Outdoors "travel" tube amp ?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by zeedoctour, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    Is there a decent small tube amp that runs off a battery ? The kind of thing that when you're a earnest young street performer you'd be able to use for "busking" or that kind of thing ? If there are several to choose from, which is the one considered the "best" example ?

    Asking for my brother. :rolleyes:
     
  2. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Define "tube." There is a range of tubiness to consider:

    From:

    Tube as in "all-tube - with high voltage power supply"

    To:

    Tube as in "it has a tube somewhere in it - but it runs on so low of a voltage that it doesn't really act live a tube normally does"
     
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  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Tell your brother to man up and use a SS amp.
     
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  4. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    To my knowledge, no. o_O

    -tbln
     
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  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are battery amps that can simulate the sound of a tube amp but a traditional tube amp uses a lot of power to heat up the tubes.

    Do they need a microphone input to sing too or the ability to play along to backing tracks when busking?
     
  6. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    After some research it would appear that anyone supporting taking a tube amp "out busking" for example, has no idea what they are doing. There was one guy bashing all these legit buskers with years of experience telling them about "tone that will melt your face off" and other such tripe (being why you would take the compromise that a tube amp on batteries would force you to accept) and I won't be searching for this kind of thing a moment longer. The reasons are beyond obvious.
     
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  7. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Not that it couldn't be done or shouldn't be done.... There just isn't a simple solution:

    1) Rewire a tube amp to run off of two batteries - a 6VDC battery for the filaments and a 300VDC+ for the Tubes. It would be best to use a Class AB amp for efficiency, so a low-power tube like 6K6 would be preferred.

    2) Create a power supply in the amp like a 50's car radio - DC powered filimanets and a vibrator to create high-voltage DC - All powered by one Battery.

    3) Battery powered AC inverter. Plug the amp into the inverter and go.

    4) Other novelty ideas like Solar Panels, Pedal-powered generator.

    If I were busking I would look for something like the VOX VXI super light-wieght modeling amp that runs off of 12Volts and power it from a battery pack. Or perhaps a Vox Tonelab ST or Stomplab pedal running into a Class D power amplifier for light-weight and efficiency.

    Of course, if you need vocals that is another story, but battery powered preamps can be found and some of the options mentioned above have aux-ins that could be used as a mic input.

    Just to give you an idea of what is possible, here was my first "guitar amp" setup:

    Ibanez StageStar (S-style) guitar --> Zoom 505 multi-effect pedal --> 1/4" to 3.5" adapter --> Sony CD/Cassette adapter --> JVC car tape deck powered by old PC power Supply --> JBL 3-way 6x9 speakers.

    Yup - its true and I could have easily powered it with a batteries and made it portable, too.
     
  8. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If tube is a necessity then skip the power amp section, preamp tube(s) and a PWM power amp section. A switched HV power supply from the 12V feeding the heaters. If you really need tube outputs, a pair of 6AK6's in P-P will get you 3-4W and only cost you 1.8W for the heaters. But really, a modeling amp makes more sense.
     
  9. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    A friend of mine is a photographer. For "portable " solutions to good lighting, he rigged up a contraption to power his gear that ran on two car batteries, and fit in a backpack. It weighed roughly 80lbs.

    It could probably have ran a low wattage tube amp, if you're unconcerned with practicality. ......
     
  10. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    They used to make battery powered tube radios. My mother grew up on a farm, the electric line didn't get there untill about 1955.
    I used to spend a lot of time driving, got an XM radio and got into old radio programs. Jack Benny, The Six Shooter, X Minus 9 and so forth.
    One day I asked mom about the old radio shows she listened to as a kid, thinking she would have.
    Her answer surprised me but if I'd have thought about it shouldn't have.
    They only turned the radio on for the news and one show my grandparents liked, forget which one now. Batteries were expensive and didn't last real long!
    You'll have the same trouble trying to run tubes on batteries today. The heaters alone probably draw more current than a whole solid state amp, in fact I'd bet on it.

    As for my dad. He grew up in town so the radio was a plug in job, they probably had a few. They had television pretty early on too. He skipped school with friends to watch the World Series and principle showed up. He sat down and watched the game, he didn't even own a TV yet. :)
     
  11. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cars had tube radios too. I had one - worked off six volts. It used an 'vibrator' circuit to get voltage up to required for a 6V6. You could adapt the power section. Still needs hefty batteries.

    general-electric-102-107-114-115-receiver-radio-news-july-1948-schematic.jpg
     
  12. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    The 6V6 tube was developed as a compact tube for car radios.
    Al
     
  13. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    We have switching inverters to do the job of the old radio vibrators. Really depends on the power level you want, 15W is about the most 'practical' wattage on batteries. Five watts is the more practical level and then you can use lower current heater tubes. A pair of 12A6's in P-P will do 6-8W, 12V@0.15A each tube. So 4W heater for the outputs, the PI and preamp on top of that.
     
  14. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tell your Brother,,, THR-10 battery operated, sounds as good as tubes!
     
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  15. JustEd

    JustEd Tele-Meister

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    And the amber lights might fool you and others that it's a tube amp. LOL.
     
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