The Best Mini Guitar Amps for 2021
- Best Mini Guitar Amp Reviews
- 1. Blackstar Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier
- 2. Fender Champion 20 Electric Guitar Amplifier
- 3. VOX MINI3 G2 Modeling Amp
- 4. Roland Micro Cube GX Portable Guitar Amplifier
- 5. Yamaha THR10C Mini Guitar Amp
- 6. Fender Mustang I V2 Electric Guitar Amplifier
- 7. BOSS KATANA-MINI Compact Guitar Amplifier
- 8. Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier
- 9. NUX Mighty Lite BT Mini Modeling Guitar Amplifier
- 10. Roland CUBE Street Stereo Amplifier
Best Mini Guitar Amp Reviews
Blackstar might not lead the way when it comes to guitar amplifiers in general, but they always over-deliver on value for money. In the budget range or if you are looking for a mini amp, Blackstar is often the first choice.
The FLY 3 is an innovative and extremely compact (3″ speaker) 3w mini guitar amplifier. It has two channels, clean and overdrive, both of which have guitar inputs, and no XLR input, which is understandable at this size.
The thing that makes this amp innovative is Blackstar’s patented Infinite Shape Feature. Blackstar’s ISF is a single knob EQ that cleverly finds the best blend of frequencies for the sound you are after.
The ISF, in combination with the onboard tape delay, gives your tone a distinctive sound not usually associated with mini amps. Blackstar often surprises people with the quality of their built-in effects in the low budget range.
The tape delay offers just enough control over level and time to create some fascinating textures. Outside of effects and EQ, the other controls are volume and gain, wrapping up a very concise top panel. It’s a 2-channel amp with a single guitar input and aux-in for MP3 players.
For the money, the FLY 3 is the best mini guitar amp on the market at the moment.
- Refer the user manual below for troubleshooting
- Digital 'tape' delay effect; Patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature)
Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Fender Mini amps are always a pretty dependable choice. The Champion 20 is a 20w, solid-state mini guitar amp with an 8″ speaker.
The foundation of this single-channel amp is the ability to select your amp voicing, including British, Metal, and Tweed. These voicing let you dial in classic tones, from iconic Fender cleans to a modern high-gain sound.
If the amp voicings are the foundations, the built-in effects add the finishing touch. The effects include reverb, delay, chorus, tremolo, and vibratone.
How the effects work is simple, between two control knobs, you choose your effect type and effect level. Effects can be very subtle or right in your face, so they are ideal for polishing off your tone.
If you are using a delay effect, the delay speed can be set using the tap button, which is always more intuitive.
Beyond the voicings and effects, everything is pretty simple. The 2-band, bass-treble EQ obviously lacks some midrange clarity, but it works well enough.
Connectivity is minimal also, a single guitar in, stereo aux-in for MP3 or media players, and a stereo headphone jack.
Thee Champion 20 comes with that classic Fender Mini Blackface styling, so it looks as good as it sounds, too.
VOX makes some of our favorite amps – period. We love them because they are so instantly recognizable, by sight or by sound. Of course, that can mean they are an acquired taste, but we can’t get enough of them.
The MINI3 G2 Modeling Amp isn’t anything like a flagship model, but it definitely has that VOX DNA. At its core, it’s a 3w practice amp with a 5″ speaker, small, compact, and not built for the stage. However, it’s fantastic for busking in reasonably quiet places.
Its distinctive sound comes from 11 modeled amps from the VOX Valvetronic Technology. The modeled amps have a great mix of US and UK sounds like Cali Metal and UK ’70s.
Everything from chimey cleans to shredding high-gain is very convincing, but the high-gain is particularly impressive for an am his size. VOX’s Bassilator circuit delivers a rich low end that compliments high-gain perfectly, too.
The built-in effects are good quality and versatile, especially the tremolo, delays, and reverbs.
One of the most impressive things about this amp is the build quality; every control knob on the top panel feels sturdy and durable. It’s even got a separate mic input with dedicated controls for you singer-songwriters out there.
There are cheaper mini guitar amps around, but the MINI3 G2 is one of the best.
The Roland Micro Cube GX has been around for a long time, and it still competes at the highest level. One of the reasons it’s been so successful for so long is that it’s packed with lots of useful features.
Despite being just a 2w amp, it has a 5″ speaker, which is larger than some others on our list. The features we mentioned include eight COSM amp models and eight digital effects.
Amp types include Brit combo, classic stack, and extreme, and they cover just about every style of playing.
The built-in effects include tremolo, chorus, flanger, and phaser, along with delay and reverb types. From the effects, the phaser is one that stands out as it can be put to good use on multiple amp types.
Using the effects is a simple process thanks to an efficiently designed top panel. Roland is sometimes guilty of having very busy control panels on their hardware, but they rarely waste space; if something is there, it’s most likely necessary.
Above the single guitar/instrument input, you’ll see an aux-in with the name i-CUBE LINK.
The difference between the i-CUBE LINK and a regular aux-in is that as well as jamming along to music from an external source, you can send your audio from the amp to an iOS recording app.
So, you’ve kind of got a small recording studio going on! The MINI CUBE GX is one of the most versatile mini guitar amps available.
The Yamaha THR10C Mini guitar amp is an excellent example of a modern amp with a vintage sound.
On the surface, it’s one of the best looking amps you will see; the all-metal desktop design is quite stunning. Beyond its looks, the THR10C is a 10w single channel amp with dual 3″ speakers. It’s not a stage amp, but it’s not a regular practice amp either, it’s something a little bit different.
The sound starts from five selectable amp models, all of which offer boutique, crunchy bluestones. If you aren’t looking for that crunchy tone, and want something a bit less distinctive, this isn’t the one for you. But, if you are a blues/rock player, this amp is a killer!
Despite not being the most versatile amp, you can still shape your tone extensively with the 3-band EQ and built-in effects. The best of the effects are the tremolo, chorus, and tape echo.
Previous versions of the THR10 came with a digital delay, Yamaha replaced this with a vintage tape echo emulation to add authenticity.
Yamaha’s VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modelling) technology is the driving force behind the THR10C’s boutique sound. It recreates the response and dynamics of a boutique tube combo with surprising accuracy.
It also works fantastically well as a recording interface or iPod dock.
Fender’s Mustang amps are well known for being easy to use for guitarists of any level. The Mustang V.2 modeling combo provides high-quality amp modeling, authentic effects, and artist presets.
One of the significant benefits of owning this amp is that you can plug straight into your DAW via USB. The USB connectivity adds another element to your playing and provides a fantastic recording workflow.
This 20w amp has power in spades, pushing that iconic Fender clean tone out of its single 8″ speaker. In total, there are 18 amp models, 37 digital effects, and 24 artist presets.
Because this isn’t a high-end amp, and it’s packed with features, it’s easy to think it’s nothing more than a jack of all trades. In some ways, that’s true, but it’s an excellent jack of all trades that will stay with you for a long time.
It comes with a single instrument input, a footswitch input, and an aux-in for external audio sources.
The clean sounds are great, the crunchier tones are slightly behind, but the Mustang V.2 is the perfect balance of budget, power, versatility, and sound.
BOSS says that the Katana-Mini is the most versatile amp in its class, and they might be onto something.
It comes with three distinct amp types, which are crunch, clean, and brown. It also has a multi-stage analog gain circuit and a 3-band analog tone stack.
This little amp weighs less than 3lbs and is just over 9″ wide, but it still has a pretty comprehensive control panel. There is a 3-band EQ, gain, volume, amp type selector, and a built-in tape delay.
The sound that comes from the Katana-Mini is far bigger than the 7w output would suggest. Sounding so big is, in part, thanks to the multi-stage analog gain.
From the available amp types, clean and crunch are the best. Clean, in particular, is very responsive, and the onboard EQ lets you dial in precise tonal qualities while crunch is awesome for funky or bluesy riffs.
BOSS Katana amps have a solid reputation for having a great sound and impressive effects.
The thing we love most about the Katana-Mini is that while it may not offer as much as it’s larger models, it does provide the same tonal quality. It’s a perfect mini guitar amp for a beginner.
When you talk about guitar amps, there are a few names that instantly come to mind. But, when you think of an amp that you can recognize from the back row of a gig, it has to be an Orange amp.
Instantly recognizable and inherently British, Orange amps have a stellar reputation, steeped in rock history. The Orange Crush Mini 3 is a 3w mini guitar amp that comes in the familiar orange vinyl finish.
It weighs just under 2lbs, making it the ultimate portable practice amp. It can also be used as a stage-ready head via an 8-Ohm speaker output.
Orange makes good use of the small space available with some straightforward controls. Three simple dials control gain, volume, and EQ. The EQ is a tone blend knob that works very well with the incredibly responsive gain control.
All of the typical Orange tones are there, from a gentle crush to complete mayhem.
It also has a built-in tuner and an aux-in so you can jam along to backing tracks – in tune, of course!
Alternatively, it has a headphone jack so that you can leave people in peace as you rock the house down. As small as the Orange Crush Mini 3 is, it does not lack anything of great value at all.
The NUX Mighty Line BT Mini Modeling amp is a cheap mini amp aimed primarily at beginners. It’s a 3w amp with three channels, clean, overdrive, and distortion.
At a glance, nothing looks spectacular with this amp; it seems a little flimsy, and the design is average. Once you turn it on, it starts to get better, but still nothing to go crazy over.
The clean channel is articulate, overdrive responds well to your playing, and distortion is a bit too muddy. All channels are kept in check by the gain and tone controls.
Now, this is where this portable guitar amp comes into its own. It not only has a built-in metronome, but it also has built-in drums.
Tempo for drums and the onboard delay can be set using the tap button. As you’d expect, the drums are relatively basic, but you need to think about what you want out of a portable amp most.
You can either spend a little more money and get a mini amp that has the quality to provide longevity as your playing improves.
Or you can spend less on a mini amp you will outgrow sooner, but the upside is that it may help you progress faster. For anyone who doesn’t have a DAW, the drums with tap tempo could be a real winner.
The Roland CUBE Street is the second portable amp from CUBE on our list, and as you might guess, this one is for the performers.
The most noticeable visual feature of the CUBE Street portable guitar amp is that it has a slanted cabinet. So, it has a similar look to an onstage monitor. The slanted angle of the speakers is perfect for busking and putting the crowd right in the sweet spot.
Like all CUBE amps, this one also sounds far more prominent than its physical stature. It’s a 5w amp with two high-performance 6.5″ speakers. The sound comes from Roland’s built-in COSM amp models, with eight amp models in total.
The amps range from tube-driven blues to modern heavy metal stacks. Roland’s COSM technology captures the behaviors of each amp type amazingly well, especially the tube-like break up when you dig in.
Another thing that makes it ideal for busking is that it has an instrument input plus a mic/line input for simultaneous use. That means you get a practice amp and a portable PA system in one.
The guitar channel has a 3-band EQ and dedicated effects sections, including flanger, phaser, and chorus. Meanwhile, the mic channel has a 2-band EQ with its own delay and reverb.
If it was slightly cheaper, the Roland CUBE Street might have found itself higher on our list, but it’s a busker’s dream, you’ll recoup the money in no time!