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on September 28, 2011
With all the new mini/micro-amps hitting the market over the past 4 years I've tried many of them. Some of my favorites have been the Roland MICRO-CUBE, Danelectro Honeytone, Vox AC4TV (All-tube with either 8" or 10" Celestion speakers), Fender Super Champ XD (which is really a 15-watt dual tube amp but is small and cheaply priced), and now lastly the VOX Mini-3. While this amplifier compared to the Roland Micro-Cube more than any of the other above amps. It does have a few extra options like a microphone plug, controls, and longer battery life (30hrs). Of all the listed amps above, my favorite is the Fender Super Champ XD. But the Fender is larger than the Vox AC4TV which is larger than the Vox Mini-3 and both are not as convenient to just throw into a car and go anywhere and play without need for external power sources. The Vox Mini-3 has some great effects too! I had to sell my Vox AC4TV to get this amp (because I just have to many mini-amps laying around the house). I'm very pleased with my decision to purchase the Vox Mini-3, while my favorite part of the VOX AC4TV was its 3 power levels (1/4wt, 1wt, 4watts), all tube, & Celestion speaker... it just didn't give me the convenience of being able to roll out quickly with a portable amp and being able to play anywhere without needing external power sources or foot-pedal effects. The VOX Mini-3 sounds pretty great to, but not as good as a full tube mini-amp.. like the Fender Super Champ XD or the VOX AC4TV. But the portability, conveniences, & Mini-3 pricing ($87) just cannot be beat. It's now my most favorite mini-amp. So for me this amp will be with me for a long, long, time and if lost, broken, or stolen, I would replace it immediately..
22 comments17 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 12, 2012
This review is in two parts: Sound and Construction.

Sound: the Mini3 sounds great. It sounds great plugged in and it sounds great on six dinky batteries. The amp models are very impressive. You suddenly don't feel like you're playing out of a cheap little amp. There are a few effects as well but I tend to play clean so only have messed with echo and a bit of reverb and those are very nice. It says its a 5" speaker but this amp really pushes a lot of air. A nice practice amp and remarkable for the money.

Construction: I carried it to various classes and workshops two to three times per week so it has seen it all: getting dropped, kicked and bounced around. The strap buttons on the side pulled out of the case at three months of really working it. This revealed the particle frame. I simply drilled another hole and bolted the strap buttons and kept rocking. Now its starting to peel a bit. Its not as sturdy as a flight case. Ha.

Tiny Knobs. I love the models and have memorized most of the controls so I can just lean over and adjust them at a moment's notice. But if something goes awry I'm a mess for a bit. That stuff is really crammed together. I'm in my 40s so I no longer have eagle vision so its a pain. Not sure if there is a solution. Vox is giving you too much good stuff but it can be difficult to figure out sometimes while performing with it. I started to tape my favorite configurations on the top so I could dial them in quickly.

The little "wall wart" AC adapter looks ridiculous. It has this thin cable that is thinner than a phone cable. Other students in various classes have missed it and gotten tangled. Sometimes I just use batteries and sometimes i use a thicker extension cord to plug the wall wart into so its more obvious.

I would give this 5 stars but my friends with Fender Mustangs MINIs that were just as abused seem to be having better luck. Also playing in a room with a bunch of Mustangs blaring the Vox gets overwhelmed.

If you intend to use this at home add a star since you won't be punishing it.
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on June 20, 2011
The VOX mini 3 amplifier does everything I want. With the Gain and Master controls at 1/3 maximum, I have all the volume I need in a 15' X 20' room. If I crank it up it hurts my ears! The microphone input jack works well with my dynamic microphone, and you can get a good balance with the Trim control, so the mic can be louder or softer than the instrument. The Aux In works well with my portable CD player, to play backing tracks while I play over it. The Amplifier Modeling gives you a good selection of choices to meet your needs, and the effects are adequate for most needs. This is a good amp for primary practice or having fun with friends and I am glad that I purchased it.
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on August 27, 2011
This is my first amplifier, so my experience is not particularly broad, but I can say I am extremely pleased with the Vox Mini3. I use it with a solid-body ukulele, sure dynamic microphone, and whoever else's instrument needs to plug in. The effects are great, volume is great, and the ability to run vocals and instrument simultaneously is exactly what I needed.
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on February 13, 2011
The 3W Mini 3 has more output than my 15 W Kustom, and the Mini can be powered by 6 AA batteries for complete portability.
The affects are fairly good. I think in this price range I would have expected very meager modeling and affects; but no, they make significant differences in the sound produced.
By the way, we play an electric/acoustic bass on it at times. NO trouble at all with the low E string. For informal jam and small room work, this amp is really a dream come cheap.
Compare it online with the Orange Crush for a bit less money, for example, and you'll see there's a major difference between the two.
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on July 13, 2011
It really puts out an impressive array of sounds at a good volume.
It will never be a 60W combo amp or anything other than a battery powered mini, but the effects are sharp, and it is very responsive to my Strat.
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on July 31, 2013
I was looking for a small portable battery powered amp that I could use as both a headphone amp for late nights or for traveling/busking. Being such a small 3W amp I wasn't expecting much, but for the price is was definitely worth a try and in the end, being battery powered and compact was more important. Before turning it on it's easy to see that this thing isn't built like a tank and after a short time, some of the edges are beginning to come up on the back, but this is all very minor. If you're dragging it around everywhere, how it looks is probably fairly low on your list. It features a pretty extensive list of controls, inputs and effects so you really don't need much else besides your guitar and a cable to get going. Having a mic input with it's own delay is also really awesome not to mention aux inputs for your iPod or whatever you use!

So all the features look great, but more importantly how does it all sound and work? Obviously you can only expect so much, I was surprised that this amp could really deliver the goods. Tone is pretty nice and all the different modeling modes are also very useable. You can push the gain to get some crunch as well as pull out some clean tones. If you want compression, reverb, chorus... it's all there and is definitely of passable quality. No, this won't replace your AC30 or any other full size amp. It doesn't have the warmth of my tubes, but you can run a tube-pre to bring a little warmth to it. What it does deliver is much better quality sound than you would expect for shoebox sized amp, lots of control, excellent portability and hours and hours of play on battery power.

If you are looking for a portable battery powered amp that you can go busking with, play late at night through headphones, carry around your house, sit on your balcony and play, bring to your friends house, play for a small group, use as a practice amp or bring to a campfire, this is it. I travel everywhere with an small acoustic travel guitar, but now I'm thinking of picking up a travel electric. I can throw this amp in luggage and not have to worry about it.
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on May 24, 2015
Wasn't planning on getting this amp, but I always wanted a portable battery powered amp. Came across this for a really good price. I had been pondering getting a roland cube or a pignose but never really like the tone on those amps. Small amps usually sound harsh and have no bass. Usually speakers under 10" usually don't sound all that well. Somehow Vox fixed the small speaker bad sound epidemic with this little 5" inch speaker amp.It is 3 watts with a "5 speaker and cube shaped closed back cabinet. This runs on 6 batteries or an ac adapter. I suppose the back panel that is held in place by velcro could be removed for an open back sound. This little amp covers quite a range from american blackface, tweed, a couple vox models, 70s, 80s,a few high gain amps and a line setting probably for acoustic. You would think the sounds would be really fake plastic cheap sounding but they come through very well. I forgot I was playing through a 3 watt 5" speaker, amp running on batteries. It is quite loud to to even at half volume it could be heard from inside my house all the way to my driveway.Each amp sounds pretty full and robust coming you won't believe your ears you will keep forgetting that your playing through a little battery amp,
The vox models obviously shine the best as well as the cali metal. the fender models not to bad but for a little amp but the vox models were obviously better emulated due to the fact that these amp companies always emulate their own amps with ease while they struggle a little with other brands amp models. You get your typical fx like reverb, spring, echo, flanger, chorus, delay all accessed through 2 knobs all effects have some small adjustments that can be made. On my version there is gain, tone, master. This is were i feel there is some problem as I feel there should have been a regular volume knob. The control panel feels well made but the cabinet leaves something to be desired. The tuner is no good for beginners unless they know how to tune your whole guitar from E as this tuner does not give reference to a d g b. There is a guitar jack input, microphone input, aux for cd or mp3 jam along, headphone input. Also a trim and delay/reverb send knob to adjust for vocals. With all this you would think it would have some heft but it is very, very light. If it offered more EQ control, had a line out and a better tuner I would have given it a 5. I recommend this amp if your in the market for a good little practice amp or are in need of a portable amp. In my opinion this is the best portable battery powered amp yet. Now they have a mini 5 which sounds cool to as it adds rythm tracks kind of like a gdec. Well done Vox
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on November 8, 2012
I was using a Roland Cube, which I liked, but it didn't always give me the clean tones I wanted from my hollow-body guitar. I have a larger Vox amp that I really like, so trying this small unit for travel was just a natural move. I am very happy with the options and sounds in this amp, and it is even about $30 less than the Cube I was using. I gave the Roland to my son, and am using the little Vox when I travel. A little plus is the removable door (for the batteries) on the back of this amp. When I travel, the opening allows me to store the AC power chord and one guitar cable inside the amp. I'm careful not to disturb the wiring inside --but so far that has not been a problem for me.
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on November 3, 2015
This little modeling amp is great. I am an amateur player but recently have been playing almost every day and I love this thing. I would recommend upgrading the guitar cable that came with it. Also, don't leave the batteries in this thing when you don't need them. back panel for accessing the batteries is a little junky. A small piece of ribbon to pull off a piece of wood velcroed to the back. Great range of amp models and effects to play around with. And it can be loud enough to annoy the neighbors if I wanted to. Or even take out and do a little street performing if I were so inclined.
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