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battery-powered amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hernameisrio, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Hello my darlings.

    I am hoping to join a band which plays the subway stations...and they asked if I had a battery-powered amp. I was like, "SURRRE! :bag:" Um, so, which one should I get? Ideas? I don't mind spending a few hundred to get something good. Thanks!
  2. How loud do you need to get? Roland has the Micro Cube Bass amp which actually works fairly well. Also, Carvin has a small battery powered PA that has a 10" speaker that should get you louder.

    Edit: Also the Pignose Hog 30.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well I think I'd get myself a used plywood upright of some sort, and have it set up for the best playability and sound, rather than try to cart an amplifier around in the subway.
    Phil Jones Bass has an optional battery for their Briefcase, but it's not a inexpensive amplifier, and the battery adds additional weight and expense. I will run for about an hour of normal playing.

  4. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
  5. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
  6. I have the Roland microbass. Its not the loudest but it sips battery power and has tons of onboard modeling effects. I will probably be selling it. But I would check out the Phil Jones new combo called the "double four.' Its very small but can run off an auxillary Li battery pack. I plan on getting one anyways as soon as I can sell some other gear.

  7. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I just got the Roland Micro Cube bass amp. It was the floor model so they gave me a bit of a discount...with the 3-year coverage plan and tax, it was about $320, so, not bad...for the amp itself it was $225 which for what it is, seems pretty good! The Phil Jones looks awesome but is a little out of my price range at this point. I figured I'd start with this guy (the theory is that it'll pay for itself...albeit in singles and loose change! :p) and at least have something. I'm not usually this spontaneous with buying gear AT ALL but this gig would be perfect for me, and having a portable amp I can take on vacation and to my parents' house is always a plus too. Spending money to make money, and all that. ;) I'll be playing around with it soon. Stay tuned for a review!
  8. I saw somebody mention automotive car stereo amps as a possibility.
    Most of these are designed for 2 ohm loads and high current draws, running on 12 volts.
    Seems like a good idea, plus plentiful and cheap.
  9. i tried the whole 12v in a crate attached to a skateboard thing several years ago, and though it worked, it was a lot to carry.

    Now I just take the upright on the subway.
  10. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    I have to +1 the Roland Micro Cube RX.
    It rocks. great sounds, great effects, loud enough,
    Rhythm machine, tuner, everything one needs in a battery powered system.
    It has an aux input in the back, stereo input, and a comp in the front.
  11. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I made my own. I have a bunch of smaller practice amps. I looked for one that didn't use a bi-polar power supply. With the single ended supply, I could drive it with DC battery power.

    I ended up using a Marlboro guitar amp...around 20-30 watts. I made up a power supply using 24 D batteries. They are in a box, quite flat made of thin plywood. it is velcro'd to the back of the cabinet I built. 10" bass speaker with coaxial tweeter. I've actually used the same set of batteries for years. They are still holding up. I don't use it often these days, but it works well.

    One amp that could be easily modified into a small bass amp is the old Peavey Decade. Although only 10 watts, it is a little workhorse. They are cheap in pawn shops and I see them quite often.

    In a bigger cabinet with an efficient bass speaker, they will run on batteries. Their intended battery pack was a pair of 9v batteries, but they didn't last long. I built battery packs using 6 D cells, and they last a long time.
  12. I have a wish to play electric bass with the Shrine marching band.
    A 12v rig combined with a bass horn and topbox on a cart would be viable for this.
  13. I built/modded a cab from a 12" Bazooka enclosure
    and an Eminence 2012. I installed dampening material on the interior walls to supress the plastic from coloring the sound. he T/S specs for the woofer are not that off for what I calculated the volume and port length to be. Bazooka keeps the internal volume of its enclosures as some sort of proprietary secret. Anyway, the F3 is actually lower then ideal, but outdoors, it just sounds pretty balanced. Indoors, it's too boomy. But where else would you use a battery powered amp? But I wish I could find a small bass amp that can run of the latest genration of smart lithium ion battery charging packs vs. heavy sealed lead acid batteries.

    I think the thread strater is looking for something turn key for the subway tunnels. I doubt you would need much volume and there might be restrictions on amplifiers. Personally, I like the idea of a nice big boomy upright.
    Otherwise, I would look into a used Phil Jones briefcase. The one for sale locally on CL is $500.
  14. cacophonic


    Mar 18, 2008
    San Francisco
    Phil Jones has been mentioned, but they are a bit spendy for the OP's stated budget. Nonetheless it may be possible to find a used PJB briefcase at the $300 price point. For the OP and anyone else who might be interested in the Briefcase I posted a review of the Briefcase on the DB side.
  15. 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.