But not only is the palm-sized pedal Hotone’s smallest fully fledged amp modeler pedal, it’s also its cheapest, weighing in at an affordable $255.
Indeed, when that price tag is taken into consideration alongside the Ampero Mini’s capabilities, it makes for very interesting reading indeed – and begs the question whether it’s destined to rub shoulders with the market’s biggest hitters.
It’s certainly got size on its side: the Ampero Mini weighs just over half a kilo (approx. 1.1lbs) and is less than 15cm long (134mm), meaning it could probably be easily assimilated into even the busiest of ‘boards.
Though it’s only got two footwitches – which might put Line 6 HX Stomp or Boss GT-1000CORE fans off – it does offer something a number of multi-effects don’t: a touchscreen display.
Continuing the streamlined theme, the small display compensates for the reduced control set, and is in charge of just about everything the Ampero Mini has to offer, from navigating its amps and effects models, and arranging them into the 198 preset slots, to tweaking all available parameters.
Plus, the pedal comes in six colors – Vanilla, Orange, Marigold, Purple Taro, Matcha and Mustard – and lets users fully customize the display screen for ultimate personalization.
It’s not just style and size, either – the Ampero Mini has an assortment of amp models and effects that make its price tag even more alluring.
At its heart is a dual-DSP platform – spearheaded by the NXP RT Series A main processor – that promises regular Ampero performance and authentic sound, as well as Hotone’s CDCM HD + F.I.R.E modeling technology.
That tech was apparently the result of “decades of research”, and vows faithful dynamic variation and like-for-like recreations of the gear that’s been modeled.
In practice, the Ampero Mini contains 52 amp models, 50 cab models and 199 “legendary” pedal models, as well as a custom IR loader that supports third-party IRs for even more versatility. Nine effects modules can be used simultaneously.
Unsurprisingly, this is all compatible with Hotone’s Windows/Mac editing software, which offers in-depth effects and IR management, while a USB-C output means the Ampero Mini can double as an audio interface.
Oh, and there’s also a built-in drum machine with 100 patterns, a looper with up to 100 seconds of recording time, and acoustic simulation algorithms to negate the need to carry an extra guitar around.
If the Ampero II Stomp is a direct competitor to the Line 6 HX Stomp, then the Ampero Mini seemingly represents something fresh for the genre – and at $255 it will no doubt catch the eye of those on the hunt for a compact all-in-one unit.
It may be missing some features – such as an FX loop and an extra footswitch – but players looking for something this small and powerful are unlikely to be too fazed by such omissions.
The proof is in the tones, of course, but at first glance, as a dedicated budget amp modeler strapped to the end of your rig or a multi-effects unit used for its vast swathe of digital FX, the Ampero Mini has some serious potential – especially at that price tag.
Plus, may we say, some of those colors are really, really nice.
For more information, head over to Hotone.