Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
julevars
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby julevars » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:59 pm

Hello everybody. Im solo backpacking for around 2 months this summer and I plan to go busking too. I want to buy a small and cheap amplifier for this trip because the one I have at home is 40W. As this is not a long term investment and also Im going to have to carry this and walk many miles my priorities are weight and price. The lightest I found are around 3-5 kg (10W). Although I found some really lightweight mini amps like marshall ms 4, they are all for electric guitar. So, do you have anything to suggest??? Perhaps less watts as this is not my main concern ( 5 or less) or even one that is mainly for electric guitar but you can get at least get a clean tone without distortion. So, to conclude im looking for a mini amp, 5W or less, around 50€, preferably acoustic but if that's not possible an electric one with a clean channel as distorted-free as possible. I understand I can't get a really decent result with that money but I plan to use it only for this trip and only when really needed so I don't want to spend mor plus I won't be able to carry much weight on me. I hope someone will give me a solution here. Thanks in advance!

Andrew Pohlman
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby Andrew Pohlman » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:33 pm

You probably need to buy a used amp. I don't know of anything that fits your price criteria. A classic Pignose is US $75 new. A Roland Mini Cube is more like US $300 - but has a COSM feature and will give acoustic and all manner of distortion plus other effects. Even the pocket amps (amp + headphones) are difficult to find at 50 Euros.

But you didn't say anything about your instrument. Busking, yeah, you need speakers. But backpacking, if your audience is just you, you can get away with pocket amp and headphone - or an unamplified acoustic.

You can always go to Musician's Friend or Sweetwater, seeing what they have, then looking for that used on the Bay.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm
Location: Springfield Oregon

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby Laudiesdad69 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:45 pm

I second the pig nose. I had one (gave it to my son). As long as you don't crank it, the gain is minimal. They run on six AA batteries. Bought mine used for $35.

unicornio
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:17 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby unicornio » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:35 pm

The Yamaha THR mini amp range. I use a Yamaha THR10, and absolutely love this for my small studio, produces big sound, effects, can even run on batteries. Very nice as it has tiny speakers so tends not to project too far to annoy neighbours, but gives the feel of being loud sitting in the studio.

Some of the cheaper practice amps sound quality wise did not satisfy me, so did not use them. This THR10 is used all the time.

Yamaha does a smaller THR5, even one fully dedicated to acoustic sounds. They also have a bluesy model, um, I chose the green model which is for heavy metal, it still has a really nice clean preset.

It may be worth your while to go to a music store and have a look at THR range, weight etc, you may like these... they sound really good...look good too. Love THR amps...if you like maybe there is secondhand options somewhere..

built in tuner etc etc.

check the specs out on the link below, even has a nylon preset, microphone simulation, etc..

2kg weight

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/guitars-basses/amps/thr/thr5a

https://youtu.be/IVghCk5WZc0 this youtube from yamaha gives an idea of sound simulations and what not.

https://youtu.be/UHsCTEbtIBw reviewed with a Taylor nylon.

cu

julevars
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby julevars » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:33 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:But you didn't say anything about your instrument. Busking, yeah, you need speakers. But backpacking, if your audience is just you, you can get away with pocket amp and headphone - or an unamplified acoustic

Im going to take with me my old yamaha classical guitar with a pickup. I own an Alhambra luthier India but can't risk taking such an expensive guitar with me. Yamaha costed me around 500 back when I purchased it and got a warm decent sound but it's not too loud( especially if you are used to the Alhambra). My idea at first was taking a guitar just for fun and company but after all I decided to busk 1-2h every day so I can also make a few money and perhaps make my trip a little longer, so I guess I need an amp for that.

julevars
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby julevars » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:41 pm

unicornio wrote:Yamaha does a smaller THR5, even one fully dedicated to acoustic sounds. They also have a bluesy model, um, I chose the green model which is for heavy metal, it still has a really nice clean preset.

It's quite off my price limit but looks like a really good choice so im going to look perhaps for a used one

julevars
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby julevars » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:I second the pig nose. I had one (gave it to my son). As long as you don't crank it, the gain is minimal. They run on six AA batteries. Bought mine used for $35.

Do you use it with a classical guitar? Found some reviews in youtube and I noticed that if you want a clean tone you must keep volume knob really low. Do you think I could play on the street and still keep a clean tone? I don't want an amp to create a loud sound but just make people passing by to notice that im there

User avatar
Andrew Fryer
Posts: 2023
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm
Location: London SE5

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby Andrew Fryer » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:05 pm

I'm told micro cubes are fabulous, but I don't know if they have enough bass for a CG.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

unicornio
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:17 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby unicornio » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:34 pm

roland micro cube gx or the original micro cube might be a good little performer for the busker/traveler, and chances of picking one up secondhand on the cheap.

http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/roland-microcube-gx

battery life is long.
Last edited by unicornio on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm
Location: Springfield Oregon

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby Laudiesdad69 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:42 pm

julevars wrote:
Laudiesdad69 wrote:I second the pig nose. I had one (gave it to my son). As long as you don't crank it, the gain is minimal. They run on six AA batteries. Bought mine used for $35.

Do you use it with a classical guitar? Found some reviews in youtube and I noticed that if you want a clean tone you must keep volume knob really low. Do you think I could play on the street and still keep a clean tone? I don't want an amp to create a loud sound but just make people passing by to notice that im there


Yeah you don't want to turn it up too much, but it was loud enough. It was like having a second guitar playing in unison. Actually, those little Roland's are better in this regard. You can go up louder before the cleanliness of the sound starts to go away. The only reason I went with the pig nose is it was used and only 35 bucks. But I was surprised at how well it works.

edcat7
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:47 am
Location: Barnet, London

Re: Looking for portable lightweight mini amp for backpacking trip and busking

Postby edcat7 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:48 pm

unicornio wrote:roland micro cube gx might be a good little performer for the busker/traveler, and chances of picking one up secondhand on the cheap.

http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/roland-microcube-gx

battery life.


I second getting a Roland Microcube: excellent sound quality, light, cheap, long battery life on six AA batteries. I'm taking my microcube with me to Mykonos and I'm also busking on my day off. Use a "Heavy Duty Webbing Haversack" to carry it. It's a perfect fit and bought cheaply on the bay or the big river site.
Remember Anthony Weller, please help. Contact myself or Aaron Green for details.


Return to “Classical guitar recording and amplification”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 4 guests