7 Best Mini Amps You Can Take Anywhere
These mini amplifiers are perfect for those with limited space
As all guitarists and bass players will understand, there’s nothing quite like plugging in to the loudest amp you can find and letting your guitar wail. However, your neighbours may disagree, especially if you decide to start busting out some serious riffage late at night. So, what do you do when you need to be able to practice anywhere and at any time without those pesky noise constraints? Well, you turn to a glorious invention called the mini amplifier. Say what?!
We’ve pulled out some of the best mini amp offerings that we can find.
Teeny Tiny Mini Amps
Every guitarist needs a mini amp in their rig. There, I’ve said it. They’re inexpensive, give you an accurate representation of what you’re playing and best of all, you can play them through headphones! Here are our favourite mini amps;
- Vox amPlug Series 2 AC30
- Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Electric Guitar Amplifier
- Blackstar Fly 3 Amplifier
- Orange Micro Terror Amp
- Yamaha THR5 Amplifier
1. Vox amPlug Series 2 AC30
The Vox amPlug Series 2 AC30 is a tiny little amp emulator delivers a fully analogue amp sound that perfectly recreates the classic distortion of the ever-popular Vox AC30. It’s a teeny tiny mini amp that is powered by 2 x AAA batteries and plugs directly into your guitar jack. Even though it fits snugly in the palm of your hand, this thing has a monster sound that VOX AC30 purists will instantly recognise.
Simply plug it in and connect your headphones for silent playing. Then enjoy the host of onboard effects such as tremolo, reverb, and delay whilst you dial in your own gain, volume and tone to your requirements. You can even connect any audio source via the 3.5mm stereo jack. This is perfect for jamming along to your favourite music or any recordings you may have. You can even hook it up to an external speaker too! A perfect choice for those who want something unobtrusive and extremely easy to carry around.
2. Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack
Next up is the very cool looking Marshall MS-4 Microamp Electric Guitar Amplifier. This 1-watt mini amplifier packs some serious punch, as well as a great deal of crunch. Standing at a very small 260 x 110 x 60 mm, this full stack MS-4 Micro Stack from Marshall is great for those guitarists who want the option of playing live rather than through a headphone jack when they need to. Although it’s only a 1-watt amp, the sounds you can get out of this little thing are impressive, especially when you engage the drive channel.
Thanks to Marshall build quality the clean tone never sounds weak or tinny, and the crunch will make you feel like you’re playing Download festival main stage! It’s a versatile mini amp that is very easy to carry around to. You can even jam whilst walking around thanks to the built-in belt clip.
A Little Louder
3. Blackstar Fly 3
Next up is the Blackstar Fly 3 Amplifier, a mini amp which has taken the music world by storm. This is thanks to the fact that it features Blackstar’s patented ‘Infinite Shape Feature’ circuitry, offering almost unlimited tweaking of your sound. You have 2 channels to choose from: clean and overdrive as well as a gorgeous tape delay effect to play with. Quite frankly, this sounds amazing.
Whether you want classic rock sounds or ethereal cleans, you can achieve it with the Blackstar Fly 3 as it responds beautifully to any intricacies in your playing. The headphone output is great for silent practice and the 3.5mm input means you can use it as an mp3 player as well.
Don’t be fooled by its size as it is capable of some serious volume. This is especially true when paired with the Fly 3 extension cab, giving you 6 watts of pure Blackstar tone. A solid, portable option for home use, backstage or even as a small gigging amp if you need extra volume.
Let’s Get A LOT Louder!
4. Orange Micro Terror
As previously stated, using a mini amplifier doesn’t mean you get a “mini” sound. There are a huge variety of portable mini amps that you can actually gig with. One such example, is the Orange Micro Terror amplifier and its heavy metal version the Orange Micro Dark.
The Micro Terror 20-Watt guitar amplifier head, is one of the coolest amplifiers around, let alone one of the best mini amplifiers. Orange’s world renowned vintage British tube tone has been captured in this 135 x 165 x 95 mm head that weighs less than a kg and can power any 8- or 16-Ohm cab.
It’s that gorgeous Orange tone you know and love in a tiny head that makes good use of an ECC83/12AX7 preamp valve to give you that tube amp sound you need with solid state reliability. Perfectly partnered with the Orange PPC108 Micro Terror Cabinet. For those who want a little more bite, the Micro Dark has a seriously brutal amount of gain and can be easily gigged or taken to practice.
5. Yamaha THR5
The extremely popular Yamaha THR5 Amplifier has everything a musician could need from an amplifier. Not only do you get a realistic tube amp sound thanks to the fact it uses Yamaha’s impressive VCM technology. You also get 10 watts of pure power packaged alongside a host of onboard effects like Chorus, Flanger, Phaser and Tremolo. Not forgetting some really cool Delay and Reverb effects to rival any pedals you may have.
The onboard speaker system makes this amp a really great option for rehearsals along with those who need something to busk with. But perhaps the most interesting feature of this amp is the fact it can be used as an audio interface! Yep, the Yamaha THR5 comes bundled with a Cubase AI download code so you can start creating music straight away with a DAW. Crystal clear clean tones, super crunch and great effects all packed in an almost indestructible box that acts as a complete guitar recording studio. What more could you want?
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to mini amps. Many features overlap from model to model, so it’s worth
If you need any help or advice, then our Customer Service Team are more than happy to help over the phone on 01925 582420 or visit your local Dawsons store where our specialists will be happy to help.
As always you can check out the Dawson’s website to search our full selection of guitar amplifiers.
Quick recap of the amps highlighted in the article: