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Measuring Up Micro Amps

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Fender Mini ’57 Twin-Amp $40–$60
The Mini Twin-Amp definitely makes the best first impression. It’s one of our bigger micros, and features wood construction and authentic tweed. It has the same controls and features as the Mini Deluxe (chickenhead knobs for Volume, Tone, Drive and On/Off; 1/4" Input and Headphone Out jacks and AC power jack), but adds a second 2" speaker to handle its single-watt output. The leather handle is a nice upgrade from the Deluxe’s plastic one, and is long enough to actually carry the amp around comfortably.

The dry cleans here are more “amp”-like than the other micros, with some sponginess and a decent ring. It’s got similar attack characteristics to its larger brethren. Not quite cranked, the overdrive is juicy and more open-sounding, less restricted to the mids, with a crunch that’s fairly well controlled by the guitar’s volume. Dimed, it rocks; hit a chord and listen to it oscillate into harmonic feedback—like a tiny howl.

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