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Backline rentals of micro amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JimmyM, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Apparently they're non-existent.

    I ask backline rental dudes about it all the time, and so far I haven't found a single one who's gotten a request for a micro amp, yet they sell like hotcakes and a lot of big names use and endorse them. You would think they'd get requests for as many as they sell, but the backline providers all say that everyone still wants tubes and/or solid state with iron transformers and nobody wants micros. I find that odd, and yet, even though I own and use micros, if someone else is bringing it, I want the tubes.

    What do you all think about that?
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I use a fair bit of back-line every year, have yet to see a micro amp.
  3. When I got started playing again in 2010, I bought as light weight of stuff as I could. Neos and Class D. I just didn't want to carry 100+ lb. speaker cabs and 40 lb. amps anymore. I do enjoy messing with the SVTs and GK/Hartke stuff when we get a backline provided.

    I would think the micros just aren't sturdy enough to survive the rental environment. It gets old taking my Carvin BX500 apart to reseat the tube and all the ribbon cables so it doesn't make any noise.

  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    They sell like hotcakes to older guys who carry their own stuff. If the rental company/roadcrew is handling everything, they all want the SVT, no matter how much they talk up their micro.
  5. JimWasHere


    Sep 8, 2010
    Portland, OR
    If you're going to specify an amp on your rider you have to make sure it's some that is going to be available in every town. Therefore the rental place isn't putting it on the price list because no one is asking for it, and no one is asking for it because you can't get it in every town.

    Also, there's only a half dozen or so amps that typically get rented, and several of them are "interchangable". And then of course, there's a good point a post or two up, if someone else gets paid to carry it, and it's the same price, why bother with the small one?

  6. This ^^

    Micro's are for the warriors that haul and manage their own equipment. If it's a rental company and it's being hauled in then why go with a micro amp?
  7. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I've traveled tons and use backline all of the time. I never see micros. There is a reason that wherever you go in the world you still see GK 800RB's. Backilne companies want stuff that can be abused and won't break. You can pop a micro way easier than the typical backline stuff. But the nice thing about micros is that you no longer need a backline amp---my EA Doubler (or any other micro) is so easy to take along. I just ask for a 4x10 du jour and call it a day. I don't really like 4x10's that much, but like the GK---everywhere in the world they have 4x10's. And if you're in Europe you'll often get something nice like an EBS or some Glock cab.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think what surprises me the most is that I actually prefer the sound of most micros to the sound of traditional SS, and I know I'm not the only one. If a rental company says they all their tube SVT's are already out, I'd rather see a 7 or 8 Pro show up than any lead sled. They wouldn't be my first choice, but they'd be my second choice. I suppose I see the point about carting them around in road cases and banging them around, though I think there are many that could take it.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I think there's a good point up there too about widespread availability, service and a proven track record. You can't get a markbass or genz fixed just anywhere and the only one of these mass produced little micro's that have been out long enough to even have any idea whether or not they'll hold up in the long run might be the first Markbass LittleMark but they're on what, version III now?

    When their living depends on it, they don't take chances on an unproven flavor of the month when old reliable is back there guaranteed to bring home the bacon every time.
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I like my GK micro for it's convenience and it's GK famlial tone. If I show up and there is a 700/800/1001 rb II I'm not complaining. If it's a rental gig, my U5 is probably along for the ride though so as long as what is in the line is of some level of quality, I'll be happy.
  11. Never seen a micro as backline either. As far as reliability goes.....
    (as I've stated b4) a local hire co. in my town has-as their 'last line of defence' a Behringer 4500 gold front 450w head & it's been thru many wars & still goes 'fine' :)
    Funny what works & doesn't in the l long run ain't it?
  12. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    If I were out and using rented backline, I would still bring my MB Fusion. Sure, gimme an SVT and a fridge but I'd have a good backup in my bag if anything's hinkey.

    As far as the inventory out there - it's kind of the same thing as JBL PA. Everybody's got to have what they'll have to explain the least to get the work. I wonder how many 4889 are out there every night where they weren't the first preference of the decision maker, but they're acceptable to just about everyone out there...
  13. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Well, since my road days are behind me now, and I am pretty much a local guy, backline varies alot for me when it's provided. My last backline rig was a Carvin BX1200 with a Fender PRO 215 ! Obviously, this was another bass player's rig who was on the gig that night ( charity event, many groups ). But, ususally, it's a small rig like a GK combo, or a 115 cab, paired with some brand name bass head. I have yet to see a micro head.
  14. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Maybe it's because the big/heavy stuff is older, been around a long time, is a known thing. The newer micro stuff seems to come and go at the drop of a pin... flavor of the day sort of life expectancy.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I think you are a bit wrong in focusing on 'micro amps' as the issue. I find that backline rental companies only replace their rental stuff when it totally dies. Most of the backline I get are old Eden WT800's, GK800's, cheap SWR cabs, old Hartke cabs, etc. They are not in business to keep up with the newest stuff.

    So, you don't see micro's (which are reasonably recent). You don't see Aguilar DB750's or Glockenklang Heartrocks either.

    Most bassists are pretty clueless about gear and it would probably not be worth it for a backline rental company to stock the 'latest greatest' stuff that most bassists have never even heard of.

    Finally, as mentioned above, weight is a zero issue with these backline companies. They have minimum wage schmo's schlepping this stuff, and the boss surely doesn't care about saving those guys a bit of weight IMO.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Exactly. Old stuff. Like the same GK and Hartke heads that I used to see as backline in 1996.
  17. bassjam

    bassjam Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Lakland Basses, G&L Basses, Genzler Amplification
    We use backline alot and the one thing I've noticed is a good bit of the time the guys providing the gear aren't bass players,they are sound guys.The provide what they think is popular and don't seem to be up on the trends.I'll specify what I want and they still show up with an old SWR head and cab.

    Is way easy for me-I ask for them to provide the cab and I bring my micro.
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 That is the cool thing about the micro's... bring your head, have them schlep the box!

    There was a great picture that my buddy Mikebass put up a while ago of an old SVT backline rig he was provided with. He had his Shuttle 9 sitting on the top of the cab and head, and was using that to drive the fridge. Nice options now, and you can make sure you aren't stuck with at least a head that is not your thing.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    And I used to do that even before the micro days...carry my 4 space rack and throw it up on top of whatever amp was provided. Then in a random situation you at least are comfortable with your amp and how to get it to sound how you need it for the random room or stage.

    In some shows where you might not get a lengthy sound check, you could use all your pre-show stage time trying to get a 'sound' and that's not what I want to concentrate on at that time.
  20. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    There isn't as much profit for a backline company in renting out a micro amp. You can't charge the same rate for a micro as you would for an SVT. They are also too easy to steal.

    Some music stores who dabble in backline rent micro amps.

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