Updated: Feb 15
The Joyo Bantamps are incredibly small, but still pretty powerful, amplifier heads based on many very popular classic sounds.
And I'm actually giving away the amp I demoed, which was the awesome Meteor II to a random UK subscriber once the YouTube channel hits 2k subscribers. So if it's not there yet and you fancy a chance of getting this, you'll need to subscribe when watching the video below, but also to this website's community by clicking below.
Unsubscribe at any time, and you'll only receive emails to let you know of any new reviews or lessons.
One of the main selling points of these is that they are 'hybrid' amplifiers, in as much as they all have a single tube in the pre-amp stage. The chosen tube is a 12AX7, which are known to have great sound reproduction qualities. This means the Bantamps benefit from having tube based overdrive in the preamp stages but a digital power amp, hopefully providing us with the best of both worlds - power in a small footprint but with the warmth and breakup of a tube.
Another great feature is the true 2 channel nature of these amps. Many mini amps, especially at this price point, do not have two separate channels, let alone ones you can use a foot switch to swap between.
Not only that, but both channels have their own gain, tone and volume controls.
The other most important features are the effects loop, the headphones out - with a baked in cab sim, and the bluetooth compatibility, which means you can connect via your chosen device and play along to jam tracks.
The main Bantamps at the moment are:
The Tweedy -
This one is best for cleans to fuzzy-ish blues playing. An obvious take on a Fender Tweed, this amp really sounds great for this style of music.
The Meteor II -
This one packs some serious punch, with a great clean channel and an overdrive channel with some real grunt. Think Orange rather than Marshall style sounds here. Dare I even say the Orange Dark Terror?
The Zombie II -
Crushing, brutal American style gain with this one, Dual Rectifier style. Still has a clean channel too though, although you might not be buying it for this:)
The Jackman II -
Okay, this one rocks too! This time we're looking at Marshall JCM like sounds.
And for Bass:
I was very lucky to get my hands on the Meteor II, and was very impressed. The clean channel sounds lovely, add a bit of reverb via your favourite pedal in the effects loop, and it's easily good enough for practice or even a small rehearsal or gig.
Where this thing shines though is in the overdrive channel. It is aggressive and demanding.
Take a look and see what you think. Here's the video.
The Amp I used was easily loud enough with my 2x12 to push some serious air. I have no doubt I could use it in a small gig if needed. In fact, you could even come out of the headphones straight into a monitor or the front of house if you wanted to.
My favourite tones were when it was totally clean or when using the overdrive channel past say 9 o'clock on the dial.
It also takes pedals pretty well. I used the Meteor II for this video where you can here the clean channel used with a wah and also an overdrive and distortion pedal - The Jackson Audio Optimist and the Rev G3. Click on the names for separate videos of each of these pedals:)
The wah pedal was the Jam Pedals Wahcko Plus and it's amazing! Click on the picture to see it in action: