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View Full Version : Are those mini portable battery amps any good?



mm stan
07-02-2010, 02:18 PM
Aloha All,
I just purchased a ukulele with a pick-up and was wondering if these
small portable battery amps are any good? If so, what would be a good
brand and one with a good price..any advice would be appriciated....
Just wondering, if the cheaper one eats up the battery more faster than
the expensive ones like in some other electronics...
Many thanks in Advance!!!! MM Stan..

uke5417
07-02-2010, 02:33 PM
I've a Roland Mobile Cube that I use as the sound system for my computer. At the same time, whenever I feel like it, and leaving it in place, I plug in my uke and Shure Sm58 and pretend I'm on stage. I love it. Instead of a mic-uke setup, you can alternatively plug in two ukes and jam with a friend, or play back your webcam recorded progression and jam over that.

SuzukHammer
07-02-2010, 03:03 PM
I use a Pignose for my Harmonica and I just bought a eleuke so, I'm gonna plug that in.

LIne6 Pod will be put in place after I test drive the Pignose on its own.

Sambient
07-02-2010, 03:20 PM
Roland Cubes are popular for a reason. They're really good.

So what ukulele did you get that you'll be plugging in?

kissing
07-02-2010, 03:21 PM
Yeah, Mini amps work.
They will make the uke sound louder through the speakers.
I've had good experience with the Fender mini tone master.
If you want to go with the MOST portable amp, search "amp u plug n play" on google.
It's a very small battery amp that you can plug directly into the uke (no cables). It's not a huge amplification, but makes your uke about twice as loud. It also has headphone output and mp3 input.

If you can invest a bit more money, get a Roland Microcube.
It's a proper amp and will give much better sound and output than the others.
And they can also take batteries.

mm stan
07-02-2010, 03:55 PM
Aloha Sam,
I got me one of those backpacker ukes from New Zealand, Captain Ukuleles. Go to Whetu's Posting
and you can see pictures of it. Another UU'er just posted he bought one too, and his one arrived
already. The Luthier Bevan, is quite a nice chap and builds them sorta custom if you can wait.
very reasonable prices, mines with pick-up and shipping was $154.00. He uses quality woods
too. Go to Captain Ukuleles....check him out..I was wondering how he can manage to sell them
so reasonable, just hope the prices don't go too high with all new business from the UU members.
I'll check out roland cubes too, I hope they're not too expensive and thanks for your opinion on the
matter. BTW- I also am at a stage where I need to upgrade my herd and expand my ukulele
experience. I do so everytime I plataeu out, and feel the same old same old playing.
Anyways Until Next time, "Keep strumming them strings" Ukuleles are Foreva's... Uke Onn!!
MM stan...

UncleElvis
07-02-2010, 04:05 PM
hate to admit it, but I just got one of those little Honeytone amps... to go with my gorgeous new eleuke from Mim's! WOO HOO!

It's surprisingly and amazingly loud for its size and price.

oldrookie
07-02-2010, 04:07 PM
Honey Danelectro runs about $20.00. I got one with my uke that I bought on the UU classifieds. I think it is pretty good. High end? Well, no. But I can get pretty good volume out it.

Check for them on youtube.

mm stan
07-02-2010, 04:10 PM
Aloha Uke5417,
Thanks for your opinion too, Was it quite expensive or what...and I like you can leave it in place too.
Did you buy yours online?????I appriciate it very much!!! MM stan
Aloha SuzukHammer,
I'll check up on the pignose too, with Line6 pod too.. let me know how that combination turns out for you.
I appriciate it very mush!! MM Stan..
Aloha Kissing,
the amp and play plug must be kinda small and portable if you say jus plug it in, no cables..
gotta check it out. and I like it has an headphone jack too.. Many thanks too! very much appricated...
MM Stan.. Keep strumming them strings...Uke On!!!
BTW is the honeytone and honeydanelectro the same brand....not bad for twenty bucks....

LoMa
07-02-2010, 05:09 PM
If you want a super duper cheap, very lgithweight battery amp, then the Danelectro HoneyTone is a good choice for aroind $20. Pretty good disyortion sound, and decent almost clean "clean" sound. Really not bad for the money. The other cheapo beltclip sorts of mini-amps I've treid cannot produce a clean sound of any sort with any volume to speak of.

If you can be more spendy and dont mind extra weight and size, you might wanto to consider a VOX DA-5 - I think these blow th Roland Cubes out of the water. Lots of onboard FX, a great clean sound, and a great variety of disroted sounds. Also includes FX like reverb, delay, chorus, and lots of others. Can run on batteries or on AC wiht the included AC adapter. This is totally cool amp~!

Ahnko Honu
07-02-2010, 05:30 PM
I bought a Danelectro Honeytone last year and also picked up a AC adapter for home use. I'm totally happy with it, more than enough sound, and the portability matches the 'ukulele. I recommend them.

ricdoug
07-02-2010, 08:35 PM
Like several others in this thread I recommend the Roland Microcube, as well as the Honeytone. A Roland Microcube seems to run forever on a set of batteries. The Danelectro Honeytone gets about an hour off a rechargeable NiMH 9 volt battery. For the money, you can't beat a Vox DA5. I own a large arsenal of battery powered amps. Check out the reviews here:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?5333-Battery-powered-ukulele-amplification...

ricdoug
07-02-2010, 08:36 PM
I bought a Danelectro Honeytone last year and also picked up a AC adapter for home use. I'm totally happy with it, more than enough sound, and the portability matches the 'ukulele. I recommend them.

Great to have you back, braddah! Ric

HoldinCoffee
07-02-2010, 10:33 PM
If you get the Honeytone, get the AC power adapter too... if you use the amp a lot, the adapter pays for itself in no-time!

Ahnko Honu
07-03-2010, 03:11 AM
Great to have you back, braddah! Ric

Aloha Ric, Mahalo for the thought. Mahalo again too for your indepth review of mini-amps, got my Honeytone after reading your concise writeup, it should be a sticky.

luvdat
07-03-2010, 03:18 AM
Aloha Ric, Mahalo for the thought. Mahalo again too for your indepth review of mini-amps, got my Honeytone after reading your concise writeup, it should be a sticky.

Agreed about the sticky!!! A sticky that could give someone AAS (amp acquisition syndrome). Awaiting Ahnko H.'s response to this acronym...and yes, great to have A.H. back!!!

Picked up a Nifty Aqua colored Honeytone and a 1Spot adaptor...you gotta love the names of the control settings...

Possible to start yet another group...the Honeytone Lovers? Or a better name choice? Not joking here. They remind me of mini-Pignose amps...which I also like.

There's something about the Honeytone, even when it sounds cranked up, not even really great...that gives you "permission."

Seriously though, at manageable and more realistic volume levels...very nice indeed.

mm stan
07-03-2010, 04:03 AM
Thanks for all the responses guys....
And I checked out musicians friend and I think I'm going with the el cheapo, but terrific
the the honeytone, 19.95 but they don't have an adaptor ...so still thinking..I don't want
to buy a ton of batteries, if you know what I mean lol!!!

jkevinwolfe
07-03-2010, 04:04 AM
I own three Roland cubes. The sound has been engineered really well on all three. I heartily recommend the MobileCube. It has four uke-friendly amp modeling settings: clean (jazzy), overdrive and distortion (for electric Ukes) and a true acoustic setting. (Most "acoustic" settings you see on amps are there to make electric guitars sound acoustic and sound lousy with real acoustic instruments. Not this one.) There are also stereo chorus, reverb and delay effects.

One of the true beauties of this amp is that it's a mini PA system with a separate mic mix in. The mike stand mount on the bottom makes it a nice little coffee shop PA for performances with a small crowd. And it works well as a utility amp for an iPod at picnics.

luvdat
07-03-2010, 04:09 AM
I own three Roland cubes. The sound has been engineered really well on all three. I heartily recommend the MobileCube. It has four uke-friendly amp modeling settings: clean (jazzy), overdrive and distortion (for electric Ukes) and a true acoustic setting. (Most "acoustic" settings you see on amps are there to make electric guitars sound acoustic and sound lousy with real acoustic instruments. Not this one.) There are also stereo chorus, reverb and delay effects.

One of the true beauties of this amp is that it's a mini PA system with a separate mic mix in. The mike stand mount on the bottom makes it a nice little coffee shop PA for performances with a small crowd. And it works well as a utility amp for an iPod at picnics.

And to follow up on the Rolands...the Micro great and will check out the Mobile...with 2 thumbs up for the 60 watt Cube as awesome acoustic guitar amp even if you don't use the effects...worth the money.

mm stan
07-03-2010, 04:22 AM
I would go for the Roland Cubes but I wanted one that was portable to carry on my
belt or in my jacket pocket. besides I have a Marshall DFX 15 MG series for home
use and that has everything except it does not take batteries. I was looking at that
headphone jack, but that has limited use. I've got alot of AC adapters for other
stuff at home, but not sure if any of them will work.HMMMMM anyways the hunt
still goes onnn!!!BTW- thanks ric for the awesome reviews on the amps, gotta
go back to there and check it out again...Also do you live in Honolulu too, I noticed
Ocean house that's why..or were you on vacation????But thanks again guys, and
if you come up with any other suggestions, let me know!!!!! MM Stan..

Ahnko Honu
07-03-2010, 04:48 AM
Thanks for all the responses guys....
And I checked out musicians friend and I think I'm going with the el cheapo, but terrific
the the honeytone, 19.95 but they don't have an adaptor ...so still thinking..I don't want
to buy a ton of batteries, if you know what I mean lol!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Danelectro-DA-1-9-6V-AC-Adaptor/dp/B0002CZVI2/ref=pd_cp_MI_2

mm stan
07-03-2010, 04:56 AM
Mahalo Plenty Ahnko Honu,
Cool and they have the honeytone there too for $19.951!!
looks like i'm going for this one!!

the52blues
07-03-2010, 06:49 AM
I have a Fender Amp Can. You can't wear it on your belt but it's about the size and shape of a paint can. It has a rechargeable gel pack battery and 2 - 1/4 inch inputs, one for mic and one for guitar with an overdrive setting. You get about 6 hours of playing time on one charge. I like it anyway. That's my 2 cents.

Vindelanda
07-03-2010, 07:09 AM
I have a Line 6 Mini Spider that I got at my local music store for about $100 on sale. It's pretty small, I think you could carry it fairly comfortably, and it comes with a strap so you can put it over your shoulder. I think it takes something like 6 D batteries but I usually just plug mine in. I think it's technically designed for an electric guitar, but it also has several acoustic settings. I really love it, but I know virtually nothing about amps.

angelopb
07-03-2010, 07:19 AM
I have a Fender Amp Can. You can't wear it on your belt but it's about the size and shape of a paint can. It has a rechargeable gel pack battery and 2 - 1/4 inch inputs, one for mic and one for guitar with an overdrive setting. You get about 6 hours of playing time on one charge. I like it anyway. That's my 2 cents.

Do you think it would work on an ashbory bass? The ashbory bass has a very deep, dub sound so i am thinking the driver will fart out. But if it is a sealed design i could try different drivers. I am not looking for serious output. I like the beefy design of the can.

angelopb
07-03-2010, 07:31 AM
This looks cool!
http://cactusampworks.com/kegblaster.html

Floyd Blue
07-03-2010, 07:46 AM
I love my Tweed Fender Mini Twin Amp. It can be powered by battery or AC adaptor.

the52blues
07-03-2010, 07:52 AM
Do you think it would work on an ashbory bass?

It's not designed for bass guitar so I never thought to play my bass through it. It's only a 6" speaker so how much bass could you get anyway? I think it would be OK at low volumes for practicing I guess. I'm not even sure if they still make them though. After I commented I checked the Fender site and there is no mention of them. I do like the second input because I do sing and when I use it for busking I use a headset mic. I wish it had a proper mic input instead of the 1/4 inch though. I use an adapter and it works fine but how hard could it have been to put the right connector in it? I may check out the Roland Cube Street amp if this one conks out although I've had it for 8 years and apart from a scratchy volume pot it's still holding out.

mm stan
07-03-2010, 01:47 PM
Aloha all,
Just sealed the deal on the Danelectro Honey Tone thanks for all your responses,
and help...I hope I don't use too many batteries...Yeah right!!! Until next time, "Keep
strumming them strings" MM Stan.....

GrumpyOldMan
07-03-2010, 09:24 PM
Wow, $19.95! Over here in the UK they are at least 30.00 which is a rough equivalent to $45. So you pay less than half what we do!

Ian.

In fact I just had a look on Amazon.com and they are $19.99 (=13.15). Amazon.co.uk the price is 33.44, the equivalent to $50.82!!

mm stan
07-03-2010, 10:19 PM
Aloha Gold Man,
Sorry to hear the prices so stiff up there, I wonder if you could order from Amazon.com direct except from Amazon.com.Uk..
I dished out $34.00 and some change today for the honeytone, A/C adapter, and shipping costs. Gee can't imagine how
much for instruments up there, like Martin guitars...it must be outragous....Take Care Ian, until Next time....Aloha MM Stan..

Markwell
07-04-2010, 01:38 AM
I'd imagine the little honeytone and similar amps would be okay for playing at home.

I have a VOX Pathfinder 10-watt practice amp that I use for my gutiar and electric uke, which would probably be enough to for performance use by yourself or with just a few other instruments. Maybe not a whole band, though.

Got it for 50, very much worth the money.

Pippin
07-04-2010, 02:40 AM
Kala has some new AMPS coming to market. I told Mike Upton a long time ago that it would be really cool if they had a JAM-PACK like guitar companies make... uke and amp together in a package deal. Wait until you see the tweed vintage-looking amp. Cool.

SuzukHammer
07-04-2010, 04:14 AM
I put my eleuke on the Pignose with the Pod preamp.

I kept all the volumes low and I felt like I was blasting.

I"m not a musician; but, I know fun and I stayed on that thing for as long as my girlfriend would let me.

I only got to sample a few settings; but, I'm sold on the whole concept. It sounds good.

I heard a quitarist say a electric quitar is all about controlling the noise. I hope this means I'll be much more vigiilant on hitting the notes and chords correctly.

I will look into the other options here. I actually have 3 other miniamps and a Line 6 Spider that I can play with.

salukulady
07-04-2010, 06:27 AM
http://samashmusic.com/july-meltdown/ Sam Ash has the roland cube on sale fourth of july weekend, if you've got an Ash near you.

mm stan
07-04-2010, 03:19 PM
Aloha Salukulady,
Many thanks for the heads up on this one!! Appriciate it Very Much!!!
MM Stan....

ricdoug
07-04-2010, 08:42 PM
http://samashmusic.com/july-meltdown/ Sam Ash has the roland cube on sale fourth of july weekend, if you've got an Ash near you.

79$ bucks for a Roland 15 watt amp? What a steal! Ric

Ahnko Honu
07-04-2010, 11:20 PM
US Blues A100GT Portable Tweed Amplifier 10 Watt 5" Price: $67.99
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51f4pg5vy6L._SS500_.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/US-Blues-A100GT-Portable-Amplifier/dp/B001L8IHVO/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1Q8N4LG7J7CQK&colid=33NW8Y6XP6H7D

mm stan
07-05-2010, 12:33 AM
Not bad Ahnko Honu,
I guess you could use as a pillow too....10watts for$68.00...Is that a guitar pick above the controls..
Today I checked around too and saw a beer can amp for about that price..Heineken can..from I think Texas...
How was your forth?? hope you had a good one!!! MM Stan.....