Backline Ettiquette (speaker cable, lack thereof)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TrevorOfDoom, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I’m playing a bar gig and using the headliner’s bass rig.
    Nice enough rig: GK 700RB into a Peavey 4x10. Solid.
    However, he’s using an instrument cable in place of the speaker cable.
    Recipe for disaster, as you well know.
    How do I tell him? How do I warn him? Do I?
    I’ve a habit of running into and trying to help the kind of people that don’t want help, so i’m worried he’ll be that kind. I don’t want to rub him wrong but I don’t know that I can just ignore it and let him continue like this.
    Thoughts?
     
    TheBear likes this.
  2. Oddly

    Oddly

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'd just ask him if he realises it's an instrument cable?
    He may or may not be aware of the problem but I can't imagine anyone not being thankful you cared enough to bring it up.
     
  3. Just say "Dude did you realise you are running an instrument cable instead of a speaker cable? That can cause your amp to blow out". If he decides to ignore you then it's on him. Bring your own speaker cable for when you need to play it :)
     
    Korladis, basspraiser and Coolhandjjl like this.
  4. wizerd

    wizerd

    Jan 5, 2012
    805
    Prone to ranting, episodes of moral outrage.
    Buy him a speaker cable as a "thank you" for using his rig? Tell him he'll get more tone out of it.
     
  5. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Good idea! Meanwhile, you won't blow up his amp :)
     
    fleabitten and zon6c-f like this.
  6. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Update:
    Still haven’t met the owner of the rig, and i’m heading home.
    I hope he eventually figures it out.
     
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    You could have left a note or something. Even if the amp doesn’t fry right away, the extra heat is going to shorten its lifespan.

    Also, I wouldn’t use the rig like that. I would have used my own speaker cable and left his instrument cable on top of the amp with a note.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    catcauphonic likes this.
  8. looper

    looper Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    MPLS
    Why would you not just tell him? He may not realize that there is an issue.
     
    DiabolicLow B, zon6c-f and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Because i come off like an a$$hole sometimes, so he wouldn’t have listened (cuz nobody likes taking advice from an a$$hole), or maybe he’s an a$$hole and wouldn’t take advice anyway (much like my bandleader).
    And i didn’t have a speaker cable that would’ve worked with his rig.
    I only have speakon to speakon, his rig was 1/4” to 1/4”.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    How did you determine it was not a speaker cable?
     
  11. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    It looked like a standard LiveWire instrument cable with the blue shrink wrap, so i picked it up to double check.
    On the cable it had printed from the manufacturer, “LiveWire Genuine Instrument Cable” or somesuch.
    It said Instrument Cable on the side.
     
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  12. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    A 1/4” Phone to phone cable costs a bit over $10 to make.
     
  13. Oddly

    Oddly

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Well did you at least leave the guy a note?
    It's pretty hard to tell someone's an a$$$$$$e from a note.:D
     
  14. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show In Memoriam

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I'd use my own speaker cable for me, then switch him back so it can smoke during their "Headline" act.

    I think he's gonna blame you if anything happens, I'd just give him one of mine, or get him one.
     
  15. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I would just leave a note:

    "Hey man, I noticed you have an instrument cable connecting your amp to your cab. It might be a good idea to invest in a speaker cable to use instead. You can vastly shorten the life of your gear by not using the right cables. Thanks for letting me use the rig, it it sounded killer."

    Say things like "it might be a good idea" rather than "you should" to avoid making it sound like you're bossing them around

    Give them a reason why so it doesn't look like you're just talking to talk. Telling them it might save them money may be a good way to go.

    Compliment their rig to end on a good note.

    Remember, 10% of it is what you say, 90% is how you say it.
     
  16. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    How do you tell him?
    Here's one way:
    '(insert name) , I think you shouldn't be using an instrument cable as a speaker lead, as I have noticed you seem to be doing. '
     
  17. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
  18. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    And i own one, but i never bring it because none of my equipment use 1/4” anymore.
     
  19. aprod

    aprod

    Mar 11, 2008
    Here is my reply " you have an instrument cable instead of a speaker cable. I'm not responsible if your amp fries". You would think the headliner would know better. It could also be his roadie set up and used the wrong cable.
     
  20. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    If you tell someone the stove is hot and they still get burned, that’s on them. If they get rubbed the wrong way, that’s unfortunate. No good deed goes unpunished. As long as you’re not saying, “Hey idiot, you’re using the wrong cable”, I don’t see why a reasonable person would have a problem.