Comparing my three mini amps.

KohanMike

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Thought I would separate out the discussion about mini amps from the "I bought an East-Start Semihollow electric uke" thread.

I have three mini amps, a Fender Mini-Deluxe MD-20 I've had for a couple of years, and two I just bought this week, a Daneletro Hodad DH-1 and a Vox AC1 Rhythm. They are each $50 US. (Interesting note; in testing these amps, I discovered how unbalanced the pickups are on my ukes, only the Oscar Schmidt was good, so off to the luthier next.)

I've used the Fender a couple of times at little parties and it was fine. I use it from time to time just to work the preamps in my ukes, but with that East-Start arch-top semi-hollow steel string uke arriving in a few weeks, I thought I would look for better amps. I have a Crate Limo 50 watt battery amp for real gigs, I just like having a mini amp in my gig bag.

The Fender is 2 watts, has a 2" speaker, and overdrive, which has to be on a little to get any volume. The Danelectro is 1 watt, two 2" speakers, echo and tremolo, which caught my attention, and very small, so I bought it. The Vox is 1 watt, one 3" speaker and includes 66 rhythm tracks for accompaniment, which is why I bought it. And as another gimmick, it has an E tuner built in.

To make a long story shorter, after testing all three, I found that I like the Fender the best because it has the least distortion when raising the volume, which I'm sure is because it has 2 watts.

Next is the Vox because of the rhythm tracks, and also handles volume, and last is the Danelectro. Not only does it have a difficult time with volume, it's also the only one without a separate on/off switch, the volume switch turns it on and off, so you can't leave all the settings in place like the Fender and Vox. Also, another draw back is the control knobs are not protected like the other two, so Danelectro includes a foam cover to slip over them, not so good in my gig bag.

I'm going to keep them all for their various specialties, but I'm sure I'll get the most use out of the Fender.

Mini amps compared.jpg
 
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KohanMike

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As I mentioned, I have a Crate Limo TX50D, 50 watt battery amp for gigs. I like the little mini to carry in my gig bag.

Crate Limo Fender mini.jpg
 

DaleR

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Hmmm....I see there are others in my field! I have a Pignose and a Honeytone, along with a Hog 30 that I use. Much smaller footprint, but very usable, when needed.
 

blue_knight_usa

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I love my Jay Turser, real wood, tweed, overdrive button, very cool little battery powered amp.

jtca-10-popup.jpg
 

KohanMike

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That's really nice Jay, 10 watts and 6.5" speaker must sound good.

I've just been roaming around the Chinese AliExpress shopping site and found this mini amp for $32 US, so succumbing to UAAS, I bought it. If it really has 5 watts, and with a 4" speaker, the volume should be that much better than the Fender. It's only a little bigger and even comes with it's own strap, ha (which I just added to the Fender and Vox).

I actually found a couple of other mini 5 watt, but the controls and input are on the front, I prefer on top because I always have the amp either in front of me or on me with a strap, so top controls are more convenient.

mini amp 5w.jpg
 
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King David

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Very cool write up, thanks for sharing. I was a little disappointed though because I hoped the 3 amps would be in the next higher price range, above $50.

I'm looking into battery powered ACOUSTIC amps, a sub-standard price range like below the Roland AC-33($399 retail). I already spent $300+ on a giant pre-owned bat. op. PA so now I need something small/light/portable/not as loud with same features and I will not spend another $300+ just to get it. So far, that leaves me with:

Roland Mobile AC - $189 retail
70906.jpg

5 watts 2x 4" cabs
Dual input(Mic AND instrument)
Audio input(stereo or L/R), headphone jack.
6 AA's ~15 hour bat. life
The smallest of the Roland AC line of acoustic amps, probably less umph then the following Yamaha.


Yamaha THR5A amp - $199
yamaha_thr-5-a__3_p.jpg

10 watts 2x 3.15" cabs
Single input(Mic OR Instrument)
8 AA's ~6 hours bat. life
Stereo audio input, headphone jack.
USB support for PC to amp sound customization, line in recording with Cubase.
Cool orange glow to get people closer for warmth ;).

Did I miss anything?
 

Ukulele Eddie

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I think this is the first amp I've seen that I thought was really, really cool looking. Thankfully, I recognize that I need to improve my playing before I amplify so I think I'll resist the urge for a bit. ;-)
 

ricdoug

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With those parameters, David, the Fender Passport Mini is your ticket:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...ry-powered-acoustic-guitar-combo-with-effects

Fender Passport Mini 7W 1x8 Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Combo with Effects Features:

Vocal channel controls: Volume, Tone, Reverb Level
Instrument channel controls: Volume, Preset, Effects, Tap Tempo Button
Two channels (Instrument and Microphone)
Two inputs (1/4", Input Two has -10db Pad Switch)
1/8" stereo input
Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Vibratone, Vintage Tremolo, Slap-back Echo, Small Room Reverb, Fender ’65 Spring Reverb, Stereo Tape Delay, Tape Delay+Room Reverb, Chorus+Hall Reverb, Vibratone+Room Reverb
Line out: two (speaker emulated USB and 1/8” headphone jack doubles as speaker emulated line out)
Grey two-tone control panel
Metal handle that doubles as a tilt-back stand
Universal AC power supply (included) or six "C" batteries
USB connection for Fender® FUSE™ application and digital recording output

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzKOz1oCsKs

DV016_Jpg_Large_1360008820940_C.jpg


DV016_Jpg_Large_1360008820940_G.jpg
 

Tootler

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I have a Marshall MS2, A Vox AC1 Rhythm Bass and a Vox Mini 5

The Marshall is small & has a belt clip and I've used it to play out with a Risa

I got the AC1 for Practicing my U-Bass at home but I use it as much with regular ukes

The Mini5 is bigger altogether (I would call the other two micro amps).
You can set the power OP to 0.1, 1.5 or 5 Watts, it has two inputs one for instrument, 1 for mic and a good selection of effects and rhythms. I've used the effects but not the rhythms.
 

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focsle

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Thanks for the info Mike et al. Nice to see what others are using for some amplification.

I have a passive pickup on a new Pono 8 (a refurbished unit) string off of eBay and also awaiting the archtop from East Start, so would like a small portable amp that will work for both ukes. Don't think I'll be able to justify two amps in the household. That small Roland looks like a nice unit.
 

KohanMike

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Here I go again. Cruising the Chinese site again last night, I came across another amp, this one is $60, 2 watts with two 3" speakers, has reverb and tremolo like the Danelectro, plus chorus, and also has the rhythm section and tuner like the Vox. In fact, the box is the exact same configuration as the Vox and the rhythm choices are the same, which tells me they make the Vox AC1 Rhythm as an OEM for Vox. Being that the color of this one os so garish, I'm going to swap boxes when it arrives in a couple of weeks. Basically, I'm getting all three amps in one.

mini amp efx.jpg
 
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ricdoug

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ricdoug

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It does not show the dimensions, but using the 2" length of a AAA battery I'm guessing it at 6.5" X 5" X 2.5" from looking at the photos.

51BdnWn6LcL.jpg


51m5oNFV83L.jpg


41Rx64f9cuL.jpg


 

King David

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With those parameters, David, the Fender Passport Mini is your ticket:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...ry-powered-acoustic-guitar-combo-with-effects

Fender Passport Mini 7W 1x8 Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Combo with Effects Features:

Vocal channel controls: Volume, Tone, Reverb Level
Instrument channel controls: Volume, Preset, Effects, Tap Tempo Button
Two channels (Instrument and Microphone)
Two inputs (1/4", Input Two has -10db Pad Switch)
1/8" stereo input
Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Vibratone, Vintage Tremolo, Slap-back Echo, Small Room Reverb, Fender ’65 Spring Reverb, Stereo Tape Delay, Tape Delay+Room Reverb, Chorus+Hall Reverb, Vibratone+Room Reverb
Line out: two (speaker emulated USB and 1/8” headphone jack doubles as speaker emulated line out)
Grey two-tone control panel
Metal handle that doubles as a tilt-back stand
Universal AC power supply (included) or six "C" batteries
USB connection for Fender® FUSE™ application and digital recording output

Ric, thanks once again you prove you are a god among battery operated uke players.

I almost bit the bullet on the Fender Passport mini but two things about the C-cell batteries stopped me. I read if you use C-cell adapters with AA's it drastically lowers the amount of hours you can get in one single live session on batteries(not o.k. with me). Plus I get 12 more 2600mAh rechargeable AA's for $20 and already have a $40 10-bay AA' charger. So buying(~$80-$100) a new 6-bay C-cell charger and 6x C batteries isn't an economical choice I want to make.

What would recommend, in that case Ricdoug, again a sub-standard price range like below the Roland AC-33($399 retail) that works on AA's and has solid acoustic sound? Aloha!

PS: sorry to hijack this thread - I've posted the above back in Ric's original amp thread, ty.
 
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