Read the full article
This article was originally published in issue #65
To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine
Lightweight and portable.
60-Watts with Master Volume
Digital Reverb & Chorus
Fishman's lightest and most portable amp now with the addition of Bluetooth wireless connectivity! What more could you ask for? Sam Bell reviews Fishman's Loudbox Mini Bluetooth Acoustic Combo.
There are seemingly endless options for portable acoustic rigs, the lighter and more compact, the better! The Fishman Loudbox Mini meets those markers, while not compromising on power, features and most importantly, tone!
The Loudbox Mini is a 60 watt, two-channel amplifier with Fishman's sought after Preamp and Tone control designs. Digital Reverb, Two Stage Chorus effects and a Feedback busting Phase switch are also included. And with this particular model, we also have Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which is super useful for beaming any backing tracks/music wirelessly to the unit. Something I demonstrated in the video section of this review with some questionable drum loops of mine!
The amplifier features two channels: Instrument and Microphone. The Instrument channel features a ¼ inch input jack for active or passive pickups, Reverb, Chorus, 3 Band EQ and Phase switch. The Microphone channel features an XLR input for Dynamic Mic's, two-band EQ and a Reverb. Around the back of the unit we are able to plug in ¼ and 1/8 inch Aux inputs and a balanced XLR D.I Output. The Microphone channel can be used with the Instrument Channel in different ways, it could be used for a Vocal Mic, or Micing up another instrument. Or you could send a miced up acoustic sound to blend with the instrument input for more size and atmosphere.
The unit is super light and small, featuring a tilt-back design so the speaker can project upward rather than along and out. It's hard to believe the size of the sound coming out of such a small 6.5 inch woofer and 1-inch soft dome tweeter. The Reverb and Chorus effects are lush, and they aren't cheesy in any 2019 way. They offer genuine expanse to the sound without getting in the way of the fundamental rich tone of your instrument.
The layout looks super sleek, simple yet sophisticated with the Brown and Cream finish. It looks and feels very sturdy and quality. Perfect for moving between venues on foot, or if you're in a small studio environment, not taking up too much room! Fishman offers a Cover or Deluxe Carry Bag for this unit, but these are not included with the unit by itself.
My verdict is that this is a quality acoustic amp set up for any level of Acoustic Player, Singer/Acoustic Guitarist. All the features are there, its super portable and sounds great!
The Audiobox USB96 Studio is a budget kit capable of delivering good quality audio: for anyone just starting their studio journey the biggest limitation is lack of experience, and plugging a mic in and making recordings will overcome that far quicker and better than any amount of time spent researching kit online. For someone who really isn’t interested in the whole studio thing and just wants to make some music, the contents of the box will get the job done (ok, throw in a £15 mic stand and a pop shield). The Studio One Artist software is excellent; the Pro version has more features, but most people could record their first dozen albums in Artist without feeling too many limitations, and the Audiobox USB96 will continue to serve well until/unless more inputs are needed (and then still serve as a mobile interface). The M7 and HD7 have fairly lightweight construction and will appreciate being handled properly (I did see a broken M7 in a previous version of the Studio kit – no problems this time), but in fairness, I’ve seen bands destroy far-more premium kit (nearly always someone else's!) in no-time-flat. If the studio-bug bites, then we can add monitors, extra mics, closed backtracking headphones, acoustic treatment, exotic preamps, premium plugin packages …… the list quickly becomes endless, but the Audiobox USB96 STUDIO is an excellent place to start.
96kHz, 24-bit Conversion
-0dB to +35dB gain Preamp
2x mic/instrument on combi-sockets,
MIDI in, MIDI out
2 x TRS
1 x headphone