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Amplifiers & Speakers:
TVM50 Battery Powered Musical Instrument Amplifier
Shipping Cost: Starts at $34.00 to most East Coast destinations
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My Fingers Hurt.
Sometimes you get a call to play an outdoor gig. Maybe it's a bluegrass festival, or a wedding cocktail hour, or a campground job. "Sure," you say, "that sounds like fun!"
"Oh, and by the way, we don't have electricity available for the band."
What this usually means for double bassists is playing extra hard -- and the resulting blistered fingers. (Ouch.) So I've been asked by customers over the years if I knew of a battery-powered amp that would work for bass. Unfortunately, these are very rare birds; the extra "oomph" required to drive the large waveforms of bass notes means you need lots more wattage -- and more wattage means you need more robust battery power than you can usually squeeze into a "portable" amp. So the amp would either be very low-powered, impractically large and heavy, or have too few minutes of playing time. ("Wait, you want it battery powered, portable, AND loud? I'll tell you what: Pick TWO.")
So -- going into this with open eyes -- realize that you're not going to find the equivalent of a 4x10 head and amp that can run on batteries. You're just not. But, I've found an option -- for reinforcement, anyway -- that actually works pretty well.
What do I mean by "reinforcement?" Have you played a gig where the band is acoustic (maybe even with drums), but maybe because it's a bigger group, the bass usually gets "lost in the sauce?" The one where everyone wishes you could just play just a bit louder? This is a perfect setting for an amp like this.
Or, maybe your bass is generally loud enough when you practice in the guitar player's basement, inside -- but the bass "disappears" when you go outside, because there are no walls to "contain" the bass frequencies? An amp like this could be your answer to getting heard outside.
So, Gimme Some Details.
The TVM50 from Traynor is a self-contained "combo amplifier" unit; multiple input options, one with with full EQ and impedance switch, and a powered 1x10 speaker cabinet. It can be positioned in several different configurations; on the floor as an angled monitor, upright for typical amp orientation, or even mounted up high on a speaker pole (it has a built-in cup for this purpose).
Now, it's not specifically designed as a "bass amp" -- it's a full-range speaker designed for use as a battery-powered miniature "PA." So, conveniently, it has several channels and inputs, which are primarily used for:
- Microphone/Instrument: Combi-connector accepts either XLR or 1/4" input, for low or high impedance microphones. A simple "tone" control allows for a little tweaking of the sound.
- Instrument Input: 1/4" jack for many different instruments, even a mic. Switchable impedance (high/low) and a three-band EQ are featured on this input.
- AUX Input: A pair of RCA jacks are there for hooking up the output of a CD player, MP3 player, tape deck, etc. This is a line-level input and has no controls (use the controls on the device you're plugging in to control the overall volume.)
The amp has an internal battery, which must be charged prior to use (a full charge can take up to a full 24 hours with the included charger plug).
Important Note: It's ONLY designed to be run on batteries -- the power adapter will not power the amp for regular playing.
The amp is said to achieve runtimes as follows:
With numbers like that, if used as a bass amp, I'd expect that it could easily handle at least 4-5 hours of pretty constant jamming, probably more. When we first got one in, we played bass for over an hour with no change in sound or volume -- and plugged in an MP3 player with full range music, and had it going steady and loud for several hours. (This thing does work very well for playing music in-between sets - clear with good volume, all on batteries!)
- 15 hours of speech only (as public address system)
- 10 hours of music playback (full-range music)
- up to 25 hours of on-time at idle
What About Using It With My EUB?
Sure, it would also provide the ability to play a small-bodied or solid-bodied instrument with an acoustic group -- something with very low acoustic output, like an Eminence bass, Kala U-Bass or Gold Tone M-Bass, or an acoustic bass guitar. Even a solid-body, like the NS Design or Dean Pace Contra EUB, could get involved in an acoustic jam, thanks to the TVM50! It should provide you the ability to get up to (at least) the levels required to jam with other acoustic instruments, even when your bass, acoustically, can't do that.
Okay, But How Does It SOUND?
Not bad at all! I plugged the Czech-Ease bass directly into it with no preamp, and got perfectly functional sound from it. Does it sound like an Acoustic Image combo? Of course not. Using a battery-powered external preamp provides improved gain structure, impedance buffering, and EQ control, so I'd strongly suggest using one (you should probably already have one anyway) as you'll get better sound quality and a little more volume when using one. Same goes for my Eminence; sounded just fine. The Gold Tone M-Bass, which has a built-in preamp, sounded great right out of the gate -- and so did my personal Luna acoustic bass guitar (same deal on the onboard preamp).
As for volume, let's be honest: a 1x10 speaker with 50w behind it certainly has practical limitations. You're not going to blow anyone's hair back with this thing, at least not playing bass through it. I consider this, as I stated above, to be a reinforcement amp -- a means for supplementing the acoustic volume of your instrument. Its bass response is decent for such a small, portable cabinet, but you're not going to shake the walls with this amp. But at least you'll be heard!
- 50 Watts Output Power
- 10-inch Woofer with 2-inch Tweeter
- Battery Powered (Rechargeable Battery & Charger Included)
- Channel One XLR / TRS Combi-Jack Input For Quick Connection to Any Microphone
- Sweepable Tone Control on Microphone Input (Channel One)
- Channel Two 1/4-Inch Instrument Level Line Input
- 3-band EQ on Instrument Channel with Input Gain Control (Channel Two)
- Additional RCA Auxiliary CD Or MP3 Player Input
- Headphone Jack
- Convenient Wedge Monitor Shape
- Integrated Speaker Stand Adaptor
Note to International Customers:
The Charger included with the Traynor TVM50 is designed and configured for use in the USA and Canada (110-120v mains power). We cannot advise you on the sourcing of an alternate adapter, or the use of this product outside the USA and Canada.
Is this product returnable? Click here for our return policy.
Is there a Factory Warranty? Click here to find Warranty Information for all of our manufacturers.
International customer? Click here for important information about ordering from outside the USA, and what to expect concerning taxes, VAT, delivery times, and more.
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