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Gathering thoughts and ideas on a small DC powered bass amp; DIY or otherwise.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by beanpole, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. beanpole


    Jan 3, 2013
    Just alittle backgound so you folks know where I am coming from. I am a 60 yr. old man living in the backwoods of arkansas in a small cabin with my wife. The farm is way off the grid so we have a very basic 12 volt solar/battery powered system. I have been playing music for about 40 years and exclusively acoustic(fiddle, mandolin and guitar), until about a year ago when I bought a used squier telecaster from a pawn shop and then a cheap 12 volt amp(Synsonics) on ebay. My wife tells people I went over to the darkside. Subsequently I have acquired a Roland micro cube and mobile cube so I can do music acoustically through a mic while singing and accompany myself on electric or acoustic. I am having a ball with the electric. I play with different friends which is mostly acoustic but every once in awhile will set up a full PA somewhere on the grid and have a blow out. There is a real shortage of bass. I know I am not telling you folks but that needs to be remedied. I want to make a small rig out of an appropriate speaker hooked to a car audio player. I have also looked a the AC1 RhytymnVOX Bass on ebay which looks interesting. I just want something where I could play bass in a small setting with acoustic instruments or lightly amplified coffee house type setting. Please excuse my long winded piece here. Maybe I need to get out of the woods more often but really would appreciate any input on this from you folks. I haven't bought a bass yet but from looking through this site it shouldn't be a problem to find one that will fill my needs and meet my criteria. Hopefully more later on that. Thanks
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Man, if there was ever a case for playing upright. ;)
  3. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    How about an inverter - 12v DC in, 115V ac out - and choose a standard AC powered amp?
  4. xk49w


    Apr 13, 2008
    or an acoustic bass guitar.

    In the early 70's I had a Mike Matthews Freedom Amp, powered by AC/DC. I was in the Navy and we had this sort of band that would play on the main deck when we came in to port. We were horrible. The amp lasted until I loaned it to a buddy and went on leave and the 40 D cell batteries leaked all over the circuit board. It never worked after that. That thing was plenty loud. Not a bad sound either. (ebay)

    Supposedly there is a bass version.
  5. beanpole


    Jan 3, 2013
    I have an upright but loaned it out to a young fella because it took up so much room in our 16'x16' w/ a loft cabin. Not to mention the hassle of hauling it around in bad weather. There are two types of inverters and the ones that work with alot of electronics are presently very pricey(but coming down) and the cheap ones produce a horrible hum with your basic amp or stereo. I have a cheap one and works fine for my wireless laptop rig but not other things.
  6. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    I agree Francis but if anyone so much as even mentions playing upright all the TB upright players get their panties in such a bunch and insist that you have to have lessons for several years before you can even think about playing gigs.
  7. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    A automotive class-d amp with a decent cabinet can do fine.
    If you want something acoustic and fretted also look at a Guitarron
    It needed be expensive

    Or a Viola da Gamba. Some of the folky ones aren't too expensive, you can find them in rural areas

    Or grab a double bass, or a wash-tub and tie on frets
    You can use weed-wacker strings - look it up, they are all over the place.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Using an inverter involves a series of inefficiencies: The inverter, the power supply in the bass amp, and finally the amp itself. I'd go with an automotive amp like SM suggests, or even something smaller such as a module like this:


    Parts Express has a number of other models as well.
  9. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I would avoid trying to make the speaker cabinet really compact. Compact cabs usually require a lot of power to get loud.

    That's what I was thinking. You'd waste more power by using an inverter. Just make sure the car amp has the frequency response you need. Some of the class D subwoofer amps are only usable up to 250Hz.

    A preamp pedal, a good 100W car amp and a cab with an efficient 15" speaker would be perfect.
  10. beanpole


    Jan 3, 2013
    The idea of a preamp pedal, 100W car amp and a cab is along the lines of what I was thinking. Someone made the point about the size of the cab and I hope to learn more about that. One fella I was talking with suggested a Line 6 bass foot pedal. I have researched it some and get the idea but any other suggestions out there on good choices. It needs to be understood that I am pretty new to this plug in direct electric music as most of my experience is acoustic jam sessions or playing into mikes.
  11. you'll want a cab that's high efficiency like a 1-15 or 4-10 since you'll be working with 100 watts. Sounds like that'll be plenty for what you're doing.

    Peavey (which BbbyBld works for) is a very good place to start looking, esp if you go used, very good good bang for the buck. Lots of them around.

    The Tech21 VT pedal is also very popular around here.
  12. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    An inverter that can handle a bass amp is pretty expensive. OTOH, so is a car stereo amp and woofer.
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Why use a subwoofer amp? He needs to use a much wider bandwidth that that- 5KHz would be good, so a full-range amp is the best way, although something with a variable HP filter that goes down to about 25HZ would be great. Since that's extremely rare, using a variable crossover ahead of the amp would work (this makes a small box work for low frequencies when it's smaller than ideal because the port "unloads" below the tuning frequency).

    A sealed lead-acid battery would be a good thing, too. For that matter, some UPS/surge protectors have a 12VDC output and it doesn't matter which size is purchased, a larger/additional battery can be connected so its reserve time is increased.
  14. beanpole


    Jan 3, 2013
    1958Bassman brings up some good points. I am trying to keep costs down and plan on going the Pawn shop, thrift store, Craig's List etc. circuit. And as far as power alot of the time I would be using it to practice by plugging into my 12volt house system or onto a deep cycle marine battery in my shop. I keep one of those for different applications for around the farm such as a temporary 12volt electric fence charger and 12 volt pump for pumping water to the gardens. I also figure if I needed the for small venues where power is available I could get an AC adapter I could plug in like I do my Micro Cube. The idea of the smaller unit with the crossover is something I need to educate myself about as that is pretty foreign to me. I would appreciate alittle more detail or sites to go to on that.
    Thanks B-String for that site. Looks real promising.
  15. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Crate makes a little amp called the Taxi. 15 watts and really isn't bad, which means it's not going to compete with any known drummer.

    They hit the bay around 100 bucks. Make sure to ask about the battery. Peavey used to make a real cool portable 20 years ago but got out of that.

    The Roland Micro Cubes are, from my slight experience are just remarkable cool for what they are.
  16. A simpler battery powered amp:
    Some decent suggestions here but some are 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.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 2, 2021

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