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Suitable amp setup for mid-size gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pdstafford, Nov 7, 2013.


  1. pdstafford

    pdstafford

    Nov 7, 2013
    Melbourne
    Hello friends,

    Long-time lurker, first time poster. Glad to be here :)

    I've started up a band with some friends. We're a 90s cover band, mostly going to be doing weddings and parties. So, we're probably looking at attendance anywhere up to 150 people for each gig.

    Can't speak to venues, but hopefully the number of people gives you a vague idea of the type of venues we'll be playing. Reception halls, that sort of thing.

    I haven't played in a band in a while, so my amp is certainly not up to scratch for professional playing. I'm playing with a budget of about $AU2,000, and am trying to figure out the best rig possible for the type of gigging I'm going to be doing.

    So, that's my question - what sort of rig should I be looking at for this price range?

    I've come across a few possibles:

    Ampeg PF-410 LHF. Looks good enough - wondered if anyone had tried this out? Would lack of volume be an issue for the number of people I'm playing to?

    http://www.fivestarmusic.com.au/epa...Path=/Shops/fivestarmusic/Products/AMPF410HLF

    A couple of heads I've checked out:

    Warwick Pro Fet 5.2:

    http://www.fivestarmusic.com.au/epa...h=/Shops/fivestarmusic/Products/WAR-PROFET5.2

    Orange Terror Bass:

    http://www.fivestarmusic.com.au/epa...jectPath=/Shops/fivestarmusic/Products/BT500H

    Any suggestions? Perhaps from people who are doing similar-sized gigs?

    Although I've played in bands before, this is my first real move into professional gigging. Just want to make sure I've got the right gear! I realise it doesn't matter so much between certain brands, but still, would love some outside perspective.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Welcome to TB!

    Things have changed for cabs in the last 5 years.

    Take a look at http://barefacedbass.com/product-range.htm
    These are some of the better cabs. No side by side speakers. All vertically stacked. Also, buying a couple of cabs and stacking them gives you a modular setup depending on the venue size.
     
  3. Personally, I am partial to Hartke amps and cabs so I would be inclined to get an HA3500 amp and a HyDrive 4x10 cabinet and those would be within your budget. I have had that amp for many years and I really like it.
     
  4. Melbourne is awash with great bands playing for peanuts. I caution you not to spend a big sum like that on new gear, rather take advantage of someone else's broken dream.

    Outdoor gigs is where you need the horsepower. I'd look for a good used GK and 2x12 to get going and get another 2x12 down the track.
     
  5. Jungy

    Jungy

    Jun 9, 2011
    Oz
    Keep an eye on gumtree and the classifieds at ozbassforum.com
    $2000 is stacks of cash for what you are after in my opinion.
     
  6. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    +1 on the cabs. 2x12 will give you enough power to get along with a not too loud drummer and PA used for singing / keyboards only, as long as you're in a room with about 150 people. If you go for neo speakers, it's an easy schlep as well.
    The second cab will get you the horsepower to put up with almost anything. I'm using that setup (Aguilar Tonehammer 500 with 2 GS212 cabs) and i have yet to face a situation where i lack volume. I even brought both cabs to a gig where i feared one might not be enough and put one back in the van after the soundcheck.
     
  7. All, very good advice.

    My band plays the music for free.
    The fee we charges is for moving the equipment.
    Be careful not to pay too much for used gear.
    If you have patience as a buyer, you can find good deals.
    Stay "main stream", because it is easier to re-sell when the time comes.

    Buy a DB meter... parties and weddings are not the place for bleeding ear drums.
    At the start of the event, keep to 85~90 dB at the listening tables.
    As the night goes on, the old farts go home and the party winds up. The volume can go up as demanded.
    We get invited back, time and again, because we know how to turn it down.

    For bass, more cab is always better.
    Flexibility is a blessing... two 2x12 beats a 4x12 every time. Same for tens.
    For us, a single E140 works for intimate gigs, an 1820 (18+2x10) for intermediates, and bass horns for outdoors and street gigs.
    We never play bleeding loud.
     
  8. Good advice... blunt but true ! Lol...

    I would add that with the money you save on a good used rig you really need some pedals or a good multi effects to do covers properly, and bass wise stingrays are also a popular with cover band bassists as they cover a lot of sounds...
    Also consider in ear monitoring if playing to a sequence or pre recorded tracks in addition to a drummer... Most cover/reception bands will also have some form of rented or owned PA, so consider an onboard or external DI for added support when the need arises.
    You can get away with just a rig, but to do it properly takes some thought and extra bits ;)

    Edit: just wanted to add, life is indeed short, and shiny new gear can be exciting and inspiring... So if bucks ain't a problem, go crazy ! After all, it's only money... Enjoy your new gig !
     
  9. pdstafford

    pdstafford

    Nov 7, 2013
    Melbourne
    Thanks for all the advice - this is great!

    Re: Effects - is there anything I should specifically check out to give a good range? I've never botherer using effects before.
     
  10. I use a lot of effects for funky jazz but like you not on covers. I first got a multi unit but didn't have the patience to scroll menus to tweak things.

    A nice overdrive is about the only tone I consider vital, and that's only for my own satisfaction not the audience. GK drive isn't everyones cup of tea but it has sold a lot of amps.
     
  11. I think a good compressor, dist/fuzz (eg bass muff), envelope follower (eg bass balls), and maybe a bass synth will just about cover it... If you want to explore things like these cheaply, the newish zoom MS-60B will do them all in one pedal for $99 US but not as easy to control at a gig as a multi pedal unit...
    I played for a few years in a 6 piece reception band that did covers, standards etc, and for most of it I was FX less, no problem, but I noticed that a few effects can spice up things, get you a little closer to the original, and at least, entertain fellow band members ;)
     
  12. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Ampeg PF-800.
     

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