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PROS: Super small, great tone, plenty of uses, well-priced.
When things get smaller in the guitar realm they don’t often get better; tone gets traded for convenience. Hotone’s Mojo Diamond, however, brings big sound to a truly small package.
Size-wise, it’s a little smaller than a Boss stompbox. The controls are normal for any guitar amp: Gain, Bass, Middle and Treble tone controls, and finally Volume. An effects loop, speaker output, headphone/recording out, and aux-in reside in the back side.
Hotone makes several versions of their Nano line – this is the Fender tweed inspired version. Dialing in a clean sound, it certainly lives up to that tone. The EQ is quite flexible overall, and doesn’t leave the player high and dry looking for more than you would on any other amp. Crank up the drive, and it gets very crunchy and dirty. The sweet and smooth sounds give plenty of bite and clarity for Americana, blues and vintage-ish rock and roll. At extreme drive settings, it goes a bit more into the Blackface Fender tone that’s more familiar to a Deluxe Reverb. With both single coil and humbucker equipped guitars it responds nicely; close your eyes and it’s hard to imagine that this little box brings so much tone. It interacts with pedals very well, too, with no more noise or hiss than would occur with a full size amp.
With the included 18V Power supply, it cranks out 5 watts, which at maximum settings is still loud enough to make the person in the next room yell, “Turn it down!”. The output is 4-16 ohms, and can drive pretty much any cab, including a 4×12! While it is solid state, there’s plenty of warmth in there, too (sorry, tube-snobs).
The price is fairly small too; at under $100 there’s a lot of value there. For small gigs (no pun intended) this and a 1×12 makes for a rig that can be carried on the subway or tossed in the back of a sedan. Or forget the 1×12 and plug into the PA with it. On the road, it’s a great practice tool, and can be a quiet way to troubleshoot a pedalboard in a hotel room, and not get thrown out. If your “big” amp has any issues, it will go beyond the “it’ll do in a pinch” scenario. In a studio setting, it’s great to bring an amp that can truly fit in a gig bag, and deliver a sonically rich sound.
For players who rely on a pedalboard for a majority of their sound, this is a great way to get those tones at a lower volume. At this price, it would be easy to get two of them and have a great stereo rig, all for less than the price of one boutique pedal.
Sound inspired by Legendary Fender Tweed
3 Band EQ controls for shaping your tone
Speaker out can automatically fit cabinets of different impedances (4-16Ω)
FX LOOP for using external effects
18V DC power supply (Adapter included)
Power Output: 5 Watts