How do you gig with such small rigs???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rockstarbassist, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I've been reading every so often the Schroeder/Bergie/Aguilar threads, and I just have one real big question- how can you gig with such small rigs??

    I don't know if I've just been somewhat underpowering my cabs or what, but I've only had one rig that was a really killer setup, volume-wise, and that was an Ampeg SVT-III Pro into a Boogie 2x15 and 2x10. I've had a few 4x10's, and a Powerhouse (Boogie) 2x10+1x15 setup, and they've never been loud enough when playing with a drummer and a half stack.
    I recently sold my all-Boogie rig (M-Pulse 600 and the 2x10+1x15 short-stack) just because I couldn't compete live when playing with a friggin' LOUD drummer (who has this impossibly loud snare) and a Mesa Dual Recto half-stack.
    So do most of you with the smaller rigs (1x12's, 2 1x12's, 2x12's, 2x10+1x12, etc..) just not play with these really loud people or what? I usually don't go through the PA (as we're re-saving up to buy another one as we had to sell our old one). I guess some of it would probably be that about half of our gigs are outside, but still. I got an Aguilar 1x12 and matched it with my Mesa 1x15 with the Mesa head, and I played a larger outdoor gig and it just couldn't even begin to cut it. My amp was at 3:30-4:00 by the time it was over. The amp sounded GREAT through the Aggy cabs, but it just was not even close to being loud enough...

    I currently now have the setup that's in my sig (SansAmp RBI into a QSC PLX 1602 bridged (1600 watts) into a Mesa Diesel 6x10, rated @ 900 watts), and hopefully that'll take care of my volume woes for a good while. :) I hope to one day make my dream rig complete and get a larger power amp (like a Stewart 2.1 or QSC 3402) and run both the 6x10 and a Boogie Diesel 2x15 like I used to have.
    So, yeah. :) How do you guys do it??
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    pretty much answered your own question, cause yea, most of us arent in super loud, heavy rockin' situations. and its a godsend when you're able to play with people who are mindful of their volume. :bassist:
  3. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    What kind of music does everyone play then? I thought everyone was a heavy rock 'n' roller... ;) :bassist: :hyper:
  4. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I've been running 1350 watts through my Mesa 2x10/1x15 Diesels for a few years now with no problem. My guitar player has two 100 watt Marshall 1/2 stacks (quite loud) and my drummer hits very hard (typical metal band I guess). At practice the PA (1000 watt) is used just for vocals and to get guitar sound to the drummer. No complaints that the bass isn't loud enough. At gigs everything is run through a pro PA (either house or on our dime) and my rig functions as a stage monitor for me primarily. We've been playing some larger outdoor venues that has me considering adding another 2x10 but I can't really see much more of a need than that.
    For outdoor gigs I can't see that you'd need much more than your 1600 watts and 6x10 for a "no PA" type gig. For anything that it isn't good enough for you should probably really have a PA anyway because at that point the drummerand guitarist are gonna have problems getting heard too.
  5. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Maybe I'm just going deaf then...?? :) But I don't have to turn up the stereo in the car any louder, though...

    I actually should've just kept my cabs and got a new amp, but ah well. Too late now!
  6. well depending on who I am playing with that night I'll either be playing a 200 person club or a 1000 person I need something that will handle both...I'd love to have an 810 on stage with me, but with a bad back that just can't I can get a smaller rig use it as a monitor and mic it for larger gigs or just run it straight up for smaller gigs...
  7. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    If it is a problem being heard in a band practice type situation just trying moving things around a bit. We used to have an awful time hearing ourselves and each other until we kept rearranging things and then all of a sudden we positioned our equipment where everybody was happy. Just a little trial and error.
    The 600 watt head should have been good enough. I had a minor problem with my power amp that caused me to run it on one channel for awhile and 500 watts was still plenty for my situation.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    My band is heavily classic rock influenced. We are pretty loud. I used to have the headroom to be louder than my guitarist, he was using a 65 watt Fender combo. But he bought a Line 6 150 watt 2x12 combo, and my Peavey BAM said 'Uncle'! at a gig last month.

    So for me, going from a 210 350 watt combo to a 12+10 and 800 watts is a step up, volume wise. I hope it will be enough. If it's not, I will buy something to set on top of the Schroeder.

    A big plus for us is that most of the places we play have a decent PA, so my amp is just for the drummer and I to hear the bass.

    But these Schroeders are freakin' LOUD! By most accounts, the 410 will compete with most 810 cabinets.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well either we dont play at death by decibels volume like joker said, or we use lots of power and efficient cabinets
    sometimes you don't think you're "cutting it" from the way you sound on stage, but that can be extremely deceptive - that's where having some people in the audience to let you know what it REALLY sounds like can be helpful
    i also dont find that outdoor gigs are all that different even when i was using an eden wt-400 generously rated at 400 watts into a bag end 115 and 112 i didnt have to go thru the pa and that was competing with a marshall half stack
    i use a stewart 2.1 sometimes in dual mono (400 watts a side into the same cabinets) and sometimes bridged mono (2100 watts into the same 2 cabs) I've also used an aggie 112 with that setup
    having all of that power really helps, and lets face it, big cabinets look cool, but they suck to move. I'd much rather bring as many small cabinets as i need to each gig than be stuck with an 8x10 or 2x15 that i had to bring everywhere
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I guess also because it's because I'm pretty tall, and that short rig of the 2x10+1x15 is pretty close to the ground, so unless it's a good bit back, I really can't even hear that much of the amp. Hopefully this Mesa 6x10 will be tall enough for me to hear, which it definitely should be.

    Also we used to play a lot more indoors than we do now, and when we start doing that again I won't have to turn up nearly as much. I wish someone would just make a freakin' up-facing bass cab... Seriously. Guitar cabs have been doing that for years. You would think someone would say "Hey, maybe bass players need to hear themselves too!"

    Anyhow, this rig is gonna be louder than ass, so that's always a plus. :)
  11. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    I'm a pretty loud player myself, and 600 watts into 2 Schroeder 1210s is working out ok, but my guitarist could destroy me in a volume war if he wanted to. For a bass rig though, the Schroeders are pretty loud, and my guitarist never uses the full potential of his amp. That's why we're currently in the process of building a 1x12" cab for him.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, I'll just jump in here and perhaps piss off a few folks. What is the point in playing so fricking loud? When I go to hear a band, I don't want pain in my ears, and I don't want damage to my hearing. If those nitwits can't set their egos aside and play for the ensemble and the song, they aren't even musicians, they're just noisemakers. I've had to deal with these guys that have no concern for the mix, and when I'm doing their sound, their fader is all the way down. Playing loud is just a juvenile way to get attention, much like the bozos who like to fire up a cigar in the hotel lobby. "Let's see, I don't really have anything else going for me, so I'll just be as obtrusive and obnoxious as I can." If you want to play music, dump those doodoos and find a group of musicians. Then you'll only need 600 watts to keep up.
  13. ADuck5150


    Jul 31, 2004
    I second that...throughout high school I played in a rock band with 2 really loud guitars...we could only rehearse when our parents were out of the house. I was constantly buried beneath the guitars whenever we played out, and it didn't help that most of the time we were all playing the same lines. I might as well have been playing the kazoo. Nowadays, my group has one guitar, and he rarely even uses distortion (we're more funk/rock/ska). And because we're almost never doubling lines, I stand out a whole lot more, and i'm no longer straining my amp to compete with anyone. It's also great to still be able to hear after coming home from a gig :cool:
  14. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    The problem is that, for the most part, loudness is what the audience wants. I'm not into loud volumes at all, I'm very careful with my hearing. I always use earplugs, and if the audience members don't, that's fine with me :) Thus far, every gig I've ever been to has been at permanent damage volume levels, even a few jazz gigs. Unless a drummer is barely touching the drums, they'll be too loud, and that forces everyone else to be too loud :meh:
  15. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Eric has the biggest point about playing live. A drummer, unless he's on an electronic kit (which is like never) cannot turn down, and then if you don't have a FULL mic kit for the drums, they have to play the hell out of them so you can hear everything, which is what we usually do. And honestly my guitarist/singer is the coolest guy ever and doesn't play very loud at all on stage. Hardly really even turns it up because he mic's and goes through the PA to project. So I'm not competing with the guitar/vox, but mainly the drums. I play on the side with both rides and the piccolo snare, so I have to be pretty loud for the audience to hear me well. Like I said, I usually don't go through the PA (just because right now we're renting and borrowing stuff w/out subs), but I guess I should start doing so more now. But really, I want to stress that we're not a full-out, out of control band or something. Hardly that at all. We're all pretty mature musicians and are very aware of sound levels. I just have a problem hearing myself a lot because we don't use monitors, except for the drummer.
    So, if I had like a 3-ft wooden pedestal thing to set my cab and amp on, it'd be awesome because I could hear it at ear level.
    But I guess I see now why more people can have these compact rigs and it work out okay. I just tried it, and for whatever reason it didn't work out for me. :( But this should...
  16. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    How timely! I played my first gig with my new band last night and in practices the guitarist has been going through a 10W 1x8" combo. For the gig he was through his 100W valve head and 4x12" and it totally messed up our volume balance (and his playing somewhat!) I've just spent the last hour searching for guitar speakers (easy to find and v cheap) and pricing on decent plywood etc (v hard to find but seems to be cheap!)

    I think I can make a 1x12" cab for him for about £60. Want to keep it ultra-simple: thin plywood, painted finish, strap handle, metal grill. Not sure whether to go open or closed back yet. Was pondering tiltback but I think it's probably best to just stack in on beer crates.

    Any hints/tips?

  17. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Well, right now I'm in the process of finding a good sounding and quiet speaker. We were originally thinking of getting the Celestion G12H30 but it has a sensitivity of 100dB. The Greenback has a sensitivity of 97dB, which will let him drive his tube amp twice as hard. I found another possible replacement, the Eminence Cannabis Rex, but it has a sensitivity of 102dB... no good. We need a dark/deep sounding 1x12" ( or 1x10" if it's available ) with a sensitivity of no higher than, say, 97dB. For the actual cabinet, we're using the following materials:

    3/4" MDF for strength and to make the prototypes. His dad is a carpenter so if the MDF cab is too heavy, it's not a problem, we'll just get plywood.

    Speaker caulk/sealant to keep the driver sealed to the cab.

    No handles or strap to interfere with the tone. It's a 1x12", so it should be easy enough to move.

    Oversized box to match up with the Single Rectifier.

    Locking nuts to hold the driver in place.

    100% silicone caulk to seal up all of the joints and edges on the inside.

    8 stacking corners, just for the hell of it.

    1Lb. acoustic fill to make the enclosure seem even bigger.

    Very inobtrusing single 1/4" input with Neutrik jack and 11 gauge speaker wire.

    There may be more, but it's early for me :D Basically, we're going for a very high quality setup to get the best band practice tone possible. If we like it, we may very well use this cab for mic'ed gigs ( if we ever get any ;) ). When we finish building it, we'll start by using an open back enclosure, and if we don't like it, we'll just seal up the back. Much to my chagrin, he's into a very bass heavy setup :(
  18. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Very well said!

    I once was present at a venue that held maybe 50 to75 people. There was an open jam going on and the place where using pa support. After the jam was over a band came on to play a set. By the second song ALL the musicians and most of the crowd where standing in the parking lot. No need for all that volume and it took away from any musicianship that might have been present It was just LOUD LOUD LOUD. As for people want LOUD music, I think that is wrong! People want GOOD music, and the older a bassplayer gets the smaller his rig gets and the more his bass knob turns counter clockwise. Decent musicians play in the context of a band situation. Meaning they understand that there only a part of a bigger puzzle. No one should be playing louder than anyone else! That's where volume wars start. when you start dealing with volume wars you are dealing with EGO'S !
    Ego's have never made for good teamwork! And that what a band is, TEAMWORK!
  19. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    It's a constant battle to be heard but as has been previously mentioned - if you are playing with people with zero sensitivity to what is going on around them, you are always going to be in a losing situation.

    If you want noise you have to move a lot of air and the small stuff sans PA does not cut it, whatever name is on the label. It's all down to controlling the other players' volumes and yourself. The further you push, they always rise to it.

    Maybe an alternative.................

    Heard some guys using a BOSE PAS - the pole thing! Using those seemed to level the playing field greatly. It is a huge $$$ cost but the sound was excellent. For bass with the pole, you need 2 BOSE bass boxes or an external PA style sub. I think the trick is to get the other guys to buy and use the poles and you use your regular gear - then you are in great shape. Ha, revenge at last!!
  20. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    Very interesting thread here. I just wonder how you create mindfull players? I only run 300 watts and can pump some seriously loud bass with my setup. Still there are times the drummer makes it impossible for me the hear. I have repositioned cabs and all that. Threatned to get a bigger amp but man with 4 guitars with 160 watts apiece and a drummer it is just too loud every where but out in a field some where.