We will look further into amplifier heads, and what separates them from more traditional amps, as well as examining some alternatives to the Quilter Microblock 45.
We’ll also look at some popular FAQs, and the pros and cons, before finishing this Quilter Microblock 45 review with a summary of our findings and our verdict.
But first, let’s look into the specs.
Key Specifications of the Quilter Microblock 45
|Power Requirements||24 Volt Power Supply (Included)|
|Weight||0.2 kg / 0.45 lbs|
|Size||1.2 x 4.3 x 2.3 inches|
|More Info||See here for the latest price|
Core Features of the Quilter Microblock 45
An amp head is an amp that doesn’t have a speaker and is attached to a stack of speakers to produce a larger volume. Often people can confuse amp heads with mini amps, and it’s easy to see why. We’ve discussed how to find the best mini amplifier before, but in this post, it’s all about the Quilter Microblock 45 amp head, so let’s look at its core features.
200 W Output
It’s always crucial to look at the output before buying any amplifier head. Despite the small size of the Quilter Microblock 45, the 45W output is generous. For those who practice at home or guitarists who perform at small-medium venues, the output is perfect.
Guitarists could use the Quilter Microblock 45 as a backup amp, too, in addition to a more substantial amp of their choosing. For anyone looking for an amp device with sufficient power output for personal use, or small gatherings, the Quilter Microblock 45 ticks those boxes adequately.
An amp is only ever going to be satisfactory if it can provide proper output customization. Again, despite the small size of the Quilter Microblock 45, it offers three different controls, allowing players to change the sound output to their individual preference.
The first knob is for Gain adjustment. For those who want to control the amp level, the Gain control enables this. Next is the Tri-Q knob, which allows players to choose between the lead boost to the clarity of the blackface chime. This knob will make obtaining the kind of output wanted simple.
The Master control takes players from full output down to zero with no change in overdrive or tone. The knobs are simple to operate and said to be pretty sensitive, which means that customizing the music output is relatively easy. Sometimes it’s the amps that aren’t packed with features that produce the best sound.
Easy to Use
This amp head is straightforward to operate. You will need to plug in the output from the electric guitar to the input of the Quilter Microblock 45 and turn it up to enjoy the output music. The knobs are simple to use, making the experience of using an amp head for the first time a breeze.
There really isn’t a learning curve involved with this amp head, and it’s simply trial and error. The interface is ridiculously simple, making it perfect for complete beginners, as well as professionals, who don’t need an amp head packed with features and new technology to play great music.
One of the more distinct features of the Microblock 45 is its small size. It weighs 0.45lbs, which is roughly the same as two blueberry muffins – all too easy to carry around! The dimensions of this amp head are; 1.2 x 4.3 x 2.3 inches, so it’s no trouble to travel with this amp head all day long.
Because of the lightweight design of the Microblock 45, it can travel anywhere with ease, giving this product a distinct advantage over other amp heads and amplifiers – many of which require cases or trolleys to transport from venue to venue. With the Microblock 45, it can even fit in a fanny pack.
Another great advantage of this amp head is that it can be used as a natural distortion pedal. This is possible because it consists of a line output, and players could also use the headphone jack. As a result, if a guitarist wanted to modify the sound output, a separate device wouldn’t be needed.
Players could simply tweak the settings to obtain the sound output they want, and this additional functionality makes the Quilter Microblock 45 highly versatile.
The kind of warranty you would get would depend greatly on the retailer and can also vary from State to State and country to country. Quilter Labs offer a limited warranty for a period of three years from the date of purchase, but this doesn’t apply to all products; for example, footswitches, cabinets, covers, handles, and cabinet hardware are under warranty for 90 days.
Pro Coverage is available on the Quilter Microblock 45 at Guitar Center.
How Does the Quilter Microblock 45 Perform?
The in-depth knowledge that Quilter has shines through in this compact amp head. It’s perfect for those who don’t need a mighty tone to fill an arena and who just want to experiment in more intimate settings. This is a highly efficient little workhorse that keeps rocking, optimizing clean or dirty tones in the way we would expect from Quilter Labs products.
Pros of the Quilter Microblock 45
There are so many things to like about the Microblock 45, and here are our favorite aspects:
The same wide-range controls that guitarists love about the Tone Block 200, Gain, Tri-Q and Master, are now in pedal form with the Microblock 45.
The Microblock 45 is more than adequate to fill a bedroom, dining room, or even a small live venue as a backup amp. Furthermore, the Microblock 45 makes a great utility amp for driving headphones and a good playback amp by utilizing the mini-jack or guitar input. It can also be used as a natural distortion pedal.
The Microblock 45 has some raving reviews from verified purchases across many different platforms. Some features regularly praised include:
- It’s small and compact in size. Many players state that this is likely the smallest amp to provide 45W of output.
- Sound quality – the overwhelming majority state that the sound quality is excellent.
- Its portability is often mentioned as a great advantage.
Dedicated Social Media
Nowadays, social media is everywhere, but few brands interact with followers in the way that Quilter does. We have discovered a wealth of information on their Facebook Fan Page, which is their public forum and managed by Quilter Labs themselves.
Here, any questions are answered by fellow guitarists or the pages dedicated to ‘Guitar Guy,’ Tom. It is a busy page, full of friendship and camaraderie with tons of tips too.
Cons of the Quilter Microblock 45
As with all products, the Microblock 45 does have some drawbacks. Here’s what we’ve discovered:
So, the Microblock 45 won’t break the bank, but it is fairly expensive for such a featureless, technology-free amp head. There are many amp heads out there that have a lot more going on for not a lot more money. At the other end of the spectrum, similar feature-lacking amp heads are retailing at quite a substantial saving.
Although adequate to fill small-medium spaces, the Microblock 45 will never fill an arena – nor does it claim to. However, some consumers find the volume is lacking, and the cleans are flat even with the Master up all the way.
A way around this could be to purchase a signal booster and EQ, but the Microblock 45 is already pretty costly, so spending more to gain more may not be the most economical.
Many Used Models Available
Now, this is just an observation, and we may be way off with this, but there does seem to be a large number of Quilter Microblock 45s available in used condition. Does this mean people try them for a short time and decide they’re not up to scratch? Or is it purely circumstantial?
Compared to other brands, we can’t deny that we have come across more used Microblock 45s than other similar heads, like Orange Amp Heads.
What are the Alternatives?
Here are some alternative amp heads to consider.
Marshall Origin50H 50W Tube Guitar Amp Head
At Guitar Space, we regularly discuss Marshall Amps as they are undeniably legendary. Owning a Marshall device is often aspiration of many guitarists across the genres, and when looking for amp heads, we have found the Marshall Origin50H 50W Tube Guitar Amp Head ticks many boxes.
Part of the Origin series, the Marshall Origin 50H has features perfect for those who want to practice playing at home and those who perform on stage. This is a 50W tube amp with plenty of controls such as; Master, Tilt, Presence, 3-band EQ, and Boost. The Marshall 50H Amp Head also comes with a footswitch included and a five-year parts warranty (3 years labor).
The classic Marshall tone at this affordable price is a steal, and consumers have very little criticism for this amp head. When compared to the Quilter Microblock 45, a con is that the Marshall 50H weighs 26lbs – a significant weight increase.
PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti Head
The PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti Head is genuinely equivalent to many larger amps, its smaller size and lower price being the only real exceptions. This is a two-channel amp with a plethora of features not commonly found in this class of amp.
The PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti Head is a commanding amp head with a bold, large sound that enables high volume across the genres. It’s geared towards fans of higher gain, with the 6L6 tubes dealing up plenty in the way of thick saturation.
The FX loop (included) is highly favored too. If you purchase this from Guitar Center, it comes as a package with the footswitch and amp cover included and is also eligible for a pro coverage warranty.
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe Head
The Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe Head is conveniently compact but packs enough power for small gigs and takes the lunchbox amp format to a whole new level. It has killer features, including the ability to switch between 20W of power, to 5W, 1W, or 0W for silent recording/practice.
TubeMeister Deluxe 30 is the world’s first tube amp to provide a full-range flat response. Its integrated H&K red box DI guarantees consistent tones whether you’re recording in the studio or playing live. It isn’t as compact or lightweight as other amp heads, but it still offers good value for money, especially for those who like the iconic sound of Hughes & Kettner.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Quilter Microblock 45
Answer: If you want an amp head to play in front of friends or family or practice alone with or even for small venues, then the Quilter Microblock 45 is absolutely adequate. However, this may not be a perfect choice for those who play at more substantial venues.
Answer: After listing this as a con, we have done a bit more digging and discovered that the Microblock 45 has actually been discontinued. This happened after the release of the InterBlock 45 when Quilter saw sales of the Microblock 45 decline. It came to a point where continuing to produce these amp heads would force a substantial price increase, so most of those you find for sale will be pre-owned.
Answer: Combo Amps certainly have their place, but the right amp for you depends on what you’ll use it for, what your budget is, and your level of skill. It is pointless investing in a combo amp if you’re just testing the waters when it comes to playing with an amp. An amp head is a cost-effective way to see if amps are for you before moving on to a different amp, such as a combo.
Our Verdict of the Quilter Microblock 45
It’s good, but is it great? Opinions vary widely online, but in general, consumers are more than happy with their purchase of the Quilter Microblock 45. The specs are simple and navigation easy, so we would definitely recommend the Microblock 45 for beginners. However, the limited volume and lack of controls may be a deal-breaker for those with more experience.
Guitarists praise its sound quality, portability, and small and compact size, and we love the brand’s social media page and how responsive they are to followers. Their Facebook Page is worth checking out if you want to see videos, swap tips, or learn tricks about Quilters products.
Players would be hard-pushed to find a new, unused Microblock 45 but it does happen. We have found new models are primarily on Amazon, with used versions retailing elsewhere that still come with a warranty, and Guitar Centers Pro Coverage too.
Jodie is a trained classical guitarist. She is also a full-time blogger and loves to write about different types of guitars. Just give her 60 seconds of your time, and she’ll tell you all that you need to know about any guitar of your choice.