Are you looking for a portable amp solution that’s much more than a simple box with a few generic tones? The MINI3 G2 from Vox packs an impressive number of features into a battery-powered 3-watt unit. In fact, there’s so much of offer that it may forever change your impression of how good a portable amp can be. Today we’re taking a closer look…
We remember some of the portable amps we used back in the day. Mostly, it was plug and play with a clean sound, a gain knob, maybe some EQ functionality, and possibly a headphone jack. Pretty basic stuff.
The MINI3 G2 ain’t that! In fact, the feature set almost reads like that of a higher-end modeling combo.
With traditional Vox aesthetics, this petite amp offers 11 different amp models, ranging from clean tones to molten metal. Also included are many essential effects, which allow you to find the exact sounds you want. These include a compressor, chorus, delay and reverb.
With a single 5” speaker, an overall size of 10.3” x 6.9” x 8.8”, and weighing only 6.6lbs, it’s obvious that portability is the name of the game here. No, it won’t fit in your coat pocket, but it’s certainly small enough to carry around without too much trouble. Adding to the portability is the fact that it is battery operated (requiring 6 AA batteries – not included, just like all those presents on Christmas morning!). However, an AC adapter is included, so you can play straight from the box.
There aren’t any USB or connectivity options, but it does have a microphone and an aux input, so you can plug in your favorite music to jam along with. It even has a chromatic tuner – a really nice touch, especially at this affordable price.
As is fitting with an amp of this size, the controls are fairly simple and intuitive, although very extensive. No menus to scroll through or tons of buttons to press – pretty much everything is knob-driven.
Each of the 11 amp models can be selected with a single rotary switch, while the effects are broken up into two different control knobs: one for compression, chorus, flanger, and tremolo, and another for the analog delay, tape echo, spring reverb and room reverb.
Gain and tone controls are both managed by a dedicated knob, and there are also Trim and Send controls for the mic input (Trim for overall level of the mic signal, while Send controls the amount of mic signal that is fed to the delay/reverb effects section).
You may assume that such a small amp wouldn’t be able to deliver. Sometimes you may be right, but on this occasion, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The overall tone is rich and full, and it’s certainly loud enough to fill a room.
The amp models are simply incredible. From smooth and warm clean tones to out-of-control high-gain mayhem, the MINI3 has you covered. One nice thing about the effects is that they aren’t simply ‘on or off’. The knob control allows you to set the overall intensity of each effect, giving you even more control over your tones.
Admittedly, with the single ‘Tone’ knob, the EQ options are relatively limited. A 3-band setup would have been nice, but that’s a minor detail – overall the MINI3 blows our socks off!
If you want a bare-bones portable amp, just so you can have some amplified tone in your back pocket, then there are plenty of models in the under $100 range that would suit you just fine. Our recommendation? Invest the little bit extra for the Vox MINI3 G2 – the ‘bang for your buck’ factor is through the roof. Whether you’re a busker and looking for a combo guitar/mic amp that doesn’t compromise on sound, or a beginner looking for a decent amp for practice, this one rocks.