Making a choice between compact size and high power isn`t easy. Luckily, there are amplifiers, that have both these features included. At what price does this convenience come? Let us take a look.
|#||Model||Rating||Amplifier Power||Peak Output||Controls||Our top||Check|
|1||ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic 75-watt Class A/B Acoustic Guitar/Vocal Amplifier||75W Class A/B power amplifier||>114 dB at 1 meter||Independent Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb controls for both channels. Volume, Anti-Feedback, Phantom Power, Headphone/DI Output Level, Internal Speaker Mute Switch||1|| Check|
|2||ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox 200-watt Class A/B Guitar Amplifier||200W (100W + 100W) Class A/B power amplifier||120 dB at 1 meter||Volume, Gain, Tone, Ambience, Line Out/Headphone Level, Internal Speaker Mute Switch||2|| Check|
|ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic 75-watt Class A/B Acoustic Guitar/Vocal Amplifier|
|Amplifier Power||75W Class A/B power amplifier|
|Peak Output||>114 dB at 1 meter|
|Controls||Independent Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb controls for both channels. Volume, Anti-Feedback, Phantom Power, Headphone/DI Output Level, Internal Speaker Mute Switch|
|ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox 200-watt Class A/B Guitar Amplifier|
|Amplifier Power||200W (100W + 100W) Class A/B power amplifier|
|Peak Output||120 dB at 1 meter|
|Controls||Volume, Gain, Tone, Ambience, Line Out/Headphone Level, Internal Speaker Mute Switch|
ZT amplifiers is a really young American company, that manufactures audio equipment. Enginners of Zt are nor afraid to experiment, so some of their products are really unique. As they claim themselves, products of ZT amplifiers are “The loudest small amplifiers in the World”. Let us find out whether this statement corresponds to the reality, by reviewing ZT Lunchbox – one of the smallest amplifiers.
First things first, let us learn the very basics about this amplifier. Knowing the weight, the dimensions and the durability will come in handy while planning your studio.
|The Weight||Zt Lunchbox weighs 12 pounds (which is a little less than 5.5 kilograms). It is indeed a compact amplifier, which everyone can handle.|
|The Dimensions||The dimensions correspond to the size perfectly, resulting in having a really compact and leight-weighed amplifier.|
|The Material||The material is pretty default. The body is performed of thin plywood, the front panel (where the speakers are) is covered with metallic grille. There is a really durable metallic handle on the top though, which improves the comfort levels a lot.|
So now, that you imagine how much place is required for putting this thing down and how much strength you need to apply to carry it, let us proceed to looking at the parameters, that are directly involved in producing the sound.
Mini devices are usually the cut-off versions of their parent devices. This is just the case. ZT Lunchbox Acoustic looks exactly like the child of ZT Classical amp:
This amplifier has a single 6.5 custom-designed speaker. The developer says, that it has some sort of unique construction, which makes the sound really loud. Well, we`ll find it out later.
Inputs and outputs
There are two outputs: one for the speaker, and one headphone output. Sound isolating is by far the best learning practice, so I approve this construction. There are four inputs: ¼ instrument channel, ¼ and XLR mic channel, the power cable input and an auxillary one, for connecting all the devices. Wide variety of inputs makes it possible to create a lot of combinations, which is nice noth in terms of performing and practicing.
ZT Lunchbox has two independent channels, each of them has following set of controls: Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb, Volume, AntiFeedback, phantom power and mute switch. If you enjoy adjusting things, you`ll have a lot of fun with this one.
The last thing before testing the sound is checking the features, that the developer himself thinks are the most outstanding. Here is what I managed to find:
Switchable power levels
The amplifier can go in 115V or 230V modes. It influences two things, the power of the sound and the amount of consumed energy. The second one isn`t that important though, as the amplifier can only worked while being plugged-in.
Independent control channels
I`ve already mentioned it briefly, but this feature deserves more attention. The combination of high amount of adjustability parameters and possibility to choose the personal options of sound for each channel, make Lunchbox a perfect amplifier for two.
Anti-Clip limiting circuit
This does not have any direct influence on sound quality, however it can once save several hundred bucks. The thing is that this type of build prevents breaking the electronic part of amplifier during energy troubles or intense work. Saying same in more simple words: it is the extra layer of insurance.
Okay. All the theoretical part is behind, time to start doing some tests.
While being great-built and everything, this amplifier still remains a mini-version, which puts certain limitations on it. Although the overall level of sound quality was decent, there were some problems.
- High adjustability and sensitivity
- Loud sound
Well, the engineers did not lie, the sound produced by this amplifier is really loud indeed. It is, according to the feedbacks, is enough for having the full-band rehearsals (including acoustic drums). However, it is still mini, so…
- Only good for rehearsals and small performances
It is still a mini-version only, so if you are looking for bigger audience, you`ll definitely need a more powerful and professional device.
ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox.
Before summing things up, let us take a quick look at the full version of ZT amp. The ZT Lunchbox Combo Amplifier is an ultra-compact amp loud enough to gig with that weighs less than 10 pounds. It pumps a ton of power through its 6.5″ internal speaker, and can simultaneously drive an external cabinet.
The Lunchbox amp’s clean tonal palette is versatile enough for rock, blues, jazz, and country players alike. This amp is adored by pedal freaks, and takes a boost/overdrive like a champ. It has all the give and responsiveness of a classic tube amp without the size, weight, and maintenance.
The Lunchbox is used in studio and on stage by high-level pros such as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Nels Cline & Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Andy Summers (The Police), and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), and has been a best friend to musicians worldwide who love its versatility and portability.
Here are the most important of its` parameters:
- 200 Watt power. Almost three times as powerful, as 75W Lunchbox Acoustic amp.
- Compact Dimensions. While being more powerful, it uses pretty much all the same material, so it is as small and light-weighed as all the other Lunchbox amplifiers.
So, to finish the review, let us sum up the most important things we found out today:
- ZT Amplifiers is a young American company, that uses innovative decisions in constructing their products.
- Lunchbox Series from ZT is a set of compact and powerful amplifiers.
This was it for today`s review. Good luck with mastering the guitar.