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Need ideas for battery powered head

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by MX21, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. MX21

    MX21 Supporting Member

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    I have a recurring gig situation where it's bass (me), acoustic guitar or two, and a cajon or djembe. Getting AC power is inconvenient, so I was thinking about a battery powered amp of some sort for the bass.

    Commercial battery powered combo amps use tiny speakers, so don't seem to sound too good (and seem a bit pricey). It would be nice to find a small, battery powered head to use with my 110 cab. The alternative is a battery and inverter to power my GK MB200, but those are more of a wiring mess and in initial testing, tend to buzz (from the inverter switching?).

    Does a battery powered bass head exist? Or at least a battery powered amp? Then I'd need a preamp for that.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks,

    MX
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    While they do exist their usable time of operation between charges is somewhat short. In order to reproduce low frequencies properly you need power. Battery power is heavy and expensive. I'd go with the AC mains power, inconvenient though it may be.
  3. MX21

    MX21 Supporting Member

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    I have a couple big lithium polymer packs from R/C flying that I was planning to use. They seem to power everything fine using the inverter, just with a little buzz.
  4. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

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  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    You're smoking the wrong stuff then! :D
  6. MX21

    MX21 Supporting Member

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    I definitely do not want to smoke a 4.4 Ah lithium pack. It would probably burn down the building.
  7. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

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    Going battery power, would not waste time with a single 10"

    you want the most speaker sensitivity you could find, since higher sensitivity speakers will need less power to achieve the same volume. so minimum i would use a 1x12 or a 1x15.

    best option size wise would be a 2x12 and just use a normal amp and combo and use a power inverter and a battery.

    high power RC batterys might give decent fly time for a 200 to 300 watt electric airplane motor but the flight time is still limited to 6 to 12 minutes. great for maybe 2 or 3 songs.

    You need a large marine battery/ car batterys and car batterys can deliver more current but they do not like to run down below 70% of there charge. Marine type (deep cycle) batterys can have less current but can be drained/and charged many times before the battery starts to get damaged. Unlike lead acid car batterys which would start to get damaged after 2 to 3 cycles of being drained.
    Better battery yet is the Trojan batterys used for electric floor scrubbers.

    just get a cheap dolly and strap a deep cycle marine battery and converter to it. Then you could run any type of amp and have 2 to 3 hours of play time.
    Dont get a smaller cheaper battery the bigger it is the more it last, and likewise with car batterys the more cold cranking amps they have
    usually plays out to more current storage. bigger is better, more money but you need it for extended play time.
  8. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

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    A Phil Jones Briefcase combo might work for a small gig. You just put a small inexpensive 12v sealed lead acid battery inside or use a big car battery or something. Lasts a fair bit an you can charge the battery easily.
  9. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    pignose piggy in the box, discontinued, but cool
  10. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

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    yes dont mess with lithium or lipo batterys work great in the hobby industry, but most lipo hobby systems have a voltage shut down safety built in. On a converter you would not.
    It would not take more than 10 to 15 minutes to exceed their limit and yes they catch on fire and explode.
  11. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

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    no, like i said above sealed lead acid batteries would not last more than 3 to 4 cycles before they start to get damaged and will not hold a charge very well. so it is a waste of money.

    you need a large deep cycle battery, if you go the cheap route
    at least use the largest car battery you can find in the 800 to 900 cold cranking amps.
    better to spend about 50 to 70 bucks more on a very large deep cycle battery.

    trust me i have recorded whole albums on battery power and have destroyed many car batteries. The best battery i have used is a expensive trojan deep cycle battery used for electric floor scrubbers. lasted a very very long time. car batteries not very long.

    never had "buzzing" problems even with cheap converters, only got buzzing when using gas powered generators, and even then some of those dont buzz. Real problem i had with gas generators was older hammand organs would go out of tune because the tone wheels rely on a very steady 60hz waveform to keep the motors in sync to hold tune. otherwise everything else was fine
  12. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

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    Well, like I said, you can run a PJB Briefcase on a car battery or an RV/Boat deep cycle as well, just a bigger package to carry
  13. MX21

    MX21 Supporting Member

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    Ok, let's back up here. I know I can do the big deep cycle battery and inverter thing. I know about the requirements for operating with lithiums. I know that run-time will be limited.

    This gig is only about 3 or 4 songs. We have to roll in quick, play, and roll back out quick with minimal interruption. I want to keep it light and portable, easy to just set down and go.

    Looking at the various options for battery powered combo amps, it occurred to me that I don't really need the cab. I just need a DC powered head and wondered if that existed.
  14. srxplayer

    srxplayer

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    I know a guy (personally) that designed and built a 120 watt battery powered bass combo that used a 12" speaker. I think it was called the Big Bro. The thing worked and would last a few hours on outdoor gigs. It weighed a ton and was pretty expensive so he didn't sell many. He pulled the plug on the idea of selling them but I know for a fact that the battery powered bass head idea will work. I think he used to sell them on line through a site called Bananas Music.
  15. Roscoe Vahorne

    Roscoe Vahorne

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    Some decent suggestions here but many are way too far into the weeds. Our friend just needs enough oomph to back up a small acoustic outfit.
    I recently took apart a Pignose Hog-20 (20 watts)which operates on two 6 volt (12v in series) lead acid batteries. (motorcycle batteries)
    Built a < 1 cubic foot ply box mounted an eminence alpha 8" woofer ($44.) (This is more efficient and heavier duty than the cheesy guitar speaker the amp comes with.) Then installed the amp and batteries in the same box. The thing rocks and has good tone. Add a pre-amp if you need more EQ
    I can back up a six-piece dixieland band with horns and drums no problem and it will go for six hours on a charge.
  16. 4-stringB

    4-stringB

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    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use inverters in portable rigs. There are no Ground Fault Interrupters. Arc protection circuits, or proper grounds. 120 volts can kill you...What if you're jamming away in the city park, and the timed sprinklers come on???...There are many 12v products in car audio that do a fine job of amplifying a bass. Amps, preamps, mixers,deep cycle batteries (trolling motors, golf carts) and more. Build the rig into a wheeled dolly, and you'll be ready to go in a SAFE way...
  17. dhsierra1

    dhsierra1

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    I'd look to car amplifiers that run on 12V and high efficiency speakers.
  18. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

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    Disclosures:
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    exactly what I was going to suggest
  19. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    glad this thread got resurrected, i think i screwed up my pignose hog 30 playing my L2k through it, maybe somebody can suggest a kick gluteus maximus 6 inch driver that won't cost more than the combo
  20. ajcxnejx

    ajcxnejx

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    While they do exist their usable time of operation between charges is somewhat short.[​IMG]

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