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Does your rig really matter?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phaneo, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    Just wondering what you guys think. I play live more than anything else, and am always looking at options for my rig. I recently went to a GK 1001 210 combo. It does the job, but I'm still always thinking about other gear. It hit me on saturday night.....I run direct into the PA every gig. I also send my signal pre eq, so does my rig really matter? I'm not sending anything other than a dry signal to the board, and with the size of the PA we use i doubt my amp is being heard. So what do you think? Do you run into the PA, pre or post, does your rig really matter?
  2. If you always play into a PA and have good monitors, of course, who needs a rig?. For many of us (especially those who freelance), a rig is all important. You never know if you are going to have PA support, and if you do, many times you will not have your own monitor mix. A good sounding and loud rig that is light enough to haul around with no help is key for the types of gigs I and many others do.

  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    I run DI but I run post EQ - not because I do any crazy EQing but because I want to get as much of the tone of my DB680 into the equation.

    Now that I have a poweramp that adds significantly to "my tone" I think I'm going to run DI and mic my cab as well.
  4. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    In you situation, it only matters to you. If you have a sound guy running the Front of House sound and Stage Monitors, then your amp is just a personal monitor. In my experience sound guys always want a pre EQ DI signal, and will usually want to use their own DI. The audiance is not hearing your amp, they're hearing your bass and the color of the PA system. The bass coming from the PA probably sounds much different than what is coming from your amp. If you are happy with what you hear on stage, then you're all set. FOH is the sound guy's problem.
  5. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    If it weren't for my bass rig I wouldn't be able to compensate for my tiny.. well.. you know.
  6. I suppose, if somebody was holding a gun to my head, I'd say your rig matters very little if you're running direct EVERY gig. I just finished a weekend where I played 2 sizeable outdoor festivals with my Silver-Face Bassman 50 through a single JBL 1 X 15" cabinet. At both gigs, I sent a dry signal to the board (via a direct box) and the cabinet was miced; the bass was included in the monitor mix. Now, I play traditional blues, not metal but I don't think it really makes any difference. I could have played through nothing but a direct box with no amp at all and it would have made very little difference since the bass was in both the mains and the monitors. The mic on the cabinet allowed a little of the tube grit to come through but how much difference that made to anybody except me is debatable.

    I use that same rig in small bars with no PA assistance and it works fine. If I need more gas, I run a direct line. Back in the day, before PA technology reached the point where it is today, a high-powered stage rig was a necessity but IMO, those days are gone. I haven't used my higher powered (and much heavier) Ampeg rig in months just because I don't think it is necessary. :bag:
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Are you concerned that your GK 2x10 is too much for what you do these days?
  8. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Only now am I even considering using "some" DI to the board ... I'm old skool ... so yeah my backline rig is VERY much a part of my sound. We play mostly pub type situations ... and you don't really need, or even want PA support most of the time with a big (or even medium size) rig,in those situations. That said I'm also considering using smaller rigs in "some" live situations .... so a faint or "ghost" signal to the mains may be needed sometimes.

    :smug: ... If da floor's moving we're groovin!
  9. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I agree with Kenny Allyn. I run a lot of horsepower bridging my crown xls 602 into my avatar b410Neo. I really have no need for PA support for 90% of the gigs I play. I prefer to control my own tone, and will ask the sound guy only what he thinks the volume is necessary to fill out the room.
  10. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I play every other week at my church, which is the one place I'm sure I'll be going through the PA every time I play, so I'll use this for an example. I have my bass, my ME-50 (which is basically my tuner, compressor, and volume pedal), and then I have a choice between my Sansamp or Whirlwind DI, or the DI out of my Portabass head. We use in-ears, but used to use monitors, so there's a nice Yamaha 15 always available to me. I always opt to bring my Ampeg head. I thought about just going without an amp, but because I work every other sunday, I get to see and hear the other bassist, who goes direct out of his Zoom pedal. There are times he's not in the monitors, and you can see him pointing at his ear, and times when he's not in the mains, which probably is frustrating as hell for him. Once I saw that, I decided that while I'd like to trust the soundguys completely, I still want to hear myself, and having an amp onstage is the only guarantee I have.
  11. As far as I'm concerned, the main reason to have a rig onstage when you've got the PA going on is to make your pants flap. There's something about that amp pointed at me that hits me in the gut in a way that monitors just don't do. And that makes me play better, I hope.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA

    If you have the luxury of going thru an adequate PA system that provides the bulk of amplification for your bass, then the rig you use is of minimal importance. As long as it's loud enough for you and the band to hear you, and as long as the tone isn't terrible, then i don't see the need to upgrade. (BTW, always run pre-EQ into the board).

    If you run into situations where your amp provides the bulk/all of the bass amplification, then the main concern would be that it is adequate in terms of volume. Tone is more of a subjective issue, but if you like the tone of your current rig, then i wouldn't lose sleep over not having the latest and greatest system.

    If you hate the tone, and the issue is not your bass or your playing, then i would first demo other speaker cabinets (as they can have the most impact on your sound IMO), and then look at other heads/preamps. If you have volume issues, then you need to do a lot more shopping to find a rig that will do the job. This could be as simple as adding a second cabinet, or as complex as getting a more powerful head, different cabs, etc.
  13. +1 The rig is for your PERSONAL sound, the sound that you hear next to you on stage and inspires you to play "better". PA is good for expanding that personal tone of yours! If you just like your bass sound and u r happy with the PA and monitor then so be it. But this didnt worked for me not even once, most players either, thats why you see all these threats talking about amp heads, cabs even screws! :))
  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Since I never have PA support, or to be more correct I never have *adequate* PA support, my rig is very important to me. I would love to be able to just show up, plug in, and go.

  15. These days, I do just that...show up, plug in and go. For years I spent money on amps, and cabs, dragged them in and out of venues. I would dial in a sweet sound on stage, walk out front to hear the mix and discover it sounded totally different through the pa. This is very discouraging when alot of money is spent on a rig. I now use a few pedals, and DI into the board. I have almost the same sound on stage through the monitors as I do FOH. We have a decent monitor system which definetly contributes to my sound. Also, the band members are very easy to work with.

    I've been enjoying not carrying an amp or cab(s). I have one trip in/out.
  16. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I run from my amp's line out to the PA (pre EQ).

    We have PA support at every gig (controlled and set up by us) and I have total control over my sound out front.

    However, the PA handles the sound out front. Which means, it doesn't do squat for my sound onstage. My rig is for me to sound the way I want to sound onstage.

    I want to hear and feel my bass onstage. It's not enough to have it simply be audible. Having just enough volume onstage to hear what notes I'm playing isn't adequate. I want "my" tone onstage, but I want to equally feel it onstage too.

    I could care less what's going out front through the PA while I'm playing. Well, I do...and I do adjust it at soundcheck to get "my" sound out there. But, while I'm onstage I want to enjoy the sound of my bass onstage. Otherwise what is the point?

    I don't want to hear people tell me how great it sounded out front, if I hated the way it sounded onstage. Yeah, I play music for others to enjoy, but I also do it for my enjoyment too. If I ever was forced to use in-ear monitors (or our PA monitors, or even some little dinky practice amp) exclusively, I'd probably stop playing altogether. It's just a hobby and a part time job for me. I'm not a studio player. I don't play an ERB and I'm not playing anything subtle. I play in the same band every weekend, so I'm never wondering about the house PA or backline, etc. If it ain't enjoyable (and the tone and feel I get with my rig is a BIG part of what makes bass playing enjoyable for me), I've got better things to do with my time.

    So yeah, my rig does matter to me.

    Case in point...I played two completely different gigs last weekend. One, an outdoor fair where we could really crank it up and play rock'n'roll. The next night we played a wedding gig where we played some polkas, some country and oldies rock'n'roll and kept the volume at a "polite" level for granny. Friday night I was totally enthused and into it and it was a major groove all night long (for all of us). Saturday night's wedding was a ho-hum affair (but it paid well). The difference? Aside from the set list somewhat...Mainly volume (not just the PA, but onstage as well). While I could feel the bass at the wedding gig (thanks to my rig), there just wasn't any energy to the band's playing. I don't like it to be obnoxiously loud, but I like it loud enough to feel the pulse of the band. Without my rig, the only pulse I'd feel would be my own when checking to see if I still had one.
  17. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Not at all.
  18. I'm a recent convert to going direct and using just a stage monitor.
    I have a four pedal set-up and we use our own PA. It sounds great
    wether we're indoors or outdoors, small club or large hall.
    I use a wireless and go out to check how it sounds and I like what
    I hear. Powerful, punchy bass.
    If you are going to rely on a stage monitor and the PA to get your
    sound out, you better make sure you've got good gear, otherwise,
    you might as well stick with a bigger rig and handle the job yourself.

    One thing to consider is that if you aren't going through the PA,
    and you're relying on your rig to cover the mix out front, the
    audience is going to get the bass sound from the point of origin
    (your rig). That would mean that if they were on the opposite side
    of the venue from you, they'd percieve the bass one way, and
    when they moved to the other side they'd be hearing it differently.
    I hope that makes sense. When you are going through the PA,
    your bass is being sent out equally on both sides to everyone.
    At least that's my interpretation, I'm no sound engineer.

    Anyway, I enjoy the faster, lighter load in/out as well.
  19. KSDbass


    Mar 25, 2005
    my "rig" AKA Fender Rumble 60 Watt, is very important because it took a good bit of EQing to get a good tone from my bass, and I where I usually play there isn't PA support...
  20. Johnny5


    Mar 5, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    That's awesome. At our last gig, the soundgirl (hells yeah) DI'd my head and mic'd one of my cabs and I was told by my friend who comes to ALL our shows, that my bass never sounded better. I'm going to request that from now on at all the places we play. :bassist:
    Ampslut likes this.