Battery powered amps/speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JP_1337, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. So, I have this idea that I want to try out but I'm having a hard to finding info on it.

    Basically, I have a hardshell briefcase I used to use for work but since I changed to using a laptop, I no longer need it and it has been re-purposed to store my guitar cables, tabs/practice aids, tuner and anything that doesn't fit in the gig bag.

    I want to mount an amp and speaker to the side of it, flush mount as best as I can for practising or playing with headphones mostly because I don't want to lug my amp around the house, also so I can play when I'm out camping or at a business conference interstate.

    I want to open my briefcase, take out a cable, close the case, plug into the jack mounted on the front of the case, fiddle with the EQ/volume and play.

    A speaker around 6" would be ideal size, can even do 2 speakers around 5/6" but I don't know how to go about doing this. The depth I have to work with is not a lot.

    One idea was that I could find a portable battery powered combo and pull it apart, mount the components how I want them to the case wall (I can solder longer wires to any components that need it)

    Can anyone recommend a small bass amp that might work for this purpose? I have looked at the VOX pathfinder 10 bass, but I have a feeling that might be too deep for my application.

    I'm not looking for amazing sound, just a decent bass tone with basic EQ, volume and headphones out if possible. Running on some sort of battery power.

    Does anyone have any experience in doing this or pulling apart mini amps in general?
  2. I think your going to do a lot of work and quite possibly not see any benefit. It's going to be hard to get great tone out of a briefcase however, Phil Jones seems to have done it by using a small drivers and a passive radiator to tune the box deeper. That kind of engineering is difficult for the novice. Any amp you take apart and "fit" into an old briefcase will be a shot in the dark. You may get lucky though.

    Personally, I don't think it would be worth your time. The briefcase edges don't seal up properly to allow pressure from the drivers to build and tone will most certainly be compromised. Coupled with the wind noise of the leaking seam, a briefcase isn't designed to withstand vibrations so I suspect you'll have vibration noises to accept a well.
  3. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    A Pignose Hog 30 would be cheap enough for experimentation and would be my first choice for the project.

    A used Crate Taxi would also have all the components you'd need.

    Any amp in that category is pretty much nothing but a box with batteries, a speaker, and a few PC boards, knobs, and jacks, easily would fit into a briefcase although like already mentioned you'd have to work out any driver sealing issues. But I'm not sure at such a low level of power and performance expectation it would even be an issue.

    Finally, hard to think of any amp that would just drop in as is, except maybe one of the smallest of the small Pignose guitar amps or similar, which may not even meet the minimum expectations for bass.

    Anyway, good luck. If you proceed please keep us informed, I like the idea of a James Bond stealth bass rig. ;)
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    look on amazon for
    class-t amplifier

    you'll find many battery powerable little amps that can fit just about anywhere.
    class-t is class-d, just a different marketing name.
  5. I didn't really think about sealing and sound pressure, for some reason it just didn't occur to me.
    I never really had high expectations for the sound, as long as it sounded like a bass guitar. I really loved the novelty of plugging my guitar into my case, and since I already store all my pedals, cables, tuner, books and a few small bits, it seemed fun to have an all in one portable setup.
    I was inspired by a mate who carries one of those 2W marshall amps in his electric guitar gig bag.

    I'm not going to strait up give up on the idea, there might be a way to do it without pulling apart a mini combo. Dunno. Trying to also look for speakers in a slim enclosure that I can mount behind the case wall, rather than tying to seal the entire case. But the small speakers don't seem to be suitable for bass.

    Still on the drawing board.
    I like the novelty of this 'product' I am working on, but it may prove frustrating to find the speakers and such to do it with.

    Those class t amplifiers are a neat little product, gonna read up on those. But speakers are my biggest problem.
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS

    If you already have a compact cab and a DI box, you can get a car amplifier for $50 or less and the battery costs $20 or less, which means you will shell out $70 or less. Much cheaper than any battery powered amp you can buy off the shelf.
  7. n4vgm


    Jun 4, 2003
    SE Florida
    Just to add that I made a speaker cab out of an old plastics suitcase to be driven by a Roland MicroCube (for guitar) and I found I had to prop it open or the buzz/rattle was insane. Open it sounds great.

    So if you make it and it sounds bad just crack it open half way and stand it on the side. Might sound good enough that way. Oh, look for a full range speaker with accordian surrounds rather than foam.

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