PDA

View Full Version : What's the "best" portable battery-powered guitar amp?


Lacking Talent
07-01-2011, 04:23 PM
I realize nothing can objectively be called the "best," but would love opinions sought from experienced users as to their favorite. Thanks in advance to all.

Lance
07-01-2011, 04:56 PM
My favorite is the new Vox Mini 3. Pretty darn accurate amp models, and good sounding effects. Very portable, and supposedly NOT a battery eater. It says you can play around 35 hours on 6) AA batteries. (I think it's 6). It gets decently loud for a 3" speaker. I love the AC30TB model, and use it the most. It has a pretty kickass tremolo and reverb sound when you keep it clean. You can also plug an mp3. player into it, and play along. It also has a stereo output jack so you can plug in the mp3 player, and then into a big stereo or soundboard, and be as huge as your stereo will allow. I had it on the Black Panel 2 x 12 model, with reverb and tremolo, and it came quite close to a BFPR! I had a '67 for a while, so I do know what they sound like. If I were you, I would go try out a bunch of them. I did try the Roland Microcube with a dual bucker semi-hollow, and was killin' with that too, but the f/x in the Vox were quite a bit better, imo.

Whiskey N Beans
07-01-2011, 05:18 PM
Only have the orange crush minimor something like that. Sounds surprisingly nice - to me. Runs on 9 volt or 1-Spot/Boss PS. Built in tuner. Never tried the Vix but have heard good things about it.

rockinstephen
07-01-2011, 05:36 PM
For my $$$, it's the original Pignose. It doesn't offer a lot of features, but provides a cool tone, good volume, and great looks for 80 bucks. It's also bulletproof! Don't bother with the optional adapter though as it produces a loud hum...

"I'll be the first one to admit that I don't play that well.
But Elvis didn't either, 'least as far as I can tell..."

alberob
07-01-2011, 07:31 PM
I use a Vox DA-5. You can run it at 0.5 watts,1.5 watts or 5 watts.It has a 6.5" in speaker and the effects are very usable.Its my favorite low wattage practice amp.

Timbre Wolf
07-01-2011, 09:53 PM
I'm so glad this question was posed.

With new advances in battery technology, driven by the electric automobile movement, we should have better battery-powered amp choices in the near future. My question is... who is now working on a much better battery-powered amp of the near future? I predict excellent advances coming our way.

- Thom

yell03
07-02-2011, 07:06 AM
I've owned the Vox Da5, Line 6, Roland Microcube, and now I have a Roland Mobile Cube.

The worst of the bunch is the Line 6, but it wasn't bad, the others are pretty close.

I currently have a Roland Mobile Cube, it is the smallest one, it has less features and adjustability, but it sounds at least as good as any of them.
I plug my MP3 loaded with jam tracks in and jam along.

I've also owned a bunch of micro-amps, the $40-$50 ones, none of them are really good.

LUZBEL
07-02-2011, 07:30 AM
Peavey "SOLO".

willc68
07-02-2011, 07:42 AM
The Roland Micro Cube is a great battery powered amp. I have had mine for over 5 years now and it has gone on many vacations. The variety of tones to be had is very nice.
I also own a Pignose and it sounds good but is a bit of a one trick pony and it does sound terrible with the ac adapter, batteries are the only way to go with it.

Timbre Wolf
07-02-2011, 08:27 AM
Anyone have experience with the Smicz battery-powered tube amps?

ES330
07-02-2011, 10:06 AM
Marshall MR-2

Stevo57
07-02-2011, 10:09 AM
Roland Micro Cube. Decent models. Good effects. Fits in a suitcase. Line in. Headphone out. On vacation with it now.

mikiedreb
07-02-2011, 10:21 AM
For those with "deep" pockets, there's always the Grid-1
60W battery powered tube amp .....

Timbre Wolf
07-02-2011, 10:42 AM
For those with "deep" pockets, there's always the Grid-1
60W battery powered tube amp .....
Very intriguing!! Although I didn't initiate this thread, the is exactly the kind of forward-thinking design I sought from this discussion. And, Grid 1 is not too far from my home town!

Thanks Lacking Talent and mikiedreb!

- Thom

xStonr
07-02-2011, 12:47 PM
there's probably no best but I picked up a Roland Micro Cube some years ago on a close out that I've been happy with.

scaryfoot
09-23-2011, 10:18 AM
I've only tried the Vox DA5 and Roland micro cube, and I own the cube now.
I like the design on the cube, it's easier to handle the effects than it was on the Vox. I love the sounds of my LP dirty on the Brit combo or Classic stack channels with some chorus and delay or reverb.

barryg_nyc
09-23-2011, 10:32 AM
+1 for the Roland Micro Cube.
It's pretty versatile for a portable amp - pretty nice cleans, some decent dirt and usable effects (delay/reverb and chorus/flanger/phaser/trem). The 5" speaker is better than you'd think.
It's built like a tank, though still light enough to carry around with no difficulty. The handle connects with strap pins, so you can throw it over your shoulder with a guitar strap. Runs well on either A/C or battery. Battery life is ridiculous - I go months between battery changes (not using it daily, of course, but still...).

They're readily available used - I think I paid around $80 for mine.

kwaping
09-23-2011, 11:11 AM
Have you guys seen the announcement for the new Fender Mustang Mini (http://www.fender.com/products/mustang/models.php?prodNo=230006)?

sshan25
09-23-2011, 01:34 PM
I have a Vox DA5 that I put a Weber Sig 8 into. It really sounds good for a small battery powered amp.

BAN
09-24-2011, 09:09 AM
Glad this thread is here. I've recently decided to move both of my "real" amps into a music room and just have a small practice amp in the living room. I have had a micro cube for years and really like it for what it is, but I was wondering if there was anything new and better out there.

The Vox Mini 3 is intriguing, but the reviews I've read mention the same audible hiss coming out of the speaker at all times, even with the volume off, that made me return 3 DA-5 amps thinking they were defective. Turns out, that's just how they are. Sad because I really like the Vox modeling and the effects sound great.

IGuitUpIGuitDown
09-24-2011, 09:14 AM
+1 for the Roland Micro Cube.
It's pretty versatile for a portable amp - pretty nice cleans, some decent dirt and usable effects (delay/reverb and chorus/flanger/phaser/trem). The 5" speaker is better than you'd think.
It's built like a tank, though still light enough to carry around with no difficulty. The handle connects with strap pins, so you can throw it over your shoulder with a guitar strap. Runs well on either A/C or battery. Battery life is ridiculous - I go months between battery changes (not using it daily, of course, but still...).

They're readily available used - I think I paid around $80 for mine.

+2 MicroCube

I can play guitar when the power goes out. That alone makes it invaluable. And I can play all of the songs I cover with all of the FX built in. I just can't do that with my Martin acoustic! (which also sounds great through the MicroCube)

get49
03-01-2013, 09:34 AM
...Two Roland Micro RX amps hooked up on both sides of the player!! Not the micro single speaker amp but the RX four speaker battery powered amp (and not the BASS one either...the guitar one!)

See http://www.roland.com/amp/guitar/index.html (http://www.roland.com/amp/guitar/index.html) and the "Micro Cube RX" :bong :bong

dmsean
03-10-2013, 07:36 PM
For my $$$, it's the original Pignose. It doesn't offer a lot of features, but provides a cool tone, good volume, and great looks for 80 bucks. It's also bulletproof! Don't bother with the optional adapter though as it produces a loud hum...

"I'll be the first one to admit that I don't play that well.
But Elvis didn't either, 'least as far as I can tell..."

Yep its the best!
:banana

JParry335
03-10-2013, 09:51 PM
+1 for the Roland Micro Cube.
It's pretty versatile for a portable amp - pretty nice cleans, some decent dirt and usable effects (delay/reverb and chorus/flanger/phaser/trem). The 5" speaker is better than you'd think.
It's built like a tank, though still light enough to carry around with no difficulty. The handle connects with strap pins, so you can throw it over your shoulder with a guitar strap. Runs well on either A/C or battery. Battery life is ridiculous - I go months between battery changes (not using it daily, of course, but still...).

They're readily available used - I think I paid around $80 for mine.

This!
I went to buy a Pignose because that was what I knew about for battery powered amps. They didn't have one in stock so I wandered around and noticed a used MicroCube sitting on the floor.
Asked to check it out and was thrilled they didn't have the Pignose.
Battery life is good. Sound is very good with the exception of the speaker farting low frequencies in clean sound mode. Not noticeable when set for distortion.
Love it.
Great amp.

Rick0
03-10-2013, 10:36 PM
These little battery powered tube amps are the best ones I've run across.

http://www.amptone.com/images/smicz2amps.jpg

Good luck finding one.

http://www.amptone.com/smiczportablues.htm

Norjef
03-11-2013, 05:01 PM
Crate Limo... but it HAS a tweeter

Sniper-V
03-12-2013, 01:28 AM
Roland Micro Cube RX

Jon Silberman
07-21-2013, 07:16 AM
We need updates!

loftyrocket
07-21-2013, 08:18 AM
Disappointed in you guys

The correct answer is: Smokey Amps

Wedge
07-21-2013, 08:34 AM
No one into the Yamaha THR amps? They run batteries and sound really good.

ea440
04-04-2014, 08:21 AM
I have played a few battery-powered amps and for the size and weight nothing else comes close to the Roland Micro Cube. I keep a few of the original models parked in various places. I have not played the newer Micro Cube GX which is rated at 3 watts, has a built-in tuner, and a digital input.

I have used these amps playing street music in the U.S., Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. They are solidly built, reliable, and I get many hours out of 6 AA batteries. I use a Boss RC-3 loop pedal when I perform and I need to change its 9v battery far more often. At home I use a cube for practice with the 9v adapter.

I use only the JC Clean model which is articulate and to which I add some reverb. I rarely use the modulation effects but they are there if you want them. You can get by with the phase shifter as a poor man's vibe if you use some imagination. The tremolo is usable. The chorus and flanger sound sterile. The 1/4" headphone out can be plugged into a PA so I often use the Micro Cube as a direct box in a pinch.

Other than the loop pedal I plug straight into the amp and at only 2 watts this thing is loud enough that I get complaints about my volume in some places, if you can imagine that.

The high end can at times be shrill and of course it is not going to have much bottom end, but this varies a lot with the acoustics of where I'm playing. There is a modicum of speaker breakup that I find pleasing, and it handles the low-end instruments in some of my loops surprisingly well.

These clips reveal how varying acoustical environments produce significant differences in tone.

http://youtu.be/EdQpol58Ckc Copenhagen, Denmark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TnW04bz_x8 Friedrichshein, Berlin (near the S-Bahn at Ostkreuz)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDO8IDsLb20 Berlin Wall near Warschauer Straße
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJFMgIPJU94 Copenhagen, Denmark, caught by a passerby

EA

Terry McInturff
04-04-2014, 08:36 AM
The Mouse!

CharlyG
04-04-2014, 08:39 AM
THR10, it's what I use for DVD/online lesson type stuff.

gamblort
07-21-2014, 03:12 AM
For something a bit alternative you should check out the JukeCase portable guitar amp by Son Valise. A portable suitcase guitar amp with up to 40 hours playtime at 50W (rechargeable battery) and awesome sound, all the way up the range. My friend got one and you can play your backing track via Bluetooth whilst playing guitar/singing over the top. They look awesome are pretty lightweight (5-10kg)

Read about it here: JukeCase portable guitar amp (https://jukecase.com/uncategorized/jukecases-as-portable-guitar-amps)

https://jukecase.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Guitar-amp-vintage-suitcase-speaker-JukeCase-boombox-portable-audio.jpg

AMSnell
07-21-2014, 03:25 AM
Yamaha THR10C.

lukather101
07-21-2014, 04:20 AM
Thr10 "simples"

Dad love mom
07-21-2014, 04:31 AM
If you already own great cans, then get a Apogee Jam 96k and use Garageband's amp sims on your phone. It's a super portable solution that you can record with as well. You can even run your board into it, as well as run the out on your phone to moniitors.

Pixies2005
07-21-2014, 05:19 AM
7 years ago - micro cube
4 years ago - Vox DA 3
Now - Yamaha THR10C

Can't wait to see what comes out next, though the 10c looks to be the benchmark for a few years

Stephans
07-21-2014, 06:20 AM
Read about it here: JukeCase portable guitar amp (https://jukecase.com/uncategorized/jukecases-as-portable-guitar-amps)

https://jukecase.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Guitar-amp-vintage-suitcase-speaker-JukeCase-boombox-portable-audio.jpg

I love this hahaha!
great

Pseudonymous
07-21-2014, 06:21 AM
The Traynor ones are actually really good.