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Advice on busking amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tomnomnom91, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I'm currently toying with the idea of going out busking with my bass, and using backing tracks for support. I know next to nothing about busking amps, or if suitable ones even exist for bass. I know I need one with an input for my instrument, one for whatever I'm playing my backing tracks through (probably my phone or an iPod I imagine), and maybe a headphone socket.

    I'm not really thinking about budget at this point, but something cheap and cheerful would do the trick. Also, any tips on how to power them reliably?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    Id just busk with an acoustic bass and skip the backing tracks. If you need drums build a kit out of buckets and random other trash. glass bottles make good cymbols.
  3. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Put 3 car batteries in series for the +
    rails of any amp (+36v)

    And 3 more for the (-) rails (-36V)

    The OP would need a dolly with good, air filled tires to push the 6 batteries and amplifier to the performance spot.

    Marine duty batteries would cost a lot more, but last longer.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I've never heard of amp busking?
  5. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
  6. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    That's when you try and sell a crate amp as if it was an svt. I believe alleyways and unmarked white panel vans are involved also.
  7. Bassgeer

    Bassgeer Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Thee is a guy in my city they call the Electric Busker. He's got an electric guitar, a beat up boss pedal and a really long extension cord. Plugs it in wherever he can find. Plays pretty good too!
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    LoL! I tried looking it up is it something street performers rig up for sound?
  9. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    Some of you have honestly never heard of busking with an amp? Using an amp is more common than not doing so around these parts.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Sure we've heard of busking *with* an amp. Busking an amp not so much, that sounds medically dangerous, lol.

    Then again, busking at all around these parts is taking your life into your hands.
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Hey, it has wheels.
  12. A tiny, ultra lightweight, 100W bass combo amp (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MB110) - and a "pure sine wave" inverter (http://www.amazon.com/Power-Bright-...&qid=1383621132&sr=8-1&keywords=Bright+APS600) - with two 12V, 20Ah sealed batteries (http://www.amazon.com/PowerStar®-20...1301&sr=8-11&keywords=12V+20Ah+Sealed+Battery) will give you approximately 4 hours of playing time according to this calculator (http://www.alternate-energy.net/batteryamphours03.html). And you can plug your phone/Ipod straight into the GK MB110 amp for your backing tracks too.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    A couple days ago, I heard some cat playing a four-string electric through a Pignose amp, in one of the NYC subway stations. It wasn't loud, but it got a surprisingly decent tone for being so tiny, and the sound carried & penetrated better than I would have guessed.

    There are no electrical outlets available there, of course, so the Pignose must have been battery powered. :meh:

  14. Blueinred


    Mar 12, 2009
    Greater Cincy
    Pignose and Roland both make battery combos. The Pignose 30 watt seems to be the busking amp of choice for bass from reviews I read. $160 most places and will go 4+ hours on a charge. 25 lbs.
  15. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Roland Micro Cube Bass RX, i just got this amp, surprising loud low end with no hiss or distortion... up to 12 hours (they claim) on 6 2AA battery. I have not try to play mine on the battery, another alternatives will be portable PAs, Korg MMA130, or the Roland BA55.
  16. grey area

    grey area

    Sep 2, 2009
    almeria spain
    +1 on the micro roland. its light, runs for ages on AA batteries, has a cheesy beat box, cheesy effects but the chorus aint bad, and a built in tuner. hours of fun. it also comes with a mains power option so if you have an extension cable you can plug in if theres a power supply near. its not very loud but should be enough for what you have in mind. read up on the pignose before buying as there can be some issues with them( as with any amp). alternatively get a long legged girlfriend to pedal a generator bike and then you can use any amp and it would draw a good crowd.
    good luck.
  17. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Ya'll are thinking a little too small if you need to compete with traffic noise. Consider a Carvin Stagemate R400D. Same TINY box as the MB10 with a 12V battery running a 5 channel 400w PA with effects.

    Oh yeah, there's an extension cab too-the Carvin 810. Yep, you read it right! It's a 110 extension for the PA.
  18. 4-stringB


    Jun 10, 2010
    Do not use inverters outside. There are too many ways to electrocute yourself. There are many auto sound products that lend themselves to busking very nicely.
  19. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    So the inverter mounted next to my PV cells on my garage are dangerous? I guess the nema 4R rating on it is just for show. LOL
  20. Well, like most battery powered instrument amps - you wouldnÂ’t want to use it in the rain or go swimming with it - but using an inverter outdoors is no more dangerous than indoors as long as you use common sense.

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