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Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassCliff, Dec 21, 2018.
There aint nothing like a steel guitar.
Good point, but amps in a back line like that do take a beating. JimmyM would know better than me, but I think the SVT Classics although not as desirable as the Heritage Series do hold up well. We don't know how old that one is. Whether it was purchased new, or pre-owned. Or what may have happened to it on stage at the club. Like sending signal through it with the cab not plugged in. Shorted or open speaker lines. All kinds of stuff happens.
My experience maintaining sound in nightclubs is that club owners as a rule will not be very interested in preventative maintenance, per se. They will repair something if it quits. So there are certain techniques you use to keep things going so there are no surprises in the middle of a show. Boss, the SVT's acting up. I think it needs service. Hi boss. The SVT's acting up again. Want me to have it serviced? Excuse me, boss, the SVT don't work no more [prey tell!]. Have it fixed? You got it, boss. Happened at a good time. We don't need it until... That's how I did things, anyway. I call it 'creative maintenance'. Got a good reputation for keeping everything working.
In silicon valley the techs and engineers at the big corporations would decide they wanted a new scope, for example, or something like that. All of a sudden, their current scope would start acting up. Then it would quit [prey tell!]. They would sometimes also 're-orient' the handle, or something like that and say the janitors knocked the instrument off the bench. Stuff like that. Usually close to a deadline. The company would sell the gear inoperable to one of the many electronic junk yards for cheap, and replace the instrument with the desired updated model. Sometimes the same techs, etc., would show up and buy the old gear back for themselves for pretty much a song and a dance. That is, if me or somebody like me didn't beat them to it! It's amazing to me their supervisors didn't catch on. This had been going on for decades by the time I finally left the Bay Area. Probably still is. Anyway, I made the rounds early in the morning. After a while, you can tell what gear to buy. Usually it's just something simple in the power supply that got sabotaged. I mean, that failed unexpectedly! If I couldn't fix something I just sold it for what I paid for it. Acquired an entire bench full of Hewlett Packard - Techtronics test instruments. Made some cash along the way, too. Made it possible to fix stuff myself a lot of times. Rock, rock, rock little angel!
I have used my share of Ampeg backline gear, even owned one for a few years, most of them kind of sucked with exception of a few which would agree with your assessment. I like the 8x10 cab but the heads have always been a bit dodgy.
Cool gig Cliff. Thanks for posting.
Well nobody's thrilled about a non-working amp, but the vast majority of working pros use the Classic, not the Heritage.
I think Nevada Pete's point is well taken, some work just fine and others have probably been neglected maintenance wise. I have used some that just didn't produce a very pleasing tone.
My point was that maybe the HOB could afford something a little nicer
Maybe they spent most of their budget on sound. That system sounded fabulous!
...To drown a memory.
The music is even more country when you've got a steel and a fiddle in the band. But I've heard other smaller combos really put out great country music. Have a listen to Marty Stewart and The Fabulous Superlatives, just two guitars, bass, and drums.
Thank you. Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays to you and yours.
Sorry guys. I didn't mean to bad-mouth Ampeg rigs. I've played plenty that sounded great. I'm sure this one just needs some maintenance. There's only about twelve tubes in that thing and there's no telling how much it's been thrashed.
The venue has a pretty elaborate sound system. I know there were at least eight monitor mixes on stage. The FOH speakers were enormous. And I could hear my bass in the house better than I could hear my amp on stage. It was impressive. A good gig.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Thank you for your indulgence,
BassCliff, thanks once again for the outstanding gig report. You provide the template that we all try to follow when we do ours lol.
Shame about the amp issues. Did they have you plugged into a DI beforehand or did they pull the feed from the head?
I started going through the set list and lo and behold, the group I’ve been plying with plays about 3/4 of those songs. Good to know that great bands think alike lol!
Looking forward to watching the videos later - after the kids get up and we do the holiday. I love being Dad still...but Xmas mornings get really, really, REALLY early and loud up here lol. Happy Holidays to you, your loved ones and the whole Band Family as well!!!
Awesome report as always ! That looked like a killer event, and a great charity as well.
Happy New Year!
Thank you. The videos are just cell phone videos but they give you and idea of what was going on. It really was a great event.
The FOH guy both mic'd the cab and took the DI from the back of the amp. I'm not sure how good the sound is when you mic a 10" bass speaker. Hopefully the DI from the back of the amp had good signal. Maybe I'm a fool but I always trust the sound guys to make me sound good. It's their reputation on the line too.
Thanks. It was a long day and a lot of work leading up to it. But in the end it was so much fun that it was worth it. I hope we made a lot of children happy.
Thank you for your indulgence,
Wow that is greatness!