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battery powered amp recommendation

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by scook, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I'm currently looking for a battery powered amp for certain practice situations that I run into.

    There are several battery powered amps out there and I was looking to get some feedback (from posters, not the amp). I don't really need a bunch of bells and whistles, just something that won't drain batteries too bad and also has headphone capability.

    AC power option would be a plus, but not necessary. I don't expect this amp to have any of my dream tones but it would be nice if it wasn't horrid to listen to and is fairly rugged.

    Is there really all that much that differentiates these small, battery powered amps? I've seen several companies offering them for around $100 (USD).

    thanks,

    steve
     
  2. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Roland micro-cube that I really like. It gets about 20 hours of life out of 6 AA batteries. It also comes with an ac adapter. It has a surprisingly big sound for such a small amp and the on-board effects are not bad. I think it is 3.5 watts. The only complaint I have is that the fender amp mode on it gets a little farty sounding with the stock speaker. The vox, Marshall, and jazz chorus modes all sound pretty good though.

    I also have a suitcase amp that I built with a five watt amp board from guitar fuel and a 6 inch Jensen mod 6. I get more volume and bass response out of it than the Roland, but it eats batteries more quickly. If you are not interested in building your own, the micro cube is hard to beat.
     
  3. Henfield Tele

    Henfield Tele Tele-Holic

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    Roland Cube RX does everything the Cube does but more and better in all areas.
     
  4. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

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    I really like my Vox Mini3.
     
  5. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yamaha THR10C. Perfect little amp
     
  6. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Micro cube is all you need. Has all the features you mentioned, sounds incredible, and is very small and very light, and built like a tank.
     
  7. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1.

    I own three battery powered amps. A Peavey Solo, a Roland Microcube, and a Yamaha THR5.

    My Peavey Solo is one of the older ones, with both a 1/4" guitar input and a XLR microphone input. It is the loudest of my three battery amps, but it has only one sound - Clean - and no reverb. Unfortunately they stopped making this one, but it's a good amp for bluesgrass type stuff where you just need to be louder, no effects. I think the newer ones have an overdrive channel but no XLR mic input. For a true busking amp, the Solo is my favorite. The 8 D batteries last 20+ hours at volume levels loud enough to drown out even the loudest banjo player! :p

    The THR5 is the best sounding of the 3 (IMHO), but it's also the most expensive. USB output means it's not just a practice amp, but it's an analog to digital converter for your guitar. If you're interested in doing any recording, this is the one to get. Lots of effects and tonal possibilities, but it's also the quiestest of the three as well. Mine has taken a couple of spills and lived to tell about it, so it's pretty rugged, but it feels more fragile than the Peavey or the Roland. It's also the smallest. The 8 AAA batteries last about 10 hours, significantly less than the Peavey or the Roland.

    The Microcube doesn't have as many effects as the Yamaha, but it's louder, more rugged, and better on batteries. About 15 - 20 hours. It's not as loud as the Peavey, but it's louder than the the Yamaha.

    My experience is that with any of these battery powered amps, there's going to be a compromise somewhere... That's the nature of the beast. The trick is to decide which compromises you can live with.

    If I had to choose only one battery powered amp, it would probably be the Microcube just because it's so versatile, rugged, loud enough, and good on batteries.
     
    Zaxxon likes this.
  8. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    Go test some out is my advise. I wanted something inexpensive that stayed clean all the way up the dial. I went intending to buy a Microcube, tested Microcube, Fender Mustang Mini and the Vox Mini 3. Ended up getting the Mini 3 for $75.00 out the door, on the clean setting it was much cleaner than the other two. The models on it are really cool too, I especially like the 80's Marshall sound, it roars.

    Vox is currently making a Mini 5 too, don't know if it's much louder as I haven't tried one. The Mini 3 gets pretty loud. The other day I wired a plug to run it into a 2x12 4 ohm cabinet, wow it really sings through the big cabinet. The stock 5" speaker in the thing is amazingly good though, fairly beefy magnet for such a small speaker, it's handled all the
    dirt I can throw at it just fine.
     
  9. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    Microcube +1
     
  10. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    love my street cube....
     
  11. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Vox Mini 3 is as good as any of them imo.
     
  12. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those are nice, but aren't those around $300? The OP said, "...around $100".

    The only reason I mentioned the THR5 ($200) is because I own one and can compare it to the other two that I own.

    I haven't tried the Vox Mini 3, but I'd look into it.

    Didin't realize it, but the MicroCube is up to $150 now! :eek: :rolleyes:

    Everything's goin' up 'cept my paycheck! :oops:
     
  13. go49ners

    go49ners Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for microcube. It's the only small battery powered amp I've found that doesn't sound small. It has a big open sound to it. Great little amps!

    Got mine used for $45
     
  14. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

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    Vox mini 3 is my LR amp beside my chair. Never fails to make me smile. Verb/chorus is nice with many adjustments. I can get at least 3 different sounds out that I like, clean to distortion. When on overdrive, it has endless sustain; My son and I took it to deer camp and he played slide and it made our jaws drop...for $75.00...cheaper than a pedal. Has headphone, mp3, second channel, what's not to like?
     
  15. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

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    Vox mini 3 is my LR amp beside my chair. Never fails to make me smile. Verb/chorus is nice with many adjustments. I can get at many different sounds out that I like, clean to distortion. When on overdrive, it has endless sustain; My son and I took it to deer camp and he played slide and it made our jaws drop...for $75.00...cheaper than a pedal. Has headphone, mp3, second channel, what's not to like?
     
  16. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Jesse, how hard was the small amp to build? I might be interested in going this route. It is something that I want to do eventually anyways. I've been studying the building of tube amps and have found a few decent beginners kits.


    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I think I probably need to just try a few out. For the price, most of them seem acceptable for what I'm after.

    steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  17. buckfuzzard

    buckfuzzard Tele-Meister

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    Roland Street Cube works great, maybe you can find a used one..
     
  18. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    plus one on the roland mciro cube. i liked mine so much i made a finger jointed pine box for her with a 8" speaker. same battery life. she just sounds sweeter now, and i can sit on her. BONUS.
    chris.,

    yeah im chicken to try and cover her in any type of tolex. probably just let her relic with my construction lines and all. it sounds good thats what matters most :d

    chris.

    i could cheat and spray paint her. hmm.
     

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  19. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    I'd clean up the construction lines and hit it with semi gloss minwax wipe on poly. Looks really cool, jipp!
     
  20. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Yep.
     
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