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If you are in a hurry and want to just know what the best busking amp is, then I strongly recommend the Roland Cube Battery Powered Amplifier.
The other day, I was walking along my street when I noticed this guy at the local mall playing his guitar and performing live.
And this got me thinking…
I had heard about guys busking and performing live on the streets for money
But this was actually the first time I got to witness someone actually doing it.
A real live guy busking with just his guitar, some battery powered amps and his microphone.
So i thought to myself… all this gear and what is the best busking amp to use for a performance like this.
In this article, we will be looking at the top 5 amps for busking, what busking is and how to get started and some things you need to consider before purchasing an amp for your next street performance.
These are the top 3 Best Busking Amps for 2019
1. Roland CUBE Battery Powered Amplifier [Click to check current price on Amazon.] - Editor's choice. It is battery powered, very portable and has nice positive reviews on its Amazon.com listing
2. Vox Soundbox Guitar Amplifier Speaker [Click to check current price on Amazon.] - This is very portable. It fits in a briefcase and runs on batteries
3. Samson Expedition XP106w Amplifier [Click to check current price on Amazon.]- This is an all in one lightweight and very portable PA system that is ideal for busking.
What is busking?
Simply put, busking is the act of performing in public places or streets for money and gratuities.
There are a couple of reasons why people do it but the major one is that it is a way to make money with your guitar skills.
In most countries, people usually support street performers by giving them money, food, drinks and gifts.
Busking is practiced all over the world by men and women and people who engage in this are called buskers.
The simplest way to get started with busking is to get good gears and just start playing
You may need to get permission to play in front of a store or shop, but apart from that there should be no problems.
As long as you have your gear and equipment, then you are good to go. Here are some things to note
- Make sure you have a setlist of well known songs to play for your audience. In as much as your audience is probably going to spend a few minutes listening to you, you want to make sure that you capture their attention with popular songs
- Make sure you pick a nice location. Picking a nice spot that has the right mix of traffic and passers by will give you a higher chance of people noticing you and listening to your songs.
- Always dress to impress and make a statement. Although your performance will go a long way in attracting people to you, the way you dress will also play a huge role
- Make sure you carry along a guitar case for advertising and also for collecting tips
- Finally have fun. This will ensure that you attract the right kind of people and put out positive vibes
Things to consider before you buy a busking amp
1. Is it battery powered?
This is probably the most important thing you need to consider before you buy an amp for busking.
Simply because you want something that can be powered by battery.
This will save you the stress of constantly looking for a power outlet or logging a generator around.
So the first thing you need to consider is that, whatever amp you get should be battery powered and will last for a long time.
2. It should be portable and durable.
This second point is a little related to the one mentioned above.
Basically you want something that is not too heavy and can be easily moved about.
You are definitely not going to be stuck in one place when performing. As such you need something that is portable.
Also you want something that is durable and can withstand all the battering that comes with street performance.
A high grade quality amp should be able to serve you for a long time without packing up.
3. What is the wattage?
This has to do with power output and how loud it is.
Remember that you are performing outside and you want your audience to hear you clearly.
You definitely want an amp that has enough power and wattage so you can be heard by your audience.
The best way to check for this is to look at the product and check the instruction manual that comes with it.
Our Top 5 Best Busking Amp
1. Roland CUBE Battery Powered Amplifier
This is a personal favourite of mine and is one of the most common busking amps out there.
It has a 50W output and can also be powered by batteries making it very easy and comfortable to use anywhere.
It comes with 2 by 8 inches speakers and 2 by 2 tweeters that helps to add that razz to your songs when playing.
It has four independent channels that allows you to plug up to 4 other equipment as possible. Things such as your mic, guitar and audio devices can be easily hooked up to it.
It has a natural angled back which you can effectively use as a stage monitor.
It is very lightweight and comes with a simple ergonomic handle that makes it very easy to move around.
2. Vox Soundbox Guitar Amplifier Speaker
This is a very small and portable amplifier system that packs as much punch as some of the big boys out there.
This makes it very ideal and suitable for busking
It comes with its proprietary guitar VOX amp signature packed into a very compact and portable box.
It has an input section that supports a variety of instruments such as keyboards, bass and electric guitars.
It has a center cancel function which is in the AUX IN input which helps to control the sound quality entering the box.
It can be powered by using six AA batteries which can run for at least 5 hours.
3. Samson Expedition XP106w Amplifier
This is a portable and battery powered amplifier that can be used for busking as well as a PA system.
It has a 2 way speaker enclosure and 6 inches subwoofer that makes the sound quality very crisp and clear.
It is very light with a class D amp that produces 100watts of power when used.
It comes with a lot of connection inputs to help you easily hook up other equipments and start your performance.
It comes with a USB wireless microphone
It uses rechargeable batteries that can last up to 20 hours when fully charged.
It has bluetooth connectivity options that allows you to easily stream music wirelessly.
4. Peavey Solo Portable Amplifier
This is a compact and very portable amp that gives crystal clear sound signals
It can be run using both AC and batteries giving you lots of options for use.
It is very light in weight which makes it ideal for use as you move around a lot
It can also serve as a ready made PA system which makes it easy to get quality sounds at all time.
It comes with a top notch quality cable that can be used to connect your guitar to the amp.
5. Fishman Loudbox Amplifier
Made by the trusted Fishman brand, this is one amplifier that is dedicated to making sure you get the best sound quality as possible.
It has two channels that accept both mics and other music equipment
Its channels come fitted with a 3 band EQ that gives you control over how your audio sounds.
It is very light and portable making it easy to use in different locations
It has 120 watts of clean and very crisp sounds that gives you enough power for both outdoors and indoors use.
It comes with a lot of digital effects such as Reverb, Delay, Chorus and Flanger which helps add some extra spice to how your music sounds
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many watts are needed for busking?
For wattage you will need between 40 to 60 watts.
Whenever you setup to busk, especially on busy crowded streets you are going to get a lot of background noise
It's just the way it is
So make sure you take that into consideration before you make any purchase.
2. Why is busking good for a new musician?
- It helps you fill the cracks in your performance schedule or supplement your earnings when you don't have gigs setup
- It gives you the opportunity to test out different things before you settle on a format that works
- It is a great way to get experience as a musician
- It teaches you a lot about what people like and how to get their attention
- It teaches you how to memorize music and play from memory
- It will help you find new fans and build your fan base as a new musician.
3. How much is a busking licence?
Depending on your location, before you start busking you need to get a licence.
If you are in the UK, where busking is pretty legal and fun, here is an article that tells you how much you need to pay.
4. Is busking illegal?
It is not illegal to busk in the UK.
But there are some considerations. Here are some of them
- You need to be 18 years and above to busk in most places
- Your material needs to be family appropriate as you never know who is going to be listening to your songs
- You need to find out about the laws regarding amplification and volume before busking. Some localities will allow you to use small amps while others won't. Do your due diligence.
- Find out if you can sell merchandise and accessories while busking as this will also help increase your revenue.
- You might also need to check in with the authorities by phone in some areas.
5. How much can you earn busking?
To answer this question, I will say it depends on a couple of factors
First it depends on your location and the activity around that location.
A busy spot with lots of people going about will definitely earn you more money than an isolated place with no street traffic.
Also your performance plays a huge role. If you play songs people genuinely like, then you earn more
All in all, I will say you can earn 200 to 500 bucks per days busking.
Busking is a fun activity that a lot of people are getting into. The main thing is to have the right gear and this includes getting a good amp for your guitar.
If you have any tips and advice, leave them in the box below
All images sourced from Amazon.com