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Street playing without a complicated rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by brianrost, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've been asked to do some street playing (busking) for the summer and it would be fun. My issue I don't own any amps that run on batteries. The guitarist and drummer have done this before so they are all set.

    I do not want to get involved with car batteries and power inverters. It's just too much stuff to have to haul out to the street and hook up. I want a battery powered amplifier, preferably rechargeable. 25 watts would be sufficient. I am planning to disconnect any internal speakers and hook up a larger cabinet in order to get more volume. The battery has to last 3-4 hours. I realize I may be looking for something that does not exist.

    -- I've read conflicting reports about the Pignose Hog 30's actual wattage and I cannot audition one locally. The price is right, though.

    -- The Phil Jones Briefcase is just too expensive.

    -- I've seen a few battery powered PA systems, some up to 100 watts...again I cannot audition any locally.

    I'm interested in finding out what other street players are actually using.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah I think what you want doesn't exist.

    High wattage, light, battery powered up to four hours and inexpensive. That's a tall order.

    That being said, do a search. A thread asking about busking rigs comes up probably about once a month here. There are bound to be dozens of them by now. Should be some real world experience advice in those.

    Good luck with your hunt.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  3. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I don't think they had our best interests in mind when they said, "Go play in the street!" :)
  4. bbbenji


    Dec 1, 2013
    Dallas, TX
  5. Looks like a possibility. How well does it handle bass guitar at higher levels?
    I would be concerned about the speaker not really being able to handle much bass.
    But if it does then... cool.
  6. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    Acoustic bass?

    Upright or acoustic bass guitar. What style are you going to play?
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Probably a really bad idea. Anything you get in this range is going to be optimized for the internal speaker.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've got experience doing this. I used the Pig Hognose30. While on battery power, it is not pushing 25w. Maybe 1/2 that but I was loud enough to be heard.
  9. It can be done but you need to be willing to pay money imho phil jones stuff is your best bet you get what you pay for
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    "Dayton Audio DTA-1 Class T AC/DC Battery Powered Mini Amplifier 15 WPC" from www.parts-express.com!
    Add a pre-amp like a decent pedal pre-amp
    It takes AA batteries. Buy rechargeable and carry some spares.

    Take 2 separate cabs because this cannot be bridged. Minimum 4-ohm per side. You will probably be fine with just one side running in one efficient cab. Try it before worrying about squeezing out all the watts.

    Search around for class-t amps. Class-t is the same as class-d.
    There are several that take AA batteries.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    Jazz Ad and Jsn like this.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I own the stellar, and I own a samsung expedition.
    The expedition is so much better not to mess around with batteries.
    With the right cabs the stellar can be louder.
  14. hermetic

    hermetic Supporting Member

    May 10, 2016
    LOL, just musing re: busking on the street with a thousand dollar amp.
    RaggaDruida, JACink and tchristian like this.
  15. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Buy a used Honda or Yamaha inverter duty generator (around 2kva).

    The genny will be quiet, allow and others to use any small to medium size amp and the generator might come in handy durinng a New England ice storm.
    RaggaDruida and kartiste like this.
  16. Hey! If the D in class D is supposed to stand for Digital, as some folks profess, then shouldn't the T in class T stand for tube? :p
    seamonkey likes this.
  17. I actually played bass in the pit for marching band one year. Ran two peavey 112 combos off of an older version of these things.i probably wouldn't usenit to power a tube amp or a digital amp but for older solid state stuff it worked great. They are basically a car battery inside the box. Reasonably heavy

    Power Packs
  18. The Dayton specs are 15 watts at 10% distortion, 9 watts at .04%. I believe that was at 4 ohms.
    If that is of any concern.
    I imagine the Stellar will be about the same.

    I actually have the same Stellar mentioned above, at work, to drive a couple of small monitor speakers in a small studio. Sounds fine for that purpose. I don't drive it very hard. I do suggest, that if you use an external AC supply, get one that has well filtered DC, and regulated. I noticed mine was a bit hummy with a cheap-o wall wart supply.

    My big question though, at full output, 15 watts/ch. driving both channels, how much battery time will you get on AA batts? And there will be a run-time difference between Alkalines and rechargables. Of course you get twice the run-time with just one output used, but you also get half as loud because of one cab.

    I think if I were going to do this, rather than run it on AA's, I'd rig up a battery holder that used D cells and plug it in where the external ps goes. Or if I was going to do this a lot, I'd spring for a couple re-chargeable sealed 12 volt batts like they use in UPS.

    I know the OP didn't want to get into all that hooey, but it just might be a fact if life to accomplish what he wants.
  19. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Have only done a bit myself but ran into quite a bit in Montreal where it's very popular. Almost all were using the Roland pictured above.
    murphy likes this.
  20. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I think it's the same amp.

    45 minute set, then swap in new batteries.

    Alkalines are darn cheap at the big box stores.

    How time you get depends on how and what you play, and how loud you're trying to get. The efficiency of the speaker is what is important here. If you hook up 9 x 8 ohm speakers to get 8 ohms, it's going to last longer than trying to run a single 8 ohm loudly.

    Metal batteries have lower voltages of 1.2 versus alkaline 1.5. They're quieter at 8 ohm load. It should be possible to run lower impedance cabinets with lower voltage batteries. It's just the mAh at that point. Just a theory - test it first.

    Lithium Ion come in different voltages, but you can get the "vap" batteries pretty cheap and hook them up for 11v

    UPS is always an option, but they all use the big heavy batteries.

    The power tool makers are getting into the mp3 player business. They have 1/8" aux jacks. They have good batteries for power tools.

    For example these might be an option in the future to bypass the internal speakers and wire up an external cab.
    RYOBI Tools
    They use SKAA wireless, and it could be interesting to have extras on hand to sync to if you need more power.
    They're new so I'll wait for them to come down in price. Or more makers of SKAA compatible devices come around.