KEY FEATURES

  • 60 Watts
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Instrument + Mic Channels
  • Dual EQ and Reverb
  • Phase Button
  • XLR Out

$499.95

www.Fishman.com

The Loudbox Mini Charge is the latest addition to Fishman’s ever-popular line of acoustic amps. I reviewed the Loudbox Mini when it first came out, and since then it has served me faithfully on countless Sundays and casuals. And just in case you missed it, the Loudbox Mini Charge won the 2018 [WM] NAMMY Awards for the acoustic amp category. Having had the chance to play it this past Sunday I can tell you that it exceeded my expectations and delivers the kind of functionality that makes it perfect for practice, mid-week rehearsals, and Sunday morning!

MORE OF A GOOD THING
Aside from a slightly more vintage look, the Charge retains all the features I’ve grown to love about the original Mini – with two new very exciting additions…

Battery Power If you’re ever had to haul a small P.A. around just to amplify a single vocal mic and acoustic guitar, you’ll appreciate the fact that the Charge provides up to 12 hours of playback at average volume – without having to do anything other than plug in your guitar and mic.

Bluetooth How many times have you had the team hover around someone’s iPhone in order to hear how a part goes on the original recording. Being able to pair your mobile device with your acoustic amp for playing is great for rehearsal, be it alone or with your team. And yes, you could also use this feature for pads!

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IN ACTION
Most of us have had at least one “new and improved” gear experience, and I’m happy to say that the new additions to the original Loudbox Mini are perfectly suited for worship. My team did not have a mid-week rehearsal for this past Sunday, which made my prep time at home particularly important. With the Low, Mid, and High controls set flat at high noon, and a spot of Reverb combined with just a hint of Chorus, I was instantly reminded why the original Loudbox Mini is the best-selling acoustic amp in the US – it sounds great out of the box.

On Sunday morning I decided to bring a small pedal board that included my trusty Peterson Tuner and an MXR compressor to level things out just a spot. The face of the amp slopes back so you don’t have to use a stand if you don’t want to. For Sundays’ I prefer to use one so I can get the amp super close to me in order to reduce stage volume. Initially I set the amp up on the right side of the stage to keep it from bleeding into the mix, but at the sound tech’s suggestion I placed it directly in front of me “monitor style”. It was then that I truly appreciated not having to use an AC cable. I simply put my guitar down and grabbed the amp and the stand without have to drag a power cable with me – or hunt for a new place to plug it in (you know what I mean). With the help of an XLR cable into the jack on the back of the amp, I was up and running into the P.A. in no time with zero ground hum or drama. Once the band kicked in, I kicked up the Bass and High controls to about 2:00 and it was “set it and forget it” from that point on – with the singular exception of the drummer commenting on how clear the amp sounded!

Since the team added a song that I had not played before I took a moment to pair up my iPhone to the “Charge” for a quick listen before rehearsal started, and in less that 30 seconds I was playing the track back through the amp. I don’t know about you, but there are times that having a moment to listen to the track like that is a life saver, and being able to do so through the amp is a feature that I’m sure my team will grow to appreciate!

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES
If you find yourself on the road with “your” Charge, chances are you’ll appreciate the optional car charger and padded bag.

CONCLUSION
If you or one of the acoustic players on your team is in the market for a new amp, this one is a keeper!

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Doug is the Editorial Director for [WM] and Gear Tech + Recording aka [GTR] magazines. Doug is a 'retired' worship and creative arts director, one of the session players from Guitar Hero, has a disc out on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label, and literally wrote the book on worship guitar per "The Worship Guitar Book" which appeared on the Hal Leonard imprint.

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