Amp position, stands, etc. for bar gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Btbp, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. I'm trying to get a better sound when I sit in on open mics in bars.

    I often use an Eden 300w with an Eden 1x12, but in places with hard floors it just lacks the usual warmth. Plus I can't hear myself that well, partly because there's no stage room and I'm too close to the amp, partially as these are often not the kinds of settings to play loud. Actually the louder it gets the worse it (me and everyone) sounds.

    Worse, I often have to set up between acts and don't have the luxury of a sound check.

    Thinking that for the most depth to get the bass frequencies to project, I usually push the cab as far back as I can, and often that means it's close to one or two walls.

    Would angling the cab, or using an amp tilt stand, or some other stand, work better?
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    I use an Auralex Gramma Pad with a low tilt back stand. You can just catch the edge of it in this pic of my Jazz Bass.


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  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    For quiet restaurant type gigs I'll put the amp on a cheapo folding piano bench with the pad stripped off. Puts the amp about as high as in the above pic but is half the price and more compact to carry. Not tilting may be a pos or neg but i like it because your head and drinks don't slide off the cab. A stand puts the cab closer to your ear and uncouples it from the floor which can reduce the bottom end which is what that Auralex is designed to do. But before you go buying a bunch of stuff try tilting the amp back on a piece of 2x4 (painted black) and see if that's all you need.
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  4. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    Raising the cab helps quite a bit, but raising by more than about 20” loses bass coupling with the floor and thus a lot of volume. I use a Rubbermaid step stool under my combo for this.
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  5. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Btbp :)

    Everything that gets your sound closer to your ears will help.

    A beercrate can already make a big difference. :D


    may the bass be with you


    btw: I prefer beer in brown bottles :laugh:
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  6. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    As @Wisebass suggested, there's a reason the humble beer-crate is an industry standard.:D
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  7. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    I use my drummers bass drum case. The head and cab weigh less than 70 lbs. The case appears bulletproof.
    Creates a nice throw. My drummer is deaf as can be.
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  8. voided3


    Nov 11, 2008
    I was going to suggest my usual On Stage medium-sized T-stand, but for a 1x12 that might be overkill, in regards to size. For a quick load in solution, those folding plastic step stools from Wal Mart that fold flat seem to be a popular option and are available in black.
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  9. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    For us non-drinkers, the humble milk crate works just as well. You can fold up a small rug or piece of scrap carpet in it to put on the floor under it for hard surfaces. Bare concrete floors will suck the very soul out of your tone.
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  10. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    The Heineken stand is the top of the line ... I prefer the lower cost Budwizer stand ;)
    I use a 1x10 35 watt Ibanez combo and if I can I tilt it up in a corner.
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  11. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi BLDavis :) Milk crates can get you into some trouble! :D

    Don 't ask for a milk crate, when you play at a brewery or in an Outlaw biker bar! :roflmao:

    Hi dBase :)

    Bud light works only for class D amps and neo cabs! :laugh:


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  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    00 images2b2.png
    excellent choice, wise! of course i'd have to get a new one every 4-5 gigs or so...:D

    never heard of humble beer! :laugh: i'd suggest any mexican beer* crate, though! (IME! :roflmao: )

    Btbp , IME it's more important that you hear what you're playing than to worry about what you think the audience hears...let the sound guy worry about that, or get feedback from a friend or fellow musician in the audience. good luck! :thumbsup:

    * modelo or dos equis with a HPF if you're going for "punchiness"
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  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Bare concrete or tile floors can be very reflective and can muddy lows. The Gramma Pad actually tends to keep the low end more focused and tighter, less boomy or muddy, as opposed to reducing it.

    The angled stand simply puts the cab and an angle where I'm hearing it best when standing a few feet in front of it. If the stage has enough depth to where I'm 8' to 10' away I may not use it at all.
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  14. Karl Kaminski

    Karl Kaminski Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    depending on how loud the group is...

    on small/narrow stages try this next time, if the amp is close to the wall (1-2'), face the speaker "towards the wall". the wall will reflect the sound and appear to widen the sound stage—this works great for smaller amps like the GK MB150.

    keep in mind:
    • the closer to a corner, the more muddy it'll get.
    • lifting the amp off the floor (chair, stand, etc) will lessen the coupling effect.
    • start with your amp set "flat", set volume, then adjust eq as needed.
    • it takes a few gigs to get use to reading your combo amp controls "upside down" (not an issue with the Eden head).
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  15. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    The Auralex pad can also help with the boominess poorly constructed stages can produce. A fairly specific tool that works really well in some situations but that most people seem to struggle along without.

    I've found tilting back on the ground makes the amp noticeably easier to hear but once it's a couple of feet off the ground the effect lessens. I used a stand like you've got at a rehearsal studio for a few months and I'm willing to sacrifice the small sonic advantage it gives over my folding piano bench to be able to keep my amp and drinks from sliding off.
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  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    I used a stand I normally use for my guitar cabs at first but I soon realized those were too high and less effective than keeping the amp lower and tilted up at me so that when standing 3'-6' away from it I was hearing myself much better and losing nothing as far as the FOH was concerned.

    As you say the Gramma is just one of those inexpensive "tools" that's proven invaluable when needed and IME it's been needed quite often. I used to use the anvil case I carried other gear and cables in but it didn't really solve the problem so I popped for a gramma and stopped struggling. LOL

    I won't risk setting a drink on my amp but my Zoom B3 sits on top and won't slide off so a lightweight head should be safe from that as well. But to each his own. We should each do what works best for us no differently than the basses and rigs we play. My needs aren't the same as others.
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  17. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    I always brought my own crate. Never had any trouble. :bassist:
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  18. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
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  19. mbasile

    mbasile Mediocre Bassist of a Year Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Austin, Texas
    Question for those that tilt their cabs back, and don’t use combos; what do you do with your amp head to keep it from falling off the tilted cab?
    Btbp likes this.
  20. Seems like a good question

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