21 Feb Fishman Loudbox Mini Amp: A Review
by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
I love my Fender Mustang amp, with its variety of preset effects and 50+ watts of glorious, powerful noise. It’s super durable and perfect for a creative type who isn’t ready to shell out thousands of dollars for a Marshall half stack like this one.
But whenever I plug in my acoustic guitars, I fall out of love pretty quickly. The strums sound warped, tinny, and scratchy even in the clean setting. While the reverb I hear in a house system is sometimes overwhelming, the Fender amp’s noisiness makes me a little self-conscious when I’m playing my acoustic guitar.
So when I had some extra holiday cash, taking a $300 mini splurge on a 60-watt acoustic amp was a no brainer. But little did I know how much I’d come to love the Fishman Loudbox Mini — my brand new baby amp (and baby PA).
What I love the most
The Mini packs a lot of sound in a really portable space — 60 watts of clean acoustic tones. I haven’t tested out the microphone jack yet, but I’m excited that I could use this for local/coffeehouse gigs instead of having to rely on my Fender Event Passport, which is super heavy.
The amp has a Bluetooth pairing option, which is standard these days, but yet another added bonus that I didn’t get with 15-year-old Vox V05 (which is only 5 watts, but was my de facto favorite mini amp until now).
But nothing could beat the way I felt when I plugged in and played a few songs. When mic-ed up, the amp resonates with crisp tones. Also, with only six knobs, playing around with sounds isn’t too intimidating. It’s fun to try raising the “gain” or “chorus” beyond my comfort level. It’s fun to discover what a touch of reverb (or none at all) does to the overall impact of the guitar.
What I want more of
OK, so the “cons” list is almost nonexistent. The Loudbox Mini leaves little to be desired for the money. I have the reverb and the gain, and an input for my XLR/microphone cable.
But I found myself wondering, maybe a tiny bit, if I should have splurged on the bigger Loudbox model — I could no doubt generate a bigger sound. Sure, I can put a mic to the mini but I think an upgrade is possibly in order (maybe in a year or so).
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy