Best "mini-amp" with distortion that fits in a guitar case?


PDA

View Full Version : Best "mini-amp" with distortion that fits in a guitar case?


LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 06:38 AM
Which has the best-sounding, built-in distortion?

• The Dean Markley GT1000 Micro
• Fender Mini Deluxe
• Fender Mini Twin
• Marshall MS-2 Mini
• Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack
• Smokey Mini Amp

Other suggestions? What's the name of that one that's like a little box that plugs right into your guitar?

aradroxar
10-26-2007, 06:46 AM
I dont now about mini-amps but the "little box" you mentioned would be a Vox AmPlug

Green_Jelly
10-26-2007, 06:50 AM
The Vox is way overpriced. Try the DVForge Jamplug.

LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 06:50 AM
Thanks. Oh, damn. I thought that had a speaker in it, but it's only a headphone amp. I was looking for a mini-amp with a speaker, so that I could play with my friends at work. We're all going to get the same mini-amps.

But that Smokey Mini Amp sounds cool! Check out the Guitar Center online description:

"The world's smallest and least expensive U.S.-made guitar amp!

About the size of a cigarette pack, amazingly it can drive a 4 x 12 cabinet. (We didn't believe it either, so we tried it. And, sure enough, through the magic of technology, it was actually loud and sounded great, though the battery didn't hold out long.) It responds to the volume knob on your guitar and generates a sweet and convincing tube amp overdrive when cranked. It has its own built-in speaker. It can also be used on the input of another amp as a fuzz box." —Guitar Center

All I need is a male-to-male, 1/4' phone, and I'd be good to go with that thing.

Green_Jelly
10-26-2007, 06:51 AM
In that case, the Smokey amp might have the most bang for your buck.

LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 06:55 AM
Thanks. Have you tried any of the others? Good? Bad? Sucks? At these prices, cost isn't an issue at all. I'm just looking for the best-sounding distortion, from a little amp with a built-in speaker, that can still fit inside my guitar case.

i_am_ironman
10-26-2007, 06:56 AM
yeah get a smokey

Green_Jelly
10-26-2007, 07:05 AM
I haven't heard anything good about the Marshalls. I don't know about the Fenders though.

Hultan
10-26-2007, 07:08 AM
Weren't he just in search for the BEST mini-amp? not best/buck. there's one HELL of a difference between that I must say.

Anyways, I've no idea which's the best, but they can't be that expensive.

guitarcrazy1991
10-26-2007, 07:10 AM
Get the Smokey Amp. I owned a MS-2 and the tone used to depress me. :p:

Jake_fender
10-26-2007, 07:11 AM
Not the Marshall MS-2 Mini! I have that one... the electronics or somethin is screwy.. but its still fun!

LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 07:12 AM
Wow! I just read all the Harmony Central reviews, and they were overall, hugely positive on this little Smokey amp. I just hope Guitar Center stocks this retail (they probably don't). I hate waiting for mail order stuff! Thanks for all the helpful replies!

The other question, is, what is the BEST-sounding mini-amp overall (regardless of its distortion capability)? Because I just realized, I could just Velcro a Danelectro mini kind of pedal to any of the above mini-amps, for the distortion part, and it would all still fit in my guitar case.

Kendall
10-26-2007, 09:48 AM
what is the BEST-sounding mini-amp overall (regardless of its distortion capability)?
That would be the ZVex Nano.

The red Strat.
10-26-2007, 11:14 AM
^plus one

LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 11:37 AM
No speakers.

Gabel
10-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Wrong it has a small inbuilt 1" speaker

ssguitar
10-26-2007, 12:05 PM
*gavel hits*

Judge Gabe rules :D

latinosuperstud
10-26-2007, 12:27 PM
well the smokey amp seems like a good choice (besides the zvex nano... which is a little expensive for a mini amp, yes its tube but still)... i like the vox da5... its not traditionally mini but its a nice little five watter... the micro cube runs in a similar vein but i didnt like it as much for some reason

LEVEL4
10-26-2007, 01:21 PM
Wrong it has a small inbuilt 1" speakerOh. My bad! Thanks. Okay, then, what's the SECOND-best sounding little amp?

moody07747
11-05-2007, 01:24 AM
I know...old thread but I thought I'd chime in because I have a few mini amps.

#1 on my list is the Vox AMplug but for speakers...I also have a mini Fender Tonemaster amp.
with the plastic parts and small speakers it sounds a little thin BUT it's loud and a fun, nice practice amp.

I will mic the fender up tomorrow with the SM57 and post a few recordings just so everyone gets an idea of how this product sounds.

forsaknazrael
11-05-2007, 01:31 AM
Smokey amp. Just try and install a treble bleed mod on your volume control. Makes it much more usable. Treble bleed's are super easy to install.

Here:
http://www.stewmac.com/wiring101/resistors_capacitors.html
You can just leave the resistor out.

LEVEL4
11-05-2007, 01:39 AM
I know...old thread but I thought I'd chime in because I have a few mini amps. I will mic the fender up tomorrow with the SM57 and post a few recordings just so everyone gets an idea of how this product sounds.No, that's great! Thanks! I still haven't gotten around to getting one yet! Glad you posted!

Smokey amp. Just try and install a treble bleed mod on your volume control. Makes it much more usable. Treble bleed's are super easy to install.Hey, thanks! That sounds like a cool mod. I was leaning toward the Smokey anyway, just haven't gotten around to ordering one yet. It's so inexpensive, that even if it sucks, it's fine. Thanks for your comment, and for the link!

moody07747
11-05-2007, 06:10 PM
Sorry for the delay everyone..just got back from class and all and finished the record.
Glad I could help you out LEVEL4

I have a work .doc file with a table to let you know what the knobs were set at for each sample I played. I have a .wmv file for the audio part of it.

I'll zip it up and make it an .rar file so a program like WinRAR should be able to open the file with both parts.

Rapidshare link to the file:
http://rapidshare.com/files/67710159/Fender_Tone_Master_mini.zip.html

Storm_Bringer_
11-05-2007, 06:17 PM
apparently the danelectro honeytone is very nice sounding, someone was saying about it yesterday, just wish I could remember the thread

LEVEL4
11-05-2007, 08:05 PM
Sorry for the delay everyone..just got back from class and all and finished the record.
Glad I could help you out LEVEL4

I have a work .doc file with a table to let you know what the knobs were set at for each sample I played. I have a .wmv file for the audio part of it.

I'll zip it up and make it an .rar file so a program like WinRAR should be able to open the file with both parts.

Rapidshare link to the file:
http://rapidshare.com/files/67710159/Fender_Tone_Master_mini.zip.htmlThanks a lot for going through all that trouble! I'll have a listen when I get home from work later.

apparently the danelectro honeytone is very nice sounding, someone was saying about it yesterday, just wish I could remember the threadThanks. I just happened to try the Honeytone yesterday. Sounds nice, but it's not for me. There's not enough gain for any kind of metal distortion sound.

Storm_Bringer_
11-05-2007, 08:25 PM
^ reviews on HC say it takes well to pedals, but i mean your defeating the purpose when you start bringing a pedalboard with 20 9V batteries around lol

moody07747
11-05-2007, 08:29 PM
yea i made a Ruby amp and didn't like the gain but with a simple Danelectro FAB OD pedal i got more than enough gain for my use.

fly135
11-05-2007, 09:39 PM
The Smokey amp doesn't sound all that great. However, it's cheap and it's small. So it's OK. Just don't want you to get your hopes too high.

FourSticks17
11-05-2007, 10:25 PM
I hate to rain on the Smokey amp parade, but I personally found it to sound horrible.

I picked one up without ever hearing it in person (hey, it was only 30 bucks), and I was extremely disappointed with its performance. I'm no tone snub, but I couldn't stand the way it sounded. I honestly preferred playing without any amp to playing with the Smokey amp.

With that said, I didn't try it through a cab, but if what you want is a portable amp, then this may not necessarily be your best bet.

Just my two cents.

LEVEL4
11-06-2007, 02:40 AM
The Smokey amp doesn't sound all that great. However, it's cheap and it's small. So it's OK. Just don't want you to get your hopes too high.
Thanks. Yeah, I wasn't expecting much from that hard plastic little speaker. Seemed kind of a neat product, though.

I hate to rain on the Smokey amp parade, but I personally found it to sound horrible.

I picked one up without ever hearing it in person (hey, it was only 30 bucks), and I was extremely disappointed with its performance. I'm no tone snub, but I couldn't stand the way it sounded. I honestly preferred playing without any amp to playing with the Smokey amp.

With that said, I didn't try it through a cab, but if what you want is a portable amp, then this may not necessarily be your best bet.

Just my two cents.Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I just wanted something I could just keep in my guitar case, so that I'd be able to just whip out my guitar, and be able to play anywhere. Also, in my work, sometimes I have move quickly, so I can't be toting around a Roland Cube, even as small as that is, around with me. Is there anything else you would suggest over the Smokey?

forsaknazrael
11-06-2007, 04:10 AM
The Smokey amp is pretty much a what-you-see-what-you-get.

It's really reactive with your volume and tone controls, and your picking dynamics. It CAN sound harsh, if you don't know what you're doing. I still have mine, and I think it's freakin' awesome, as it can fit in my case. It sounds pretty beastly if you put it to a cab...

Alternative..? Build your own LM386 based amp. Super easy.

ECistheBest
11-06-2007, 04:11 AM
u think i can add a Mosfet clipper circuit on a LM386 ruby? o.O

forsaknazrael
11-06-2007, 04:19 AM
No need. Ruby's have a great little overdrive sound.

ECistheBest
11-06-2007, 04:21 AM
o.

forsaknazrael
11-06-2007, 04:23 AM
Yeah. LM386's sound great as a little transistor amp. The only reason why some people may find the Smokey to sound bad is that it has a crappy little speaker. Which is why, through a better cab, they sound fantastic.

ECistheBest
11-06-2007, 04:27 AM
i want to build a little amp inside a hard shell guitar case hahaha.

so i can play my strat everywhere. :)



are there any linear really clean but small amplifiers? i want to add a dirt box in front as kind of a preamp.

LEVEL4
11-06-2007, 04:48 AM
i want to build a little amp inside a hard shell guitar case hahaha.

so i can play my strat everywhere. :)



are there any linear really clean but small amplifiers? i want to add a dirt box in front as kind of a preamp.Hey, man! That's a DAMNED good idea! Plenty of space for the electronics, batteries, speakers. PLENTY of space. By the way, what's this "Ruby" thing everybody keeps mentioning?

forsaknazrael
11-06-2007, 04:48 AM
It's an amp plan on runoffgroove.com.

It's LM38 based, just like the Smokey, but a little more complex, and better sounding.

LEVEL4
11-06-2007, 04:52 AM
Oh, thanks! By the way, has anyone ever tried this Dean Markley GT1000 Micro Amp? It looks like a portable transistor radio (just the kind of sound I'm looking for). I'm looking for a lot of out-of-the-box distortion.

ECistheBest
11-06-2007, 03:46 PM
hmmm. i still want a really clean amp and push it with a Old Crazy Dave. hahaha.

LEVEL4
11-06-2007, 09:52 PM
Well, I'm about to order a Smokey or the Dean Markley GT1000 Micro Amp online, RIGHT NOW! Any last words as to which has the "better" distortion sounds? The Markley looks promising for distortion ('cause it has a "distortion" switch!). Do they both use the identical opamp?

• Smokey
• Dean Markley GT1000 Micro Amp

I know, it's a HUGE decision!

Wulver
11-06-2007, 10:00 PM
apparently the danelectro honeytone is very nice sounding, someone was saying about it yesterday, just wish I could remember the thread

Wish I'd seen the thread yesterday.....

Yeah, I gotta vouch for the Honeytone. really excellent little amp: good cleans, really excellent "fuzz" distortion, everything in between.

LEVEL4
11-06-2007, 10:15 PM
AHA! I think I found the "answer!"

Supro® High-Gain Mini Guitar Amp $31.95 USD

"Introducing the highest gain mini guitar amp on the market. More gain, slightly more volume and distortion than the polycarbonate Smokey® amp. Available in a virtually indestructable translucent polycarbonate box, the Supro® high-gain Mini Amp will also power any 4, 8 or 16 Ohm speaker cabinet, including a 4x12, and can even be used on the input of another amp as a fuzz box. Nine volt battery included." —Smokey Amplifiers

More gain? More distortion? YES, and YES! I'm gonna take a chance on this one! Thanks for everyone's input!

Well, on second thought, I think I'm going to go with the Dean Markley GT1000 Micro Amp. It's 3 Watts! But what sold me is its 3-inch actual speaker (not plastic ). The real paper cone has to help smooth out its tone a bit better. Then, I'll find the smallest fuzzbox on the planet, and just Velcro that to the back. By the way, what is the smallest fuzzbox on the planet? (Not the DanElectros—I got four of those little DEs for free when I bought my guitar, and they're pretty lame. Guess that's why they were free, huh?).

AHA! I found it! I'm think I'm gonna get an Electro-Harmonix Nano Muff overdrive effects pedal. Very small. I'll just slap some Velcro on that sucker and stick it to onto the Markley Nano Amp, and I should have a pretty compact, go-anywhere, battery-powered fuzz packet (with a "real" 3-inch speaker) that I can just afix to my strap.

Nope. Try again. One HC reviewer bashed the Markley, and favors the the Fender Mini Deluxe instead. Actually, quite a lot of rave reviews for the Fender Mini Deluxe over at HC. Think I'm gonna go with the Fender.

thebl@de
12-18-2007, 03:51 PM
correct me if im wrong but in this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeRU9Qn1Vp8 the guy connects the Vox amplug to the P.A and it sounds awesome..so can't it be connected to speakers like from a hifi?

whoismilan
12-18-2007, 04:18 PM
correct me if im wrong but in this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeRU9Qn1Vp8 the guy connects the Vox amplug to the P.A and it sounds awesome..so can't it be connected to speakers like from a hifi?
It works like a preamp in this case, you'd need a separate power amp or powered speakers (or AUX in to some other audio system, if that's what you meant by "hifi").

happy-and-lost
12-18-2007, 04:38 PM
How about one of those teeny weeny Orange Micro Crush amps? They're adorable :)

sashki
12-18-2007, 05:05 PM
• The Dean Markley GT1000 Micro - I have one now. Nothing special. Clean sucks. No sustain.
• Fender Mini Deluxe - Rubbish.
• Fender Mini Twin - Same rubbish, just looks different.
• Marshall MS-2 Mini - I used to have this one. Some good drive tones, actually.
• Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack - Haven't tried.
• Smokey Mini Amp - Kick ass fuzz sound, but not very loud.

LEVEL4
12-18-2007, 07:31 PM
How about one of those teeny weeny Orange Micro Crush amps? They're adorable . . .Wow! That looks incredible! I've never heard/seen one of those! I think I'm definitely going to have to buy one! GREAT find! Thanks for posting that info!

• The Dean Markley GT1000 Micro - I have one now. Nothing special. Clean sucks. No sustain.
• Fender Mini Deluxe - Rubbish.
• Fender Mini Twin - Same rubbish, just looks different.
• Marshall MS-2 Mini - I used to have this one. Some good drive tones, actually.
• Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack - Haven't tried.
• Smokey Mini Amp - Kick ass fuzz sound, but not very loud.Thanks! That's exactly the kind of overview that I was looking for! Now, you've sold me on the Smokey as well. It's so small and cool-looking . . . I think I'll just have to get one of those, too!

devilchildblues
12-17-2009, 07:53 AM
why has nobody mentioned the pignose?? i have this. very versatile and runs on 6 AA batterys. and it also doubles as a preamp. but the mini speaker doesnt cut when you do this :(

steven seagull
12-17-2009, 08:02 AM
why has nobody mentioned the pignose?? i have this. very versatile and runs on 6 AA batterys. and it also doubles as a preamp. but the mini speaker doesnt cut when you do this :(
Probably because the thread is 2 years old :rolleyes:

*reported*