Smaller and portable seems to have been one of the favoured design concepts over the last few years. Smaller guitar amps with more power, micro guitar pedals, mini mixers and tiny front of house speakers that still kick. Belcat have jumped on that bandwagon with the Bel-8040A Portable Wireless Amplifier, a possible solution for everything from public speaking to small gigs, to parties, music playback, jamming and rehearsals.
A handy cube shape, the 8040A feels tough in a rugged black casing with a super solid handle. The front grille is a solid steel mesh type that looks like it could cop some stray hits without a worry and the back control panel is covered somewhat by two rounded steel handles. All in all it seems solid yet portable and light enough that anyone could carry it easily enough in one hand – great for gigs, rehearsals, quick load ins, outdoors and more. Adding to the protection and portability factor the whole unit comes in a padded carry bag. Made from a cushy black waterproof material there’s a cutout in the top so the carry handle is accessible, an adjustable shoulder strap and pockets either side for the wireless mic, antenna and power supply.
Marketed as a ‘portable wireless amplifier’, there are a range of possibilities for this little unit. And it’s as easy as sitting it down and switching it on. It also has a recessed speaker slot on the bottom so can be mounted on a speaker stand if that’s your preferred option too. Input-wise you get a combo jack/mic in, along with the onboard wireless mic and an additional aux in for connecting an mp3 player, laptop, or preamp. The control layout then consists of level controls for wireless, mic, aux in, USB/Bluetooth and echo, alongside treble and bass controls and a master volume. As you might have guessed you can also connect your own devices to the 8040A via Bluetooth or utilise the USB input for playback.
The Bel-8040A really excels with its size, portability and flexibility as a wireless amplifier. Whilst there isn’t huge scope in the onboard EQ, it is clean, clear and quite powerful for smaller settings. There is an extra output if you wanted to plug into an extension speaker or additional system for some extra oomph too. The included wireless mic is fine for general use but a discerning vocalist will most likely want to use something of their own. Overall it’s a great and cost effective solution for many music and live sound situations and small enough to carry, pack and store away without too much fuss.
Hits and Misses
Not much in the way of onboard EQ