Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion 12 volt pro audio systems

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    does any one know of 12 volt or low energy pro audio gear?

    I am looking to set up a mobile studio and trying to find info on monitor speakers and mixers that can run off 12 volts or at least be energy efficient.


    BTW I live in the UK (South West England)


    In a sense this is a contradition in terms. 12V and professional quality audio gear.

    Like everything else product development is driven by market demands. There simply are not enough people living off-grid who also demand professionalaudio gear. Even high end car audio gear is nowhere near the quality of professional equipment.

    I once had to design for and install Sony sound equipment in an RV bus intended for corporate display. Sony decided to do a road show displaying their equipment. Got $50,000 to spend? That is what it cost a decade ago.

    However it was anything but low energy. Yes it can be done but it will not be cheap nor will it be off the shelf. Mind you it may depend on how professional quality is defined. When I worked for the power utility company a client with a recording studio complained about poor quality utility power affecting his recording work.


    We have an automotive system, JVC tuner with 6 CD changer,boosted fm antenna,1000 watt amp,EQ and JBL speakers. All mounted in an old shaker style cabnet.

    Hillbilly home entertainment.

    All works from 12 volt. And we rock our hollow. Ha


    I have a Phonic 100 watt powered mixer on 2-10″ + horn cabs running off a 12VDC 4-L16 battery bank to a ProSine 1000 Inverter. It is all charged by 366 watts of solar panels, and will run up to 900 watts into other amps/equipment. I use a Zoom H2 stereo recorder which is very low power use.


    If your loads are small, consider using a good pure sine wave inverter. The current demands will work out about the same and you can use good equipment.

    I attempted to convert a mixer to operate on D.C. but the internal power supply was complicated. It had positive and negative voltages coming from the main A.C. supply. I could have done it but it would have been costly!


    Something to keep in mind when running directly from batteries. The actual supply voltage will vary from a peak charging voltage to a minimum of a discharged battery. This variation can be plus / minus 25% so be sure your equipment will tolerate such a variation. Much of the automotive 12VDC equipment is designed to work on a nominal 13.6V supply. Variations much above or below this point may result in undesirable performance.


    Most studio gear such as mixers seem to run on quite low voltage nowadays. I have an 8 track mixer that plugs in through a transformer for example. You could probably look at some technical specs of some gear disect and bypass the electrics or something.. you can also get battery powered cheaper mixers.

    As for speakers, I’d suggest a good quality pair of headphones first, then get some top quality monitor speakers and basically switch between them to save power or settle for something like Alesis M1 Active 320 USB which perhaps compromises reproduction quality and volume for less electricity.

    I’m planning on building a small music studio based on a 12volt battery/solar power setup in the near future so let me know how you’re going on


    I never understand why people post things like “its not possible”, as if they know all there is to know. That’s the beauty of the internet, you’re always going to find someone who knows something about the topic. Or, at worst, you’ll get silence. But people saying “not possible” just doesn’t make sense to me, its as if they’re saying they know all there is to know about something.

    Anyway, I just went through some similar research with record players. Lots of good equipment either uses external 12 volt power supplies, which is pretty obvious, but less obviously it converts the AC signal to 12 volt DC inside. Here’s the thread, pretty interesting:

    If you post to a pro audio group, or to a forum that deals with whatever bit of hardware you’re interested in, maybe you can find similar equipment for your needs.

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