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Micro (battery powered) Amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Oldsmobum, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

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    I travel a lot for work, and a guitar almost always comes with me. I go between using the AmpliTube with a headphone widget and a very old Marshall MS2 (the little 9 volt guy).

    Frankly, the AmpliTube sounds worse than the tiny Marshall does. A lot worse. Also, I don’t necessarily need to wear headphones in a hotel room, I just need to keep the volume down.

    That being said, I am looking for something that is small enough not to take up all of my luggage and also (importantly) runs on conventional batteries. The reason is anything lithium ion must be carried on, which means taking up space and also extra scrutiny at the TSA screening. I am already carrying 2 phones, 2 laptops, and sometimes power tool batteries. The last thing I need is another item to deal with. Also carry on space is a premium considering that one of the items I carry on is the guitar itself.

    I have pretty low expectations for sound quality, and would sacrifice a little bit to keep it smaller if choosing between two. My little Marshall works, but it is tired and it’s very hard on batteries. I know my options are better 20 years later now.

    I am so far looking at the Roland micro cube and the Boss Katana mini. Does anyone have any input or experience?
     
  2. Jonzilla

    Jonzilla Tele-Meister

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    I have been very pleased with my micro cube for a couple years now. It has a decent range of built in amp sims and effects. My friend has a katana mini and the micro cube is a lot more versatile and seems more like a "real" amp all around. Battery life is I'd guess around 6 hours.
     
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  3. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have a Roland MicroCube and it's been dependable for about 8 years now.

    roland-micro-cube.jpg
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Back in the olden days (2019) when I went on frequent week long road trips to our manufacturing facility, I took along my Vox Mini 3. Also, back in those going to the office days, I would take it along to play out in the parking lot at lunch. I usually carried it in a backpack. It can run on 6 AA's or on an AC adaptor.

    Here's a short demo of me playing it in my car...

     
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  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah. Might be too big but the MicroCube is just remarkable.

    It has eclipsed everything I've ever tried for home practice, including a stupidly-conceived $2k rig consisting of a great Dumble clone head, closed vertical 212 cab and a great reactive attenuator. It actually sounded and felt pretty good at 65-70 db. Then I made the mistake of plugging into my effing MicroCube and damn if it didn't sound and feel just as good. But be able to sneak down to 60db doing so. Ballzzzzzzzz....

    I'll try to track down a link but I've used it live direct to the board. Sounds huge. If I can find the link I'll post the link where I used it on a small local radio show where we each just had vocal mic's. I set up my MicroCube on the floor pointed up at the mic and it was quiet enough to work and again sounded superb.

    Runs on AA or a very small PS. If you have the space, it's the way to go IMO.
     
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  6. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't underestimate the humble Bluetooth speaker. I've plugged mine (Anker Soundcore 2) into my modeler and a VOX AC-30 Amplug2 and found it quite serviceable. I already get double use out of it (mobile phone and laptop), and adding guitar would make it triple.

    The Anker has an internal battery, but there are some out there that use AAs or AAAs.

    Additionally, Vox makes (or used to make) a little powered speaker cabinet designed for use with the Amplug.

    ETA: The Amplug has a line input so you can feed music into it, as does the Pocket Pod. I think that plus a BT speaker would make a killer travel rig.
     
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Micro Cube is a little beast of an amp. Well made and really great sounds and effects. It's mono from the speaker, but stereo with headphones. And run the line out to a board or larger amp and the tone positively kills. The six AA batteries last a long time if played through headphones. I have two of these and they have been rock solid for more than 10 years.

    I modded both with speaker-out jacks to allow them to drive larger cabinets. And they can--with window-rattling volume. The switching jack disconnects the internal speaker when a cable is plugged in. Click the pic to expand it.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Blackstar Fly 3 pack (with extension speaker, giving it six watts) that does a fine job for me both as a guitar amp and a computer speaker set.
     
  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Ampoid. Small, cheap...you can hear the guitar, but not something you'll record. Use a 6ft or longer instrument cable to cut out static. Edit: uses a std 9v battery.

    https://reverb.com/brand/ampoids

    IMG_2412.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  10. BigBillow

    BigBillow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    the fly3 rules. I don’t even have the extension can. Get one!!!

    edit: seriously, I thought these were a novelty... they’re not. It’s a really good sounding amp for $60 and regular batteries last longer then expected.
     
  11. cenz

    cenz Tele-Meister

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    764AE8DC-BB3E-4EA8-AA49-E4F072EF2686.jpeg MS-2 into a Stanmore Bluetooth speaker. Not practical for your needs, but what the hey.

    You could try a Honeytone N10 or better yet Orange Micro Crush. 3 watts, battery powered, 69 beans.
     
  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    I bought my Micro Cube not quite 2 months ago, and it is just awesome with its models/effects and features ( common-sense/easy Controls layout) include running on batteries when needed

    I bought it to have an apartment friendly (low volume!) amp with enough features to just plug in and not use any OD or other effects pedals.
    Loud enough to jam with others too.

    * and because it is a modeling amp, I can get Overdrive/ distortion at whisper quiet volume- love it!
    Plus, it's really cute!
    20201018_212006.jpg 20201018_211935.jpg
     
  13. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have the Blackstar Fly 3 with extension cab and it is excellent.
     
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  14. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yamaha THR5. Magic in a box.
     
  15. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Micro Cube all the way...very versatile...I have two and use them a lot...I have tried others, but none come close....my 2 cents has been thrown into the ring now.
     
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  16. Pasta Player

    Pasta Player Tele-Meister

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    MoChallenge.png
    Have been side-by-side comparing many of the newer lower-priced portables against the earlier made American portables for several years now. And while the Micro Cube rates very highly here amongst the newer ones… if you’re looking for something most easily placed within your luggage, the Blackstar Fly 3 (especially without the extension speaker) rates high in both performance and “pack-a-bility”.

    Again, I really do like the Micro Cube - but it’s a bit bigger to lug about or pack.

    VPA1.png
    Yet - I normally drag a Dwarf or a Pygmy amp along with me when traveling (or when testing used guitars or pedals). Both already have speaker-out jacks. AND I also use rechargeable USB battery packs with a BirdCord voltage converter cord to power old and new. No mo’ buying batteries and I can use the battery packs for my phone or laptop too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    One thing is do you want onboard reverb? MicroCube has and it’s good.

    Blackstar is delay.
     
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  18. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Vox Mini5 Rhythm or an old Mini Cube like above.
     
  19. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Curious how much you've tried to customize AmplitTube patches? I started with a few suggestions from a video on getting John Mayers blues tones and tweaked from there. (It's critical to watch the levels and not clip, too.)
     
  20. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've had the Microcube, the Fly, the Vox, and the Katana Mini, and the Mini is the best of the bunch IMO, and I sold the others when I got the Mini. It doesn't have all the effects that the Roland and Vox have, but I prefer its sound quality. I also have the THR10C, which is also excellent, but is much larger. The THR and Mini have 3 band EQ, while the others only have a single tone control, FWIW.
     
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