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Big Venue, Small Rig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lonote, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. I play in a blues band in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Last weekend, we opened for blues guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks at a local club called the Cabooze. It's a decent sized club, it has a capacity of 500 people and probably 350 people (my guesstimates) were there. Usually, I would have used my Ampeg B2 4 X 8" combo and a 1 X 15" JBL loaded cabinet. Unfortunately, I knocked off the master volume control and the Ampeg was in the shop. Knowing that the club has a decent PA and good techs and that I'd be running direct, I decided, "What the hell, I'll bring my silverface Bassman 50 and the 1 X 15" cabinet." When we were setting up for the soundcheck and I was connecting the amp, Ronnie's bass player came over and asked what I was using and I told him. He said, "Man, I sure wish I could get by with a Bassman 50 and a single 15." He had an impressive Eden rig with 2 4 X 10" cabinets. My response was, "I have a DI box, I'll get by." After our soundcheck, he came over to me with a big grin on his face and asked, "Hey...do you want to sell me that Bassman 50?" All I could do was smile and say, No time soon!" The show went well and nobody had a problem hearing me. I don't know if there's a lesson here or not, but I do know you don't always need to lug along a big rig to get a big sound. :bag:
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Right on!

    P.A. Support is a wonderful thing!


  3. FunkSlap89


    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
    This is a good thing because I'll be playing in front of close to 2000 people with a 400 watt amp... I'm hoping i can use the PA, otherwise i'm in trouble... :meh:
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If there's PA support all you need is a good DI and enough of you through the monitors to play. I use a BDDI, Bergie HT112 and Focus SA for my rig. Works great.
  5. Playing in front of 2,000 people, you're in a world of $hit if you can't go direct!
  6. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada

  7. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    ...regardless of how many watts your rig pushes.
  8. amen!

    Seems like a lot of places over in the states just don't have support in a lot of venues?
    Even our smallest bars put a mic on the kick and DI the bass at least!
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York

    Alot of smaller places don't have support, but you can bring your own in.
  10. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    You should never need more than 300 watts for a bass amp. If your stage volume is that loud, you must be using a reasonable PA for the vocals to cut through, right? So if you have a decent enough PA, why the stacks and excessive power? If your playing a gig for 2,000, you don't need big volume on stage. You can actually muddy the bands sound with too much stage volume.
  11. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    You'll have to pry my 2400w amp from my cold, dead hands.





    P.s. I would up that to 500w. Headroom is a good thing! I have been in situations where 300w barely did the job. Yeah, I was heard but unwanted distortion sucks.
  12. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Hope you wear hearing protectors.

    I'm still not convinced you need that much power on stage. I've played huge stages, outdoors in front of 3,000 with a backline SWR Redhead. Monitor mix, FOH mix, no need for thousands of watts. If you're playing a show that needs volume, the wiser way to do it to ensure a decent mix is to rely on a proper FOH mix and a decent PA.
  13. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA

    with monitors, theoretically we don't even need amps.

    But should you choose to use an amp, get one that will at the very minimum match the stage volume that you play at.

    And some stage volumes, depending on the style of the music and the size of the venue are Very VERY LOUD!!

    Even if yours isn't.

    Different strokes man.


  14. dee rob

    dee rob

    Feb 3, 2003
    austin, tx
    part of the problem here is ronnie. now, i don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but ronnie likes to play loud!! i know ronnie personally, he's a great player, and writer, but he loves it loud!! unfortunately, just to keep up, his bass player needs both those 410s. later.....

  15. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    You Absolutely need to be able to go through the PA.
  16. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Never need more than 300W? Come on, now. My bassist is using 300W, and she barely keeps up with the PA. Now, we don't have subs yet, but we've got 1500W pushing through the PA and 500W pushing through monitors. Plenty to support vocals, guitars, and most of the drums... but we are tapped out as far as speaker power. We're looking at a sizable investment to step up to subs, so we won't be there for a while.

    Thus, she's got to cut through with her rig, and her rig alone. As it is, we're having to compromise tone on the amp to achieve necessary volume (rolling off the bass and using low-mids more than I'd like). Yes, it's loud on stage, but we have no other option right now.
  17. You've got that right. Ronnie's a great musician but he sure does like it loud. I thought my ears were going to start bleeding during their sound check!
  18. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I'm using 450 watts. All I'm saying is if you have a decent PA system, you don't NEED big wattage on stage if you're doing a big show.
  19. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Yeah good pa's are great, I just take a little rig because most monitor speakers suck for bass.
  20. I wish all I had to do was carry a good preAmp and/or DI, but way way too many times the PA furnished does'nt have the monitor system necessary to use for bass, either due to the speakers themselves or more often due to the limited number of mixes available. The last thing needed is bass running through four or more monitors on stage and muddying up the mix. That's why I will always bring a rig for a stage monitor, and I find a 200+ watt head and a small 2-12 cab to be a great answer. Big enough to use without PA support when necessary and small enough to be as portable as can be expected for a stage monitor.

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