I want an amp I can busk with, battery run, like a bass microcube. Any good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mcnach, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. A friend of mine is thinking of getting out with his guitar and the singer in his band to do a little busking, and have fun while (hopefully) collecting a little cash.

    I was asked to join in on bass... the trouble is I can bring a 450W amp (well, maybe now), my 45W practice amp (hmm, still needs to be plugged in), or nothing.

    I don't like acoustic basses. They do not work acoustically. They may sound nice, you may like that sound, but they're far too quiet to be any use busking.

    So I am thinking of an amp that can run off batteries and I'll bring that and one of my electrics.

    I have found the Roland Bass Microcube RX. Seems about right. A bit more expensive than I'd like, but if it works I'd buy it. But, does it work? The guitar version is great, but I feel this may be a bit underpowered and I would fel very silly carrying the amp to not b heard in teh end... for that I can borrow an acoustic bass guitar! :p

    I was looking today in a few shops around and they don't have it, so I can't try it for myself. I'll keep looking, but I was wondering if anybody here has experience of this amp, or other amps that can work for my purposes.

    Any comments/ideas?
  2. Why buy new gear that won't do the job satisfactorily?
    I'll bet that a charged-up car battery, clipped to a converter:


    (the 350 watt one with the alligator clips is $50 and way bigger than you'd need for your practice amp, and you already know everything about the sound it'll produce.

    I've used a 30 W Ampeg 10" combo successfully outdoors providing bass for a contra dance band. Granted, it didn't shake anyone's pants-leg, but the dancers knew I was there.
  3. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
  4. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
  5. The built-in air compressor should add that low-end boost in case you're playing a 5-string. :bassist:

    Just sayin'
  6. I've had a Microcube Bass RX.
    It sounded like homemade ****.

    Now don't get me wrong, I love Roland stuff. Selling a pair of CM30s was one of the worst decisions of my life. Selling a Microcube was almost as bad.

    But the Microcube Bass RX... WAY too much money for an underpowered, no-low-end, no-volume box that sucked batteries like an electron vampire and had generally terrible tone.

    As background, I played a four-string in standard through it, at low volume, in the privacy and solitude of my living room. It was, in my opinion and the opinions of my bandmates at the time, a terribly bad impulse buy.
  7. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    check out a used fender passport, the older 250 series, they can be had for cheap on the evilbay, and there is a large market for the battery packs, too.

    They are nicely full range, easily portable, and you can run everything through one since they are a full featured multi-channel mixer as well. You might have to run your bass through a DI or preamp pedal to get a tone, but other than that these things KICK ARSE for busking, and can easily handle a strong bass fundamental.
  8. Hey, thank you veyr much for the responses. It confirms what I suspected... and gave me a couple of great ideas. I had thought about a small PA, the Passport looks good. It's probably worth getting when I find a good priced one. I have a couple of DI boxes and a Bass POD XT, so I should be fine for bass, plus a V-Amp if I want to add guitar.

    The battery/converter thing 'though is probably my best bet in the short term, with my existing practice amp. I can attach the whole thing to a little cart/trolley thing.

    Great ideas, thanks!
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc