Reviewed: Strauss Street Box Busker Amplifier

Jade Australia | jadeaustralia.com.au | Expect To Pay: $499

Back on the scene for the last few years, Strauss have released a range of heads and combos, mostly in classic low wattage valve type configurations, resurrecting a part of Australian music heritage. Branching off to cater for some additional musical situations, they have recently announced the arrival of the Street Box rechargeable busker amp. With portability in mind, this little fella could be a grab and go for outdoor work or interesting logistical setups where power and typical arrangements aren’t possible.

The Street Box is a rechargeable 15 watt amp with inputs for guitar, mix and auxiliary devices. The mic section has controls for volume, tone and echo whilst the guitar input is serviced by a three-band EQ (treble, middle, bass), gain, volume and effects section (with delay, reverb, flanger, phaser, chorus and tremolo). Furthermore, there are eight amp simulations ranging from acoustic to clean to heavier overdrive tones. The aux in has a separate level control alongside a bass boost function and a five mode preset EQ setting. Speaker-wise the SB runs two 5.25” drivers with the cab having a slight wedge design to it, meaning you can tilt it back for some extra spread. The overall package is fairly lightweight and manageable, making it an easy solution to carry into gigs and sit on the back seat of the car.

 

With a hefty amount of tone tweaking available, you can treat your guitar input straight up like an amp, with basic EQ’ing and some ‘verb. The amp simulations add some warmth and character, which are a nice addition for a solid state unit that some will think lacks the warmth and body of valves. I found the effects to be usable and not too crazy, with the premise that you’d typically keep things simple rather than using flanger and delay all the time, for example. Running both a mic and guitar pushes the Street Box a little, but there’s enough clean headroom to get a vibe going and of course this isn’t intended as a be-all monster live system. Having said that, you can easily get a working performance sound, and the portability factor really lets you make it work by sitting it on the ground, up on a stand or angled to best suit.

 

A handy portable unit, the Street Box offers quite a bit for not a lot of cash. Small busking gigs, outdoor sound reinforcement, MC duties, acoustic guitar and backing track gigs – the list goes on. I’d be interested to see the full battery life of the Street Box, but the rechargeable factor is a big tick for outdoor busking/moving musicians. Full of tweaking possibilities, this Strauss is worth a listen if you’re in the market for a battery powered, portable amp.

Hits and Misses

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Rechargeable battery

Portability and convenient scale

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Lacks the warmth of valve amps

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