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Best Small Battery-Powered Practice Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gigawatt, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Desmo808

    Desmo808
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    I have the Blackstar Fly 3 with extension cab. I also bought some as gifts--one for our other guitarist, and the bass version for our bassist. IMHO I'd call it a good-sounding toy. Considering the speaker size, be realistic about your expectations, and you'll have fun with it, for what it is and for the price. It won't compete with the Yamaha though, that is in a completely different class.
     
  2. #22 gigawatt, Jun 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    gigawatt

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    What kind of editing?

    There's an extension cab?

    Anyone tried the VOX MINI 5 Rhythm?:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/VOX-MINI-5-Rhythm-MINI-5-RM-from-Japan/132391263757?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=44039&meid=4d1f070606954de796f6993679bf435b&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=3&sd=232632362681&itm=132391263757&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

    Or this? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vox-AC1-Rh...s:sc:USPSPriorityFlatRateEnvelope!60660!US!-1
     
  3. Johan Allard

    Johan Allard
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    Tom Quayle's demo that shows some of the editing functionality:

     
  4. AndyOrr

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    The whole Katana series is pretty amazing. Roland / Boss modeling has been a bang-for-the-buck leader for a couple of decades. I was happily gigging with the old solid state, beige tolex, Blues Cube amp twenty years ago. Our rhythm guitarist even bought one for himself after I started using it.

    I've played a few of the Katana amps but the 100 watt Katana Artist model is truly a step above. It's definitely gig worthy - no doubt about it. While not not in the same league as AxeFX, it's a bargain for a combo modeling amp with footswitch. Based on the rest of the Katana line and experience with THR, Cubes, Micro Cubes, etc., I would put the Katana Air at the top of the Best Battery Powered Amp list. There are a lot of good choices out there.
     
  5. #25 jiagap, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    jiagap

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    Would love to hear your thoughts after you get it. Looks cool, but pretty spendy $400?
     
  6. jiagap

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    Quite good for a small stereo amp for the AX8.I use it as my monitor at a small church I play in. I have a Xitone 12” powered wedge for most of my uses. The little Roland has quite a few mixing options and sounds pretty good at lower volume levels.
     
  7. gigawatt

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    Same here, at $400 it better sound good, many reviewers felt it should be more like $300. It sounds really good in the vids I've seen of it.

    On second thought throw in a Bogner 412 with Celestion G12-65's and I'm sold ;).
     
  8. gigawatt

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    OK this is getting more confusing. I just looked at a Roland Cube ST which I bet sounds excellent with its 6 1/2 inch speakers! (am I really getting excited about a 6 1/2" speaker?). However, I really don't want to spend $300 on a little amp.

    So I am looking at these:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vox-Mini-5...980249?hash=item3fa3ad4119:g:faUAAOSwCn5bKFOn
    and:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vox-MINI5-...m=263779544838&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

    I read that the Vox DA5 sounds much better than the MINI5R, any thoughts? But the Mini would go great with my RR5:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ;)

    Finally there's the THR5:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-THR...377968&hash=item48aef7eea3:g:6xQAAOSwSfRbMmw9

    and the THR10:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-THR-10/142845697924?hash=item2142445f84:g:zX4AAOSwtrJbMoVN

    Not crazy about tree inch speakers tho.
     

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  9. lqdsnddist

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    I’ve got the little Dano Honeytone, it was under $20 and sounds like crap, but it’s fun

    I play an old 1940’s lap steel with it and it sounds great, in a bad way lol

    It’s sounds like listening to old records or radio on a cheap A.M. radio
     
  10. #30 gigawatt, Jun 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    gigawatt

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    I used to use my son's old Epiphone (silver plastic) practice amp that came with his Vee Wee, that was a waste of money, but the amp ran on a single 9v battery. It sounded ok if you like that "speaker driven to oblivion" kind of sound.

    Edit:
    @lqdsnddist Wait you play lap steel? I used to have a Peavey Tube Fex (1U rackmount) which was supposedly great for lap steels. Not so much for guitar though, couldn't cut through the mix, but sounded awesome for practicing. Too bad they don't have a battery powered Tube Fex, with speaker of course, say like a Celestion Creamback 75! That would be Wizard! ;):D
     
  11. gigawatt

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    Lol, I know what you mean, how are we supposed to get any kind of tone out of a 3" speaker? unless it's in a pair of headphones.

    Hey how come nobody's mentioned this little guy? They do make a battery powered Tube Fex, well not to get you all excited, a Transtube Fex if you will in a small box. Hell I liked the Transtube Fex (1U rackmount) better than the Tube Fex, for one it wasn't as noisy, and it was crunchier:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Peavey-Nan...807?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c10#viTabs_0

    It has great reviews, loads of effects, almost a dozen amps to choose from, an 8 INCH speaker! and loads of other crap. Why can't I find them anywhere besides Reverb and eBay?
     
  12. gigawatt

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    What the hell is this thing?




    I think I've made my choice, the Peavey Nano Vypyer. With its 8" speaker I won't have to worry about it sounding like a toy. Still gotta check out some vids, but it's almost a no brainer. Most bang for the buck.
     
  13. Johan Allard

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    So I got the Boss Katana Air a couple of days ago. Here's some random thoughts, in no particular order:
    • I wanted something small, portable that I can use as a grab and go thing when jamming with some mates. For that I think it could work well.
    • The builtin speakers makes it sound quite shrill with not a lot of bottom end - not surprising for a 2x3" speaker setup.
    • The sound is quite pleasing though and its easy to dial in playable tones.
    • The wireless plug work really well. It looks like the Line 6 G10 (that I also have) and seem to work just as well.
    • The IOS app work well to tweak the sounds and effects.
    • You can store 6 presets on the system, each with 3 different boosts, 3 Mods (Chorus, Flanger, ...), 3 Delays, 3 Fx (Autowah), 3 reverbs (you can also have delay+reverb as one reverb sound) so it's both really easy and really flexible with a ton of different options. All effects I've tried so far has worked really well. Autowah is better than anything I managed to dial in on my Ax8.
    • I hooked it into one of my CLR's and that was pretty cool. There's a couple of different speaker simulations available and I liked the Live Vintage setting. It sounds much, much better than the builtin speakers this way.
    All of this had me thinking. This is not an ideal solution for me but parts of this is, and I'm not sure if I should try to maybe change to a Katana 50 or 100 instead. The bluetooth thing and wireless plug really is the future for something like this though and I wished it was even better. I think my ideal amp for something like this would be:
    • Boss Katana 50 form factor - 1x12 speaker and about 10Kg in a compact package. Don't need anything more powerful than 50W but a better speaker would be nice and probably a lot more useful. Maybe even a 1x10 speaker to make it smaller.
    • Wireless plug (only the Katana Air has builtin wireless plug)
    • Bluetooth Editing and playback (only the Katana Air has bluetooth)
    • IOS editing over bluetooth.
    • Builtin looper (no model currently has a looper).
    • Bluetooth foot controller - only the Katana 100 has the option of a (wired) foot controller. A bluetooth foot controller would be really cool that can select say 3 banks of 4 presets and turn on/off boost, delay, mods, ... individually, and control the looper. The foot controller could be inserted in the back for storage and travel.
    • Builtin rechargeable batteries. Not having builtin rechargeable batteries is a major oversight in my opinion. Having the amp always charged at home it would always be ready to be taken out.
    I think that's it as far as my initial impressions.
     
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  14. gigawatt

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    Hey thanks @Johan Allard :) Very insightful. I looked into the Boss Katana Mini and Air and heard a good sound clip, but anything can sound good when you stick a big ass mic in front of it :rolleyes:. Yeah I just don't see 3 inch speakers doing it for me, the Peavey Nano Vypyr has an 8 inch speaker. I've been giving it some serious thought but I haven't been able to find much about it, especially the high gain sounds, and it seems they're discontinued cuz the only place I can find them is eBay for $150.
     
  15. #35 Johan Allard, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    Johan Allard

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    No worries, after some more thinking and looking at my Adam A5x's on my desktop I'm thinking maybe that would be ideal for this kind of amp? I still think that a 12" giggable model with bluetooth and what not would be a great model, and a slightly bigger desk model like a 2x5".

    I would be pretty hesitant with an older modelling amp like the Vypyr nano. Actually maybe the ideal would be a H&K Tubemeister 5, or a Mini Dirty Shirley combo. But obviously we're now quite far away from a battery powered amp.
     
  16. gigawatt

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    There's a Tubemiester 5 now? Dirty Shirley? hey watch it that's my mother you're talking about! ;) You think this is in the Axe III?- "Celestion G10 Greenback." Ok I'm not blowing $1800 on Dirty Shirley, I don't care how good she is. :eek: The H&K's a little more than I want to spend as well, plus I need batteries for when I give lessons, their isn't always an outlet available. I've hard good things about the mini H&K's though. When I was on the Carvin forum their direct competition was the H&K 18 watt tube amp vs their V3M.

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amp...y-shirley-mini-1x10-20w-tube-guitar-combo-amp

    I hear you about the Peavey being older and all, but if it uses their Transtube tech it should sound pretty decent.
     
  17. Johan Allard

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    Actually, it looks like Hughes & Kettner have discontinued the 5 all together and also the 18 combo. You can probably still find them used but since they are tubes they wouldn't be battery powered.

    I had another look at different battery powered amps now again. Actually I'm thinking again that the Katana Air I bought is probably a pretty good option after all.
     
  18. gigawatt

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    Even with these it sounds ok?

     
  19. Johan Allard

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    Yes, it absolutely sounds ok.

    I think its just my personality and everything I look at I look at what could be better and I think a 2x5" would likely be better.
     
  20. #40 ETOLKIEN, Jul 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    ETOLKIEN

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    Uhmmm...I was in your same situation, I had a microcube and was happy for guitars with his 5 inches speaker, but for the bass it lacks low end...2 weeks ago I found a second hand ad of a Marshall MG2-CFX. 45 euros used? yeah!
    The weight is the same, but it sports a 6.5" speaker wich is good for bass, with a touch of overdrive (provided by the amp) sounds convincing...ah! there's a plus: the battery cover of the back is detachable and you can have a semi-openback combo.
    marshall-mg2cfx-695120.jpg
    The only downside for me are the 6xC(R6) batteries, too heavy and expensive, I'm planning to do a 6xAA (R6) mod.
     

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