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Emergency back up amps at gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lawjazz1, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. lawjazz1


    Sep 7, 2013
    I have just purchased a used (obviously) rig - Sunn 1200s w/ Sunn 410h cab for $300.00. Good deal I thought. This is really a Fender product from the late 90s/early '00s. It really kicks though with only one 8 Ohms cab, its around 300w and not the 1200w it could put out at 2 ohms. Anyway, this amp has a rep for overheating and is fairly hard to fix given its age and no support from Fender.

    My question is how many of you bring a back up amp to gigs and if so, what do you bring for emergencies?
  2. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I only bring a cheap Yorkville DI but I used to keep an old GK 800RB in my trunk.

    I have a couple of DIs on my pedalboard as well. I am coverered if my amp dies, but would prefer playing thru my amp than thru the PA
  3. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    My GK MB200 is always with me - 2 lbs, 200 watts into 4 ohms. Fits in the side pocket of the duffle bag I carry my cords, tuner, etc in.
  4. I primarily use vintage gear (2 Fender Bassmans, and a Traynor YBA-1a) and I'm always freaked out that I'm going to fry something. And it actually happened to me once, just got my '68 Bassman back from being serviced and the wire to the transformer got pinched between it an the chassis and fried the transformer. So, I'm in the same boat looking for an "emergency" amp that I can use if the worst happens (again). Right now I'm between the GK MB Fusion 500, Genz STM-600, or an Aguilar Tone Hammer. Something small that can fit in my Mono FlyBy or has it's own little gig bag.
  5. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I pack a Sadowsky Preamp/DI for back up. no need to haul a 2nd amp.
    But I've never had an amp fail on me in the 40+ years I've been playing.
  6. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    we always bring a second mini PA setup to serve as a stack in a pinch
  7. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I always have my back up with me. Soon to go in a flight case.

    Attached Files:

  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I always have a DI with me in some shape or form, usually a few. I've got a SansAmp Paradriver and a Zoom B3 on my board, or a Countryman Type 85 in my duffel bag.

    I try to bring along my GK MB200 as well.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Big believer in backup plans here, any gear could fail no matter how good of stuff it is. We carry my PA to a lot of gigs so I have to make sure the gig will still happen if something fails. For me, my backups are running my TubeMP into an open poweramp channel and/or using my spare bass amp, which could serve as backup for a failed power amp. I also use 2 small mixing boards patched together instead of one big one.

    If you use a whole 'nother bass amp as backup, it doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive. Some beater off craigslist or that little GK mb200 would be just fine. For some folks, a eimple extra DI box could be the backup. I just think you should have one more way of making sound beyond your regular rig.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I also carry my littke Valve Jr. combo we can run into the guitarists cab or mic up should that amp go down.
  11. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Commercial User

    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    If my amp went down I'd just use a DI for the remainder of the gig.
  12. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    My main rig is a littleMark III through an ampeg 112 and I carry a little 3 pound EA head as a backup and an ART tubeMP DI/preamp. I don't carry a spare cab as those are a lot harder to ruin.
  13. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Either a Sansamp BDDI or a Radial Bassbone. My monitor is a 15" Yamaha which can be used for a bass cab in a pinch.
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Shuttle 6.0 or GK MB800 are both tiny, light, and powerful. I keep one of them in my kit bag—oh and a countryman type 85 DI.
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I brought a spare amp for the first few years of gigs as well as a spare bass. After about 5 years I stopped because nothing ever broke down.

    For the past 25 years I've just carried fuses, strings, batteries and basic tools.

    If you really feel you need a spare amp buy a beater like will33 suggested, maybe an old GK or Peavey you can find for $150 or less.
  16. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    If I'm bringing a spare, which of often do when using a tube amp, especially on the road, I will bring an Aguilar TH350.

    Originally I bought the GK MB200 as my "back up amp." Picked it for it's size and price - it's just a back up, so it only has to get you thru one gig.

    I ended up selling the MB200 for the TH350. The TH350 is more of a serious amp, but still is very small, very light, and can be had for pretty cheep on the used market. Lot pop up for sale here on TB that are pretty much in new condition.

    The TH350 is great for a back up, but also just a great gigging amp. For me the MB200 was more of a back up only and living room kind of amp.

    A DI box is always a nice option too.
  17. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    I bring my SWR Headlite as a backup to every gig.

    I've never needed it, but its nice to know its there if I do, and it fits in a bass case, so its no extra effort to haul.
  18. grey area

    grey area

    Sep 2, 2009
    almeria spain
    main amp GK MBF 500 and a little GK MB200 as back up. so far unused as backup. touch wood.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    If this is the same amp I am thinking of, I believe somebody put pics up on here somewhere of a mod that adds an aluminum bar over a part of the board that is known to get hot, and connects it to the heatsink to help transfer more heat away.

    Might want to search around for that. I believe it is the same amp as the Fender TB1200 or whatever that big Fender leadsled is that was made around that time.
  20. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    +1, used to carry backups, not anymore. Out of town is a different story however.

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