Even though amps are not something Fender is best known for, this brand has produced their fair share of legendary amplifiers in the past. These days they offer a whole range of great models. In that extensive lineup, we found Fender Mini Deluxe. It is a tiny micro amp that simply impresses with its performance and capabilities. Thanks to these attributes and its mind boggling affordable price, it is among the most attractive models under $100 at the moment.
The most defining aspect of a micro amp is its small size. As such, there isn't really too much room for a complex control cluster. Fender Mini Deluxe belongs to this category and features only the most essential controls you will need. These are your volume, tone and drive knobs. Interestingly enough, the on/off switch also comes in form of a knob. Although it looks cool, we can already see a few users accidentally turning the amp off while reaching to adjust the drive knob. Instead of an EQ section, you get the tone knob. This control acts as a single-band EQ that has quite a bit of range to it. Even though it is fairly limited by design, Fender Mini Deluxe still offers a fair amount of versatility.
Since it is a micro amp by design, its 1 Watt power rating doesn't come as a surprise at all. Fender ships these with a two-inch speaker that is capable of delivering a pretty decent tone all things considered. If you spend some time inspecting every detail of this amp, you will quickly come to a conclusion that mobility was the main goal Fender wanted to achieve. Some signs that add to this conclusion can be found in the way Mini Deluxe is powered. There is no power cord, nor a port for one. This tiny thing runs on batteries or wall-wart power adapters. With a very low weight, Fender Mini Deluxe is the perfect traveling companion that you can take just about anywhere with you.
Judging the performance of a micro amp requires a bit of context. When placed next to full-size models, of course you are going to notice a significant difference. Fender Mini Deluxe, with its 1 Watt of power, is actually capable of delivering a rather nice tone. Volume is one thing that is not abundant, but the amount you do get is more than enough for a practice session. Cleans are decent, with a fair bit of clarity while overdrives pack a good amount of crunch. Playing around with the tone knob, you can affect the color of the tone to a pretty surprising level. Easy to use and extremely mobile, Fender Mini Deluxe is definitely among the best micro amps out there.
Whether you are in the market for a super affordable practice amp, or you are looking for something that is going to give you a good performance on the road, Fender Mini Deluxe fits the bill. The price to performance ratio it offers is hard to find elsewhere. While it might not be the most versatile thing out there, the amount of control you have over the tone is still more than acceptable.