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Can't Find a Decent Battery Powered Bass Amp...

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by PortlandBass77, Sep 4, 2013.

?

What Should I do?

  1. Use a battery powered GUITAR amp

    7 vote(s)
    7.9%
  2. Save money and increase budget

    38 vote(s)
    42.7%
  3. Learn to play guitar and use that in the band instead

    3 vote(s)
    3.4%
  4. Do not be a part of this band

    11 vote(s)
    12.4%
  5. Save money and buy an acoustic bass off Craigslist

    6 vote(s)
    6.7%
  6. Try to find a battery pack for the practice amp I have

    8 vote(s)
    9.0%
  7. Do nothing and just live with not being heard

    2 vote(s)
    2.2%
  8. Other (Please Explain)

    14 vote(s)
    15.7%
  1. PortlandBass77

    PortlandBass77

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    3
    So here's my situation: So the guitarist in my band goes downtown once in a while to play street guitar and makes surprisingly decent money. So now he wants to start a side project "Street Band" with him on electric guitar, the drummer from our band on bucket drums and me on bass. The problem? I can't find a decent battery powered bass amp in my $100 budget. Heck, I've only been able to actually test out 2 because no music store seems to sell any, so all I have is Craigslist and pawn shops. So we have together thought of a couple of potential solutions that I will put into a poll:

    1. Use a battery powered GUITAR amp (What the drummer thinks I should do)

    2. Save money and increase budget (would take a while)

    3. Learn to play guitar and use that in the band instead (what the guitarist thinks I should do)

    4. Do not be a part of this band

    5. Save money and buy an acoustic bass off Craigslist (found some for less $$ than battery powered amps)

    6. Try to find a battery pack for the practice amp I have (would be a lot more to carry around, but would be willing to do it if I found a compatible battery pack)

    7. Do nothing and just live with not being heard

    8. Other (Please Explain :) )
  2. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    3
    Tuba
    Small tube expands big horn and it is low and loud
    Get a Bill Fitzmaurice folded horn sub and search Amazon for class-t 20Watts or so will blast!
  3. aprod

    aprod

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    An acoustic bass won't do you any good. They are not loud enough. I vote 2. Roland bass micro cube?
  4. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    1
    You can squeeze a surprising amount of volume out of a Pignose HOG 30. Built-in rechargable. It's really OK for busking.
  5. Projectile

    Projectile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    The reason you can't find any decent battery powered bass amps is because it takes a lot of power to generate low frequencies. Any respectable sounding bass amp will eat through regular batteries like crazy. Acoustic basses also suck for the same reason. They are barely audible next to an acoustic guitar.

    So, your best bet is to either use a battery powered guitar amp and just deal with the fact that your bass will sound really trebbly and lack lows. Or you could use a big hulking deep cycle battery and a power inverter to power your bass practice amp (this would be my choice). A deep cycle battery is like a car battery except that they are made to provide power for extended periods of time, and they don't get damaged by being fully drained. These are often sold as RV or Marine batteries because people use them for RVs and boats. You can buy them at any department store like WalMart or Sears, usually in the automotive section. The problem is that these batteries put out 12V DC, so you will need a power inverter to convert this to 120V AC. The cheapest place to buy one of these is on ebay. Make sure it can handle enough watts to power your practive amp. If you shop around, you should be able to get a battery and power inverter suitable for a portable rig for under $100. Cheers.

    EDIT: The Pignose HOG 30 recommended above looks like it would be a workable solution too. It uses a decent sized rechargable lead-acid battery that should deliver enough power for bass. It's a bit over your price range, though.
  6. grey area

    grey area

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    i second the roland micro, go second hand. i'v used mine with two guitarists using micros and a bongo player. you aint gonna get loud but you can be heard. the micro bass is stereo and puts out more than you would think. you can also let the drummer go and sleep as there is a cheesy drum box built in.
    good luck.
  7. JoePlaysDaBass

    JoePlaysDaBass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1. I had one for a few years. It was used for campsite jams and amplifying my upright for school bands. It's out of your budget by $50-60, but it sounds like it's what you're looking for.
  8. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Likes Received:
    8
    Cardboard box upright bass.
  9. Drucocu

    Drucocu

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    doublebass and Microcube, you will be heard.
    that's me 2 years ago:

  10. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1 Pignose Hog-30

    I have both the Roland Micro Cube Bass and the Pignose Hog-30. The Pignose projects better IMO, has built-in rechargeable batteries and costs less new ($160 vs $280). The Roland has many more bells and whistles (built-in tuner, metronome/drum machine, amp modeling, aux input), and uses 6 AA batteries (not included).

    A used Pignose may need new batteries, so budget for that ($30-$50) if you're shopping used.

    If your bass is passive, a pedal like the Tech21 VT Bass makes the Hog-30 even better for bass.

    Unless you find a really quiet corner, an acoustic bass guitar would need some amplification to be heard well. An upright would be much louder.

    A decent battery pack/inverter for your present amp is almost as costly as the Hog-30.
  11. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    44
    Save and buy an upright.
  12. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd pass on this band myself
  13. n1as

    n1as

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    $100? no way.

    Carvin makes a battery powered PA for about $500.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd go with a deep-cycle battery plus a power inverter. Then I'd run a low wattage Class D amp (or combo) using a very efficient 1x15 speaker or 2x10. Something that will turn the electrical watts into substantial acoustic watts. Don't expect much oomph, play with the bass cut and go easy on the volume to conserve battery power.

    The efficiency of the Class D amp and big speaker should help you get more acoustic volume for minimal electric draw. Using a practice amp may be attractive but I bet you'd be burning more electrical power to get the same acoustic output.

    Budget? $60 for the battery, $100 (?) for the inverter plus you use the amp and cabinet you already (hopefully) have.
  14. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Likes Received:
    13
    I voted "other". DB. Or DB through the Micro Cube.

    I borrowed a Roland Micro Cube Bass and used it for a series of gigs with my upright, worked very well for the application. May need to get one myself if I get the (seasonal) gig again. However, now I'm intrigued by the Pignose Hog-30!


    Awesome info. GASing for the Hog-30 now.
  15. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Likes Received:
    13
    OUCH!

    Just read up on the Hog 30.

    Hog 30
    30 W
    14" x 9.5" x 17"
    28 lbs

    Micro Cube
    2.5 W + 2.5 W
    11.6" x 8.1" x 11.6"
    15 lbs

    Alas, the gig requires me to play my DB while marching about, so the 15 lb Cube goes on my back for the win...

    Would still like to try a Hog-30, but not for this particular gig.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Likes Received:
    7
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I owned a HOG 30, and a Microcube. I love the Microcube, sold the HOG.

    My reasons: The HOG 30 had something funky going on with the rechargable batteries. If left plugged in, they burned out. 2 times for me. And the replacements at the time I had it were expensive, and hard to get. I wanted to use it as a practice amp in my house, but it meant plugging and unplugging and being careful about the charge, and a lot of guesswork. Ultimately it was too much of a pain in the butt, and I got rid of it. Also didn't hold a charge for too long. 3 or 4 hours was the most I ever got out of it.

    The Microcube on the other hand had a ton of plusses for me. Size and weight probably top the list. It also has LOTS of EQ options not available on the HOG, and sounds way better, IMO. The effects are usuable, as are the beats, and yes I did play one gig using those beats and 2 acoustics. I also love that I leave it plugged in and have no worries about burning anything out. It runs for around 7 hrs on batteries, and it doesn't have to be recharged. If the batteries run out, you can just replace them. Not so with the HOG. If your batteries run out you either have to plug it in, or recharge. Even if you purchase an extra battery, it's a pain to change.

    Anyhooo.... after owning both, and both for a number of years, I'd say forget the HOG, save a little more, and go with a Roland. In the long run, unless you're very careful with the charging, it'll wind up costing you less, too.

    [edit] Forgot to mention that the Roland also makes an awesome preamp for recording. I get some killer sounds when I go through it.
    [edit #2 :)] The "legendary Funk Bass switch" on the HOG is a bright switch, and nothing more.
  17. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    3
    The Hog 30 being advertised as thirty watts is not truthful. It's only going to be 3 or 4 watts.
    Roland power ratings are in line with reality.

    Having a bigger efficient speaker cabinet can make the most difference. March pulling a wagon, speaker facing your back you so you can hear it.
  18. 4-stringB

    4-stringB

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're right, you won't find a good bass amp for $100. You will if you go to the local flea market and find used auto amps, some will have a mic input, others will need a pre(also at the FM). Add a deep cycle battery(FM), used sub speaker(FM){{I've taken old stereo speakers-12s or 15s, and installed auto subs, remove tweets/mids...or you could try the old speaker...might work against acoustic guitars....DO NOT USE INVERTERS...they can kill you....PS, build this rig into a dolly, and you're ready to go.
  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    13
    You can't even find a good non-battery powered amp with a $100 budget...

    Get a microcube, I like others here, love mine. I do not personally use it for busking but I have a friend who does. When I was in Vancouver a few years ago there were a lot of buskers on granville and 9/10 buskers had a microcube.
  20. grey area

    grey area

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    a mate of mine had a HOG and had a lot of aggro with it, batteries burning out, fuzzy sound, volume going up and down. it ended up in his garage as something to sit on. maybe he just had a bad one, but i have read on here of problems with this amp, but remember there must be some folks who had a good time with this amp also.
    i have sat on the plaza with my micro and jammed with a roland guitar micro and a line 6 micro, bongos and vocals and we have drunk free beer all evening and got plenty of battery money to boot.
    good luck

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