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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Blu bro, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Blu bro

    Blu bro

    Mar 1, 2012
    how many of you fellow bassplayers actually gig with a back up head?
    this is not to say you dont have a reliable bass head but just wondering, Coz i usually gig with a back up bass but never gig with a back up head. Just interested on your experiences...
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to not bring a backup, and occasionally I might still forget the backup, but after throwing a couple tubes here and there over the last few months, I've been more dilligent about bringing my PF350 as a backup to my tube Ampegs. I don't enjoy bringing backups, and for the longest time I used to not bring backups of anything and was fine, but lately I'm feeling the need again. And as small as the PF350 is, I don't have much of an excuse not to.
  3. Yea, Ive been thinkin about getting a micro for this purpose.
  4. Swampman Cory

    Swampman Cory

    Nov 9, 2009
    Los Angeles / ex-Michigan
    Endorsing Artist: Reunion Blues, 64 Audio, Mesa Engineering
    I don't gig with a backup head, but I would if I had another portable one. When I'm on my A-game, I have an emergency JDI with me, and always a leatherman-style multi-tool.
  5. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    A backup head would be a bit much. I have an MXR M-80 on my pedalboard, so in the unlikely event of a head failure it's just pop the XLR out of the head and to the DI. Maybe goose the fader a bit to make up for the stage volume.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Always. No matter how reliable an amp I think I have. Nothing worse than that "deer in the headlights" feeling when a gig goes south because there are no work-arounds.

    Then again, we're a small local band. I carry and run PA as well as bass duties. My backup bass amp can also serve to say power monitors or something if a poweramp goes down, etc. I'm also OCD enoigh to use 2 small mixers chained together instead of 1 big one, more cables than I need, etc.

    It really depends on your situation. We do some gigs where if we don't bring it, it's not there. More professional players, a backup system might just mean a spare DI. In any case, whatever your situation, you should always have a way to make the show go on if your main system has a problem...whatever that means. "The show must go on".
  7. GregT


    Jan 29, 2012
    Southwest Missouri
    I have a backup plan for a lot of my equipment when I play. It would not always be the best, but it might get me through a night. My backup bass amp is just a Tech21 Programmable bass Driver into the PA. I have even used it into just a QSC K12 with excellent results. The little micro heads are also the perfect backup amps.
  8. There's another head in my rack. For some shows with poop pa il bring 2 stacks to fill up room, not really to crank it. So there's a spare head where ever I go anyway.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006

    It doesn't have to be great stuff, just get you through. For some, that might mean one of these pocket-rocket mini amps, others just a DI, the rest of us, a busted up '78 Peavey that still plays. You just need something.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I gig with a micro head, and stash another micro head in my car as a backup. Truth be told, I've had amps fail on the bandstand -- two or three times in the past 30 years. Nothing else has ever failed on me, that I can't simply live without.
  11. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yep. I've had to grab my backup about the same 3 times in 25-28 years.........the most recent being last month. Sure glad it was there.
  12. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    You guys remember the movie G.I. Jane? It's about a woman who tries to make it as a Navy Seal, and during her training they preach to always have a backup for everything. The motto is: Two is one. One is none.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    In the Army the phrase was "improvise, adapt and overcome". Pretty hard to do when you're left with your ass hanging out and nothing to cover it.
  14. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I've never brought a back up amp, nor do I own one to bring. I don't have the money to buy an amp as a backup or I would.
  15. aglide


    Jun 27, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    I've got a laptop bag with a front pocket. The Markbass Momark fits in the main compartment and the Shuttle 6 fits in the front. Might as well bring both heads if they fit right?
  16. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Since I always gig with an all tube head I have got into the habit of taking my Markbass as a backup - small and light and no problem. In the days of heavy and bulky heads I never considerd taking a backup.
    I would have to say that in my case Sod's Law has applied here - I have never once had to use my backup. However, the only times a tube head has broken down on me I did not/forgot to take the backup.
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The question is how secure do you need to be? Tuba players don't bring a spare tuba.
  18. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    I do the same thing--I love my M-80. I also have a backup head, but in a funny way. One of the cabs in my rig is actually a combo amp that I wired to be used as a passive cabinet (GK MB210). In the event my head failed, there's one built right into the cab, and it will drive both my cabinets. Belt, suspenders, and... another belt, I guess.


    P.S. That said, I didn't really design it this way. We've had gear fry up on us during a gig, but never my bass head. I did lose one at practice, though, and I suppose it could happen on a gig.
  19. It's a 20 minute round trip for me to go home for my backup, I figure the chances are worse for having gear left in the car.
  20. Always! Had a tube amp turn into a beer trough once(sax player put a beer on top b4 I noticed, & it-of course- tipped over & into amp guts. Was a pretty fireworks show.
    But, I had to do rest of gig D.I.'d with the fold back wedge as my stage sound, & I hated that (still do).

    So, ever since I could afford to, a since micro amps are now sounding good, I carry a back up.
    It's a great amp-GB Shuttle 6.0. I've only had to use it once (as a back up-I often use it as my preferred amp & another as back up), but I'm sure glad to know I'll not have to rely on the monitors ( & therefore the engineer,P.A. etc) for my stage sound!

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