7 Best Small Guitar Combo Amps (All Budgets)

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  • Discover the best mini/small guitar amp combos available today
  • Learn about the features to look out for when buying a mini guitar amp combo
  • Find out which model best suits your tonal desires.
  • Also, check out our post on the best mini amp heads.

Don’t let the size fool you; mini guitar amp combos have a lot to offer. They’re compact, ergonomic, lightweight, and push out a reasonable volume.

These factors make them a great practice tool, especially for guitarists with volume constraints like roommates or persnickety neighbors.

But they’re not just for practice. Some of the best amp manufacturers in the world offer compact models of their most famous designs that don’t skimp on sound.

What are the Best Small Guitar Combo Amps?

The best small/mini amplifier for you depends on a few factors. The most significant factor in your buying decision will come down to what tone you’re looking for.

Mini electric guitar amps generally come in two forms:

  • Slimmed-down versions of famous amps: these are usable in a live or recording situation. These usually come in a small head format but can sometimes be a combo too.
  • Small, desktop amps: these are perfect for practice, warming up, or just making noise.

Here are some of the best mini guitar amps available today:

  1. Marshall MS-2
  2. Vox Mini Go 3
  3. Blackstar Fly 3
  4. Laney Mini-Lion
  5. BOSS Katana Mini
  6. Roland Micro Cube
  7. Laney Ironheart Mini Stack

1. Marshall MS-2

Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp
Why We Love It:
  • Clean and overdrive settings
  • Super compact
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The Marshall stack is one of the most identifiable images in guitar history. And even though the MS-2 can be worn on your belt, Marshall kept the aesthetic.

Like most mini amps, this single-watt tiny stack has just three knobs. In addition to volume and tone, the power knob selects between clean or overdrive sounds.

This limits it a bit as there is no way to dial in the amount of gain.

It runs on a 9v battery like an effects pedal and comes with a belt clip. The input is on the front, and a headphone output is on the left.

The MS-2 is the definition of a practice amp, but it’s perfect for it.

2. Vox Mini Go 3

Vox Mini Go 3
Why We Love It:
  • Great on-the-go tone
  • Perfect for solo practice
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This mini-amp-that-could is a 3W beast that runs on Vox’s VET technology. Everything is dialed in from the control plate on the top of the cabinet.

You get gain, tone, and volume controls, but it’s the modeling portion of the circuit where things get a little more advanced.

The modeler offers nine amp and effects models. You get access to AC30, Marshall, Dual Rectifier, and Fender Deluxe sounds, among others.

Effects include modulation, octave, vocoder, delays, and reverbs, and you can use two effects simultaneously.

And with the onboard groove machine, you have access to 33 rhythms. The Tap tempo function lets you get them right in the pocket.

Instrument and microphone inputs make it perfect for solo practice or even small gigs, and it can run on AC or USB power. It has 1/8” headphone out and aux inputs.

3. Blackstar Fly 3

BEST VALUE

The Fly 3 is a great practice amp choice for low-volume practice. It’s a 2 channel, 3W,  1×3” mini combo.

The overdrive channel is accessed through a button between the gain and volume knobs.

It’s got volume and gain controls and an EQ that utilizes Blackstar’s ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) technology.

The Fly 3 has a tape delay for adding dimension to your sound. An Auxiliary In lets you play along to your favorite tracks or use the amp as a playback device.

It also has an emulated line out so you can play or record silently. It runs on the optional power supply or six AA batteries.

4. Laney Mini-Lion

Laney Mini-Lion
Why We Love It:
  • Super compact
  • Easy to use
View Price on Guitar Center

Laney is one of the oldest guitar amp manufacturers.

They’ve made some of the best stage amps in history, and many legendary guitarists like Tony Iommi and Pete Townshend have used them at some point in their careers.

The Mini-Lion is a 3W desktop amp with a 3” speaker. Most mini guitar amps have the gain/tone/volume control set, and this one is no different.

However, it sets itself apart with its LSI (Laney Smartphone Insert) feature.

Launched in collaboration with the Tonebridge app, this lets you connect to a guitar app to create tones the amp can’t access on its own.

It uses a special cable that comes with the amp and works with Android and iOS.

It’s got an aux in and headphone out and comes with a Laney instrument cable. And best of all, it still has the aesthetic British charm you would expect.

5. BOSS Katana Mini

The BOSS Katana Mini amplifier pumps out a little more juice than most of the other options on this list.

It’s 7 watts come out of the custom single 4” speaker. The multi-stage gain circuit is entirely analog, and the three-band analog tone section takes it over the top.

It provides three different amplifier types – clean, “Brown”, and crunch, all dialed via gain and volume knobs.

There is a built-in modeled tape delay with time and level controls to give your sound some breathing room.

The “Brown” setting is a take on the one found on the BOSS Waza amp. With this, you’ll get exactly what you’d expect- warm, chunky midrange and harmonics for days.

It has an aux input for jamming or simply listening to music through it. A 1/8” headphone input also functions as a record out with emulated cabinet voicing.

For power, it takes an optional AC adapter. But if you want less clutter, it can also run on six AA batteries.

6. Roland Micro Cube

Roland Micro Cube
Why We Love It:
  • Battery-powered
  • Packed with features
View Price on Guitar Center

The Micro Cube offers a little bit more in the way of features than most mini amps.

You get seven COSM guitar amp models, including the renowned JC-120 and a unique mic preamp model.

There are six DSP-powered effects modulation and time effects. It has a built-in Digital Tuning Fork with three settings that can support flat tunings of two semitones.

The control set is a little different. You choose your amp sound and then dial in the gain and volume based on that.

The Tone setting is global, with a Record Out and headphones/aux in.

7. Laney Ironheart Mini Stack

Laney Ironheart Mini Stack
$179.99
Why We Love It:
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Masses of low-end punch
View Price on Guitar Center View Price On Amazon

Now, this is a cool mini amp. While it might not have quite the volume of its namesake, it’s a great tribute aesthetically. It’s called a “mini-stack” for a reason, right?

The unique combination of four 3” speakers gives you a solid midrange, clarity, and just a little bit of bottom end to add some thump. The front even glows- just like its tube-powered big brother!

There are clean and drive channels with global gain, tone, and volume controls. It foregoes reverb for a tape-style delay with a mix control knob.

It’s got the familiar aux in and headphone outs. But what sets it apart is the company’s LSI (Laney Smartphone Insert) connection.

Like on the Mini Lion, this lets you use your guitar tone app of choice and run it through the Lionheart!

FAQ’s

Are mini amps good for practice?

Mini guitar amps are terrific for practicing by yourself. They’re easily portable, don’t weigh much, and won’t distract you with a ton of features.

You can focus on the essential part of any practice session – improving your skills!

Is Boss Katana a good practice amp?

The amp and effect models that power the BOSS Katana make it a terrific practice amp. It comes in a number of sizes, so no matter how much volume you need, you’re covered.

How many watts is a mini amp?

This varies. They can be any size, from a small head around 20 or 30 watts to a small 3-watt desktop amp strictly meant for practice.