#1
I need a busking amp but honestly don't know which one to go for. Budget is € 200. I thought about:

-Roland Micro Cube GX
-Roland Mobile Cube
-Vox Boom box mini

I just want one that is pretty loud and has a good sound.
#2
"Pretty loud and has a good sound" needs a slightly higher budget.

Look for a used Stage Mate 400D on eBay. They used to be $499, but are discontinued (Carvin has new units that are similar but far more expensive). They'll show up for $225 - $300 used. 

It's got a true 100W RMS power and runs on a lead-acid  battery that will give you about three hours on a charge. The batteries  are quickly interchangeable, and with a couple of extras, you can run  all night long with this sucker.

Sound quality is outstanding  and surprising -- I've seen these used for years at local universities  and they're all over the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. There's  a small built-in mixer in the back of the main unit, so it's extremely  easy to pack around, and you can put it (and the extension speaker if  you get one) up on standard speaker stands. Great built-in effects,  etc., etc. 
#3
Great. Another guy that thinks he is gonna make hundreds of dollars sitting on a street corner playing guitar riffs. Look, we get this in the Pit all the time. It's not really a good idea. Have you looked into permits? Have you considered that you'll be more of a nuisance to passersby than... the opposite of a nuisance? Can you out-street-perform the guy on the next corner that plays guitar while playing didgeridoo while bouncing on a pogo stick?

It's more responsibile to convince you to either stay home, go to open mics, or get a job than it is to recommend an amp, especially when you don't give any specifics about acoustic vs electric, whether you need distortion, whether you need a mic input (don't sing unless you can throat sing or sing the song from Frozen in Latvian), etc other than that you want something pretty loud (louder translating to more annoying to passers-by than a quieter amp).
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#4



Mission accomplished, y'all!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
They do raise valid points, though.

You do need to be aware of your city's laws regarding busking, including if you need a license and where & when it's permitted. And a cheap amp will likely be more annoying than entertaining, so you might want to slow your roll until you have a bigger budget.

You might even do so by busking with an acoustic guitar, killing 2 birds with 1 stone: if you can raise the extra cash that way, you're probably good enough to justify the expenses incurred going electric.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#6
Playing electric guitar will in most cases go over worse than playing acoustic though. It's not about being "good enough" with an acoustic. The average person on the street just doesn't want to hear you play some Metallica riffs or whatever people like to play on electric guitars. Most electric guitar music is not going to appeal to people. And even with acoustic guitar. People that play guitar are a dime a dozen and so nobody wants to see a guitar player on a street corner unless there is some really neat gimmick like wearing a gorilla suit or playing with your feet or something.

Being successful as a street performer is all about combining talent, familiarity, and novelty. You need at least one of the first two and definitely the last one. Otherwise it just won't be interesting. People like when you play recognizable songs on accordion. People like when you play strange, very fast Russian music on a balalaika. People like when you play sick drum solos on a bunch of buckets. But nobody likes hearing a guitar player singing Taylor Swift or playing Van Halen riffs because they have seen and heard that before.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
I want to talk gear so I'm going to address the original question.  I've done a fair bit of busking over the years and have never found a guitar amp that worked well for it.  What I currently use is an amp modeling pedal/DI box plugged into the auxiliary port of a bluetooth speaker.  The pedal I use is an old Boss Amp factory.  It was discontinued 10 or 15 years ago but it still pops up on ebay and is very inexpensive.  There isn't a specific speaker I like.  I've got a creative movu 20, a riva turbo, a sony srs x55, and vifa Helsinki and they all sound good but they also all have their drawbacks.  The movu gets about 6 hrs battery life, sounds the best for guitar and it's it's the lightest but it is bulky, cheaply made and breaks all the time.  The reva gets about 12 hrs battery life and is much more rugged than the creative but is pretty expensive at £250.  The sony only get about 4hrs battery life but it's relatively cheap, super compact and sounds great as long as you don't push it too hard.  It does start to distort when the volume is up more than half way.  The vifa can be played for a couple days, sounds amazing, and has a convenient leather strap but it's cloth covered and looks like a woman's handbag.  It's also expensive at £300 quid.  I've been told great things about the Bose sounlink mini and Denon envaya mini but haven't actually used them myself.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at Apr 24, 2017,
#8
Quote by theogonia777
Great.  Another guy that thinks he is gonna make hundreds of dollars sitting on a street corner playing guitar riffs.  Look, we get this in the Pit all the time.  It's not really a good idea.  


Not an answer to the question asked. 

I don't know who makes money in the Pit, but here in LA, buskers are everywhere, playing and doing everything. The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is busker heaven, but they're pretty much everywhere. I'm sure there are ordinances and they comply with them, but a walk down Venice Beach will reveal 10 or 20. Harry Perry is a fixture there and has been for years, wearing turbine and burnoose and skates with a (usually) Pignose battery powered amp as he does all the things you say won't work. 





Electrics are everywhere as well, and battery powered amps work great. I have a Pignose Hog 20 that has interchangeable and rechargeable lead-acid batteries. The Stage Mate 400D mentioned above has an available extension speaker and we see those all over LA. That's it, up on the poles. The Stage Mate is on the left, and an available extension speaker is on the right. 






The Batteries for the Pignose amps:


#9
Quote by theogonia777
Can you out-street-perform the guy on the next corner that plays guitar while playing didgeridoo while bouncing on a pogo stick?

Quote by theogonia777
People that play guitar are a dime a dozen and so nobody wants to see a guitar player on a street corner unless there is some really neat gimmick like wearing a gorilla suit or playing with your feet or something.

Being successful as a street performer is all about combining talent, familiarity, and novelty. You need at least one of the first two and definitely the last one.


Quote by dspellman
Harry Perry is a fixture there and has been for years, wearing turbine and burnoose and skates with a (usually) Pignose battery powered amp as he does all the things you say won't work. 





Hmmm... so it's interesting that I say that you're not going to make money busking with guitar without a gimmick. And then you disagree and cite a guy using a gimmick to be successful as proof. Hmmm...
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#10
Quote by theogonia777
Hmmm... so it's interesting that I say that you're not going to make money busking with guitar without a gimmick.  And then you disagree and cite a guy using a gimmick to be successful as proof.  Hmmm...


I wouldn't call much of what Harry does a gimmick. He may not dress like you and he may not stay in one place like you, but he's doing nothing more than playing the guitar. No didgeridoo, no pogo stick and he's not juggling running chain saws (those are done by another couple of buskers). At the same beach, there are 10-15 people sitting on their butts playing guitar with their guitar cases open. They do pretty well all summer (and in southern california, that's like 300 days of the year). Calling what Harry does a "gimmick" is like calling the open guitar case a "gimmick." 

Busking may not work for you.  
But I don't think it's worth while to extend that to say "you're not going to make money busking with guitar without a gimmick." 
Folks do. 
#11
The last busker I encountered here- In D/FW- was playing acoustic outside a Ross store. He played acoustic...and very well. Sang, too.

Before that, it was in NOLA's French Quarter, pre-Katrina. Only a few played electric guitars. Most were bucket drummers or played some kind of brass or woodwind,
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
Just because a few people you've seen can do it doesn't mean anything. There are professional athletes making millions on sports. Just because some people can doesn't mean that everyone can just because they want to. Also not everywhere is a beach in California where people walk around with a bunch of money.

And for the record, Mr I Know Everything, I can make a killing off busking because I don't busking with a guitar. I don't busking though because I have a real job.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#14
Theo calling somebody a know it all.


I dont think anybody appreciates the irony more than me.
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#15
Quote by theogonia777
Great.  Another guy that thinks he is gonna make hundreds of dollars sitting on a street corner playing guitar riffs.  Look, we get this in the Pit all the time.  It's not really a good idea.  Have you looked into permits?  Have you considered that you'll be more of a nuisance to passersby than... the opposite of a nuisance?  Can you out-street-perform the guy on the next corner that plays guitar while playing didgeridoo while bouncing on a pogo stick?  

It's more responsibile to convince you to either stay home, go to open mics, or get a job than it is to recommend an amp, especially when you don't give any specifics about acoustic vs electric, whether you need distortion, whether you need a mic input (don't sing unless you can throat sing or sing the song from Frozen in Latvian), etc other than that you want something pretty loud (louder translating to more annoying to passers-by than a quieter amp).

The original poster simply asked about busking amps. You made this ^^^^^^BS up and then proceeded to blast away. 

And then you said: 

Just because a few people you've seen can do it doesn't mean anything.   There are professional athletes making millions on sports.  Just because  some people can doesn't mean that everyone can just because they want  to.  Also not everywhere is a beach in California where people walk  around with a bunch of money.

...because you settled for a "real job" (we used to call a J.O.B. Just Over Broke). When you get laid off, give us a call and explain about your "real job" would ya? 
In any case, nothing in the OP's post said anything about thinking he's gonna make hundreds of dollars. Nothing. For all you know, he's doing it because he can spend a warm sunny day playing his guitar, having fun and meeting people. Whole lotta people play instruments without aspirations of making big bucks doing it. It's a hobby, it's casual money sometimes, it's relaxation, it's food for the soul.  Why do YOU play? Or do you?
#16
dspellman

You have a point- when I play in public, it is for myself. I turn down would-be cash-tossers because I consider what I'm doing practice, not busking.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
Quote by dannyalcatraz
dspellman

You have a point- when I play in public, it is for myself.  I turn down would-be cash-tossers because I consider what I'm doing practice, not busking.



I NEVER turn down cash tossers. Doesn't matter *what* I'm doing at the time. 
#18
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Theo calling somebody a know it all.


I dont think anybody appreciates the irony more than me.


I do I do!
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Last edited by Evilnine at May 9, 2017,
#19
Wow, theogonia777, that is some mater-level hijacking. Someone call Wesley Snipes or Nicholas Cage.

Some important questions for OP:
1) What kind of music do you play?
2) Are you going to have access to AC power, or do you need a battery-powered amp?
Death to Ovation haters!
#20
I had this same question, but I need one that's gonna pick up me fingerpicking. Typically, I pick pretty quietly, and if i'm out busking I want to be able to outplay the cars going by. Most of my music is folk music if that helps anyone. 
#Acoustic Life
#21
just make love with your eyes and touch with your voice
the rest is no problem 
27mMoV31II7.a2
#22
Quote by dspellman
For all you know, he's doing it because he can spend a warm sunny day playing his guitar, having fun and meeting people. Whole lotta people play instruments without aspirations of making big bucks doing it. It's a hobby, it's casual money sometimes, it's relaxation, it's food for the soul.

That is why I go busking.  Around Christmas I make pretty good money at it but I hate busking that time of year.  In the summer I don't make enough to cover petrol but that is when it is fun.
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#24
There are a bunch of buskers around where I go to uni in Sydney, and we have this one guy who basically jams over blues tracks and makes more than just about every acoustic guitarist in the same area. He uses one of those mini THR Yamaha amps and actually gets a pretty great sound for blues, and just plugs his laptop in the aux of it. If you're playing electric I'd check out some of those.
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#26
Depending on what you do for a living or your music career, making a purchase on an amp for busking can be worth it. If you're good and entertaining, you can make money doing it. You wont pay for an apartment in California, but you'll definitely pick up some change. Especially somewhere like Santa Monica, San Francisco, lots of places. Know the laws, get your permits, and follow all instructions by people with a badge.

Don't let people on the internet discourage you.

DO invest in some sort of amplification if you are in a high traffic area like Santa Monica. You just can't compete with the volume and noise around you.

These rolands are cool, http://www.guitarcenter.com/Roland/Cube-Street-EX-Battery-Powered-Stereo-Guitar-Amplifier-1393862859726.gc?pdpSearchTerm=roland%20cube

Pretty expensive, but I know that my band bought a cheaper one and used it for solo stuff. Good for one person, hard for 3 vocals, 2 guitars and a cajon.
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