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Rent your rig for backline?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jbd5015, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. jbd5015

    jbd5015 Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    I was having a conversation with a buddy last night about amps. We live in a small town with a small music community with only a few gigging bass players that have larger vintage rigs. He was asked by a local bar owner if he had an SVT or knew where to get one for a touring band that was coming to town. The guy that wanted the SVT ended up using a Mark Bass amp (500watts) through a nice Avatar 4x10.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it got me thinking. Ive got my V4B and matching 4x10 2 OHM cab that would most likely scratch most of an SVT itch just sitting at my house. No stores in a 75 mile radius have an SVT let alone an 810 to put it through. I know that most bar managers would go through a rental company to get a rig like that, but why not just pay me to come set up the V4B and let them use it for the night?

    Would any of you be willing to do that? Im seriously considering it as I dont want to get rid of the amp, and this could potentially make me some money while I have it between those outdoor gigs or things like that where its more useful than the B15.

    What would you charge for this? $100 seem reasonable? Its fully serviced, and I'd come personally set up the amp on stage, its got wheels to roll it wherever you need it, and then i would pick it up in the morning the next day.

    Lemme know your thoughts all!!! Good and bad, or certain ways to perhaps protect myself and the amp!!!

  2. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Sounds good to me!
    (Maybe 80 USD, but that's splitting hairs I guess)
  3. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    One has to ask themselves: Can I replace my rig for $80 - $100?
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +10000 and who is going to make sure the amp doesn't get stolen or damaged? good luck trying to sue some random band for damages to your equipment.
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    As long as the owner would cover theft and all damage, $100 is fair.

    Remember, speakers get blown, beer gets spilled, amps get stolen and drunks wipe out amps. You need to ensure that you are coverered legally if anything bad happens.
  6. +3. Yep, and how long can you go without it?
  7. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    In the 70s I once loaned my rig (Bassman 100 w 4x12 cab) for a back line just for tickets to the concert. :p Mike Bloomfield was the headliner.

    You might look into insurance if you're going to pimp out your rig. You might also look into rental contracts. Things happen.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    When is the last time you rented an amp? Last time I paid $100 for a rental it was for a whole month.

    Personally I wouldn't even consider doing it unless I had an in house tech who was extremely capable.
  9. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It's a big risk on your part. Things can happen that wouldn't occur to you in your wildest dreams.

    Normally there is a contract to be signed that outlines liability on both sides. You rent you amp, they pay a deposit or give you a credit card that you put through an authorization based on the value. The contract allows for wear and tear but needs to specify what happens in the even of damage or theft. There is some overhead. You need to pay a lawyer to draw up that initial contract. You will also need insurance. This is a commercial venture, are you required to set up a company? This would insulate you from personal bankruptcy.

    You can do all this under the table until something big goes wrong.

    What do you do if the player pushes the amp hard and blows a speaker? You can't run on stage and tell them how to use the amp if you rented it to third party. What do you do if they spill beer all over it? What if there is a bar fight and the amp is damaged?

    Now what happens if your amp shorts out and starts a fire. Are you covered with insurance for that? The bar might sue you. What happens if the building next store burns down as well. Are you covered for that? Now you are into liability insurance.

    What happens if someone decides to move the amp and drops it on their foot and sues you. Medical insurance.

    If you rent the amp and it doesn't work they might sue you if the band can't perform. Loss of business both for the bar and the band.

    Is the additional maintenance costs going to be worth it? The amp will require regular service. Can you schedule the service between bar gigs. Having a backup is often necessary to mitigate any losses.

    Ok, I'm going a bit overboard with the scenarios. Just be aware of the potential worst case pitfalls. Is it really worth it? I'd let the bar owner buy his own amp.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Prices can vary depending on where you live. For example, $75 per day each for an SVT and 810 ($150 total+tax+cartage) is not unreasonable.
  11. Promit


    Dec 8, 2013
    Rental places have insurance, backups, techs, lawyers... doing it on your own is extremely risky.
  12. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    I like your thinking, putting a V4B to good use and getting some money out of it too. But please look at this as starting a small rental company, not as a friendly deal to your local venue.

    As beans-on-toast has stated, make sure you're prepared for every possible scenario. Maybe a simple contract is all you need, like 'I'm responsible for bringing the amp, you're responsible for anything that may happen to it while you're renting it and returning it the next day. Payment is required N days in advance.'

    Explore the possibilities with a lawyer. And be prepared for people who break stuff but won't pay, regardless of what's in the contract.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Would I do it? No way!
  14. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    We got a spot on a gig roster by making our drums available for the "headliner", who were touring from LA and didn't bring their own. The other drummer really pummeled the drums, and our drummer says the kit "just isn't right" since then. We've all sworn off making our equipment available to others after this experience.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Backline rental companies budget repairs and replacements for the prices they charge. They can afford to because they have a lot more business volume. You will rent yours out once every few weeks, most likely, so you won't have that kind of business volume that allows you a repair budget. For that reason alone, I wouldn't do it.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    And that's WITH YOU THERE. People treat other peoples' stuff (especially rentals) in ways they'd never treat their own gear or even something borrowed from a friend or acquaintance.

    If you have a piece of gear and you actually like it, don't rent it. If you're a rental company, you count on getting enough mileage out of it to make up for what you bought it for, plus profit and also cover any repairs. You have a business where you can write off the cost of that loss, and/or insurance that might cover it.

    It doesn't appear that the OP has any of those things.
  17. Only if I was already playing a gig there that night, I ran the amp, and I was present the whole time
  18. Ask your s.o. if they would mind you renting them out by the night. If your amp could talk it would give you the same answer.
  19. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    No way. Period. It wouldn't be worth the risk, wear, and time.

    Too many potential issues.
  20. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY

    You're not going overboard at all. All of those scenarios have a significant chance.