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Who uses "supplied" amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Big Benner, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. If you're playing a small club/bar (with full PA support) with say 3 bands going on, do all of the bands use the same drum set and the same bass amp (usually the last/headlining band).

    If you know that you're going in to this situation and can't contact the last bands bass player,... do you bring your rig? Do most of the band members and the sound man not want you to use your own amp because of set up time and convience (it's just easier to plug into one bass amp for the whole show)? Do you have to use your amp for your sound or is it strickly just a bass monitor?

    I find that here in Toronto that is usually the way it goes. I like it because I can just walk in with my bass, plug in and play and then have a few drinks and walk home. But I'm always a little hesitant walking into a place and hoping that the bass player will let me use the amp (hasn't happened yet but I'm super polite and never really half to mess with any tone controls or set up),... and I'm hoping that it's a decent amp at that. All I need is a clean monitor but sometimes I get this 1960s distorted guitar turned into bass rig halfstack and I'm wishing for my SWR WM12 combo.

    What about the rest of you and the places you play?
  2. Hmmmm.....I've never used anyone elses rig and wouldn't want to (tone and responsibility for damage) also we practice at the drummers house so all he does is grab a beer and sit down.... but when we play out He's the one with alot of work to do when setting up :)
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Normally I don't like playing through other's gear, but sometimes you don't have a choice. I don't often play gigs where I'm not bringing my own equipment, but when I do get in a situation where I'll be playing through someone else's gear I usually bring my Eden WT400 and plug that into the provided cab, if I can.

    Since my head sounds great through most every cab I've used it on and it's so small (I carry it in an aluminum tool briefcase I got from Home Depot), I always bring it just in case I can use it.

    That way I don't have to mess up another's amp settings and I know my amp, so it makes for an easier time getting ready in the short time I usually have for those types of gigs.
  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I learned this lesson from crappy amp shows that made it so unpleasant to play bass. Whenever there's a "no need to carry amp" show I ALWAYS take my combo (my "mini-beast" -an old reliable Peavey TKO-80 with some slight mods I did-). It helps in case of "crappy-amp-emergency".

  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I *always* use my own gear, unless its a gig I have to fly on a plane to get there. Schlepping an amp and cab on a plane doesn't make sense. . . ever.
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, it sounds like you're talking about jam sessions, and 45 minute gigs, stuff like that. Never again will I use a random amp, that just totally sucks. I can't get the sound I need, and everyone's always telling you not to change their settings, and stuff like that. Plus, jammers have blown out plenty of good amps over the years. :)

    No, I always take my own. I have a little WW Ultra that I can sling over my shoulder, and carry a bass at the same time. It weighs all of seven pounds. I've played through other peoples' "speakers" once in a while, and even that sucks, but I always use my own amp.

    About a couple of months ago, before I got sick here, a couple of us wandered over to a jam session at a club where we wanted to play. The sound guy (who was also the booking guy) wanted us to use the existing house setup. We said "no", but we made it easy for him. During the break, we set up all the gear, and we even wired up his board "correctly". When we showed him what we'd done, he was very grateful. We have a gig booked there next month (assuming I can get healthy enough to play it). :)
  7. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    If we're travelling across the country the backline is supplied by the promoter. Our rider has specs for amps/kit/etc. but a lot of the time it's a crapshhot. I'm happy when I show up for soundcheck and the bass amp is something I'm familiar with. SVT,etc.
  8. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I think it depends on the type of show your at. And even in certain spots, I've seen it go both ways. I usually go to shows ranging from Hardcore, to Punk Rock, to Metal. Usually, if there's local performers or unsigned bands just playing independant shows or even going on their own tour... I would expect to see everyone lugging their own specified equipment on stage.

    However, I have seen instances at medium-sized shows with bands that are on larger independant labels, in which several bands will play through the same cabs and sometimes the same head while on a national or semi-national tour. I think I've only seen two bands share a head one time. As for the cab, the stage was usually lined with an Ampeg 810 at such shows (not that every band there didnt already have one). When the band switch up, The head or rack is lifted off... and a different rack is hauled atop of the cab. Also, I've seen guitar cabs shared.... usually a pair of Marshall 1960 cabs, or maybe Mesa or Peaveys. I cant really say how hard any of these cabs are actually pushed, because these are played with major PA support. The stage equipment is Almost fully for monitor usage.

    At the same time... I've seen similar shows in which there are 3 or 4 Ampeg 810's sitting on the stage, front to back... and after each opening band leaves, the cabs are moved off, along with the guitar cabs. This is always on really large stages... so stage size could also be a factor in such a scenario.
  9. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Sometimes I've gone to "Battle of the Bands" type shows where the sponsor makes you play through their backline. SLM sponsored both events, and the backline was a Crate blue voodoo for guitars and svt classic for the bassist.

    That's the only time I would consider not playing through my own gear. I've went through LOADS of gear to find what I wanted, and don't wish to "explore" new tone options DURING a gig.
  10. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Most multiband events that I have done with P.A. support, you have no choice but to use their backline. There just is not enough time for everybody to change amps. People hear whats coming through the P.A., and I know I can give them good bass tone that far anyway....so it's no biggie for me.
    I feel for the drummers who have to play on somebody else's kit more than anything else.
  11. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    that sucks!!! I had to do that last year, and it was horrible. I'm used to a big 19" Crash and I had to hit a 16". It's like playing a gig with a 6-string when you've never played anything but a 4. VERY yucky situation.
  12. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I always use my own gear, even if it's a bother getting it set up. You don't know if the other guys amp head is getting ready to blow a transformer or what. Or maybe the voice coil on his 18" Sub is going to blow out the front of the cabinet and put out somebody's eye the front row. Why risk it?? :eek:
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have played gigs where all the bands contacted each other beforehand and worked out gear sharing. If it's not worked out beforehand, I will always bring my own amp....never assume anything.

    I have also played gigs (festivals, big outdoor shows, a few upscale clubs) with house backlines, I will ALWAYS use their amps instead of my own. Using what they provide makes it easier for the soundman and speeds up set changes. I'd rather have time to play 2 more songs than screw around hooking my amp up. It also means less gear in the van if it's a road trip.
  14. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Most of my recent gigs have been around London, where driving and parking can be a hassle. Consequently, I often end up using whatever is available at the venue (including frequently just going through the PA, especially for open mics where minimising setup time is of maximum importance).

    I have to say that it has generally worked pretty well for me (disclaimer - I'm normally using my SABDDI which can often put some magic into an otherwise dead sound). In most situations, I'm not sure that extra sound quality I might get from my Ashdown rig is worth the hassle of toting it about and the extra wear and tear. In a lot of venues there seems little appreciation for sound quality anyway; it gets lost in the mess of volume and conversation and the haze of smoke and beer.

  15. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, it depends on how active you are. If your playing really loud every single night, you'd probably see it as a gift to be able to use a cab that's not your own.
  16. +1 (I don't recall ever using a "+1" before... it feels good.)
  17. Backlined rigs are why I carry a Sansamp Bass Driver D.I. in the kit. I generally plug into the Sansamp and make all my tone adjustments with it, and I prefer to bypass the EQ on the backlined rig when possible.

    -- Dan --
  18. orskard


    Mar 17, 2004
    Our first gig was at a open mic bar where you used the house bands gear. SWR 2 4x10's and a 4004 in a rack with tuner and all, it was sweet.

    Playing in my schools band i use the supplied amp they have, a Randal keyboard amp. Works very well i do say. Best amp they have since im oldest and i found it and know how to use it.

    Whenever we travel for jazz band i have to use the amp there or bring my own, so ive been stuck using some crap. I really like to look at the other bands gear. One band had a sweet rig, it had the vintage silver grill cloth and was proablly a 2x15 and some kind of head. you could tell it was the schools because it said LCHS spray painted on the side of it.
  19. Depending on the size of the gig and the number of acts I may use the backline provided....However, I always carry my Avalon rig - a 4 space ATA rack with a PL-8, Tuner, and Avalon U-5 and a Meyer PSM-2 High Powered (Self Powered) Stage Monitor. The Meyer is VERY high end and most companys respect my request to use it when they see it (in fact, most of them insist that I use it so they can hear one!) The Meyer can crank out 139db @ 1 meter if necessary down to about 50HZ which is plenty low as a stage monitor just for me because usually I hear the PA anyway. Also in Gig bag is a Shure PSM600 In Ear system that I can use in a pinch just using a 2 out mix from a console, recorder (who would have thought of using the STEREO phones out of a rolling recorder as a decent monitoring source, most sound guys flip out when I remind them of this option...Oh yeah, that could work!)

    My experience is that the nicer and more flexible you are, the more flexible they will be, a little knowledge goes a long way to. Help the people help you and they will appreciate it more. Having good gear helps too....an investment in the right gear is a great investment in your craft and it is usually recognized and appreciated...

    Peace and Chicken Grease,

  20. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    "Knowledge is power son, but who the hell wants to know everything if you can't share it with somebody else!" - Tom Dowd - RIP"

    I love your tag line Tom!!!!