"Backline bass amp"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Axtman, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    No three words strike more fear into a bass player's heart. It's always a crap shoot.

    Years ago, I played a festival and asked many times if there would be a bass amp. I was assured yes there would be. I showed up and looked around. "Where's the bass amp?" The sound guy says it is down by my feet. It was a cheap DI box. :-(

    New festival gig today and I ask and was assured there would be a bass amp. I show up and this is what was there. Me very happy. ;-)

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Last gig I played, this was my backline amp..... a Fender Rumble 500.


    I was impressed. No trouble keeping up with the Marshall half stack on the other side of the stage.
    /\/\3phist0, StraffordMike and G-Z like this.
  3. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Those are surprisingly good amps and ridiculously light!
    walldaja likes this.
  4. Hi,

    I don't think I've ever had a bad backline. Here are a few amps I've used lately.














    I haven't run into a backline rig that I didn't like. But maybe that's just because I don't have to haul it. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    All excellent amps! You have had great luck, BassCliff!
    BassCliff and mbelue like this.
  6. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Axtman :)

    I am not picky! I play both kinds of backlines! :D

    SVT on a fridge or V4B on a fridge!

    JMacBass65, McG and BassCliff like this.
  7. Hi,

    Out of all those rigs my favorite was the 800RB and the Neo412. Unfortunately, in that room I wasn't able to turn it up enough to really let it sing.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Wisebass, McG and floridagatorfan like this.
  8. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Damn, I'm lucky. There's only a couple backline companies that get all the work. Unless you spec. something different, you will get an SVT and a fridge.
  9. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    That's why my gigbag always contains ...



    and just to be sure

  10. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I'm currently watching out for a deal on a GK RB line amp. I love that SS GK tone. Grit to clean, it dominates!
    BassCliff likes this.
  11. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    Any favorite(s) of those, Cliff?
  12. Holdsg

    Holdsg Father of Pugs Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Been playing more Backline gigs lately. This ones been my favorite thus far, especially since I didn’t have to move it.

    aldaa, dbase, Wisebass and 1 other person like this.
  13. Hi,

    Out of all those rigs my favorite was the 800RB and the Neo 412. I hope I'm not speaking blasphemy. I do enjoy a fridge and SVT, who doesn't enjoy 400 tube watts? But there is just something about clean solid state power going into a that 412, clean, punchy, low end without being woofy, it sounds good to my ears.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I was looking at a two 2x12 vertical stack as an alternative to other combinations and that would give that tone you describe along with being modular. :thumbsup:
    BassCliff likes this.
  15. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    Whenever I've played a gig with a provided backline I usually get an Ampeg setup of some sort. But at my gig two weeks ago I noticed the previous bassists were going through a small Hartke. No big deal. The FOH bass tone was decent enough. When it was my turn, I discovered that it was a Hartke keyboard amp. Ugh! The on-stage tone was crap, and not loud enough to hear over the drummer during the rockier songs. Pretty disheartening, especially since I was playing fretless.
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  16. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Let's see....

    #1 We played a very large outdoor amphitheater about a dozen or so years ago. Our crowd was in the range of 6k to 7k people. What was the backline? It was a Fender Bassman 25. That's right, a 25-watt practice amp that didn't even come up to my knees. Stage hand threw an SM-57 on it, but insisted that the mic be at least 1-2 feet away from the amp! For scale, just imagine using that amp when your two guitarists are provided with half-stack Marshalls and only the singer and drummer get a floor wedge. Needless to say, I have no idea if a bass signal was even getting to the FOH and I never once even heard my bass during a song.

    #2 We played a small private party at a convention center maybe 15 years ago. There were maybe 40-50 people and the overall feel of the evening was that the crowd really wanted to converse with each other, so we took that as a sign that we should just be background music. No problem. Then, the promoter's sound guy shows up with the backline equipment. The guitarists each get modest low-wattage combo amps. The drummer gets a 4-piece trap and a set of brushes. What do I get? I get an Ampeg 810 with a CL sitting on top of it. Cool. Except we have a problem. The amp's preamp is all screwed up and it's locked at a specific output volume. I'm told to just use the volume control on my bass to adjust overall bass volume. However, I happened to have a bass with me that did not have a volume control. I had just picked this bass up secondhand from a guy that removed the volume control and replaced it with an on/off toggle switch. As you can imagine, the bass was just roaring loud no matter how slight of a technique I used. You couldn't really hear anything else over the bass. I felt sympathy for that audience. We were told to stop playing about three songs in.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  17. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Here are my horror stories: cheap Hartke DI box, small Fender Rumble practice amp (15 watts?), Peavey keyboard amp with intermittent connection, and Crate amp with blown speaker. This is why I always take my GK MB500 amp head with me. I can always swipe a floor monitor and "build" an amp. Luckily I have never had to do that.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The best local PA company is run by a personal friend. He does probably 80% of the gigs in my area. Whenever he knows I'm coming it's an SVT with a fridge.... at least.

    It's good to know people. :D
  19. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I showed up for one, and the bass rig was an antique Peavey 6 channel mixer into a pair of old auto subwoofers (the see through plastic kind). It sounded awful, and the host band kept turning it up. Eventually it nuked itself and quit. The guy that owned it didn't panic, he taped a fan to the heat sinks and after 20 minutes it started to work again.. kind of. I was done by that point.