The Pignose is probably one of the most famous and oldest battery powered amps and is still currently being manufactured and sold.
The Pignose has been used as not only a practice amp but also for performing and studio recording.
It’s small size coupled with the portability of battery power makes it the ideal amp for practicing at low volumes.
The amplifier uses a 5 watt circuit and is powered by 6 AA batteries or an optional 9 Volt adapter. The amplifier utilizes a 5 inch speaker and weighs in at about 5 Pounds.
Here is a Vintage “Pygmy” Amplifier. This was built from a kit that was sold by PAiA in the early 80’s that was very similar in looks to the classic Pignose Amplifier.
The pygmy had a very unique feature. You could add a a accessory that turned the Pygmy into a “talk box”. You placed a plastic cover over the speaker bezel on the amplifier that had a small hole where you connected a flexible plastic tube that carried the sound from the speaker to a microphone. You would then use your mouth to produce wah wah effects made famous by artist such as Peter Frampton or Joe Walsh.
The big difference between this amp and the Pignose is the circuit being used. The PAiA Pygmy used a LM380 Integrated circuit where the Pignose used a Transistor circuit that incorporated a push-pull configuration in the power amp that utilized two transformers.