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what back ups are most important ??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PATTY1, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. PATTY1

    PATTY1 Guest

    Dec 28, 2009
    i have 1 bass, 1 head and 1 cab, as a gigging musician what is the most important peice of equpment that i should have a backup of and in what order if all require a back up ???
  2. i usually dont have a back up for anything. for no other reason then i don't own one (except for bass, but I have 1 four and 1 5str)

    as a guitarist I would never gig w/o 2 guitars. . . but string breakage on a bass is less likely. but 2 basses would be the 1st place i'd guess.

    though that new little 250 watt micro head from GK might be a purchase for me at one point as a little back up head.
  3. From personal experience I always pack one set of EXTRA STRINGS (high C's and F's for some reason only break during shows!), EXTRA CABLES, I have never had a cab or head go out on me before a show but I have had cables get kinked on the road and they didn't work when I got them to the stage, BATTERIES, once again like strings, batteries always go dead right before or during a show...

    IF you can take an extra bass along I recommend it, it gives you a chance to pass the bass off to a friend or guitar tech to put in a new battery (always have a screw driver on hand too), or throw on a new string... It is super embarassing to have to carry on a set with a fading bass, or broken string...
  4. melarson


    Feb 11, 2009
    If you've got a tube head a SS backup is not a bad idea.
  5. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    BASS for sure #1. You can always plug into someone else's rig or PA, but if you break a nut, dead battery, etc, someone else's guitar doesn't cut it. I've had it happen many times and if you are a 4 stringer, then someone hands you a fiver, or different gauge strings, etc. You also don't want to drag extra cabs/heads if you don't have to. It never hurts, but you'll get sick of lugging after a while.
  6. Tsattert


    Mar 17, 2010
    I agree, another bass is the best backup to have. I've only had problems with other equipment once, that was when the crossover in my speaker cab caught fire. Wasn't much fun playing through the PA the rest of the night, but we had some great smoke effects there for a few minutes!
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    1. Bass - beats changing strings during a gig, most likely to experience problems. I always bring a backup!

    2. Head - more likely to experience problems than a cab, but I usually never bother

    3. Cab - I really never bother with a backup cab
  8. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I DI into the house, so if my amp ever fails me, I'll just ask for more bass in the monitors. No reason to lug around a spare, IMO.

    1. Cables - These always seem to be the biggest issue for me. The one time my amp went out, it was due to a poopty cable in my rack from my preamp to my power amp.
    2. Batteries - Amazingly, the same gig where my amp failed, my batteries all died as well. Keep at least one handy for everything that requires one (in my case 3 - one for my wireless, two for my bass).
    3. Strings - I've only ever had one string break on me on stage, and it was while I was tuning, but I didn't have a spare set. I was forced to play with three strings all night. Mid set, a new pack of strings wont help, but if it's during a sound check or something where you've got 5 minutes, you can easily pull off a quick-change.
    4. Basses - I bring a spare one of these to every gig. I actually keep them both set up with an A/B pedal so that I don't have to change tunings. It's much faster to grab another bass and just keep going. The nice thing about this method is that if one fails, the other is 99% ready to go when one fails.
  9. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Always bring to a gig a backup:
    4)batteries (if you use 'em)
    5)DI of some kind
    6)tuner (optional, but someone always forgets theirs)

    There's plenty more, but these are the bare essentials.
    I even bring guitar strings and picks in case the guitar player forgets his spares.
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I have yet to break a string live or from regular playing, but I have had basses and amps stop working at shows. You should ALWAYS have one extra bass on stage with you incase one of them just stops working. I also have a backup amp head with me at every show I do. Whatever amp I like, I make sure to get another one - expensive, yeah, but so worth it. Especially when one of them overheats, something stops working, you need to be able to keep going at the show.

    I have extra basses, cables, amps, a box full of tools to fix the basses if there is a problem and I also have two 410 bass cabs with me at every show. Sometimes the extra cab is used by my guitarist because his combo stops working.

    Honestly though, all of my backups have come in handy. You can't trust gear to be 100% every night no matter what.
  11. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    "4)batteries (if you use 'em)
    5)DI of some kind"

    Always provide your own DI box. I have seen too many soundguys providing Behringer DI's and what not. Get something good! And always have extra 9v batteries with you!
  12. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    I've broken strings - spare set is a must for me.

    I've had basses develop electronic problems at the eleventh hour. Backup bass, definitely a good idea on an important or remotely located gig.

    Spare 9V for active basses - especially ones w/o passive mode.

    Also, at least one spare instrument cord, mic cable, power cord & extension w/ multiple outlets. Each of these have saved the day on multiple occasions.
  13. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    you guys are forgetting to mention to bring a clean shirt for the after-party!!!
  14. pbass6811


    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    1. Batteries. Had them go dead with no spares in a bass with no bypass. Looked like a jackass...

    2. Bass. Had one go dead at a show with no spare(something in the electronics crapped out)! Had to have someone FIND someone who had a bass I could borrow. Looked like a REAL jackass...

    I've had amp & cabs die in the middle of gigs. If you have good PA support, you can at least finish a show w/o an amp...hard to do w/o a bass!

    my .02
  15. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    What ever fails at the wrong time is the most important.
  16. nostatic


    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I always have duplicate cables (instrument, speaker and power) - those are the most failure prone items imho. I've *never* broken a bass string. Ever. For guitar gigs I never took a second guitar - just strings. I can restring in under a minute, and have played many a tune with only 5 strings (easy with high E breaks, sucks when G breaks). I'm just now buying a second head to take as backup.

    Maybe some of you guys beat the crap out of your stuff. I've never had a cab crap out on a gig, never had a head die either. The only issue I've had is a finacky input jack on my Zon Lightwave but I could always get it to work. Then again, I'm not playing loud rock/metal.
  17. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I bring an extra bass, cable, and a DI/preamp pedal (Like a Tech 21 BDDI or a MXR M80).
  18. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I like having a backup head. I used to keep a GK400RB in my trunk as a "just in case" item. I rarely took it out, but once in a while it was darned useful.

    This doesn't count strings / cables, of course...
  19. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    The only head trouble I've ever had was when an IC crapped out mid encore.
    Good timing if it had to happen.
    Never had a cab problem, though.
    Broken strings due to very aggressive playing, I lost count years ago.
    Haven't broken one in quite a while now.

    Good maintenance is impossible to overstate, always take very good care of your gear.
  20. I take an extra bass with me. Usually don't have a back up head, but I play thru a Sansamp BDDI and send that signal to the house anyway so if the head dies I just get bass back thru the monitors.

    Interesting side note about having a backup amp. I work for a sound company and we were doing a festival and providing backline for the weekend. We had as guitar amps a Fender Hotrod Deluxe and a Fender Twin. Everyone had used them all weekend, and these amps had been used for years with zero problems. We had a semi big national country act as the headliner, and as the opening act went on stage, the Twin died. Comepletly. That guy had brought his amp with him and sent someone to get it. The monitor guy took the Twin apart and found out it was a bad 12ax7 tube. We had a tube compressor in the FOH rack that wasnt being used, so it gave up the tube needed to get the amp back up. We didnt tell the headliner guitar player about it until after the show, but he was a guy we had worked with alot in the past and he was cool with it.

    Moral....we ALWAYS take a backup amp now!


    (sorry that was a little longer than I thought it would be!)
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