The Honeytone: A Poor Man’s Guide to Apartment Amps

Alright, who doesn’t want maximum sound coming out of their guitar at all times, night or day, regardless of who complains? People in apartments are at the scourge of their landlords, and others are at the scourge of their half-deaf family. Let’s be realistic people, maybe the half-stack isn’t necessarily the best thing to be playing through at two am… for other people. I personally think its ok all the time, but I’m in the minority, along with the rest of guitar players.

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This is what led me on my road to find some vibrations that make me smile wide without angering my neighbors. You could call this a coming-of-age journey. My first mini-amp. So, what do I have to balance? First things first, I’m dirt poor (it’s the nature of being in college) so price was a big issue. Also, I’m picky when it comes to quality. Last of all, and likely most important, is sound. If it doesn’t sound good, I won’t use it, because I hate when my guitar sounds like a dying cat. I know, I’m weird that way.
Research is key whenever you’re purchasing a new piece of equipment. Don’t go by what your half-cousin tells you; figure it out for yourself. For me, the beginning of my project was endless reviews of mini amps. The Internet, like some sort of web the stretches over the whole wide world (creative metaphor, huh?), was my one stop shopping center of information. The problem is that there are no straight answers when it comes to amps. What some people love more than their own life can also be what others think is the most poorly made piece of equipment on the market. While taking each review with a grain of salt, I decided that, cumulatively, the Danelectro Honeytone Mini Amp was the one for me.

I bought for the very comfortable price of $22.00 (ish), and I brought it home. If I may interject for a moment (and I may, because its my article), no, I did not expect an earth shattering sound to come out a $22.00 amp. I realize that I get what I pay for, now. Anyway, I plugged in and a surprisingly loud sound came out of it. Everything that it had in volume, however, it lacked in tone. I sounded like I was playing through a telephone, down a long hallway, with a Squier… a bad Squier.

Well, after about a half hour of playing, I was feeling a little bit better about it. The clean tones actually worked pretty well, and as long as I kept it low, the overdrive started to sound better. I thought that maybe it wasn’t a regretful purchase afterall. 31 minutes into playing: dead. Silence. A few jitters of sound after trying to fix it, then it completely stopped. While yes, I may have been unlucky enough to get a defective one; I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just a poorly made amp. If it comes alive again, and stays working than maybe it was worth the $22.00, but if not, I’m going to have to cut it out of my setup. In the end, I’m left with a once-lively amp that has since been silenced indefinitely. Honey? hardly.

  • Ben

    A Vox AC4TV solved all my problems in that respect, £200 for a tube amp that won’t annoy people is worth it’s weight in gold!

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