Just finished listening to some acoustic music and I was moved to research what has been the trend for guitarist recently and what have they been cracking about lately. Because they offer easier portability and packed with very healthy power ratings and versatile facilities, compact amps have won the hearts of many guitarists nowadays. To name a few of them, AER, Roland and the original Trace Acoustic comabos make it to the top list.
It would be unfair to say that heavyweight acoustic backline is totally out, there’s still a market for them and SWR’s California Blonde and Hartke’s AC150 are two examples.
When we talked about compactness, before it was 130W RMS but was later on dished out by ZT’s Acoustic Lunchbox and now it is Fishman’s 60W Loudbox Mini, who holds the record.
As it name suggest, its physical feature is small and low weight (under 9kg) and its emphasis is on operational simplicity. The usual Loudbox demeanour is all black but this Fishman Loudbox mini’s livery is brown and cream and the twin-channel Mini retains a family resemblance – particularly to the Loudbox 100 – with a cabinet of not dissimilar proportions that sits gently raked back.
Simply, it has three-band EQ, phase reverse and (digital) reverb level, plus a two-mode digital chorus where the centre-detented rotary from off to halfway is a mild effect, then thick from there to maximum. Inside is a 6.5-inch speaker and one-inch tweeter; externally, everything feels sturdy and well bolted together though, as on the Vox, there are no corner protectors so this isn’t an amp to carelessly fling around.
I can say, overall sounds is good, the timbre is clean, precise and quite hi-fi like, each of the EQ bands providing a smoothly graduated, non-extreme range. With a mere 60 watts, the tonal quality was not sacrificed, even with a passive system it has adequate performance levels and when linked to an active instrument set-up the achievable volume is unequivocally loud.
On the other hand, the quality of the hall-type reverb is very good. The way the chorus is configured is excellent and the modulation is discreet within mild range.
Sad thing about it is there’s a tendency to feedback when you’re playing at high volume. Some kind of notching or auto antifeedback couldn’t have been included.
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