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Question for those with their 'ultimate rig'

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stereo Joe, Sep 13, 2008.


  1. This is a question directed at those of you who have settled on a rig for live use and currently feel no need to change or upgrade what you use:


    Does your rig satisfy you in every single situation? Meaning: can you get 'your tone' in any room, venue, or band situation?

    Also, what rig are you using and in what musical situations?


    The reason I ask is because my current setup leaves me about 75% happy. Most of the time, I can get a tone that sits well in the mix and leaves me happy. In some venues and bands though, I just can't seem to find my sound, no matter how much tweaking I do. Is this just the nature of the beast? Will there always be places where I struggle to find my tone? Or is it possible to have a rig that can be made to work everywhere?

    Keep in mind, I'm asking this from a session player's standpoint. I play with a variety of bands in different musical styles, not one band with a consistent sound.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Due to having to use a variety of different amps because I fly a lot and have to rely on rented backline that may or may not be what's on my rider, I'm of the belief that you should be able to make any rig work in any situation. Does that mean it will be your ideal tone for everything? No. But 75% is a very good percentage. If that's not good enough for you, then you will have to buy more than one rig.
     
  3. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I am happy with my tone most of the time. When I am not it is usually because of a very bad venue or a very loud guitarist. Sometimes I just wish I had more power.
     
  4. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    it took me years to become fully happy with my rig, and i'm only 100% happy when i'm using MY stuff.

    when i start using other peoples cabs is when i start being un-happy.

    take this for example. i almost sold my ampeg 4 pro head because for three gigs i used this backline acoustic 2x15 cab and i sounded like garbage. the next rehearsal i used my cab and it sounded amazing. so when i went back to the venue for another show, i brought my cab and sure enough, sounded awesome.
     
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Nothing's perfect, but my rig gets me pretty darn close. Granted, I have chosen to develop a fairly generic tone that plays well in a variety of situations.

    EA Micro300, DIY 12" speaker. Mostly jazz, ranging from combo to big-band, with occasional pop music.

    Something that I think helps me a lot, is that my rig is quite compact, and is a single 12, so while it is not ideal, it has better off-axis behavior than bigger cabs. Also, the size gives me more freedom for placement. These things seem to be more important than having a lot of knobs to tweak.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    +1, except, of course, in the case of my old SVT cab, and one day I'll actually take it to a gig and prove it ;)
     
  7. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Oops, forgot to answer the question ;)

    Main rig: iAMP500C with or without a wizzy extension cab.

    Musical situations: Traditional country, some blues, but more and more classic rock.

    Used to do a lot of house band gigs at Legions. Now I do more private parties and a lot of outdoor gigs during the summer/fall. I use the same rig outdoors unless I think it will get wet, then I switch to my B rig.

    For larger venues, I go DI to the FOH and use my iAMP500C as a monitor.

    IMHO there is more to a great general purpose rig than just the sound. My rig is very easy to pack. Is easy to carry and put on a cart. If I don't need the extension, I can carry everything in one trip. With the extension I need two unless I am willing to overload the cart (gets tippy so I need smooth surfaces).
     
  8. Cool, thanks for the replies!!

    I do seem to have better luck when I use my Markbass LMK + Patterson Audio 1x10 and can position it to aim directly at me. I guess that would equate to a more consistent sound because I'm hearing the direct blast of audio from the cab, not a reflected echo or something.

    Do you folks think there is any merit to something like the Auralex Gramma pad to isolate the amp from coupling with the floor? Maybe this could lead to a more consistent tone from situation to situation?
     
  9. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    GK 700RB-II and Schroeder 410 Light

    I am completely happy with my tone after many years, cuts through a mix just great and is louder than I need. I used a Thunderfunk with this Schroeder for quite some time and it sounded great, but sometimes there was a gap in the upper mids that I could never fill no matter how much I tweaked. The GK solves that problem, which I got lucky with because it was originally purchased as a backup amp. Cool.

    I play in a very loud rock band, mostly in bars and small clubs.
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    +1

    my epifani rig is IT, but alot of times, rentals are just a fact of life, and being able to find a reflection of you is one of the hallmarks of a good gigging bassist.
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    maybe, but its alot to spend on something you could do easily w/ a milk crate or a chair.
     
  12. Good point. I used to use a drummer's empty cases (if available) but it created a resonating chamber under the cab that emphasized the lows.

    The chair thing usually works, but sometimes I can't fit my amp on properly, or the height is wrong.
     
  13. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I don't know but I just got one today to use tonight on a resonant stage. I'll report back if you want.
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I just tilt my small rigs back with a 2x2 on the floor. Doesn't totally get rid of floor coupling, but it's a lot better and I get more of the real sound as the audience hears, which is enough for me, considering the price of a Gramma pad vs. the price of a stick I found in a parking lot ;)
     
  15. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I've been happy with my stuff for a few years and have gone through different tone phases, EQ, compression vs no compression, clean vs grit, using the FX loop now, etc. Ultimate rigs and ultimate tones are a changing thing!
     
  16. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I have a spring-loaded handle and rubber feet on one cab. I was gonna buy some rubber door stoppers for the other, but I'll probably just cut some myself from scraps since it'll work the same.

    I agree about getting pretty much your sound with whatever you can play. It is better to play whatcha been scrimping and searching to get.
     
  17. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Got mine for $20....Gramma not a stick.
     
  18. I put my Epi 212 on a milk crate (or two - side by side) to avoid coupling and to help get the tone closer to my ears). It works well.
     
  19. I'm perfectly happy with my rig AND it all fits on a Lee Valley dolly:
    Aguilar DB358
    Bergantino HS210
    Auralex Gramma pad

    When more volume is required I go direct to the front of house system.
     
  20. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    LMAO!
    This even more funny with booze in system. I need to read more closely.
     

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