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Why no battery-powered heads?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by honestjohnny, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Lots of attempts at battery-powered (BP) combos from different manufacturers. Clearly there is a market for BP amps. I wonder why nobody--perhaps an independent boutique--has made a BP head that can be used with a passive cabinet. Most players have cabs, they just need a head they can stuff some batteries into for power. Carvin Stagemate does 100 watts @ 4ohms, so it's definitely possible to get some real power (greater than 30 watts) into such a head.
  2. don't ROland make a battery pwrd bass amp? And now MArk Bass too IIRC
  3. Heads tend to be higher powered (not a rule, just an observation).

    Battery power has a pretty clear limit as to how much power it can deliver (burst or continuous), so you're unlikely to see, say, a 500W battery powered amp, unless you like carrying around car batteries to power your gear.

    *warning this post may contain technical inaccuracies*
  4. Short answer, I don't know.

    Long answer, I don't know, but there's a market for it, it's easily possible to do and somebody should.
  5. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Since bass REQUIRES more power to push more air, you'll need larger everything including heavy batteries. The best you can do with this FOR NOW is a deep cycle battery and an inverter that does not make your amp buzz(some modified sine wave ones make buzzes in amps, pure sine wave are much cleaner but cost much more).

    My son put his clarinet down for bass guitar in the marching band his senior year in high school(white Steinberger 5 string). The amp rig was a tilt-back cart with a recharger, battery, and inverter built in (http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/63/p/1/pt/31/product.asp) powering a Peavy with a 15 and a Sennheiser wireless receiver. He marched wireless. Never had a problem running out of juice for entire games(about 3~4 hours but NOT constant playing).
    A tarp(why do I hate that word now?) was also carried that could be tossed over the whole thing in case rain showed up(it did twice).


    You might also get away with:
    Battery powered preamp(i.e. SansAmp BDDI or other),
    High power, reliable car audio amp(already 12 volt DC),
    a wheeled box with a good, deep-cycle battery in it,
    and your existing cabinet.
    Oh, and a recharger at home or in a gig-bag(?).

    The entire charger-battery-inverter-power supply thing adds weight, losses in coverting DC to AC(inverter) and AC to DC(charger), more stuff to break, and costs....AND with a most likely small market....no manufacturer wants to go there.

    My 2 cents as a graduate in electrical engineering with 20 years in petrochemical instrumentation(and whatever else I can tinker with on the side!).
  6. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    That's not really the power I was thinking of. I meant something 50-60 watts RMS @ 8 Ohms or 100 watts @ 4 Ohms. For the record, I use a Carvin Stagemate and external preamp, so I'm not really in the market, unless something awesome came out.

    It just seems that there's a niche for someone (not me) to fill.
  7. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Yep! That's just what an SVT's 85lbs. is crying for--car batteries! :bag: :)
  8. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    They don't exist for a basic reason: With today's battery technology, the battery would have to be very large and heavy.
    Even a relatively puny 100W is an AWFUL lot of power to deliver continuously for even 2 hours from a battery.
    100W X 120min X 60S/min= 720,000 Joules of energy expended in the speakers. Since no amp is 100% efficient, much more that that would be required from the power source.
    A car battery couldn't deliver that much energy on a charge and I don't think anybody would like the added size and weight of even a car battery in their amp.
    Then there is the issue of recharging ... and the fact that charging batteries and delivering power from them is very inefficient (lossy) and therefore expensive.
    Running devices off the AC line is very efficient and the least expensive way to go. It's the way it is for good reason.
    Batteries are a necessary evil for portable devices which aren't practical to run off of AC line power. Amps and PA's are used in place so they're natural to use AC line power.

  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Agreed that batteries have a long way to go, and I'm betting that fuel cells jump past batteries soon.

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