Best portable/battery amp?

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Dollywitch
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Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Dollywitch » Sat May 18, 2019 3:02 pm

I'm looking for an amp that's easy to plug in and play, preferably a battery amp, to replace my Vox Mini 5 if it can't be repaired. My two choices right now are between another Mini 5 or a Mustang Mini. I had a Mustang 2 before and I really liked the range of sounds on it, having that in a portable format would be nice.

What impressed me with the Vox was the low end, the speaker must have been something closer to a full range one rather than the very mid heavy guitar speakers that need to be 10" at least to deliver the same low end as my tiny Creative Muvo bluetooth speaker(which is fun to run my Vox Amplug into). I guess low end is the main thing I'm looking for here - does the Mustang Mini have the same Low end as the Vox? Would swapping the speaker with the Vox one(they're both the same size IIRC) help?

For non battery options I'm considering the Mooer Hornet also. Is there any way to use a battery pack with it?

Thanks!

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by somanytoys » Mon May 20, 2019 10:38 am

I haven't tried any of those, but I did recently see the new Boss Katana mini at Guitar Center while I was buying some cables. I was going to try it out, but I was in kind of a hurry and the GC guy wasn't too eager to be helpful (shocker, I know), so I have no idea how good it really is. But I did read up on it, and there were some good reviews, some surprised people. It will run on batteries (like 6 AAs?) or there's a proprietary cord to plug it in with. I was kind of thinking about replacing my Vox AC30 Amplug & speaker with it, one day I might.

That's a great idea using a bluetooth/stereo speaker with the Vox Amplug. I bought the AC30 and the Bass models, and the 2 watt speakers that go with them. I'm going to have to try plugging them into the the bluetooth speakers and check out how those sound in comparison. Especially the bass one, those speakers typically have some really good bass resonance. Thanks for that idea.

Good luck with your hunt.

Edit: actually, just read some bad reviews on the Katana mini, so I guess scratch that. I did read some good things about the Yamaha THR. I'll have to be sure and sit down with one of these mini amps before I buy one, but Yamaha does tend to make good stuff.
-David

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Bert Camenbert » Mon May 20, 2019 11:14 am

My practice amp is a Yamaha THR 10C. Check it out, it sounds surprisingly good for what it is! There's also a smaller version, the THR 5. They both are quite portable and they can powered by batteries, although I have never used mine that way.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by somanytoys » Mon May 20, 2019 1:17 pm

After looking at them, I tend to think that the THR 10C is the one I'd go with, if I were to buy one. I like the idea of being able to use an acoustic or a bass with it, too. I dig the retro look a lot.

I'm not big on modeling amps, but I know that they've come a long way from what they were last time I gave them a chance. And the Tech 21 Sansamp pedals I've bought lately have really changed my mind.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Dollywitch » Mon May 20, 2019 2:27 pm

I'm really leaning towards the Katana, it's a lot more affordable than the Yamaha. While the Yamaha theoretically has more tones the Katana's sound feels more versatile to use with pedals or a multifx. I haven't really seen any bad reviews.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by jthomas » Mon May 20, 2019 2:56 pm

Don't forget the Pignose.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by timtam » Mon May 20, 2019 6:08 pm

Or the Roland Micro Cube.

Just a note of caution on some of the newer small amps that I am seeing relying on phone apps for some of their functionality. That's a recipe for guaranteed obsolescence ... unless the (often-small) company decides to maintain that app into the future (assuming they are still in business) and maintain backward compatibility with this generation of amps, and the wider device industry sees fit to maintain interfaces like USB and current Bluetooth protocols. Otherwise you are likely to be left with amp functionality that only works with the current generation of phones / devices ... which will be antiques in a few years.

So my preference for amps in this small, portable amp market is for those that are entirely self-contained. While higher-end modelling amps are more likely to have ongoing support, I think some of these lower-end amps that use apps to work will end up being basically disposable. There are loose parallels here with opinions like those of Steve Albini against digital recording technology, especially early generations that are now obsolete, which was not anticipated at the time.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Kinx » Tue May 21, 2019 11:56 am

I really dig the Mini 5 Rhythm - Bigger tone compared to THR10 od Micro cube imho. Built in drum machine is super cheesy, but fun for practicing.
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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by OV7 » Tue May 21, 2019 11:57 am

Give the Marshall mini-amp a chance. I love it.
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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Beltone » Sat May 25, 2019 5:28 pm

My son just bought a Blackstar 3. When I tried it, I was blown away by how well the sound filled the living room. It sounds good clean and breaks up well. I don't own any Delay pedals, so I like the built-in delay for the rare occasion I want to experiment with the effect.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by 601210 » Tue May 28, 2019 4:17 am

FWIW I'm quite fond of my little Katana Mini, although bassy it certainly isn't. Certainly loud, though.

The line out/cab sim is kinda ass, but I have yet to find a cab sim I actually like.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Maggieo » Tue May 28, 2019 7:04 am

Like the Highlander, there can be only one:

Image
Pignose Amp, May 24, 2015 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

Get a pre-1985, they have a paper speaker cone that sounds way better, IMO.
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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Dollywitch » Fri May 31, 2019 5:51 am

Decided to get the Katana mini :) Was very impressed with the Crunch sound and how "open" it felt. I think the Fly has better "pure" cleans, but only by a bit.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by somanytoys » Fri May 31, 2019 6:37 am

I can't seem to get the Yamaha THR10C out of my head. I just think that the price is kind of high.

Right now I'm using 2 Vox Amplugs (VC30 and Bass models) with the little 2 watt speaker cabs they sell for them, for when I travel or sit outside and play. They're cool and sound pretty good for what they are, especially for hotel room settings where you have to stay pretty low, but I have a whole backpack full of stuff for it - the 2 little amps, the pedals I use (Barber Direct Drive, VFE Mermaid and a Zoom CDR), the patch cables and the power cables and some headphones...it's pretty cool, but it's a a bit of a task to set up and break down. But this is still the setup that I would travel with, because if this stuff ever got stolen, I wouldn't be quite as pissed off and upset as I would about other things I have being stolen. I haven't ever had anything stolen at a hotel, but I hear about it happening.

Recently though, for playing outside, I've stared using my Bugera T5 and a very small speaker cab, with a modded TS9 stacked into a modded BD-2 and a Keeley 30MS. It's sounds really good and it's a little easier to set up and break down .

The Yamaha doesn't seem to accept pedals at all, it's got its own onboard effects and it emulates different amps, so it doesn't seem to need them. That just seems so neat and easy, plop it down, plug it in (unless you're using batteries) and start playing. That's pretty appealing.

It's just a lot of money for a desktop amp. I may have to go see if I can try one out somewhere, and that will either put the fire out or pour more gas on it.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Best portable/battery amp?

Post by Bert Camenbert » Fri May 31, 2019 7:12 am

I've seen used THRs being sold on TGP. If you're patient, you could snag one. They're a bit expensive but, considering how much I use mine, I think they're worth it.

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