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Battery-powered amps for URB

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Nick Ara, Jul 7, 2005.


  1. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    "Summers' here and the time is right for playing in the street"

    Or on the boardwalk, town park, etc. That said, I'm interested in finding out about battery-powered amps. Here in NYC, I see a lot of bassists using Fender amp cans, pignose amps, Might Mouse, and Crate Taxi's. While they get the sound out, it usually comes at the expense of decent tone.

    After doing some research, the new Crate Taxi TXB-50 looks like the best of the lot, with a 10" speaker, 50 watts, & 22 lbs. Suppossedly this will run for 8 hours on a full charge.

    I've thought about just using a deep-cycle boat battery with an inverter, but honestly the weight is a bit prohibitive.

    Anyone have any "real-world" experience with this model?
    Or success stories with other battery amps?

    Thanks, in advance.

    Nick
     
  2. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks, Mike!

    With all the attention the PJB product line has been getting lately, I hadn't even cosidered they'd have a battery operated model.

    This could be "the one" !

    Nick
     
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The TXB50 dubbed the "Bass Bus" is 33lbs and is probably your best bet price wise as it is discounted and can be had for about $369. I've never used it so can't tell you what it sounds like, but you can probably go to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash and they probably will have one that you can check out.

    The briefcase looks good, but I don't think it comes with the battery for the price i.e. the battery is extra.

    Review here:

    http://www.bassplayer.com/story.asp?sectioncode=13&storycode=4843

    Rules of the road here:

    http://www.citylore.org/citylore_links-guide.html
     
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I own a Phil Jones Briefcase, and while the battery is not included, it is also not very expensive (I think I paid @ $20 for mine). It's a killer sounding little amp, IMHO, though the battery life is not phenomenal. I think it could be rigged to play on a larger lead-acide 12v, though.

    Tom.
     
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    One of the cons about the Phil Jones Briefcase in the review by Bass Player was the price of the battery. You may have paid $20 for yours, but that was probably an anomaly. A decent battery for a laptop is upwards of $70 and I'm sure this battery needs to deliver more juice than one of those and probably costs more.
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The manual lists three or four suppliers of these 12v gel cell batteries. The most expensive one was like $35, and the least expensive was I think $16 plus shipping. Check out the manual for the Briefcase online at Phil Jones. It has links to the recommended battery suppliers.

    Tom.
     
  7. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Actually, no, while I terminated my dealer relationship with PJB, battery details was obviously a question I asked, and they are inexpensive, around $30 or so as I recall.

    If I were in need of a battery powered amp I think I'd look into three items (ok, I think about these sorts of things, in response to customer questions, even when I don't need them personally).

    First, it seems that the units that convert 12v to 110v are dirt cheap these days, even rather high wattage units, I see them in the Pep Boys flyers every week. After learning of their cost and capabilities...

    Look at small bass amp candidates, and then compare their power consumption to make an efficient choice that offers the most output power for the least AC power consumption.

    Then, battery candidates, choosing those designed for that sort of power drain, like those for RV's, if I wanted to go automobile size, or the smaller ones if not. Wiring two or more in parallel could probably provide a pretty potent and long-lived power supply.

    Finally, a hand truck to strap it all to. Back to Pep Boys I guess. ;)

    Just some stray Bob Thoughts.
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    And some good ones, at that! Thanks for sharing, Bob!
     
  9. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Gel cells are much cheaper than the various high-denisity batteries used in compact laptop and cell phone batteries. If the amp has a 12VDC input, you could haul a deep-cycle marine battery in a case and play for days.
     
  10. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If anyone is considering buying an inverter (DC to AC converter) to power a bass amp, it would be a very good idea to get the best inverter you can afford and make sure it has a reasonable sine wave output. Cheap inverters are likely to have anything but a clean AC output and are not really suitable for powering high-quality audio amplifiers. It is also important to use an inverter with sufficient power capacity for your application. For use with a very efficient class D amp, an inverter with a power capacity of at least 2X your amp's rated output power would be a wise choice. For less efficient amps, you will need even more headroom. Overloading an inverter is not a good thing.