Vox Mini 5 Rhythm Guitar Amp Review

The Vox Mini 5 Rhythm is a super portable amp that’s ideal for beginners and guys looking to get a dirt-cheap amplifier that can be used as a travel amp.

Even if you’ve already got huge Marshall cabinets, or any other great-sounding amp for that matter – you may have realized that you would be very happy to own a small amp that takes very little space. I realized this sometime after learning a few Metallica songs that you need to have something reliable and portable that lets you silently practice during odd hours of the night.

And since I was mostly learning cliché songs by the most covered band of all time, not having others hear me practice sloppily was quite a luxury!

If I was getting the Vox Mini 5 rhythm guitar amp model, price and convenience would be the reasons why. It also offers good value for the low price, and a beginner just starting out on an electric guitar will certainly appreciate that.

In this short review, I go through what this piece of gear is all about, and if you should get it. Let’s get on with it!

Review of Vox Mini 5 Rhythm Guitar Amplifier

Too lazy to read the full review? Here’s the quick summary!

What We Think

The Vox Mini 5 Rhythm is a budget amp that’s ideal for beginners and intermediate-level players looking for a practice amp to improve their chops.

Featuring many effects, loops, and rhythms, this amplifier packs a good punch though it’s got just a 5 W power output.

Features

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Built-in tuner
  • High-quality rhythm patterns

Are Vox Mini Amp Models Any Good?

If you’ve ever been gear-shopping, you already know that the brand of a gear item usually dictates how the pricing and quality will be. Vox is certainly not an unpopular name in the guitar community and has been used widely by famous guitarists and bedroom musicians alike.

Mini amps are certainly worth getting into if you just want inexpensive amps that fit into any tight space. If you are uncertain about spending a huge amount on tube amps and would prefer a smaller one, mini amps offer many types of amp sounds that will work just fine.

The Mini 5 amplifier has got vintage styling, quality tone, fantastic digital circuit, and plenty of options to make you consider buying it as your next practice amp.

Size

The Vox amplifier weighs just 3.5 kg and is 29.6 / 26.7 cm. For the wide range of features that it provides, it’s quite portable and is one of the smaller products by the manufacturer.

For the tiny size, you would expect it to have a really low volume speaker but turns out, it’s loud enough for small gigs and definitely good for practice.

The Vox Mini 5 also has a carrying handle for convenient transportation.

Features Of The Mini 5 Rhythm Guitar Amplifier

There are many things that I love about the Mini 5 amp, and the neat styling hits the mark perfectly!

The controls are grouped under Amp, Gain, Tone, Volume, Effects, and Rhythm sections. There is a power button on the left and two inputs and Trim and Send knobs just underneath. It’s super easy to get what the amp will do and what you need to change to get the sound you want.

Vox Mini 5 amp control knobs - interface
Vox Mini 5 controls

As a cheap modeling amp targeted toward beginners, the Vox Mini 5 is a simple amplifier without the bells and whistles so it’s easier for you to focus on just your playing.

The Vox modeling amp has got 11 built-in rhythms which are quite nice to have on a beginner’s amp. You can just pick one and start jamming, and you may think that this is something that’s fun but it’s also the most helpful way to improve your phrasing and musicality.

The adjustable rhythm patterns are obviously a huge help in developing musical sensibility and a sense of timing.

I really love that some guitar amps can also be used as speakers which are great for audio playback around the house. The Vox Mini 5 has an independent mic input in addition to Auxiliary inputs that you can use to plug in your singer’s microphone as well.

The input jack for mic and guitar input Aux seem to be decent and do not feel loose or cheap. Having crappy jack inputs is a common problem on cheap beginner amps, so not having to deal with it is certainly nice.

As for the controls, there are gain, tone, and a master volume control knob that make it super easy to control the output. It’s not something exclusive to this though and is a standard feature on almost every guitar amp.

The realistic amp models and rich variety of tones are what make this tiny piece of gear very useful while practicing. Having a tuner that shows if you are flatter or sharper than a certain pitch is also an additional functionality that I really like.

The Mini 5 Rhythm guitar amp also allows versatility in its power output as you can choose from 1 or 5 V of Wattage. I don’t think it’s much different but you might find it handy when trying not to wake up your neighbors next door.

One thing that you may want to keep in mind is that pro guitarists often opt for tube amps when performing. That’s because these have a high-quality sound and if you compare tube amps with modeling amps, you can easily hear the stark difference in tone. However, if you’re not an advanced-level player that plays gigs often, the added cost won’t be reasonable for you.

If you’d like to use a footswitch with this amp, you can use a 3-Button VFS3 footswitch to control Mini5 rhythm and looping options. You could even call it a rhythm machine on a budget.

Being super easy to use, you can also use it as an mp3 player for jam sessions. Unfortunately for acoustic players, the Mini 5 amp doesn’t sound all that resonant. If you want an amplifier for your acoustic guitar that actually sounds decent, you should look into a dedicated acoustic amp.

There is also an AC adapter that comes with the Mini 5 amplifier. I really like that this amp has two-way power, can also be battery-powered, and is run by six AA-sized batteries that last up to 4-5 hours.

The amp also has an auto-off feature meaning that it automatically turns off after some time of inactivity. This is a handy upgrade to the past models so that the Vox Mini  5 modeling amplifier can now save you some electricity/ battery charge if you forget to turn it off.

How Does The Vox Guitar Amplifier Sound?

The amp model has got a 6.5” speaker which is pretty loud for a super cheap practice amp. If you use it with a bit of drive, or a fuzz pedal, you can get some neat amp sounds out of this.

It’s more than capable of driving the sound for a wide range of musical styles and is an ideal amplifier for practice with a decent sound. You can play around with variations of rhythm patterns to see what you like.

The amp is good for anything from country to pop and jazz. You can get a wonderful sense of drive if you are willing to make a few adjustments. I highly recommend getting a simple 3-button programmable footswitch so you can quickly adjust the setting you want.

I wouldn’t use it for chugging but the amp type is good enough for things like 60s rock and blues. As with any piece of gear, if you fidget around with the setting, you will find something that you like.

Does the Mini5 Rhythm Speaker have enough power?

The Mini 5 Rhythm guitar amp may not be a beast but for a 5 W amp that is dirt-cheap, there’s really no room to complain. It’s meant to be a practice amplifier, and for that matter, it is very loud.

I don’t think it’s my first choice for street performances as 5W of power doesn’t seem to sound loud enough in some places, but you could technically use this tiny item in most spaces without any problems. For playing at home, the supposedly low adjustable volume on the speaker doesn’t pose a problem at all.

For anything that doesn’t require intense high-gain types of sounds, you will be absolutely fine sticking to this amp. The neat busking circuit will also let you get some rich sounds.

If I were buying a budget amp, I would be more concerned about the frequency response than the power output. Truth is, more expensive amps tend to pick up ultra-low frequency with ease and so, the Mini 5 amp doesn’t shine in the bass frequencies department.

The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Onboard effects and loops
  • Battery-powered
  • In-built tuner
  • Excellent as a first amp
  • Ideal practice amp for both beginners and advanced players
  • Versatile

The Bad

  • Need to buy batteries separately
  • Sounds thin with gain
  • Will need to upgrade to a more powerful one later

Closing Thoughts

The Mini 5 amplifier is a simple and cheap amp that does offer many effects and nice features. It’s not a super powerful piece of gear but it will help you jam along to songs and not bother others during personal practice sessions.

FAQ

Does the Mini 5 amp model have a good battery life?

The Mini 5 guitar amplifier has an impressive battery life and lasts for 12 – 19 hours on a full charge. Even if you’re using it at full power, the alkaline batteries should still last you 12 hours, so that’s nice.

If you’re into long-lasting headphone amps with good effects, it’s certainly an ideal choice for you.

Is the Vox Mini 5 good for metal?

At its heart, the Vox guitar amplifier is a budget modeling amp that’s best suited for practice, and as such, it lacks the power to drive high gain genres. I can already imagine something from British Metal Bands being played on this.

You will want to look into intensely powerful high-gain amps like the Peavey 6505 if you are looking for an aggressive sound. It’s a bit pricy but definitely worth getting if that’s what you are into.

Are Mini amps worth it?

Mini amps offer excellent value for the price and are a portable alternative to otherwise large amplifiers. They take up less space, are super easy to use, offer a variety of rhythm patterns, and don’t cost much. In my opinion, mini amps receive far too little credit for the value they provide.

These are built sturdily, have a quality jack, a good range of effects as well as a built-in tuner. On top of that, mini amps don’t lack anywhere when practicing, so I think they are definitely worth the price.

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