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Old 02-12-2013, 01:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Above Amsterdam
Originally Posted by Calaverasgrande View Post
The 2nd kind of gig is the backyard, campout or picnic event. It is invariably some buddies generator that was borrowed. We used to do a lot of gigs with one we bought at Kragen Autoparts! (remember Kragen?).
When I've done those kinds of gigs the power cables were always bs. Ground pins broken off. Duct taped spliced etc.
I've never seen anyone using one of those even attempt to make a ground connection, or even check the gas before they start!
Do you have a life-insurance?
The Ibanez Club #951, Dutch Bassists Club #23, SJSS Club #101 - 2x10 with coaxial mid/high driver, Bugera BVP5500
Old 02-12-2013, 02:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: UK
Lots of good advice already. Especially regarding the use of a good voltage regulator and a ground spike. I have been running my studio on solar and generator power for years as it's on a boat. The only problems I have had have been with a computer going into an endless cycle or rebooting which turned out to be due to a cheap generator putting out lower voltage as it got old and tired. This low output hadn't been noticable with any of my amplifiers or other gear though. If the generator is rated at an high enough output in watts or kva then there should be no problem with sagging as one poster suffered. As other poster have pointed out, a lot depends on the generator. We have uprgaded from a 500watt 2 stroke and basic gennie to a pure sine wave output 1kva Kipor model. This is pretty much a copy of the excellent but expensive Honda and the output from this is cleaner than most mains supplies. Mains voltages can be varied from venue to venue which is why some valve amp users (I'm thinking of Sheryl Crows guitarist) use variacs to guarantee a consistent voltage from gig to gig.
I would summarise by saying that I would avoid using valve amps on suspect supplies and be aware that some digital gear may behave unpredictably unless the output is a steady and clean. Just make sure that it's a decent generator preferably with a sine wave output. If you are using an inverter make sure it has a pure sign output as a modified sine will cause you gear to buzz and hum like a sack full of wasps.
Old 02-12-2013, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: East Oakland, California
Originally Posted by Hobobob View Post
You must tell me where this is...
Indian Valley Reservoir, Lake County. About 45 miles from Santa Rosa CA.
Stingray club #90, Sterling club #90, EBMM club #102. Ovation Magnum club #1, Big Cabs Club #179, Synth Pedals club #41
Old 03-25-2013, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lake Worth, Fl
At two recent outdoor festival gigs (different events) where a large refrigerator size generator was being used to power the stage/lighting/DJ, etc., my bass sound seemed to fart out when playing only the low B string notes. My amp volume was only slightly higher than what I set for club gigs. No problem on club gigs with bass sound. Bad power?
Old 03-25-2013, 05:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brookfield, CT
Originally Posted by Munjibunga View Post
Yes, there were proto-humans in the Pleistocene. Jimmy pre-dates those.
: D
Originally Posted by Bassist4Eris View Post
My reggae skills are rudimentary enough that I just play whatever the original guy played. :)
Old 03-25-2013, 07:33 PM
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Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eastern, PA USA
Basically all of the AC power that you connect to comes from a generator somewhere. As Bob Lee repeatedly ponted out, if that generator is only connected to the equipment you are using, there will be no noise on it from all of the other equipment connected to the grid, like arc welders, elevators, refrigeration and HVAC equipment.

There is no need for a "power conditioner" which is usually no more than a fancy box with some MOV's in it to take high voltage spikes to ground.

Of course it's important to size the generator to the anticipated load. I dont think that the load was mentioned in the OP. It is also important to make sure that you have a proper ground, and that all wiring is properly sized for the connected load.

If you are just running the back line, the suggestion for a Honda EU series inverter generator was a good one. They have a well regulated and frequency stable output as well as a decent protection scheme that cleanly shuts off the connected load without sagging in the event of an overload (of course if it's sized correctly this won't happen).

If its a larger production with lights, etc, then a towable 25kw or larger is the way to go.
For loads in between, I would suggest multiple inverters rather than the typical contractor style units that populate the 6-12kw range primarily for noise, but the protection, voltage and frequency regulation are better in the inverters as well.
At any rate I agree with Bob, there is nothing wrong with using the correct generator, and your gear will be seeing "cleaner" power than it would see in most bars.

Last edited by popgadget : 03-25-2013 at 07:38 PM.
Old 03-26-2013, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: East Oakland, California
I bet half the issue people see with playing off of generators are that the generator isn grounded, and even if it is, most of the 20, 30 and 50' extension cables folks have lying around have been "de grounded" by some idiot at some point in time.
I fired a guy for doing that once. It's called safety ground for a reason.
Stingray club #90, Sterling club #90, EBMM club #102. Ovation Magnum club #1, Big Cabs Club #179, Synth Pedals club #41
Old 03-26-2013, 03:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC vicinity
Originally Posted by DWBass View Post
Generators scare me. Played through a few in my lifetime and they have all 'sagged' at one time or another causing power drops and sound cutouts. Me no likey especially when I'm using my own gear. If backline is supplied.....I don't care.
I had the same situation at a gig in a large outdoor tent. The whole band was plugged into a single generator. The analog amps worked fine, but the keyboards wouldn't boot up or stay booted up. I walked over to the generator, which had a voltage adjuster/indicator on it and saw that the thing was stuck between 95 - 100 volts. When you tried to move it to a higher voltage, it would just drop back. So I went over to a guest table, grabbed a cork from a wine bottle, and wedged it in to hold the adjustment lever in place. We were fine for the rest of the gig.


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