Danelectro is a brand with retro at its heart, with their wide range of guitars and amplifiers soaked in 1950s nostalgia. When it comes to portable amps, Danelectro’s Honeytone N-10 has been a popular choice among guitarists for its super affordable price, awesome design and solid vintage tone. Let’s take a closer look.
As you’d expect from such a small, affordable amplifier, the controls for the Honeytone N-10 are pretty basic, but do the job required. Set on top of the amp – which is very convenient if clipping it to your belt – the control panel comprises three rotary controls: one for power/volume, one for tone, and a final one for overdrive. These are all stable and responsive, featuring a cool effect (although these knobs are definitely plastic at this price!).
The main draw to the Honeytone N-10 is the design – it literally looks like it has been lifted straight from the fifties, with a suitcase-style plastic case that resembles the front of a fifties hot rod, especially with that cool chrome-effect grille. The amp comes in a choice of three retro-colors: Burgundy, Aqua, and Black, all with a small real leather carrying strap on the top.
The Honeytone N-10 is powered by a 9v battery, although you can also plug it into the mains with an adapter (not included). As for connections, you get your standard ¼” guitar input on the top, with a headphone jack on the side for quiet practice. Finally, on the back, you’ll find a belt clip, allowing you to attach the amp to a belt and walk around with it while you play – convenient!
Ultimately, while it looks really cool and functions well, it’s still very much a practice amp. It packs quite a punch in terms of volume, but only when playing in a small room – use this amp at band practices and it will be completely overshadowed.
Tonally, it favors vintage blues and classic rock ‘n roll. The cleans aren’t particularly clean, with a constant light grit, but the overdrive is full of throaty crunch and sounds very acceptable for such an affordable, battery-powered mini amp.
It’s far from perfect, but for the price of a large pizza we really didn’t expect it to be. However, it remains one of the most stylish portable amps, it sounds decent and it works well – no more than you can ask for. For a complete beginner wanting a cheap first amp or for anyone who needs something cool, light and portable, the Honeytone N-10 is a good choice.