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Why do I even own an amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Pbassred, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. The old faithful Peavey TNT130 has been moved on to a new home with an eager 18yo (Its older than him by at least 5 years). I "upgraded" to a Littlemark tube 800 and a barefaced 2X12.

    Except - 2 gigs in, I've played at reasonably large stages with good PA systems. I hasn't exactly shone, but worse, the other bass players and guitarists on the bill haven't used amps at all!. In one case, a guitarist used a floor pod, but everyone else went into a stock BSS133 DI box, and sounded fine.

    Actually In one gig I DID use the littlemark .... as a DI box. The engineer loved it and the FOH was great (i am told).

    So, Why am I dragging gear around?
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    For those days you don't get full-on PA with a monitor system that can actually not suck at bass?
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I always have good PA support, but I always take my rig. I just like using it. I like "feeling" the bass a little bit behind me. It doesn't hurt that the thing just looks cool too. But you do whatever works for you.
  4. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Likewise. It is the confidence of your own tone for what amounts to your own stage monitor. I've done POD, DI, conventional monitor wedge, IEM, etc., on both guitar and bass, and I love the freedom that not having extra hardware on stage brings. But I went back to small amp on stage to feel as much as hear myself and have that added confidence working the backline, even though the amp has an XLR out to the house system.
  5. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Only one or two clubs I'm aware of here in town that provide full PA support. And we've only played at one of them.
  6. pgolliher


    Apr 27, 2010
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I had the same type of feelings while in a band that most always played at venues with good PA support and monitors. For a while I was gigging with only my sans amp BDDI-Grab my gig bag and go- no hassling with a big heavy amp. For that straight ahead rock band, a classic bass tone served the music best- I am confident the tone was good front of house and I could hear myself ok in the monitors. Things changed for me once started playing other types of music again (technical, with more improv, etc) and when I got a lightweight amp (GKMB210). It's nice to hear "my" tone as my onstage monitor and I notice now how much I move towards and away from my amp to adjust my "monitor" volume depending on the song or part of the song. When you are going direct, your level is set in the monitor and burried with other instruments. (A few of the places I play only offer two monitor mixes at best- one for front of stage one for drummer.) There are lots of lightweight amps to choose from now that pump out more than enough volume for club stage use and I feel like it is the perfect set up.
  7. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    More fun than going to the gym. ;)
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Back when I used to play country, I would drag my combo and a 1x12 extension to the first gig at a new venue. If I was comfortable with just the combo, I would leave the extension at home the next time. This happened for almost all the venues.

    So if you have played the venue and know you don't need the amp, don't bring it.
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's a common topic, and the answer is always the same. IF you play at places exclusively that have great PA's with side fills and great stage monitors, you don't need an amp. But, for EVERY other situation, you do.Personally, I'd rather have one and not need it, then the other way around. YMMV, of course.
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Little mark and a Barefaced? What are you dragging it around? Cam pretty much throw it into venues if someone will catch.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've done it and I don't like it. Monitors never sound like I want them to, and most of the monitors I get on gigs do fine for vocals but lousy for bass. And I greatly prefer to have a pretty big rig powered by tubes behind me as well, though I do make concessions for advancing age and unconstitutional schleps sometimes. But for those who can make it work, then by all means, have at it.
  12. +1. Ain't no tube powered monitors around my way :p
  13. You need 3 things:
    1-Good PA,
    2-Good engineer (who is paying attention to the band ALL night) and
    3- enough time for a good sound check.

    If you are not *guaranteed* to have ALL these 3 things, you need your own rig.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I kind of thought the same thing. It's not like he's dragging a fridge around. But, hey, different strokes.....
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've got to admit that for me, the appeal of getting in and out of a gig like a trumpet player is high. But I''m screwed anyway by doubling on upright on most of my gigs so what's an amp?
  16. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    I really don't get that...amps don't look "cool"! a band with no amps onstage look much cooler IMO.
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, I used to think that in the 80's when scenery onstage was all the rage ;)
  18. Sorry for posting a "common" topic again. its not one that I have seen.

    As for lugging an amp around - Not heavy its true, but a 2x12 is still the size of a 2x12. Of ther last 3 gigs I played, 2 were shows when I also played with a samba band so I also needed a 24" bass drum. the other was when I also needed to bring a sound rig (that's how you get around not having "PA support" kidz). SO, competition for space whichever way you look at it.

    As for "my tone" I have been playing with a Bossanova band that used percussionists instead on a single drummer. The bass cab actually puts the shaker player off!
    Actually, when I think about it, when I was in a funk band, we used to rehearse amp-less, and just augment that on stage with amps.

    That not to say that I don't generally agree with the logic behind all of your posts. I just wonder, with the advent of PA systems that increasing in quality while decreasing in price/weight, are we at a turning point?
  19. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    For that lovely mic'd cone sound...even though only one of the venues I've ever played at mic'd the bass (Tomcats West in FW) i still like a) the look of my rig behind me, and b) the extra volume that i get on stage from both my monitor and the cab.

    Honestly, it's just for looks though. A bit of an ego boost knowing your rig is better than theirs, and really the control of my sound I get to an extent before I go through the house.