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So whats the deal with live shows today?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by WavyGravy, Jan 30, 2013.


  1. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    So I've been playing for around 5 years now, and all I've ever owned was a little practice amp. I'm planning to buy a nice amp ATM because I'm planning to start gigging with some bands soon, and I've just began to wonder. Do all small to modest sized venues have P.A systems to plug into nowadays? Because I'd rather buy a nice little bass and cab and plug into the PA then dish out serious money into a huge 2000W rig.

    So hypothetically, I buy a chill little head and comb o of 200 watts and use it to gig by just plugging it into the PA system of the venue. What are the flaws/misconseptions/errors here?


    Correct me on anything I've said, i'm super new to this subject and have only a fundamental understanding of how P.A's and amps work.
     
  2. will33

    will33

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    Consulting fellow New Yorker's is probably your best bet in this case. I would think in a city like that with lots of mass transit, a lot of population regularly getting around without cars, etc., it would be common for most clubs to have installed PA systems capable of carrying bass. In that case, a little rig like you describe may be a good idea. You'd need enough for your band to hear you on stage only, don't have to carry the room and need something small enough to take on a subway/bus, etc.

    In other parts of the country, especially outside of big cities, it's a lot more common for bars to have no built-in PA at all, or maybe something small that isn't capable of doing justice to a bass. In those cases, a bit larger rig that can match volume with a drumkit and carry a room of up to 80-100 people is needed.
     
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    First, what style of music do you play/intend to play? Most venues will NOT have a PA for your band to use. You need to buy a modest rig with multiple cabs. This way, when playing smaller venues, you bring just one cab. Larger venues, bring both. Amp will have to be a minimum of 500w. I grew up in NY and played all over NYC for many years. Came across a few spots that had a PA but not many.

    Just my opinion.
     
  4. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Palm Coast, Florida
    Depends on YOUR area.............

    Where I am in Florida, bar/club gigs provide NOTHING.

    Band is expected to provide everything down to the lights.
     
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  6. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    New combos on the market are very capable. Whether a PA is supplied depends on your area. Around here we either get a vocal PA for the small venue or pack ours unless it is a large event. In reality I could do just fine with something like a G-K MB115 (200 watts single 15"). We don't drive customers out the door with excessive loudness though?
     
  7. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

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    Understandable. So if I were to buy two cabs, what size would you recommend them to be?
     
  8. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Some would have you believe that every venue on earth has a killer PA with bass friendly monitors. That is not the case at all IME. It will really depend on where you are playing, 99% of my gigs I carry the room with my rig.

    The way I look at it is this: If I play a room that has great PA support I can turn my rig down or just grab a DI pedal. If the room doesnt have good/any PA support for me my rig will work out. I would rather plan on supporting my own sound and be surprised when I DONT have to, than plan on every venue I might step in to to have that same support.
     
  9. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

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    Small to medium venues may or may not have a PA - it's more likely than not, but by no means a sure thing - but beyond that there's the question of whether it's a PA that's actually useful for bass reinforcement. My recent experience has been that I've been able to actually use FOH in bars/clubs maybe 1/3 of the time. And stage monitors for the band are far more rare. My attitude is that I need enough volume out of my amp to act as a stage monitor, and be heard in an appropriate balance on-stage with the drummer. That's actually quite loud enough for most small-medium venues in any case. If the place is big enough to need more power, the chances are that there's a house PA for reinforcement.

    You could get away with a 200W combo with an XLR line out jack - I've gotten away with playing mid-sized clubs with less - but it's a little marginal. You're right about not needing 2000W - or even, really, 500W - but as a minimum I'd suggest something like a 250-350W head and a pair of 1x12 or 2x10 speaker cabinets that you can stack up. If you start with just one cabinet, scrounge a stool or something you can stack it on to get it off the floor. Getting some height really helps dispersion and effectiveness for monitoring on stage.
     
  10. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    I would go with two matching 115's.
     
  11. will33

    will33

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    Hmm.....I would've thought more would be provided given the logistics of it all. Around here, many clubs in the city have provided sound systems, but when you get away from town, there are many places where if we don't bring it, it isn't there, so, I have a modest PA system capable of playing to 100-200 in addition to my bass rig. For now, that's as big as our little band's gigs get.
     
  12. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

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    I'm really liking all of these replies, you guys are too awesome. Thanks.

    So I'm thinking right now I could go for a 500W head for a little head room (referring to Sid Fangs post) and a pair of cabs. How much wattage and ohms should the cabs have?
     
  13. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    I think the sweet spot is 500 watts or so and two 115's.
     
  14. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

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    So if I were to buy a 500 watt head, do the two cabs need to be 250 each or 500 each? I read the sticky plenty of times, but I'm still a bit iffy on this whole thing.
     
  15. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    They dont need to have any specific power rating. Those ratings dont mean d!ck anyways. Go find a head that does what you want, then go find a cab that gives you the sound you want with your bass and that amp. Then get two of those cabs, and stack em up vertically.
     
  16. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Wattage doesn't really matter for the cabs. I wouldn't really worry about it.

    Ohms would depend on the amp. If it's a 4 ohm capable amp like most are, you'd want two 8 ohm cabs.
     
  17. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

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    Well I'm just plenty paranoid because I'm not really looking to buy an expensive amplifier and then have it blow out on me because I'm a f**king idiot and didn't do everything right, you know? :p
     
  18. thedudebrah

    thedudebrah Supporting Member

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    I played a 200 watt head out last weekend with no PA support and it was plenty loud. My .02.
     
  19. JoeVictim

    JoeVictim

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    http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/MB1515

    Something like this should help you save a few pennies.

    Only 30 lbs on the combo and a few more on the extension... might be a little bit light in the volume area though... just read you might need 500 watts?
     
  20. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'll def. look into Carvin stuff, and that thing looks pretty cool.
    I'm not sure if I'll need 500 watts, but I'd like to be sure. I tend to play with some hard hitting drummers so volume I would not like to lose.
     
  21. hsech

    hsech I've got my opinion. You have yours. Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    In my part of Iowa All the bar owners provide is a wall outlet if you are lucky. I have a big Carvin Rig and a small Carvin 200 Watt micro amp with an Eden extension cab for very small venues. I play in two bands and leave a 4x10 cab in each bands practice space. That way I just haul the head back and forth.
     

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