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Transporting rigs in the city

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Snarf, Mar 31, 2005.


  1. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    So, I'm going to Berklee next year, and with any kind of luck I should be getting myself a Yorkville XS800H head and Avatar 210 NEO cab to bring with me. My Nemesis 115 combo (older, much larger model) is just too unwieldy for moving, so I thought having two lighter items to cart around to gigs would be a plus.

    Questions: For anyone in college (especially in Boston), how do you move your rig to gigs in the city? Do you put everything on a hand truck and take the T? Do you find some guy with a van and load it up? Do you tag your stuff with a Starfleet comm badge and tell the computer to lock on to your signal and transport on your mark?
     
  2. IvanMike

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

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    1st check out this thread for two of the better hand trucks (ruxxac and cart-a-bag) click here
    2nd, ya gotta get a smaller head or a max of a 4-space rack.

    then ya need one or two small tiny cabs. the bag end 1x15 was the cab in nyc according to cats i knew. also,IIRC dave b at aguilar designed the gs112 to be like a bag end 1x15 but lighter and with more bottom end (although it falls short in the mids and overall voluem compared to an S15 IME). besides those two there are lots of small cabs (schroeder 1210, bergie 112, epi 112 and 110, etc)

    cats like joker and other city dudes shoudl be able to give you more real world answers, but it's gonna be close to this. more than likely you're gonna get l;ots of suggestions for somethign small that you can put in aq gig bag (like an eden 550 AI, or walter woods) a gig bag for your bass, and one small cab. that's pretty much standard taxi rig city.
     
  3. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Hand truck is probably the best option, with as small a combo as sounds good to you, and an InCase gig bag. Check out the new Mesa Walkabout Scout combos. They're very full sounding, and not too terrible to move around.
     
  4. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    what they all said...

    also, get used to using whatever's at the club, too. its obviously hit or miss, but when i started gigging, i realized lots of clubs and rehearsal halls used Hartke gear. went to GC, spent some time with the amps, and figured out a semi decent sound. helps even more if your bass has a great onboard preamp like my Sadowsky's, or the OBP-3 in my other basses.

    or like me, you could totally forgo the rig, and just go direct into the PA, and rely on monitors. if you have a nice DI box that you're familiar, i.e. a Sadowsky outboard box or the Sansamp Bass DI, you'll have better control over your sound into whatever hunk o' junk you're stuck with onstage.
     
  5. BenF

    BenF

    Mar 29, 2001
    Boston area
    While at Berklee I hauled my rig back and forth to school with a hand cart (Peavey Megabass head, SWR 2x10) and the bass went over the shoulder in a gig bag.

    I took taxis to gigs I couldn't reach by T, but that wasn't very often. The Green Line is the only subway line that was a headache, there are 2 or 3 steep steps up into the cars. The other 3 lines are all roll-on-roll-off. Also be aware that a few of the older Green Line T stops have very narrow escalators, so narrow a hand cart with rig will not fit (found that out the hard way), Arlington is an example.

    You want the lightest rig you can find. IvanMike made some great recommendations in the Acoustic Image or Eden WT550 (or used WT400 or 300).

    If you think you'll be using the rig mainly at school you can always look into renting a drum locker and storing the rig at school.
     
  6. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I would agree w/ BenF. Boston's Green Line is not too much fun (neither is the Red Line - South, but that's another issue), but it's the closest to school...Orange line is not too far as well. The Mesa Boogie Walkabout would be my personal choice. The tone is great and the rig itself is very manageable weight-wise...PLUS you can remove the head and take a 13lb, 300 watt head to mate up with a larger cab if needed.

    Good luck @ Berklee, stop in and see Peter Spellman and Bass Instructor Joe Santoro (my first teacher)
     
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Snarf,

    You should know that the T doesn't run late enough to be reliable transport after a Boston gig...you're talking taxis, bumming a ride from a bandmate or walking.

    Small carts (like folding luggage carts) are popular here along with the smallest darn rig you can cobble together (except for the indie rock guys who still lug around refrigerators). If transport is the #1 factor, I'd advise a 1-12 over any 2-10...smaller, lighter.

    My Boston gig rig for over 15 years has been a small high powered head plus 1-12 cab.

    You should also know that a lot of gigs are in the outlying burbs unreachable by the T.

    jokerjkny,

    Unlike NYC, venues in Boston typically have no backline. The House of Blues (RIP) was the lone exception in my 20+ years experience.
     
  8. IvanMike

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

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    if you have to deal with a lot of stairs, the cart-a bag has rear rails specifically for sliding up and down stairs. thats part of my current dillema regarding that and the ruxxac cart. they both have their strong points, but those stair rails are a definite selling point if you have to deal with them.

    i second the reccomendation for going with a 1x12 or a small 1x15 liek the be and a higher powered head. a 2x10 is gonna be pretty unweildy in a lot of places and taxis. :meh:

    all this from a guy who has a car (a station wagon no less). i'm just lazy! although, on one occasion when my car wouldn't start after a gig it was very cool to actually be able to fit my rig in my drummers car........... ;)
     
  9. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Snarf,

    Even though I went to Berklee back in the dark ages, I may be able to provide one or two pearls of "wisdom". Worry about what gear will best suit you after you start school. I don't want to sound pessimistic or discouraging in any way, but the chances are you won't be doing many gigs, at least not right away.

    A better focus of your time and energy over the summer would be to prepare for your placement audition. Did you notice that you didn't have to audition to be accepted to Berklee? :meh:

    You will have a 15 minute placement audition during orientation week. You'll be tested on your abilities to read, play with a group (possibly just with a piano player), improvise over changes and you may be asked to play something you've prepared. You will be given a rating which will determine your placement in classes, ensembles and/or workshops.

    Preparing for your placement audition is far more important than worrying about gear. Sorry for the redundancy. ;)

    Drop me a PM if you'd like, and I'd be happy to give you my phone number (I live in New Hartford...not too far from you) if you'd like to talk next week (really busy this weekend).

    Congratulations on your acceptance to Berklee! I'm sure it will be a wonderful experience for you.
     
  10. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Just wanted to give you a chance to read this again. ;)
    You won't be doing much playing your first year.

    The ensemble rooms all have amps so you won't need one if you're playing within Berklee. As far as a rig when you do get to play out, one 112 cab and a small amp (Eden WT400 is a great choice) with a cart is a great choice. Otherwise, focus on making freind's with cars.
     
  11. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the advice folks, really appreciate it.

    I have been playing with my audition in mind. I woodshedded reading skills in the form of playing in Seussical. :p Also been doing bebop and more of them standards with my school's jazz combo. My school is incredibly small, but the combo has been blessed with really talented cats.

    After reading Craig Garfinkel's post a couple times, it does seem like a good idea to wait in buying a rig. Thing is, I am going to have to have an amp in my dorm room (I actually got one, yay!) for practice and such, and if it's gig worthy AND very portable, that's good stuff there. My old nemesis is way too big, even just to bring it up to Boston in the first place. I'm going to be making some money this summer, so I figure it may be a good idea to get something different.

    And with that in mind, I'm really eyeing the Avatar SB112 and Ashdown MAG-whatever combination. I figure I can sling the bass over my back, get a shoulder-strap gig bag for the head, and put the 112 on a foldable cart. This way if I need a taxi I won't have to fumble around with a 115 or a big head. Thoughts on the setup? Oh, and I would go with that Mesa Walkabout Scout, but Mesa is waaay out of my price range. I'm looking at $600-700 tops, really. Of course, I'm just assuming it's expensive, I have no idea where to find one online or around locally (live in the sticks).
     
  12. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Snarf,

    Check with Berklee about amps in the room. When I was there...granted a long time ago...audible praticing in the dorm rooms was strictly verboten*. Practice rooms only dude. I would suggest you pick up a headphone practice amp with RCA inputs for CD. Also keep in mind that many of the dorm rooms are tiny with a capital "T". The smallest rooms just barely fit bunk beds and two miniscule desks.


    * - German for "forbidden".
     
  13. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Oh, I wasn't aware that audible practice wasn't allowed in dorms. Makes sense, actually. I wouldn't want some kid with a Marshall half stack blasting at all hours of the night (if he could fit the cab in the room).

    Craig, what did you take with you to Berklee in terms of an amp when you went, if anything?
     
  14. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Just wanted to mention that I took my custom Warwick over to the local GC tonight and played around with the Mesa Scout 12". I also played one of the store's Corvette Standard 5's through it.

    If you can swing the $1150, I don't think you'll find a better small amp. It's also very loud for it's size, and I imagine it would cover just about everything short of a loud rock gig. The amount of bass it puts out is astounding, though I didn't crank it up to the level I would play my stack at a live gig with the whole band (whole? there's only three of us, but we're pretty loud) in a largish club.

    For small clubs, it would more than do the job. For jazz, it would be all you need, ever. If you do need more volume, you can add the dedicated extension cab to it, which I imagine would be a killer rig that would still be very small and light. I think I'm going to pick one up. It suited my contralto bass perfectly, and even handled the B on the 'vette 5 very well.

    Amazing little amp!

    The only thing I'd be concerned about is that it only comes with a slipcover, but it has a passive radiator on the bottom, so transporting it in the rain would be a problem. I think the answer is a custom road case with handle and wheels that would also have a small compartment above where the combo would fit for incidentals. That and the InCase gig bag would carry everything I could possibly think I would need for a gig or for class (not that I still *go* to class, but it might happen--I'm only 36, after all).
     
  15. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I just can't justify dropping that kind of cash. The front runners for rigs right now are a silver series Eden N12S or N10S, and an Ashdown Mag300 + Avatar 112 cab. This is assuming, though, that I really need an amp up there. It sure would be comforting to have, but I'm waiting for more responses.
     
  16. i would recomend gallien-krueger for this, their 1001RB-II is 18 pounds and is 700+50 watts, just get the gallien-krueger NEO 1x12 and you will be set.
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    :meh:

    as for rig's, definitely give an ear to an EA iAMP-800. very easy to carry, has a headphone out, and speaker on/off switch for privacy. seen a few pop up here and there on the classifieds. couldnt imagine why, cause they rock!
     
  18. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Between gigs and rehearsals around Sacramento I'm loading/unloading at least 4 or 5 times a week from a 2-door Toyota Tercel. I love my EA Wizzy 1x12 cabinet. It weighs 29 pounds, and it's a very efficient, accurate-sounding 4 ohm cab. With my trusty '87 GK 400RB on a luggage cart, I've got a loud, portable, toneful 45 pound rig that cost me less than $600.

    I also have a small GK 200MB combo that's 25 pounds and has a shoulder bag for transport. Not incredibly loud, but it lets me bring a familiar tone just about anywhere.

    If you don't want to spend a bunch of money before you actually get to Berklee (but want a good amp to tide you over) something like an SWR Workingman's 12 might fill the bill. I regret selling mine (you can get 'em used for around $300). About 45 pounds, headphone output, loud enough to play in a rock band with an extension cab.
     
  19. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    I'd really like to hear that Avatar SB112. Come to think of it, I'd really like to hear *any* Avatar cab. The closest I've even been to an Avatar was a 2x10 that I saw at the local SA, but it had been sold already, so I didn't get a chance to play it.

    I myself would kind of like to pick up a couple Avatar CB115's, but Avatar doesn't make them anymore.

    But for you, I think maybe you should look at used smaller heads rather than an Ashdown. My first real bass amp was a Trace Elliot Series 6 AH200 that I pickuped up used in near mint condition for $250. I now regret selling that amp, though I did sell it because I didn't need it anymore once I bought my V-Type heads. I kept it for a while as a backup, but once I had two V-Types, there wasn't even a need for that. So I sold it on eBay for the same $250 I bought it for several years earlier. I'm sure you could find something similar out there today.

    On the cab front, though, newer stuff is more likely to be what you want, like the late-model high perf 1x12's (which you seem to already be considering).

    I'm not a Berklee guy (though I have been there for a couple of concerts), but even if they do have equipment in their rooms, I think you might be better off playing through a rig that you know intimately. Of course, you should always make sure that you stay at least somewhat familiar with strange rigs just in case, but better to remove as much uncertainty from your playing as you can, I say.

    And, they may not allow practicing in the dorms, but don't discount the possibility of gigs or pickup jams. I find I've done most of my learning by being thrown into the fire rather than studying...real, live playing is nothing like a convocation class, and is an essential part of a musician's training.
     
  20. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Aaahhh, Berklee, 1972. That sure brings back memories. I played tenor back then, so getting around town was easy. By all means wait until you get there to buy gear. Then you might be happy with something like a Walkabout head and a 4 ohm 1x12 cabinet. The gigs I played consisted of reading pop tunes and old standards out of a fake book over the piano players shoulder. Weddings, formal functions and such. The bass player usually had a small combo or plugged into the PA. So hold off on the bass stack and the hand trucks. :eek: :crying: ;)