A great acoustic amp with a built-in rechargeable battery.
by Teja Gerken
September 20, 2018
As the smallest of Fishman’s Loudbox series of acoustic instrument amps, the Loudbox Mini has long been a favorite with musicians who value its great sound, small size, and affordable price. Now Fishman has introduced a very cool variation of the amp that includes a built-in rechargeable battery, which makes it ideal for playing in situations where AC power is not available. We had a chance to check out the new Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge in the Peghead Nation video studio.
Other than its slightly lighter brown color, the Loudbox Mini Charge’s appearance differs minimally from its plugged-in sibling. It has the same dimensions of 12 x 13.7 x 9.7 inches, is only slightly heavier (21.2 vs. 19.7 lb), and has an almost identical feature set: 60 watts of power, two channels (one optimized for instruments with a ¼-inch input, another for mics with an XLR input), digital reverb and chorus effects, DI output, etc. But besides the built-in battery (for which there is a set of charge indicator LEDs above the master volume control), the unit also includes another very cool new feature: Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it easy to play prerecorded music during set breaks or as backup tracks.
I checked out the Loudbox Mini Charge using a Taylor 712c with a Fishman Rare Earth Mic Blend pickup as well as a Taylor Builder’s Edition K14ce (check out the demo of that guitar to hear the amp with its Taylor ES2 electronics). In both cases, the Loudbox Charge offered the same degree of transparency as the Loudbox Mini we’ve been using for many of our demos in the Peghead Nation studio, allowing acoustic instruments to be reproduced with accuracy. The amp’s EQ section is easy to use and powerful enough to massage the sound or make up for deficiencies elsewhere in the amplification chain, and the reverb and chorus were useful for adding dimension.
Naturally, there are limits to how much volume and sound dispersion can be achieved with a small 60 watt combo amp, but the Loudbox Mini Charge is definitely powerful enough for many of the situations that require amplification away from AC power, such as outdoor wedding receptions or most busking situations. Besides the included AC charger, Fishman also offers a 12-volt car charger, so the amp can be recharged while on the road. An optional padded carrying bag adds to the unit’s gig worthiness.
Overall, the Loudbox is a great addition to Fishman’s lineup of acoustic amps. Whether you need great sound in outdoor situations or are trying to cut down on cable clutter onstage, the Mini Charge is an excellent choice for any acoustic musician looking for a capable and portable amplification solution.
SPECS: Acoustic amplifier with built-in rechargeable battery. 60 watts. 6.5-inch speaker and 1-inch tweeter. Two channels. ¼-inch input, low, mid, and high EQ, reverb and chorus on Channel 1. XLR input, low and high EQ, reverb, on Channel 2. Master volume. Digital effects. XLR DI output. ¼-inch and mini-jack aux inputs. Bluetooth connectivity. 21.2 pounds. 12 x 13.7 x 9.7 inches. Up to 12 hours of use on one charge. Wall charger included. Designed and engineered in the USA, assembled in China. $499.95 street. fishman.com
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