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Old 04-09-2010, 01:39 PM
kevlaw is offline
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Recommend me a portable guitar amp


Picture this:

It's a beautiful spring evening. The heat of the day is past and a gentle breeze wafts away my cares.
I am sitting in the shade of my new umbrella on my new sun lounger on my newly paved patio. I have a pint of Fuller's ESB by my side and my surf green stratocaster on my knee is straining as the tension builds in Clapton's solo in Sunshine of your Love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clapton
Dun dun da dun dun...dum dum...dun bwaan dun
But I can't hear it.

Because I'm not plugged in.

What's a good ( cheap ) portable amp for such a situation?

Extra credit if I can use headphones with it!
  #2  
Old 04-09-2010, 02:45 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
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Fender AmpCan.

Crate Taxi.

The Crate Taxi can be used with headphones. The Fender, I think so, but I haven't actually used one. Neither sounds as good as a full sized amp, but either one can be taken to some pretty remote locations and still work.
  #3  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:14 PM
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From the taxi site...

Quote:
If you're the type of performer who requires the ultimate in portability, but refuse to sacrifice tone for mobility, the Crate TX15 was made for you.
I am perfectly willing to sacrifice tone for mobility . I just want something that I can use for practicing. I won't be performing.

Any cheaper suggestions?
  #4  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:26 PM
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This page has a bunch of mini amps that look interesting, but are they worth the trouble?
  #5  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:38 PM
WordMan is offline
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They all look fun, but I have no personal experience. Can you hie thee down to the nearest Guitarre Shoppe and check a few out?

(I have no idea why I got all Ren Faire just then...)
  #6  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:45 PM
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I had the Pignose Hog 20. Had problems with the batteries and/or recharger (I'm not the tech kind.)
  #7  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:48 PM
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For headphones and minimal pain in the assery, there is my cheap-ass Danelectro Honeytone.
http://www.amazon.com/Danelectro-Hon...0846026&sr=8-1
It is $20. It has a belt clip and a headphone jack. It lasts forever on a 9-volt. You can hear it abouuut the range of a porch. (It's a 1-Watt amp.)

I wouldn't busk with it, I wouldn't gig with it, but for practice, I'm loving mine.

I should note that I wouldn't know a _good_ amp if it bit me on the ass and yelled 'STACK ME BABY'. But this just works. Frankly, I like it better than the ones that plug directly into the guitar, it doesn't make the balance feel weird.

Last edited by E-Sabbath; 04-09-2010 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:52 PM
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Oh, yeah. I have the Fender MD-20. I like the Danelectro better.
  #9  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:59 PM
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Oh - and just to get it out there: I love an acoustic guitar outside with a beer on these types of evenings...
  #10  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Oh - and just to get it out there: I love an acoustic guitar outside with a beer on these types of evenings...
I considered that too but I'd have to spend some $$$ to get my acoustic in decent shape. That's how i ended up with strat, remember?
  #11  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
For headphones and minimal pain in the assery, there is my cheap-ass Danelectro Honeytone.
I like the look of that. How bit is it?

Amazon says it ways a pound . The pictures make it look big, but you say it has a belt clip.

I'm curious.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
For headphones and minimal pain in the assery, there is my cheap-ass Danelectro Honeytone.
http://www.amazon.com/Danelectro-Hon...0846026&sr=8-1
It is $20. It has a belt clip and a headphone jack. It lasts forever on a 9-volt. You can hear it abouuut the range of a porch. (It's a 1-Watt amp.)

I wouldn't busk with it, I wouldn't gig with it, but for practice, I'm loving mine.

I should note that I wouldn't know a _good_ amp if it bit me on the ass and yelled 'STACK ME BABY'. But this just works. Frankly, I like it better than the ones that plug directly into the guitar, it doesn't make the balance feel weird.
I just ordered the Dano Honeytone for Attacklad. I will send a review in a week or two, after its been put through its paces.
  #13  
Old 04-09-2010, 04:42 PM
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Sorry to double post, but there are a bunch of youtube clips of lots of these minamps, including the Honeytone. They're helpful for getting an idea of the size and volume.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu5nh1mzkAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGy6mjn99FI
  #14  
Old 04-09-2010, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attack from the 3rd dimension View Post
Sorry to double post, but there are a bunch of youtube clips of lots of these minamps, including the Honeytone. They're helpful for getting an idea of the size and volume.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu5nh1mzkAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGy6mjn99FI
That looks awesome! Will I be able to play like that if I get one?

It looks exactly like the kind of thing I want. I like the short and curly lead too.

I'm going shopping!
  #15  
Old 04-09-2010, 11:02 PM
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Epilogue
=====
I ordered the nifty aqua. Looks pretty close to Surf Green!
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevlaw View Post
Epilogue
=====
I ordered the nifty aqua. Looks pretty close to Surf Green!
Arrived today! It's beautiful! Color is exact match to guitar.

Sounds great too. Louder than I expected. Incredible value for $20!
  #17  
Old 04-15-2010, 07:47 PM
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The Squier SP-10 is a pretty decent practice amp...portable but not battery powered.

Whatever happened to the Rockman and a set of headphones?
  #18  
Old 04-15-2010, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Whatever happened to the Rockman and a set of headphones?
Still made (by Dunlop, IIRC):
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Rockman-...53-i1124980.gc

I got a Pocket Rockit as a Christmas present from my parents:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/C-Tech-P...44-i1124571.gc

it's also a pretty nice little beastie, though the design means that, if I were to plug directly into the jack on the guitar (as it's designed to do), it'd be on the *bottom* of my Les Paul, which is kinda awkward...so, I use a cable and a female-female connector.
  #19  
Old 04-15-2010, 09:15 PM
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I can't believe nobody mentioned the Vox DA5 .
I love mine. The batteries last a long time on the .5 watt setting and it's plenty loud enough to piss off the neighbors.

Trust me, awesome!
  #20  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:32 PM
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Of course, if you want to spend some money, the _best_ microamp, I'm hearing, is the Roland Micro Cube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qSf0mYO3R4
That said, I'm sure glad the Honeytone is working for you. Want fun? Bring down the volume fairly low, and play feedback games with it. neeeeaaar... faaaaarr...
  #21  
Old 04-16-2010, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Of course, if you want to spend some money, the _best_ microamp, I'm hearing, is the Roland Micro Cube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qSf0mYO3R4
That said, I'm sure glad the Honeytone is working for you. Want fun? Bring down the volume fairly low, and play feedback games with it. neeeeaaar... faaaaarr...
I bought one of these for my son. It's... not very good. Clean is far too quiet to be useful, the distortion sounds are... unfortunate. I notice the video review is using a guitar with single coils, that may sound better than our tests with my son's humbuckers. But really, to get any volume you have to go distorted, and my boy wanted a good clean tone, and the amp didn't deliver that at a usable volume. It's currently collecting dust in the corner next to my boy's GDEC.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:29 AM
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Rrreally. Hm. That is odd. Everyone, and from multiple sources, raves about it. I was going to investigate it in a year or so. Eh. Good thing you said something.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
I bought one of these for my son. It's... not very good. Clean is far too quiet to be useful, the distortion sounds are... unfortunate. I notice the video review is using a guitar with single coils, that may sound better than our tests with my son's humbuckers. But really, to get any volume you have to go distorted, and my boy wanted a good clean tone, and the amp didn't deliver that at a usable volume. It's currently collecting dust in the corner next to my boy's GDEC.
That's fair. But for me, I'm not interested in a lot of volume. I just want to sit on my patio and mess around with my guitar. It's perfect for me.
  #24  
Old 04-16-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Rrreally. Hm. That is odd. Everyone, and from multiple sources, raves about it. I was going to investigate it in a year or so. Eh. Good thing you said something.
Well, amp choice is really personal, like what underwear you find comfortable, or what bristles you prefer on toothbrush. Just because I didn't like the amp doesn't mean everyone else is wrong and I'm right. Go check it out for yourself, it may be great for you.
  #25  
Old 04-16-2010, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevlaw View Post
That's fair. But for me, I'm not interested in a lot of volume. I just want to sit on my patio and mess around with my guitar. It's perfect for me.
It's probably fine for that. I just meant that if you want to run the amp totally clean, and turn the volume up to 10, it was not even loud enough for me and my son to play together in a small office (me on the POD+HTR, turned way down). I'll also note that that guy in the YouTube video had the amp miked, so we don't know if the amp is too loud/soft/just right from that video alone.

So, out of curiosity I just now hauled the Cube out of the dusty corner it was in, and gave it a workout using my Tele. There are 3 'clean'-ish settings, "Acoustic", "JC Clean" and "Black Panel" (though that last setting has some drive when pushed). All three of these were quiet enough, with gain @ 5 and volume @ 11 that someone in the same small room as you could easily hold a conversation without raising their voices. The tone was not bad at all, just too soft. I did try the gain channels, "Brit Combo", "Stack Classic" and "Stack R-Fier", and these were louder, more than adequate volume. The distorted tone, backed off a little from full, didn't sound half bad to my ears and plenty loud, so I'll back off on my description above of the gain tones being "unfortunate" -- it really wasn't half bad. The sound using my Tele was good; I plugged in my Schecter, and it was definitely muddier, so I think using single-coils with this amp helps a lot. I think if you want a hard rock to metal tone, the cube probably works well. If you want good clean tone at reasonable volume, look elsewhere or wear headphones using this amp.

Anyway, I'll repeat that you (general you) should hie yourself over to Guitar Center or wherever and just try out the amp. I'm just some guy on the internet, so follow your nose and decide for yourself, and if you like it, that's great!
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