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MGR/Kevin Alan Mattson MGR/Kevin Alan Mattson

« Crate TX15 Taxi Battery Pwd Amp »

Published on 07/01/04 at 15:00
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 review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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