Which Crate for Marching Band Bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Justin V, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I just joined the Marching Lumberjacks (school's band). And I need an amp for marching. The other bass player has a Crate Limo strapped to his back (with a backpack frame and bungie chords). I don't think my back could handle that. (especially with all the hopping around I'm sure I'll be doing)

    I guess my real question is which portable Crate amp I should put in a red wagon and have a fellow rookie tote around for me. I like the Limo's tone and wattage, but is the 20 watts all that big a difference in loudness? I'm running on the "broke college student" budget at this point (using savings bonds to buy it).
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Nobody in a high school football stadium is going to be able to hear a single note you are playing if you have less than 150 watts minimum, and even at that wattage they won't be hearing any low end.

    If you can strap it to your back, you might as well not bother.
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    You actually march? thats stupid.

    Just stand in the pit with the rest of us marching band bassists.

    And all these nay-sayers that say "oh, no one will hear you in the stadium...der..."

    I play with a peavey TNT and get in trouble for playing over the entire low brass section (35+ horns) with the volume at 9 o`clock
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Yeah, to heck with physics. You want to believe a 1x15 combo is throwing actual low end throughout an outdoor stadium when most can't even cover the back of a 200 seater indoor bar, go right ahead.
  5. I have a 150 Watt Fender Bassman. The "leader" turned me down to 1/2 gain and 1/2 master. So... I guess it works fine!
    Hmm... He didn't like the idea of (2) 8x10s and an SVT head. [​IMG]

    (Bassists get the band chicks!)
  6. and shall we define ACTUAL low end??
  7. Tie a wagon to yourself, and get an old tube amp w/810 cabinet!

    ......and don't forget a reel, and about 400ft of extension cord..

    .....and send everybody here videos of the perfomance!
  8. I went in thinking it was all about me drowning out the band, but I learned you're just there to add a little taste. [​IMG]
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Just to give you a point of reference, I played bass in my high school marching band 25 years ago. The amp we picked out was a Traynor 88 watt tube head, with a huge 18" Traynor folded horn cabinet. One of the band parents welded a cart for it, and two of the "rookies" pulled it around the field. Power came from a car battery and an inverter.

    I didn't care a hoot about the marching band. It was a way to get phys ed credit without doing anything. Nor did I ever sell any Band Fruit or attend Band Camp. As a freshman, I was warned that the drum majors would be really rough on me at practice if I didn't go to Band Camp. Little did they know that their opportunity to be rough on me would be severely limited by the fact that I never attended practice. All but one of my performances was rained out or otherwise sidelined due to equipment problems. A year later, every high school in my area had an electric bass, and I never marched again.

    I did learn various interesting lessons of youth on the band bus.
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Yeah, after all it IS a 'marching' band. I'd love to see this. You could avoid the electric cord by dragging TWO wagons behind you - one with the amp, the second with a gas powered Honda electric generator. Just make sure the person behind you pulls the cord to start the generator as you start walking out on the field . . . BBBBBRRRRRRIIIIIIPPPP!

    Tubas . . . you won't need no stinking tubas . . . .
  11. What the...? You marching band guys (and your leaders) need to train some good brass players and get a good line of a half dozen or so guys playing Sousaphones to pump some bass outdoors. Saves on electricity and extension cord costs, too. Plus, the sound is excellent :D :D .
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I think that's everyone's point - its tongue-in-cheek humor. Along those lines, you could always have a clown pull the wagon . . .
  13. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    If I worked at that school, I'd have your band director fired for such a ridiculous idea (providing this was his idea). Unless your band is really small (less than 30 people) or is more woodwinds than brass, there's no need for bass guitar in that setting.
    Not trying to be a jerk, but I just love the brass sound of a marching band and just don't think electric bass should be in there.

    When my high school band was in a rebuilding phase, they never did that. (Although I was on the drumline) During symphonic band though, the two tubas we had just couldn't cut it.
    Thus I was asked to get a pickup for my upright and handle the low end for them as well.

    Anyway if you must do this, go for a used keyboard amp such as a Peavey.
    Reason being is you'll be outdoors and need something that can be abused without much worry.
    You'll also likely have a horn to cut through with some high end as well.
    And while you're at it, get a wireless system if you got the cash and really want to march with everyone rather than stay in the pit. :)
  14. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Switch to Sousaphone.

    They rock.
  15. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    To save a lot of trouble I would just say march with it not plugged in.
  17. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    ok. I should explain this better methinks. This band isn't really about "serious" marching per se. Our most famous instrument is the keg (which is played like a drum). For all intents and purposes, the Marching Lumberjacks are a low budget Stanford band.

    I'm leaning towards going with the Taxi (30 Watts) and finding a used wagon to tow around (possibly strapped to my waist).
  18. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    What about going wireless? Leave your amp near the others in the rhythm section and go dance your @$$ off.
  19. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Its marching band. The idea is not to fill up the low end spectrum like you would with a rock band...

    When it is a pit feature, the bass is very prominent. You can't feel it, by anymeans. But you can hear it with no problems.

    The bass in marching band is used to support the pit... You don't need 800w to do it.
  20. DeanG


    Jul 30, 2005
    I started in band on trombone, moved to baritone horn, played tuba when we were short as well. A few of my friends started a band so i got a bass. A few months later I was playing bass in jazz band.

    The next fall I was asked to play bass during marching season. I got to sit in the pit and not march, it was great.

    Sorry to ramble but my point is that even though I played all of the low brass I was asked to play bass. It isn't uncommon. People love the tone, it isn't about volume. Most modern marching arrangements have an electric bass part, it isn't always the tuba written 8va. I had some real cool fills that were too quick for tubas or just wouldnt sound right.

    Anyway to answer your question I used the school's crate BX160
    quite often i was told to turn down. You don't need to be loud in marching band, just add some tone.

    Oh, and I marched in 3 or 4 parades with a xylophone player pushing the cart with the amp battery and inverter.

    spelling edited