tiny headphone amps. With each amp containing 3 amp modes and 9 effects including three different types of reverb, delay and chorus.

I was fortunate enough to own one of the first series and it's obvious Vox have really improved upon the initial release. For instance, while the amPlug is at home on any guitars with side input jack. If you play a strat attaching the amPlug to the guitar is not terribly easy. however Vox have solved this problem with the foldable plug that now rotates 180 degrees allowing for the amp to be suitable for any guitar.

The battery time is rated at 15 hours but you really start to notice a difference when the batteries run down a little (two AAA's required). Rechargeable batteries (or a backup set) is crucial to getting the best out of this amp.

The only real downside is the build quality as the amPlug is constructed from plastic and looks a little cheaply made.

Features and Specifications

  • Available in a range of tones including: Classic Rock, Metal and VOX AC30
  • AUX in jack: CD / MP3 player
  • Consists of 100% analog circuit (no digital and you can really hear the difference in response)
  • 3 amp models
  • 9 built-in effects (3 X reverb, 3X chorus and 3 X delay)
  • Aux in
  • Headphone out (of course!)

Dimensions & Weight

  • ​7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • 3 ounces

Customer Feedback

The Vox amPlug is a real winner with consumers, so it; hardly surprising that the majority of reviews are extremely positive. ​ Below are some examples provided by customers who own the product:

I'm kind of shocked at how versatile the controls are and how good it sounds for blues, jazz, funk, 60s (Cream, Hendrix), and 70s (Zeppelin) rock.

For the price and the amazing quality I give it 5 stars and will definitely recommend it to all my friends.

I love this thing !! I will agree with the other reviewers in that it is kind of cheaply made. It is predominantly plastic, but if you are not rough with it, that should not be an issue.​

Summary​

We have been fortunate to review some great sounding equipment of late, including the Pignose, Bugera V5 and the The Orange Micro Crush and while there are obvious differences The Vox AC30 sits right alongside them as far as quality goes and at under $40 represents tremendous value.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

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Marshall MS2 Review

Marshall MS2 Review

Summary: Despite it's small stature and relatively low price the Marshall MS2 packs a considerable punch and despite it's obvious novelty value (who doesn't want to own a mini Marshall stack?) is a useful practice amp that is as simple to use as it is to transport.

Tone/Volume

The MS2 is surprisingly loud considering it's small size and may just surprise you with it's tonal quality.

Features

An amp of this size is always going to be basic, but it does include a volume, tone and headphone out.

Price

An affordable offering ($49 at time of writing) from Marshall that makes for an affordable gift for the musician in your life.

  • Surprisingly loud
  • Extremely portable
  • Headphone out for privacy
  • Affordable gift idea
  • Volume knob also controls gain
  • Difficult to play with gain at a lower volume

For the ultimate in portability and novelty value, the Marshall MS2 is definitely worth a look. Picture a Marshall stack and then shrink that to a miniature version that can easily fit into your backpack, what you get is the Marshall MS2 Micro Amp. Below you will find our detailed review.

​A Great Gift Idea for Guitarists

​Let’s face it when it comes to finding an affordable gift for the musicians in your life, options are fairly limited. 

For one, a decent guitar, amp or even effects pedal are out of the price range of most well-meaning family and friends and secondly the choice of equipment is far too much of a personal decision, best left to the guitarist themselves.

The MS2 however, is a great gift idea as it is affordably priced, looks killer, has obvious novelty value, and is a genuine Marshall product.

While it isn’t likely to be a guitarist’s amp of choice when it comes to recording their next demo it certainly packs a punch for its size and offers enough to be more than just novelty value.​

Marshall MS-2

If you have a son or daughter who has just begin learning the guitar, the MS-2 is a great starter guitar amp, thanks to its affordability and simplicity of use.

A Portable and Fun Mini Practice Amp​

Due to the fact that the MS-2 does surprise with its volume and tone, it is a decent option for guitarists who want to get some practice in on the road or just when they are away from their main rigs.

It’s also small enough to place in your backpack and robust enough to handle being on the move regularly.

As the MS-2 also has the option of being able to run on battery power (as well as mains powered), it’s a great option to take camping and can easily be clipped onto your belt to make music on the go.

The MS-2 also features a headphone out, making it a convenient option when you want to practice late at night or in a confined space and simply don’t want to upset the neighbors or your housemates.

Features and Specifications

  • Power: one-watt
  • Battery and mains powered (AC Adaptor not included)
  • 11 x 14 x 6 cm casing covered with leatherette
  • Switchable overdrive and clean sound modes

  • Tone and volume controls
  • Headphone jack
Marshall MS-2

Product Dimensions & Weight

  • 2.4 x 4.3 x 5.5 inches
  • 12 ounces

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Customer Reviews

​Below is a summary of the most popular comments regarding the Marshall MS2:

  • The Marshall MS2 Micro Amp is surprisingly loud, you might even find yourself turning it down.
  • The sound quality is good – not astounding but decent for the size and price of this practice amp.
  • Perfect for those who are just starting to play the guitar and do not want to invest in huge amplifiers.
  • The battery does run low quickly, but you can run it from an AC adapter if that is your preference.

With over 550 reviews of the product on amazon, the average review rating is 3.9 out of a possible 5 stars.

The customer reviews on Amazon are positive overall, but there was one negative point raised. One customer said, “This piece of junk blew out after the first time I plugged in my guitar, and it was only at HALF volume”.

While this comment would normally be a cause for concern, there are no other customers making the same complaint so it would be safe to assume this is simply a one-off occurrence.

Other customers said, “It’s so adorable and I was surprised with how loud it gets.” and, “it’s much louder and clearer than I really expected” and lastly, “I think this is one of the best presents I’ve ever bought someone!”

All in all, this makes it relatively simple for me to recommend the ‘Marshall MS-2 as well.

Buy now on Amazon.com

Conclusion

The scripted Marshall logo is synonymous with guitar amplification. This smaller version of the classic Marshall half stack packs a considerable punch for such a small package.

Like all small amps of this variety it won’t hold it’s tone when the volume is increased due to its tiny speakers but what can you expect from a 1-watt amp. If you really just want a mini Marshall to show your friends and occasionally plug into then this is your amp.

The MS2 isn’t going to replace your current full-size amp, but it’s not designed to. Overall the MS-2 is inexpensively priced and packs just enough volume and tone to make it a worthwhile investment.

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Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modelling Amp Review

Line 6 Modelling Amp Review

Summary: A great sounding, practice amp packed with features at a very affordable price. Highly recommended.

Tone/Volume

The line 6 sounds deceptively good at low volumes on a clean setting. It does tend to lose some quality when really cranked up.

Features

Packed with features including settings recall, 6 built in effects, headphone input, built in tuner, foot controller, and onboard looping.

Price

At a touch under $120 (at the time of writing) this amp really does represent very good value and provides a lot of features one wouldn't normally expect at this price range.

  • Great sounding clean tones
  • 6 built in effects
  • Onboard looping
  • Good value for money
  • Doesn't hold it's tone when pushed at higher volumes
  • Controls are overly complicated

Read on to learn more about this crossover practice amp that has nearly all the features of a full-sized amplifier. Our Line 6 Modelling Amp Review below.

A Feature Heavy Practice Amp​

The Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modelling Amplifier can really give you a lot of bang for your buck minus the heavy load. Key to modelling amps such as this one is the variety of sounds available to the guitarist.

Line 6 Modelling Amp Features

With 6 built in effects, 4 separate amp models (this means, you can save complete amp profiles including gain, EQ and effects and select them by pushing a button), onboard looping and tuner you really do get a lot of great features in a relatively inexpensive amp.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Quality Clean Tones

The line 6 sounds great when played through the clean channel. It has a natural twang that would be suitable for country with enough depth and clarity to be suitable for single note melody lines and clean blues playing.

Like almost any mini amplifier it loses it's clarity and tends to sound overly digital when cranked up but at practice volume levels it sounds surprisingly authentic and does a nice job of both clean and more over driven tones. In particular the 'insane' setting packs a lot of punch and sounds exactly as you might expect...insane.

Features and Specifications

  • Power: 15 watts
  • 8” speaker
  • 4 dials for settings recall
  • 6 built-in effects (Chorus, Swirly Phaser, Expressive Tremolo, Syrupy Reverb, Beautiful Tape and Sweep Echoes) to choose from
  • Tone, volume and channel controls
  • Built-in audio tuner
  • Headphone jack
  • CD or MP3 audio input jack
  • FBV jack (foot controller)8 ½” x 15” x 16”17 lbs
  • Onboard looping
line6 modelling amp

Dimensions & Weight

  • 8.5 x 16 x 15 inches
  • 17 pounds​

Buy now on Amazon.com​

Summary

Overall the Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modelling Amplifier is a lot of fun to mess around with and your options are virtually limitless. It's going to appeal to a certain type of guitarist, particularly one looking for a lot of tonal variety. Whereas those who have a better idea of their ideal tone might find some of the added extras merely serve as a distraction.One particularly useful addition however is the looping feature. This is a nice addition in a practice amp and one that's not often seen in amps of this size.​

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Fender Mini Deluxe Amp Review

Fender mini deluxe amp review

Summary: The Fender Mini Deluxe sounds surprisingly good for such a small amp, and looks the part as well. Yet despite it's small stature and low cost (*under $40 at the time of writing) this mini amp may just pleasantly surprise you with its output and tonal quality at both high and low volume. 

Tone/Volume

The Fender Mini Deluxe has a surprising amount of volume and sounds quite good at both low and high volume unlike many other mini amps in this price range.

Features

Basic controls only (volume, tone, and drive) which is fairly typical for this category.

Price

Very good value considering the build quality at less than $40 (at time of writing).

  • Good tone at both high and low volumes
  • Attractive and sturdy build quality
  • Affordable gift idea
  • Lacks bass tone knob
  • Doesn't come with power adapter

The Fender Mini Deluxe Amp is an affordable battery powered practice amp with 1 watt output. At a tiny 3'' by 4'' footprint it's very much a mini amp, yet it packs a surprising punch. Read on for all the specifications and customer reviewed pros and cons in our Fender Mini Deluxe Amp Review below.

Consistent Tone at any Volume​

One of the most common problems that plague mini and micro guitar amps is​ their inability to hold their tone when the volume is increased. The reason for this problem is the size of the speaker. It's practically impossible for a tiny speaker to handle excess volume and maintain the same quality it displays when played on a lower setting.

The Fender Mini Deluxe however, handles this constraint better than most micro amps and holds it's own reasonably well despite its 2" speaker.​ Like all mini amps, if turned to ten things do start to break up a little.

Nice Looking & Well Built

One of the most common customer comments regarding the Fender Mini Deluxe is the build quality and slick appearance. Don't assume this means it's made from the same materials as more expensive Fender amps, it's still plastic as all mini amps generally are but it must be said that the Fender Mini Deluxe looks every bit as good as it sounds and doubles as a nice decorative piece for the home.

Features and Specifications

  • Affordable practice amp at less than $40.00
  • Compact size at only 3'' by 4'' which makes it suitable for any space.
  • Consists of 1 power watt and 8 ohm single speaker.
  • Works with 9v battery
  • 8-10 hours battery life (*as claimed by manufacturer)
  • Lack of independent power source
  • Headphone jack included

Dimensions & Weight

  • ​11.4 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches
  • 13.4 ounces

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Customer Reviews​

Most customers who have reviewed the Fender Mini Deluxe are surprised once the amp arrives due to its good looks​ and more importantly volume. While a small number of other buyers have had reservations regarding the ability for this amp to serve as anything more than a decorative piece.

Below are some of the most common pros and cons as written by reviewers who have purchased the amp.

Customer Pros

  • It's surprisingly loud for it's size, but it can also be quiet enough not to wake people up at night.
  • It's fantastic for what it is, IS. It does EVERYTHING as advertised and does it very well.
  • This amp cleans up really well, and does not have that one size fits all distortion sound that a lot of these little amps have.
  • The quality of sound that comes out of this thing is absolutely incredible. I was completely blown away by the range and versatility of this tiny little Amp.

Customer Cons

  • So, for what you pay for this, yes, you get amplified but it's not real great quality.
  • Sounds good sometimes... However, whenever I roll the volume on my guitar, this little thing FREAKS OUT!

Conclusion

The Fender Mini Deluxe Amp is portable at only 3'' by 4'' and affordable at a little less than $40.00. The battery life is claimed to be 8-10 hours which is exceptional but it has to be remembered this is only a 1 watt amplifier so there shouldn't be a huge amount of drain on the battery.

Realistically the sound quality is good but you have got to take into consideration the size of the amp. The volume and tone controls are only very basic but this isn't an amp you are going to take into the studio. Overall for a mini amp this serves it's purpose nicely.


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Honeytone Mini Amp Review

honeytone 10 mini amp review

Summary: The Danelectro N10BK Honey Tone Mini Amp is a great looking and very light weight portable practice amp that can easily clip on to your belt buckle or in the palm of your hand! 

It’s light on features which you might expect in such a small package and consists of a volume control, tone, overdrive, headphone jack and belt buckle. 

Tone/Volume

For the price, it’s difficult to really criticise the sound quality but realistically, once you set the volume past approx. 50% it does start to break up, and past 80% is a no-go zone. Having said that, there are plenty of opposing views from other owners who are very pleased with the sound quality which suggests the speakers may vary in quality from item to item.

Features

The Honeytone has everything you would expect (Volume, Tone, Overdrive) along with a belt clip and headphone jack. Surprisingly it also comes with a real leather handle.

Price

At just under $30 (at the time of writing) the Honeytone N10 represents extremely good value.

  • Surprisingly loud
  • Extremely portable, with real leather handle.
  • Headphone out and overdrive
  • Looks very slick and makes for a an inexpensive gift
  • Sound quality does tend to break down a little after the amp is turned up past 5
  • Power adapter not included
  • A limited number of complaints of the amp not working immediately after purchase

The Honeytone N10 is an extremely affordable mini amp that looks particularly slick with retro stylings. Read our detailed Honeytone mini amp review below for more information including product specifications, customer feedback and pros and cons.  

Value for Money

It's hard to really fault a mini amp that costs less than​ half a tank of petrol. At under $30 (at the time of writing) you really do get a lot of bang for your buck.

The controls are as you would expect for an amp that is so affordable and feature volume, tone and overdrive. It also happens to be very loud, deceptively so considering it's another very small amp.

You also get the benefit of a headphone out, which is very much a necessity in an amp of this size as the tiny speakers wont take a great deal of punishment.

It would be great to see an AC adapter included but at this price it's not a show stopper and not to be expected.

honeytone N10

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Nice Retro Design

The Honeytone N10 really is a great looking little amp and as a decorative element certainly has some wow factor.​ It's plastic obviously, but looks very slick all the same. You can choose from a range of retro color options including: Aqua, Cream, Black and Burgundy. 

The controls are as you might expect and the LED battery indicator isn't as reliable as you might expect but the leather handle is a surprising bonus that adds to the overall retro feel of the amp.

​Features and Specifications

  • Power: one-watt
  • Overdrive and Clean modes for dual tone settings
  • Comfortable leather handle
  • Comes with a belt clip for wearability and portability
  • 9 V battery or optional power adapter​

Dimensions & Weight

  • ​6 x 3 x 6 inches
  • 15.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Generally speaking, customers are very pleased with the Honeytone N10 and pleasantly surprised by both the volume this amp produces and it's retro looks. Below are some comments taken from Honeytone N10 owners:

I love the retro style. I could unhook the guitar cable from it and have it displayed on a shelf and it would still look great.

At $20, I considered this along the lines of those 3-channel r/c helicopters, little engineering marvels priced so low as to almost demand to be purchased. And for $20 it delivers.

The color and the vibe are really cool. However, in terms of sound quality and actually using the product, I tried many different configurations and unless you connect this to a sound system or headphones, it sounds horrible.

This small item packs a big sound. Works great, shipping was fast and the price is right. Great experience all around.

It's fairly loud, but very difficult to dial in. If you don't have the volume/distortion on your instrument and the amp just right, you'll get nothing but harsh static and popping. Once you get it in the right spot though, it has a nice vintage rock sound.

Summary

Danelectro may not be one of the elder statesmen of Guitar Amplification but they have cornered a good niche of stylish portable practice amps such as the Danelectro N10BK Honey Tone Mini Amp. If you are not too serious about tone and just really value the portability of a practice amp, then this might just be what you are looking for. At under $30 (at the time of writing) it doesn’t have a lot of competition with the exception of the Vox Amplug at just under $40.00 which does not include a speaker.

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Fender Frontman 10g Review

fender frontman 10G review

Summary: The Fender Frontman 10g gives you the right amount of flexibility without cluttering up the control panel with modelling and effects. 

Tone/Volume

Capable of being very loud for just a 10-watt amp, and has the distinctive Fender sound. It really shines when played in clean mode, and lags a little when driven hard. Most customers report very very little noise unless of course there is interference.

Features

Very minimal in regard to features. Just a simple control panel featuring, volume, treble, bass, gain and overdrive, headphone out and auxillary in.

Price

At a touch under $60 (at the time of writing) the Frontman represents very good value. Mini amps such as the Honeytone are great for the price but you really do get more than twice the product when you purchase a product like the Frontman 10G.

  • Surprisingly loud
  • Very nice clean tones
  • Closed back design
  • Very little noise or interference
  • Great value at under $60 (at the time of writing)
  • Struggles a little when played in overdrive

Now more than ever just because you are playing through a mini amp does not always mean that you need to settle for a mini sound. The Fender Frontman 10G along with the Roland Micro Cube and Fender Mustang are great examples of this. If you are in the market for a good versatile, workhorse amp for practice, then this is certainly worth considering. Read on for our full Fender Frontman 10g Review.

Great Clean Tones

The frontman 10G really does do clean well. It's bright, Fender-ish tone is very appealing and surprising considering the entry level price. It's also very loud for just a 10-watt amplifier and as a result makes for a pretty decent first guitar amp if you are new to learning the guitar and don't want to outlay a huge amount on your first amp.

The downside is the small speaker lacks decent bottom end, (although the closed back design does help) but this is fairly typical of most mini amps and isn’t detectable at low volumes or when using the headphone jack obviously.​

While it's fair to say it doesn't do heavier tones as well as it manages the clean side of things, it's still quite a versatile amp and will satisfy most considering the 6" inch speaker. 

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Value for Money

Now more than ever just because you are playing through a mini amp does not always mean that you need to settle for a mini sound. The Fender Frontman 10G along with the Roland Micro Cube and Fender Mustang are great examples of this.

Fender instruments and amplification are renowned for a reason. Their reliability and superior build quality is more than enough reassurance that you are getting a quality product. Whilst this is a far cry from Fenders more expensive amplification it still wears the Fender name.Many will buy the Fender Frontman for its novelty value (e.g. small size and price) but as mentioned earlier this is actually a quality sounding guitar amp and surprises many who have purchased it.

Features and Specifications

  • Power: 10 watts
  • 6” speaker
  • 1/8 inch Headphone jack
  • MP3/CD player audio out jack
  • Volume, Gain and Tone controls
  • Overdrive Select button
  • Chrome hardware with Vinyl outer covering on a wooden box
Fender Frontman

Dimensions & Weight

  • 5.8 x 10.2 x 11 inches
  • 8.6 lbs

Customer Feedback

The Frontman 10G for the most part has been extremely well received with a large number of positive reviews on amazon.com and other retailers. Some of the comments from customers include:

This amp sounds like a small four-10" speaker system from Fender. I was once a recording engineer, and I would not hesitate to use this amp to mic with.

Excellent quality for an exceptional price.Great Fender quality and sound.

Works great for small room. Not too heavy. I would recommend

A great little unit with cool retro look and nice sound quality.

Summary

The Fender Frontman 10G receives great feedback from most who have taken the plunge and at less than $60 its very little money down for an amp that is so well regarded. It doesn't feature any onboard effects such as Reverb or Tremolo so bear this in mind if you are looking for something more versatile. All things considered it does a great job of keeping things simple.

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Behringer Thunderbird BX108 Review

Behringer Thunderbird BX108 Review

Summary: Generally speaking your options when it comes to purchasing a decent Bass Practice Amp are a little more limited than your standard guitar amp but this offering from Behringer is certainly worth your consideration if you are looking for a reliable bass practice amp for under $250.00

Tone/Volume

A great sounding bass practice amp, with great mids. One customer describes the tonal quality as punchy, warm and clear. Not as loud as some 15-watt amps but hold it's own even when played at near full capacity volume.

Features

The BX108 packs a lot of features into its relatively small frame and includes: 3-band EQ, CD input, headphone out with speaker simulation and metronome. 

Price

For a 15-watt bass practice amp with superior build quality, at just under $250.00 The Behringer Thunderbird BX108 represents good value.

  • Nice warm sound
  • 3-band EQ, CD input, headphone out with speaker simulation and metronome
  • Headphone out for privacy
  • Not as loud as some bass practice amps of a similar size.

The Behringer Thunderbird BX108 Bass Practice Amp provides you with a great sound and offers numerous features including MP3 player, metronome, recording out and headphone jack. Check out our in-depth Behringer Thunderbird BX108 Review below.

Value for Money

Behringer are well known for providing affordable musical equipment. Often considered inferior to those in the know the quality of their products has increased considerably of late.

This isn’t a slight on Behringer, their pitch over the years has been based more on affordability than high quality products and they have a market for it.

The sound of the BX 108 is surprisingly high quality though and worthy of a look if you are a bass player.

The Perfect Allrounder

The BX108 does a good job of just about everything, and at this price range that happens to be what most consumers are looking for. Tone wise, it does a great job of producing a warm, punchy sound but is limited in regard to manipulating the tone.

If you are looking for a versatile amp the BX108 may not be the best choice for you but if you are looking for a reliable workhorse you can depend upon I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Behringer Thunderbird.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Features and Specifications

  • 15 Watt Bugera speaker
  • 3 Band EQ
  • CD input
  • Line in/Out
  • Metronome
  • Headphone Jack
  • Rugged high quality components​
Behringer Thunderbird BX108

Dimensions & Weight

  • 11.2 x 15.1 x 16.3 inches
  • 18.7 pounds​

​Summary

Most who have reviewed this bass amp claim it sounds fantastic and looks even better. Can be used for standard electric guitar without a problem and rugged enough to stand up to heavy treatment.

All things considered it is lacking a few basics that guitarists expect in a practice amp and it isn’t as loud as you might first expect in comparison to other mini amps but all things considered it is worth a look especially as there are very few options for bass players when it comes to practice amps.

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Orange Micro Crush Review

Orange Micro Crush Review

Summary: A great sounding, fully featured mini amp at just under $70 (at the time of writing).

Tone/Volume

Seriously impressive for its small size, with quality clean and distorted tones.

Features

Clean and overdrive channels. Volume and tone controls, integrated tuner, headphone output. Powered by 9V battery or 9V adapter.

Price

Considerably good value, the Orange Micro Crush exceeds most others in this price range and is considered a steal at just $69.00 (at the time of writing).

  • Shines in both clean and dirty mode.
  • Great build quality (this has been a concern in the past but is now rectified).
  • Headphone out and chromatic tuner
  • Long battery life
  • Some customers have received defective items and have had to return them.
  • Input jack on some models can become loose.

It's striking colors and vintage appeal really sell it on first impressions, just like it's bigger Orange brothers it really stands out. But how does it actually sound? Read our Orange Micro Crush Review below to get the information you need to make a smart buy.

Deceptively Impressive Tone

If you want to hear the real tone of your instrument, go ahead and check out the Orange Micro Crush. It is rich in options and has enough quality to really set it apart from other competitors in this price range, despite it's 4"speaker.

It's volume is deceptive, far louder than many will give credit for but obviously still not enough for much more than practicing.

The only real drawback was a slight break up of sound when really pushing the amp but most are guilty of this due to the small speaker size required to fit into the cabinet.

Value for Money​

​Overall at just a touch under $70.00 you can't go wrong with the Orange Micro Crush PiX 3 Watt 9-Volt Mini Amp. It is one of the best practice amps we have reviewed and I honestly can't see anyone being disappointed for the rather small outlay involved in owning one of these.

I have heard sound engineers give this thing a wrap and while there were some stories floating around casting aspersions on the build quality when first released it does appear Orange have rectified this issue because it feels rock solid (Solid metal with wooden enclosure) and to be completely honest superior to many amps in this price-range. (I honestly can't comment on the build quality issue prior to this).

It's worth comparing the the Roland Micro Cube and will obviously come down to personal taste but all things being equal there isn't much to set them apart as far as quality and tone.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

Features and Specifications

  • Integrated chromatic tuner
  • Headphone output
  • Great overdrive
  • Very nice clean channel (Although it does break a little above about 80%)
  • Very Light at only 2.2 pounds.
  • Great vintage look and feel
  • 3 watts output
  • 9V battery​
orange micro crush

Dimensions & Weight

  • 3.4 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
  • 2 pounds​

Summary

There's really not a lot to elaborate on except to say this is a great sounding mini amp, with good clean tones and a nice bluesy overdrive that sounds very much like an Orange amp (which some are going to love and some will dislike naturally, just like the color!).

As always you have to remember the Orange Micro Crush is a mini amp so naturally it isn't going to provide an overly warm sound but it is deceptively sweet sounding and for a little under $70.00 does a great job of impersonating something much bigger.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com​

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Roland Micro Cube Review

Roland Micro Cube

Summary: Without question the Roland Micro Cube Combo Amp is one of the best practice amp/mini amp options available today.

Tone/Volume

One of the best-selling mini amps worldwide for the past ten years and for good reason, it sounds great, whether clean, or distorted . A very versatile amp that is going to suit guitarists of all genres.

Features

Digital signal processing with 7 composite object sound modelling amp models including acoustic simulation, jazz chorus (clean), blackface (essentially a Fender sound), rectifier which sounds similar to a Mesa Boogie and a mic setting. Plus a lot more features. 

Price

At $150 (at the time of writing) the Roland Micro Cube is quite simply one of the best value amps on the market today and easily one of the best practice amps ever made.

  • Sounds great either clean or with distortion
  • Rock solid construction
  • Jam packed with great features
  • Very good value for just under $150.00
  • Delay/Reverb is just ok, not wonderful

The Roland Micro Cube is the buskers mini amp of choice, find out why by reading our in-depth Roland Micro Cube review below.

Can a 2-Watt amp really sound this Good?

​The Roland Micro Cube absolutely nails it. Just like some Vox mini amps you may end up stopping yourself constantly while playing to sneak another peak and confirm that the sound you are hearing is actually coming from this tiny mini amp.

This is simply a great practice amp that is surprisingly loud with a rich sound that defies it’s tiny size. The acoustic and jazz settings both sound rich with great clarity while on the other end of the spectrum the rectifier setting produces a good metal guitar sound, something that most amps of this size simply don't do well.

Like all mini amps, due to the tiny 5 inch speaker the tone is affected when turned right up but any amp with a small speaker will suffer this fate and it's certainly excusable on an amp that provides such great tone and a range of useful features.

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

​Feature Heavy

The Roland Micro Cube offers a range of great features including amp simulators (​7 in total), 6 digital effects including: flanger, chorus, tremolo, phaser and delay/reverb. Roland claim that their COSM (composite object sound modelling) technology captures every minute detail of the original amps they are modelled on. (The JC clean mode is particularly impressive) From the pre-amp to the speaker.

It also comes with a digital tuning fork, recording or headphone out and auxiliary input for plugging in your smart phone or stereo.

The amp is powered by either a 9V adapter or 6AA batteries and when run in battery mode the manufacturer claims can operate for up to 25 hours, which is nothing short of amazing. 

Features and Specifications

  • ​Rated power output of 2 Watts
  • 5 inch speaker (12cm)
  • AC or Battery Powered
  • Battery life of up to 25 hours!
  • Carry strap included for extra mobility
  • 7 amp models included
  • 6 built in effects (phaser, flanger, chorus, tremolo and Delay/Reverb
  • Delay/Reverb processor allowing complete control over length and delay/reverb frequency
  • Digital tuning fork (hit the tuning fork button for reference tone) with capabilities for sharp and flat tuning
  • Stereo input for MP3 and Stereo players
  • Recording or headphone out
Roland Micro Cube

Controlls

  • Volume
  • Gain
  • Tone
  • Key Switch
  • Tuning Fork
  • Effects (Flanger, Phaser, Trem and chorus)Delay/Reverb

Dimensions & Weight

  • 12 x 13 x 9 inches
  • 9 lbs (3.3kg)​. At approx 9lb’s the Roland Micro Cube Combo Amp is very lightweight and extremely portable.

Customer Comments

The Micro cube is the best selling mini amp on the market today and as a result the customer feedback is very positive. Below is a sampling os some of the more common comments:

No one who has bought one hates a ROLAND CUBE!..It's a portable guitar speaker AND MORE that thinks it's a double stacked 4X12 set of cabinets and a 200 amp head!

It is Awesome! For such a small amp, the output is plenty loud for practicing at home, and it runs on batteries, too, so I can take it anywhere. The effects are better than I'd hoped for.

I am amazed at all the variations I can get just with the amp selections alone. I'm blown away. Great little amp.

To give you some perspective, below are the comments that accompany the lowest rated customer feedback on amazon.com for the Roland Micro Cube:

It's okay for a small amp and for small enclosures. Probably would have been better had I tested it first with my instrument.

Summary

​If the above information isn't enough to convince, let's just say with confidence that the Roland Micro Cube is the finest mini amp on the market today. While there are certainly other notable contenders nothing really sounds as great, is so well built and offers so much for so little. Highly recommended.

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