Anyone ever use a generator to power your amps?

Nicm

Member
Messages
108
It sounds like you may be looking to use this for busking. As an alternative to a gas powered generator, you could use what is called a "portable power station," which can be charged by a wall plug, car charger, or solar panel. There are diffierent sizes depending on your needs.

Jackery is a popular brand in that space, as well as Goal Zero. Those name brands will be more expensive than other offerings. Watch youtube reviews and comparisons to get familiar with features and understanding the power you will need.
Yeah actually chargeable power is something I was leaning towards
 

Nicm

Member
Messages
108
If anyone has specific names and models that they are referring to that would be helpful. I appreciate the feedback, but I’m not sure which generator some people are referring to when saying “expensive” or which they found to be reliable for having enough power for about 50 watt amp and small pa for vocals atleast .

Iv searches for generators before , I just don’t know which could be reliable and have been used by musicians . Price range aside, any specific recommendations based on your experience would be great
 

Trem-o-lux

Member
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1,004
What you really want to know is how the generator responds to changing loads, and yes you probably want a separate power line regulator.

I recall some awful outdoor gig, entire band plugged into a little generator. Every time the bass player started playing I'd hear the generator slow down and then speed up as the governor kicked in. And while that was happening the vocals would drop out for half a second. Ugh. Powered monitor stopped working halkfway through the set, but it recovered - I expect that was some protection cirucuit shutdown.
 

Chocol8

Member
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1,747
Do you think a conditioner is necessary or really just the voltage regulator

If you have a voltage regulator that can BOTH reduce spikes AND fill in dips, it would probably be sufficient. OTOH, I think those are generally called power conditioners.
 

Chocol8

Member
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1,747
If anyone has specific names and models that they are referring to that would be helpful. I appreciate the feedback, but I’m not sure which generator some people are referring to when saying “expensive” or which they found to be reliable for having enough power for about 50 watt amp and small pa for vocals atleast .

Iv searches for generators before , I just don’t know which could be reliable and have been used by musicians . Price range aside, any specific recommendations based on your experience would be great

 

Nicm

Member
Messages
108
If you have a voltage regulator that can BOTH reduce spikes AND fill in dips, it would probably be sufficient. OTOH, I think those are generally called power conditioners.
Yeah Iv looked into conditioners and regulators but Iv never found one that seems to be what I want . Atleast not in terms of conditioners . I

The only regulator that seems to actually keep voltage working 1-2 percent is the Furman 20i. Iv never found a conditioner to that spec , and most regulators Iv personally read specs on seem to go there.

There may be some other ones Iv overlooked but it seems they are always working a 5 percent up or down range , and that’s only up to a certain incoming voltage .
 

terickson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
587
My Super Reverb draws 2 amps, my powered speakers 2 amps each, figure an amp each for mixer and pedalboard, so 8 amps x 120v =960 watts. A Honda 2200 watt generator is good for 1800 watts load, and I figure staying below 60% of rating to avoid voltage sag. So for $1000 you can play and sing, but when you add monitors and a couple more amps for the full band you would want a second 2200 watts. If you stay well below ratings you won't need a voltage conditioner, which adds another load to the calculations. I mention the Honda because it's quiet as they come and reliable. Yamaha makes a good product but it's louder.
 

Chocol8

Member
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1,747
My Super Reverb draws 2 amps, my powered speakers 2 amps each, figure an amp each for mixer and pedalboard, so 8 amps x 120v =960 watts. A Honda 2200 watt generator is good for 1800 watts load, and I figure staying below 60% of rating to avoid voltage sag. So for $1000 you can play and sing, but when you add monitors and a couple more amps for the full band you would want a second 2200 watts. If you stay well below ratings you won't need a voltage conditioner, which adds another load to the calculations. I mention the Honda because it's quiet as they come and reliable. Yamaha makes a good product but it's louder.

I think your draw numbers are probably fairly high and based on peak current (startup). Actual draw when running is usually quite a bit lower. But yes, the 2200 is the light and portable small act model. They make larger versions if you want to power a 5+ piece band and a PA sized for a good sized open space.
 

cram

Member
Messages
14,142
a bunch of times without a single issue.
50w amp tube.
lights (small amount, led & incadescent)
Bass amp
PA

Sound -
We made a sound baffle out of pallets, crappy plywood and it was basically a lean-to which baffled the sound away from our direction.

Generac gas generator
I think it was an 8000 running watts generator and it barely gets throaty as if under load while running during this. Maybe sometimes, but we're too loud to notice! :)
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
6,155
As previously stated, it's going to be hard to get your amp louder than the generator.

Get a battery powered amp, which should cost you less than a generator anyway.
 

Yam the BOMB

Blues Dentist
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,514
If anyone has specific names and models that they are referring to that would be helpful. I appreciate the feedback, but I’m not sure which generator some people are referring to when saying “expensive” or which they found to be reliable for having enough power for about 50 watt amp and small pa for vocals atleast .

Iv searches for generators before , I just don’t know which could be reliable and have been used by musicians . Price range aside, any specific recommendations based on your experience would be great
On the old ones the Honda ES6500 was the top of the line. I'm sure they have come out with even more modern ones now though. But if you find a used ES6500 in great condition that would do the trick for sure.
 

WolfmansBrother

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,047
Yeah actually chargeable power is something I was leaning towards

If anyone has specific names and models that they are referring to that would be helpful. I appreciate the feedback, but I’m not sure which generator some people are referring to when saying “expensive” or which they found to be reliable for having enough power for about 50 watt amp and small pa for vocals atleast .

Iv searches for generators before , I just don’t know which could be reliable and have been used by musicians . Price range aside, any specific recommendations based on your experience would be great

Something like this.

 
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