Mini Guitar Amp Review – Is It Good Enough?

#ModelRatingWeightBattery life
Our topCheck
1LC Prime Portable Clip Amplifier 11.2 ounces14 hours1

2Mini Electric Guitar Amplifier 7.72 pounds
12 hours2

3Vox AP2CL Amplug 3.2 ounces17 hours2

LC Prime Portable Clip Amplifier
Rating
Weight 11.2 ounces
Battery life
14 hours
Our top1
Check

Mini Electric Guitar Amplifier
Rating
Weight7.72 pounds
Battery life
12 hours
Our top2
Check

Vox AP2CL Amplug
Rating
Weight3.2 ounces
Battery life
17 hours
Our top2
Check

Tip:Even the compact guitar amplifiers usually weigh around 20 pounds and occupy a lot of space. So, the mini amplifiers were created, to meet the minimal requirements of sound recording and fit in any kind of home studio.

A Little General Information

So, for this review I had found three mini guitar amplifiers. They all come from different manufacturers and have different features. However all of them have something in common:

They all are affordable

I didn`t pick the cheapest possible devices, but I tried to find amplifiers, that everyone can afford.

They all are really compact

Mini means mini. No wires, light weight, small dimensions.

A bang for a buck

Although mini amplifier can hardly provide the studio quality of sound, I looked for the ones, that would at least sound decent for the price.

Let us proceed to taking a look at our first mini-amplifier.

LC Prime Portable Clip Amplifier

I didn`t manage to find a lot of information about LC Prime. As far as I understood from their website, it is company, that produces and sells budget audio equipment. Although it seems pretty young, the amount of goods is impressing. So, I thought that it is worth giving a chance to this manufacturer.

Technical Characteristics

First, let us take a look at what this little thing is capable of from technical point of view:

Physical DimensionsThe amplifier is really small. It has 98 * 139 * 46 millimeters dimensions while weighing 230 grams only. It`s not bigger nor heavier than a smartphone. You can easily carry this one around in a pocket even.
The BatteryLC Prime has 3.7/1500 mAh battery. After being fully charged it can last up to three days in sleep-mode or provide 6-hour long recording session. It supports USB/DC5V charge.
Sound QualitiesThe amplifier can go as loud as 70 DB, with the total distortion of 0.3 per cent only. Partly this is because the value of impedance, which, by the way, is 4. The device is loud enough for home recording for sure.
SensitivityThe sensitivity varies from negative fifty to positive three hundred mV. This value is enough, if you are looking for decent sounding, but, of course, can not compete with full-sized devices.


The package consists of an amplifier itself and the recharge USB-cable.

The Features

This is a multifunctional device that has following features:

  • Can be plugged right in the guitar or with the ¼ cable. The clip makes it possible to place this amplifier right on the guitar. It is useful, if you are travelling, however if you do not lack space, you can use just like a usual guitar amplifier, with a wire.
  • Micro-, Headphones-, and AUX-inputs. A lot of different devices can be connected to this one. In fact, LC Prime can be both an amplifier, a sound recorder and an MP3 player even. It is indeed an all-in-one solution. Just as claimed by the developers.
  • Overdrive and tone control. Bass overdrive and tone control provide a lot of adjustability.
As you can see developers tried to make the device as multifunctional as possible. The fact that it comes at the very affordable price puts certain limits to overall quality of everything, but it still might be a nice first sound recording device.
Pros
Clean sound
Portable and small
Cons
Quality of material
No data on how long charge will last

Mini Electric Guitar Amplifier

Let us proceed to reviewing more specified amplifiers. Here is one provided by MetalBay. It is used for classical electric and bass guitars.

Technical Parameters

Knowing technical parameters is important in terms of planning your studio and workplace. Although there will not be any issues with placing this one, let`s take a look:

Physical Dimensions

The amplifier is compact. It is 3.4’’ * 1.5’’ * 0.7’’ inches (which is 72.6 * 38.1  * 17,8 in millimeters) and weighs around 4 ounces (130 gramms). You`ll probably have more problems with not losing it, than with finding a place for storing.
The BatteryThe device has rechargeable 1200 mAh battery. It is quite powerful for a small amplifier like this one. It will provide at least six hours of recording session.
Sound QualitiesThe loudness can be raised up to at least 50 DB. The natural distortion level is low, but it can be raised artificially, with a built-in controller. Sound itself is clean and clear.
SensitivityThe lowest sensitivity level is negative fifty, while the highest is positive two hundred. Not the highest values in the World, but enough for home recording.


The package consists of the amplifier itself, the USB charge wire, a cable and a splitter plug. I`ll tell more about it in a moment.

Even the device this small has its` own specific features:

  • Adjustability. MetalBay`s mini amplifier has 3 adjustment knobs: for volume, for drive and for tone. Although these are the very basic ones, having them is enough for practicing in the beginning. There is a small bonus, the distortion adjustment, as well.
  • AUX Input. As you probably already know, AUX input is used for connecting amplifiers to casual electronic devices like MP3 players. So, it is possible to play along to your favorite melody.
  • A Splitter Plug. A splitter plug is a simple device, that transforms one guitar input into two, so it is possible to amplify to guitars at once (you`ll need an extra cable for that). Playing a duo is easy with this one.
The final thing that I am saying about this amplifier is that it is a nice pick for a beginner. It`s a compact plug-and-play device, that does not need much space and tuning. The sound quality is not super cool, but I would name it rather satisfying.
Pros
Clean/acoustic tones
Loads of features
Cons
Build quality
Maybe: high gain sounds are unconvincing

Vox AP2CL Amplug

VoxAmps Company

Voxamps is an old company. Its` history starts back in 1958, when AC15 was invented in England. The amplifier became popular really quick. Inventor has gathered a crew fast and started producing new models, which all were successful. Development of VoxAmps has been smooth, so today this manufacturer is know widely.

Amplug 2

VoxAmps has a line of plug-and-play amplifiers, which consists of 6 models: classic rock, metal, blues, clean, bass and lead. Each of them has unique sounding and adjustment values. I`ll only review classic one, which is the most universal one.

Physical DimensionsThe item is 5.1’’ * 1,4’’ * 7,2’’ inches (which is 130 * 35,5 * 182,8 in millimeters). The weight is 3.5 ounces (around 100 gramms). As any other mini amplifier, it can be stored almost anywhere.
The BatteryAmPlug 2 Classic (like any other model of the series) has a rechargeable battery, which is powerful enough for a record session up till 8 hours.
Sound QualitiesFor an amplifier this small, level of 80 DB is quite impressive. The distortion is almost unnoticeable even in the highest volume range. The impedance is average.
Tip:The package consists of the amplifier itself and a charge cable.

AmPlug 2 classical has the following features:

  • AUX input and headphone output. First one is used to connect to a player. This, as you already should know, creates an opportunity to jam along with some melodies. Learning practice of this type is really useful for any kind of player, especially for the new one.
  • Volume, tone and gain adjustment. Again, the basic adjustments only, but they are good enough for basic trainings and small performances. It is also quite useful, if you have extreme conditions (like you need to play really silently).
  • Auto power-off function. One of those convenient little things, that you do not pay much attention to, but which is really helpful. Even if you forget to turn the amplifier off, it will deactivate itself after staying in idle mode for half an hour.

I still think, the variety of options in this line is the most important feature. It will come in handy, if you`ve already decided which playstyle you prefer. The loudness and overall quality of production are great as well

Pros
High gain tone
Compact and convenient
Cons
Cheap plastic, not a solid construction
Maybe: there is a humming noise going on especially if you change the “tone” dial

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to say that any of these three mini guitar amplifiers is a good choice for beginners and travelers. They are compact, affordable (if you lose or break one, you can simply buy the same without any major losses) and have the same plug-and-play concept. Here is the information, that is worth keeping in my mind when choosing one:

  • If you decided to purchase the mini amplifier, the first thing you should think about is the battery life duration. It should last for at least four hours, but the longer – the better.
  • Don`t look for a lot of adjustability. Having basic features like volume, tone and drive is enough.
This was it for today`s review. Good luck with your practicing.


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1 Response

  1. Lisbeth
    I want to say that LC Prime Portable Clip Amplifier is a great combo that can record sound in MP3, play MP3 and therefore, if you connect headphones, it can be used as a player for music . Can record sound from three signal sources. The computer is connected with a microUSB cable, then the microSd card becomes visible, and so you can throw files in both directions! Sound with AUX and GuitarIN writes in low quality, but if you record sound from the microphone, then by input to the microphone you can record a good and pleasant sound. I like that.

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