Downbeat Magazine Review: Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge

“Battery Power, Maximum Output… the Loudbox Mini Charge covers all the bases for modern utility and portability in a high-quality acoustic instrument amplifier.”

Since 1934, Downbeat magazine has been covering “jazz, blues and beyond,” and this month, reviewer, John LaMantia covers the Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge.

This in-depth review starts out with all the specs, “rechargeable battery and power management circuitry… 60 watts of power, dedicated instrument and microphone channels, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for playback of backing tracks or external music sources” and more.

But with the tech stuff handled, LaMantia delves into the real meat of the Loudbox Mini Charge – performance! “… I was so excited to hear this amp, I charged up for about an hour before turning it on. I set the instrument channel controls to about 10 o’clock on the channel gain, and straight-up 12 o’clock for the low, mid and high EQs. I kept the reverb and chorus effects off to hear the true “flat” amplified sound of my dreadnought acoustic with wired active pickup. With the master volume set at about 10 o’clock, my first impression was that it sure lives up to the “Loudbox” name. Indeed, it may be small in stature, but it’s huge on sound.”

Describing the sounds as, “loud and accurate…” LaMantia continues, “…the closed back of
the amp keeps the sound punchy, and I was impressed by the volume and bottom end… When I turned up the Gain and Master Volume controls, there was no additional compression or transients added to the native tone of my guitar… I then added a vocal mic to the Mic channel and detected no degradation nor any perceived power struggle between the acoustic and the mic. The Loudbox Mini Charge managed to handle a substantial push of volume for both guitar and vocal without distorting or sacrificing tonal range.

“After charging overnight, I used the Loudbox Mini Charge on a private gig in a medium-sized room… Fishman says the battery will last 12 hours using it on “average” volume and 4 hours at full volume. I left the amp on, unplugged, from setup to teardown (about 4 hours total), and never even got a low battery warning. Even after bringing the Loudbox Mini Charge home from the gig and using it again in my studio for a few more hours, I never needed to recharge.”

To read the entire review, click here
To subscribe to Downbeat magazine, visit Downbeat subscriptions

SIGN UP FOR THE FISHMAN NEWSLETTER