Do you gig with a backup amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Julian Delphiki, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki

    Jan 24, 2019
    Was having this conversation with a buddy recently. All the mini and micro heads make portability much easier. Do you bring a backup amp head to gigs? Or just plan to go direct to FOH if something goes wrong?
  2. LeSonyr

    LeSonyr Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2012
    DI to FOH as backup. I had a couple of amp failures and once forgot my amp at home. I have a DI on my board. Problem solved. Marines make do. Full disclosure: I am not a Marine.
  3. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I’d just go straight into the board. I used to do that at rehearsal before I bought an amp to leave there.

    In 20 years I’ve never had an amp hint at failure, in the shed, rehearsal or on stage. Maybe I’m just lucky, or asking for trouble! :laugh:
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  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I have a 250 watt TC micro head in my glove compartment that I've had to use on 3 occasions now.

  5. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Always I have my backups. I bring several redundant items: amp, cables, bass, etc. It gives me peace of mind.

    The only thing that doesn’t get a backup is my cab, but if that goes, I’d resort to going direct.
  6. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki

    Jan 24, 2019
    Never thought of throwing one in the glove box! Great idea.
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  7. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ... always take my ELF along in my gig bag ...

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  8. Skillet


    Nov 25, 2011
    I just snagged a TC BQ500 for this very reason, to keep in the truck in case it's bigger Ampeg brother takes a nap (has never happened, so far).
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  9. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I have a micro for rehearsals but I don't take it to gigs. If my amp ever quit mid-show I'd just have the soundguy turn me up in the monitor mix. My rig is basically just for monitoring anyways.
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  10. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I never did...until last summer when something went haywire for a couple minutes with my D800 rig. Total loss of signal somewhere in the chain, even when I dumped the wireless and plugged in the backup cable as planned. Still no signal. Hasn't happened since, don't know to this day what the problem was (bad power to the portable stage? My amp? Something in the pedals? Still don't know). So, since then, I always toss the old Mesa M9 in as a backup. Only takes an extra second to have it in the vehicle in case.
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  11. LowBarryLow


    Aug 18, 2017
    Never. I used to, when amps were flat-out unreliable, but now? No need.
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  12. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    Uh, no.
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  13. Dynomuttasaurus


    Jul 23, 2016
    Yes, an Ibanez Promethean 300h. I bring 2 of everything (bass, amp head, cab and DI).

    We play small venues and are the only act in a 4 hour show. There's no one in another band to save me with a loaner. The PA is mainly for vocals (speakers on sticks w/ no subs) so I don't want to ever rely solely on the PA for my sound.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  15. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    if i bring a lead sled, no
    if i bring a micro-amp, yes.
    i bring another micro amp
  16. Charlzm

    Charlzm Guest

    Mar 25, 2011
    I always bring my Line 6 Bass Pod XT Live, which has my presets (including amp models, effects, EQ, compression).

    If there is no backline, I bring my combo amp.

    If they are micing the amp and request DI as well, I send my dry signal to FOH and wet to the amp. If there is no mic but there is a DI, I ask (and have always had a positive response) if I should send the wet to DI. I then feed the amp the dry from the POD and adjust as needed to sound good on stage, knowing that FOH will be getting my "real" tone through DI.

    If there is no FOH, then no, I don't bring an additional amp. Maybe I ought to get an Elf or something similar to bring along JIC as I have had some amp trouble occasionally in the past.
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  17. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
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  18. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    No. I bring a Linden EQ if I need to go into the PA at some point.
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  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    I gig with a spare amp head. I'm in the PA only about 1/3rd of the time. Thus, a GK mb800 is in my "just in case" bag. I have used a spare head on three occasions. In two instances, a guitarist's amp died, and each was using Fender combos with the speaker wire, plug, and jack on the back panel.

    On the third occasion, I used the spare to debug my problem, which turned out to be a disconnected speaker wire, thanks to my new kitten, who had reached into the port at the bottom of my fEARful and snagged an disconnected a wire from one of the crossovers, causing the cab to quit working. In that case, the guitarist, who lived 10 minutes away raced home and came back with a nice 410, which saved the gig. The PA's I encounter are often ill-suited to bass, though I always have a DI.

    I also bring a spare power amp with a tube channel pre when gigging with my psychobilly band. The PA the BL has is a budget brand that gets used hard. We only need one mic with that band, LOL.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  20. When gigging with an amp and cabinet I generally just bring along a Sansamp as a direct to FoH solution. Haven’t had an amp fail yet, personally.