What is the best guitar for home use? We review the best portable amplifiers from Fender and more

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What is the best guitar for home use? We review the best portable amplifiers from Fender and more.Which is the best guitar for home use? We review the best portable amplifiers from Fender and more

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Practice amps, as they’re popularly called, serve a number of purposes – they’re great for practicing at home, quick rehearsals in the dressing room, songwriting, and in some cases they are. equipped with a battery, ideal for playing in the street. They are also a great choice for beginners who want to emulate their guitar heroes.

We brought in a slice of great mini combo guitar amplifiers that behave like their bigger, stage-bound brethren, but for a lot less money.

How to choose a practice guitar amp

When it comes to choosing a practice amp, the field is literally littered with models from historic establishments like Fender, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Peavey and Orange and, more recently, manufacturers like Blackstar, Line 6 and Positive. Grid.

There are two main types of guitar amplifiers: combo and amp head and cabinet. The drive amps are always of the combo type, i.e. the preamplifier, power amplifier and all controls are combined with the speakers in one easy to carry cabinet. Amp head and cabinet systems are generally much larger and allow artists to mix and match amps and preamps with the cabinets of their choice.

Guitar combos come in a variety of sizes. Some are no bigger than a shoebox and are very easy to carry while others are much bigger and too heavy to carry.

Most practice combo amps only run on electricity, which means that while they are louder and a great choice for low-key band practice, they aren’t well suited for street music, unless you have a power generator or 240v battery handy.

Smaller shoebox amps, on the other hand, often run on batteries or electricity and are ideal to take anywhere, whether in the garden, on vacation, or on the mountains. Don’t expect jaw-dropping volume from their tiny speakers.

How many watts do I need?

Contrary to popular belief among beginners, you do not need an amplifier with a large amount of watts. The most powerful amps here at 40 watts each – loud enough for a group rehearsal with drums – while the smallest is only three watts.

Still, to put it in perspective, even the tiny 3-watt Orange Crush Mini at full power is loud enough to wake up neighbors.

How to use the volume and gain controls

The vast majority of amplifiers in the world invariably have two types of volume controls – gain and volume – and it is the combination of these two knobs that dictates whether a guitar sound is “clean” or “distorted”.

In short, it’s the gain knob that makes the most difference in tone so more gain equals more distortion and vice versa. However, increasing the gain also increases the overall volume, so to counter that just turn the volume knob down a bit and that way you’ll have a scorching slash sound at a really low volume.

Fender Mustang Micro

Fender Mustang Micro

If you want to make a really loud noise but no one else can hear it, this sensational little headphone amp is by far the best option for you.

Fender is one of the most prestigious brands in the music industry and this little plug-in device is downright amazing for the price.

Instead of buttons galore which can often be a bit hit and miss when finding the guitar sound you want, this amazing USB rechargeable gadget is equipped with 12 stunning, color-coded preset amp models (from clear to scorching metal) and 12 effect combinations with parameter edit control.

A single charge of its lithium-ion battery provides up to four hours of battery life.

The Mustang Micro is equipped with a row of buttons, each assigned to a different task. Therefore, you can select a preferred amp model, add an effect like reverb or delay, and then change the levels for each.

You can also make small adjustments to the equalizer. The fact that you can’t work too deep is what makes this revolutionary device so ridiculously easy to use.

Just grab your guitar, plug in the Mustang Micro and a pair of headphones, and indulge in some of the biggest guitar tones you’ve ever heard without worrying about the gain and volume controls. T

The good thing is that it is also Bluetooth compatible, so you can play along with your favorite Spotify or Apple Music songs.

Fender has absolutely succeeded with this remarkable device and has selected the best sounds and effects from its popular Mustang line of amplifiers so that users can experience instant gratification at the push of a button. Warmly recommended.


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Blackstar iCore V3 10

Blackstar iCore V3 10

This inexpensive 10-watt model from British manufacturer Blackstar is packed with tempting tech.

In addition to volume and gain, the iCore V3 10 comes with six preset guitar sounds (Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD1, OD2), Infinite Shape Feature EQ, a series of special effects like delay, modulation and reverb, and even a guitar tuner. The two clean presets are definitely worth highlighting as they make any guitar sound rich, deep and fat.

This amp has two three-inch speakers that are angled outward for spatial stereoscopic sound, but you can also use the headphone output for more privacy.

A built-in USB output also provides access to Blackstar’s Cab Rig Lite software which opens up a whole new world of speaker sounds – just load the software onto your computer and select your preferred speaker, mic, and room environment.

The iCore V3 10 is arguably the most economical combo amplifier in this series and, at 34 x 18.5 x 26.5cm, it’s also the biggest and therefore the biggest sound.

So if you’re looking for a practice or rehearsal amp that truly impresses right out of the box, the iCore is your best bet. You will not be disappointed.


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IK Multimedia iRig Micro Amplifier

IK Multimedia iRig Micro Amplifier

Looking for a compact travel amp that gives you a serious kick? Maybe that staggering battery and mains-powered titan will do the trick. The 15 watt iRig is a perfect choice for making a racquet far from civilization as it runs on six AA batteries (an optional AC transformer is also available) and that means it can be played anywhere you want.

The iRig measures 210 x 125 x 155mm, weighs 1.26kg, and comes equipped with the mandatory controls for gain, volume, bass, midrange and treble.

It also has three other preset buttons for clean, drive and lead sounds and can be synced with the AmpliTube app for iPhone, iPad and Mac to access a plethora of additional amp sounds.

You can also use the rear speaker output to connect it to a larger cabinet for added punch, use a pair of headphones with it, and even connect your MP3 device to play along with your favorite songs.

For such a small and inexpensive little amp, the iRig is really loud, while its warm sound profile is pleasing to the ears and nowhere near as high and thin as you might expect.

Granted, it’s not much cheaper than the better Blackstar, but then it is much smaller and much more portable.


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Positive grid spark

Positive grid spark

It’s one of the more advanced and high-tech amplifiers out there, but it’s also a bit more expensive than the others reviewed here.

Be careful, this extra expense is perfectly justified in this case because this amplifier has everything you could want, whether you are a pro, an amateur or a total beginner.

Unlike most plug-and-play amps that use conventional circuitry, the Spark also uses amp modeling (emulation of different classic amps) to a large extent, which means you can literally select the sound you want. favorite guitarist or iconic guitar sound using the accompaniment app.

But that’s only a small facet, as this amplifier also provides the means to record an eight-bar chord sequence and play along with it with full drum and bass accompaniment or play with a range of predefined musical genres.

The app will even analyze a song on Spotify and tell you what the chords are. To say this amp is smart is an understatement. And yet, it can be used like any other workout combo as it comes with the usual array of conventional controls like volume, gain, bass, midrange and treble, as well as simple effects. like reverb and delay.

The 40-watt Spark is superbly built – it weighs 5.2kg – and is arguably the most versatile amplifier on the market today. Although it is more expensive than the other models here, it is 100% worth every note.

A highly recommended portable amplifier for home practice, guitar learning, low volume group rehearsals, and pre-gig warm-ups.


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Orange Crush Mini

Orange Crush Mini

Orange is synonymous with the classic British crunch sound preferred by iconic bands like AC / DC, Arctic Monkeys and Oasis and is the smallest amp in the line.

Aside from the headphone-specific Fender Mustang Micro, the battery-powered Crush Mini is the smallest amp tested (just three watts of power), but it’s no slouch when it comes to noise.

Now, it must be said that you won’t get a particularly clean sound from this model without a careful balance between the volume and gain controls, but if you like a crisp, distorted sound with tons of sustain, then it just might be for you. suit. . Keep in mind that there is only a limited amount of depth and background you can get with a four-inch speaker, although it’s good to know that you can still crank up the volume and increase the volume by using the rear speaker output to power a larger cabinet. You can also plug in a pair of headphones.

In addition to the standard volume and gain knobs, the Crush Mini comes with a “Shape” control potentiometer which adjusts the equalizer over a wide range of frequencies. And like the iRig, it also runs on battery (with an option to run it on mains), in this case a single 9 volts.

Another cool thing is that it doesn’t have a physical on / off switch – instead, it turns on and off when you plug in or unplug an instrument. For an amp that’s just 6 ” tall and 5 ” wide, the Orange Crush Mini packs a punch.


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