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Thread: Battery powered ukulele amplification...

  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Good for you Ric if that system works for you.

    I don't want to be rude but I just want to say for the thread that this system is complete overkill for general busking and only applicable if noise restrictions aren't in place where you are and your free to perform for a reasonably sized audience. Better for a group but a group will need a decent space to perform in.

    If noise restrictions are in place then a Roland AC-33 is more than loud enough to get you into trouble all on its own. Currently I'm plugging an ISK CM-60 battery powered condenser microphone into my AC-33 as a 1 microphone solution for voice ,ukulele and foot-tap. It works surprisingly well.

    I may replace the AC-33 at some point with a Behringer MPA40BT to get an 8" speaker instead of the 2 small speakers in the AC-33. The power of the MPA40BT will be complete overkill but it will be just about getting a clearer sound from the bigger speaker.

    You really don't need to be that loud to busk and being too loud is a hinderance rather than a benefit.
    Ric has done an amazing job over the past 10 years with this thread detailing an awful lot of "different" equipment, guess you didn't read all of that. Ric does not busk, he actually plays gigs for an audience, guess you didn't read that either. Guess you just want to point out how good your gear was. That's nice because it adds to the wealth of knowledge that has been assembled here but don't say his "system is complete overkill" because it is not. His intended purposes are much different then yours, if you had taken the time to read this thread you would have figured that out.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 04-15-2018 at 12:23 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricdoug View Post
    The wall wart for the Xenix 1002B mixer has 2 outputs - 16VAC and 3VAC, Booli. A 12VDC battery could be used with a sinewave inverter, but that would add to weight and trips to the car. I have plenty of NiMH rechargeable batteries to keep the show going. Spare Lithium Ion batteries can be charged inside the bottom compartment of the Bose S1, too. I like the sound, portability, size and weight of this system. Setup and teardown time are greatly reduced. Ric
    Thanks for the reply Ric.

    I myself try to find equipment that is powered by DC, converted from AC at the mains.

    This makes battery-powered use easier. Yes a 50 lb car battery is a PITA to haul around. I've found lithium-ion packs to have higher energy density than both SLA and NiMh and NiCd batteries, while also being much lower weight than a car battery.

    I have some 9v-AC and 18v-AC tube amps and tube preamps I'd love to be able to run on battery power, but would rather not use a sine-wave inverter...so instead, I've 'suffered' with solid-state based equipment that can do 9v-DC or 12v-DC at the power input jack.

    I've not been doing any performances myself, nor been responsible for the sound equipment for a while, so until I am looking at that again, will not be buying any equipment, but your thread here, with the carefully and thoughtfully discussed equipment options, will be a very useful resource for me when I am ready.

    Thank you for keeping this thread alive, and continuing to offer your contributions.
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  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Ric has done an amazing job over the past 10 years with this thread detailing an awful lot of "different" equipment, guess you didn't read all of that. Ric does not busk, he actually plays gigs for an audience, guess you didn't read that either. Guess you just want to point out how good your gear was. That's nice because it adds to the wealth of knowledge that has been assembled here but don't say his "system is complete overkill" because it is not. His intended purposes are much different then yours, if you had taken the time to read this thread you would have figured that out.
    I've read through the thread over the years and I qualified my post.
    Most people who want battery powered amplification are busking and I've seen people out busking with externally powered PA systems/amps that are complete overkill.
    There is a movement/attitude gaining ground that buskers should only be allowed to busk un-amplified and this is gaining strength because most buskers ARE too loud and despite numerous requests to keep the volume down they continue to be too loud.
    I do wish to be able to continue to busk amplified at a suitable/moderate volume so I'm addressing the issue.

    If Ric is playing gigs where the volume is acceptable/needed then fine. I said that. If your looking for busking amplification then I'm honestly saying that the 20watt (on battery) Roland AC-33 is loud enough to generate noise complaints all on its own and you don't need more power.

  4. #284
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    We have cities here that have noise ordinances, where amplification does not work. We also have beach communities where loud motorcycles and cars are also passing by and you will not be heard without amplification. I perform at large wedding receptions and events where you would have to run a couple hundred feet of 10 gauge extension cords to power the amplification. I've done that in the past. I do occasionally busk, but not often. Out here farmers markets, street faires and art walks are almost always amplified. That's also at the request of the organizers and businesses to attract customers. We don't face some of the same issues as you do, anthonyg, because you have to be good enough to be allowed to busk here. If you are not sponsored by businesses and local government, you cannot legally busk acoustically or amplified. Kokua goes a long way in community inclusiveness. I own and use a Roland AC-33 and have several extra battery packs for it. It does not have the superior sound quality of the Bose S1 Pro at any volume, but I can run it for days on replaceable batteries and use it's internal looper, effects and feedback suppression. Horses for courses. Ric

  5. #285
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    I've had a couple of examples in the last couple of days about just how hard it is for a performer to judge the correct volume needed.

    I run my 20 watt on battery Roland AC-33 at no more than half volume (the MASTER indicator straight up (at 12 o'clock)) and the channel Volume (microphone preamp) set at just the start of the "microphone" section. Well bellow the amps maximum volume potential. When I play I don't hear my voice at all (seriously, I don't hear my voice through the AC-33) and I only just hear the ukulele through the amp as a form of thickening my sound. Sometimes I tap the microphone just to make sure its on.

    I still got 2 comments on volume on 2 separate days. 1 was from a friend that said I was rather loud. I wasn't quite sure about it as its the usual situation between guys where he could have been having a lend of me. The day after a lady complained that I was too loud as well. She may have been rather sensitive but I turned the volume down anyway.

    When I play on stages with sound guys running the show I don't hear much either if there is no foldback and to be honest I tell them to turn the foldback down so I often don't hear much volume from the main speakers.

    The moral of the story is that you need FAR less volume than you think you do as the performer and if the volume sounds OK to you when you perform then its FAR too loud for the audience. That and an AC-33 is way loud enough for busking. I may get myself a bigger unit with an 8" speaker for a better sound but I will have to be very careful with the volume.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 04-21-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  6. #286
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    My Roland AC-33 does not produce near the audio quality of my Bose S1 Pro, Anthony. I've never received negative comments on my amplified sound from anyone and always leave gigs with respectable tips. I wish you the very best in improving your sound quality and volume and audience satisfaction, as I have zero of your stated objections. I never have any of your issues when using my Carvin S400D with extension 810 cabinet which have 10" woofers, either. Take a look at your personal shortfalls, as I do with myself daily, to look at how we can improve our presentations. Ric

  7. #287
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    I have never received any complaints about the quality of my sound. Only ever compliments about the quality of my voice, my instruments tone and richness and the general quality of my music. I get so many compliments that based on such feedback I would NEVER upgrade the AC-33. ONLY using microphones is an important factor here. No pickups.

    I do however accept honest feedback that I can be too loud and in my defence when I'm sitting behind the AC-33 I honestly don't hear much at all.

    Hence my advice. If you the performer sitting behind the amp think that the volume is OK then it will be too loud. If the volume is OK for the audience then you the performer will hardly hear it.

    I have no intentions of replacing my AC-33 while its working but if for any reason I need to replace it I will likely pick a battery powered unit with a larger speaker.

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    I have never received any complaints about the quality of my sound. Only ever compliments about the quality of my voice, my instruments tone and richness and the general quality of my music. I get so many compliments that based on such feedback I would NEVER upgrade the AC-33. ONLY using microphones is an important factor here. No pickups.

    I do however accept honest feedback that I can be too loud and in my defence when I'm sitting behind the AC-33 I honestly don't hear much at all.

    Hence my advice. If you the performer sitting behind the amp think that the volume is OK then it will be too loud. If the volume is OK for the audience then you the performer will hardly hear it.

    I have no intentions of replacing my AC-33 while its working but if for any reason I need to replace it I will likely pick a battery powered unit with a larger speaker.
    Busking is a different application of sound amplification than performing in a venue that has requested or is paying for performers. Especially if the person hiring the talent is expecting a PA system to cover a larger area than one would cover when busking.

    The audience has different expectations for the sound level in each situation.

    Having said that, the EASY solution to your not hearing yourself well enough without playing too loud for your audience is to have a monitor.

    Either an in-ear monitor (like earbud headphones that takes a line-out from your amp or mixer), or a fold-back monitor (also takes a line-out from your amp or mixer).

    A fold-back monitor can be as simple as a secondary, smaller amplifier that is aimed up at you from the floor. It can be as small and simple as a Danelectro Honeytone amp, or the single-cabinet Blackstar Fly amp, or even a Roland MicroCube.

    The angle that the fold-back monitor is tilted and aimed at you and the eight that it is placed is variable, and needs to be worked out so as to avoid feedback from your microphone(s).

    It's all up to you.

    Lack of proper equipment for the specific application is no reason to condescend and be critical of the audio setup used by someone else for a totally different application.

    Different strokes and all, but rather than keep along a path of failures, maybe one would benefit from keeping an open mind and exploring the proper way that professionals have been doing this for years.

    I can only share what I've been doing and learning from experience from 30 yrs working as a professional in sound reinforcement and as an audio engineer. These are only my opinions, and everyone else is welcome to theirs.

    Ricdoug is on a totally different path than you Anthony, yet you seem to be focused on imposing your way of doing things when his application of using amplification is VERY different from yours.

    Maybe you will be able to see that some day.

    I am not saying your way, or Ricdoug's way is right or wrong, as they can both be 'right', each for a specific and different situation.
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  9. #289
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    Guys. I said in the post that started this flamefest that I didn't want to be too critical of Ric's setup for his purposes. On the grounds that most people searching this thread WOULD be looking for busking amplification I commented that an AC-33 has more than enough power and more power is overkill.

    Part of my motivation for the comments is that in the last few weeks I have seen a couple of other buskers in my area using battery powered rigs that were complete overkill. Its a real phenomena and its only adding to the communities resentment for buskers when they continue to be too loud AND take up a lot of space on footpaths with all their gear. I was also sympathising with the volume issue as I know from personal experience that its very easy to be too loud.

    Again my comments relate to people looking for advice on busking amplification. If your running a battery powered gig where noise limits don't apply then the advice doesn't apply.

  10. #290
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    Anthony, I personally own and perform with both the Roland AC-33 and Bose S1 Pro and do not receive complaints from my audiences on either. I also busk and have for decades. I will be 70 this year. I have been playing and singing for tips ever since I was a child for tips in my guitar case outside of a Piggly Wiggly grocery market in the 1950's.
    Amplification affords me the opportunity to both sing and play softly and save both my vocals and fingertips. There is zero flame in this thread, besides yours. If you and your local buskers lack the ability to both use amplification properly and respect each other's sound zone's, don't place those shortfalls on me. Show me your Bose S1 Pro and we can start a civil conversation on how you dislike it's superior sound quality, which is a fairy tale.

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