Zzounds.com $149, shipping included. Needed a battery-powered portable PA for busking.
This little two-way amp comes with 4 inputs: one XLR for a mic, a HiZ input for electric guitar, and two RCA jacks for tape or CD source. It's much louder and cleaner than I expected from a trapazoid about the size of a big bread box. The 8" speaker and piezo tweeter give plenty of punch, and if you mess with the 4-band EQ you can get a respectable bass end for acoustic type sounds.
It's powered by a lead acid battery, lasting 6-8 hours or so. And takes about that long to charge if you drain it very low. I haven't used it up in a session yet. It comes with a wall wart adapter/charger so you can plug it in to save on the battery.
In use it's pretty darn amazing. To test it Dad and I fired it up in his back yard and he played harmonica while wailed on my new Boca 12-string. Neighbors were amazed and only left when we tried to pass a hat.
The first one came with a bad battery. Poor QC? or was the box dropped in shipment revealing the lead acid battery may be liable to cracking? But Zzounds sent a new one to me 2-day air, no extra charge. And it's perfect.
Like all such units, it's very feedback prone with a mic attached.
Well built, compactbox, sturdy grill in front. Standard black Tolex-covered chipboard. Knobs and pots have a quality feel. The connectors seem better than average. About 20 lbs.
For $150 it rips the pants off a $180 Fender Can. Mic, guitar, and a pair of RCA inputs make this a versatile, loud, clean sounding porta-PA for the high tech busker. The 4-band EQ helps with the tendency to feedback. The lead acid battery lasts 6+ hours. Crate's TX15 Taxi is their low end 15-watt unit. If you need DSP effects (reverb, guitar effects, etc.) check out their $349 Limo version.
This is a transistor amp for any on-the-go musician. It delivers 15W of power and is driven by a large 'car battery' which or course can be recharged. A full charge can last up to 8 hours (plenty enough for most applications).
You can connect two instruments (one XLR/Jack combination and one just Jack) and have one EQ section (hi/mid/lo) controlling both. There is also an RCA in and a headphone out...that's it. There are not effects or effect loops - this unit was designed to be as simple as possible.
The Taxi is basically plug-and-play. You don't really need a manual. You get a clear and loud sound right away - any sound tweaking should be done with outboard equipment though. The built in EQ ist good for last minute adjustments but really is not of very high quality.
The unit is quite heavy - but on the other hand you get up to eight hours of independence.
This amp does not really sound good and it is not the intention of this piece of equipment. It sounds decent enough though and most importantly: it is loud! I was quite amazed at the volume that came out of this little box. I know now why this has been a staple for street musicians. When you stand outside it is not important if the highs are breathy or the lows are tight - it mainly matters that you are heard over all the other noises surrounding you. Most players add a bit of delay to make the signal less dry.
This amplifier has really been holding its own ground mainly because it can deliver a loud signal for quite a long time without having to plug into a power outlet. If you want more power get the TX30. I think Roland just put out a new version of their cube series - I don't know how well they do compared to the Taxi though. I also don't know if this amp should be any bigger or heavier for it to be still portable. If you are a travelling street musician this might already be too much - maybe someday they will develop lighter batteries.
The Taxi 15 really is not very expensive though and is built to last. So if you need a setup that needs to be independet of a power supply and still need to stay within a certain budget this might be an interesting solution.
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thorpedo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)