Why is equip weight such a factor?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Intune, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. I can understand the NY & LA cab riders being so concerned with their carry load but it seems that so many are downsizing. If I show up to a gig that doesn't have union stagecats handling the gear then I have my bandmates to carry the 410's, 15's or the 18's. Why not go with the rig that makes your bass optimum no matter the weight? Heavy to me was the old days of humping the key's B3 up a flight of stairs to the stage. My rig ain't squat compared to those mutha's and there's always a helping hand to place it onstage. hell, i'll even lend a hand with that trapcase. Are the folks that are downsizing really getting their optimum sound or are they cutting themselves short on sound to avoid weight? Do the mini-stacks replace the mega's? Opinions?
  2. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Your mention of carrying a B3 up stairs brought back memories of carrying the Leslie with it, along with a the SVT head and bottom, 4 Marshall 4-12's, a set of double ludwigs, a drum riser, 4 big Yamaha monitors, lighting trees, etc. If we had a gig starting at 8pm, we started setup at 3. Tear felt worse. Finish at 1am, leave the place by 02:30 someties later. Oh yes the late 70's.

    Since living and playing in Europe, roads are narrow, parking is always at a premium and a challenge to find, so driving the smallest possible car is smart. Add to it that clubs are often smaller that what you find in North America, so gear requirements can be different.

    My drummer uses a Yamaha Hipgig that stores into two bags. His set us and tear down time is the same as mine. All of us can load in and out in one trip. We all have small trolleys.

    Sound wise, everything is fine. It accomplishes what we need. If we need more volume and throw, we use the bigger PA. I've been playing for 33 years. I have lost interest in moving gear. Sure it can be a compromise. But time, effort, car, stage (if one) considerations point to a changed need.
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Old and lazy, thank you. I don't want anything that make me go "Oof!"
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    With all the back problems, it is not worth it to huff around with a 180 lb cabinet. But if you must have that sound from that cabinet, then you just have to deal. Some people can get the sound they like from a small rig, and usually use the PA to deliver it to the crowd. Some people like to shake the stage, and blow the ears of the first 15 feet of people. It's all personal preference. I keep my 410 at the practice space for my band, but use the 4x8 for everything else. Unless I need that volume. No need to haul something I don't have to. This includes a cabinet that weighs more than a smaller satisfactory 110.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    What's the point of hauling around a refrigerator sized speaker cabinet if you don't have to? I'm usually beat at 2:30 in the morning (with usually an hour+ ride home to look forward to); I'd much rather be sticking my 65lb. cabinet in my car at the end of the night than a 180lb. cab. Bigger doesn't always = better.

    Personally, I usually have a laugh at the excess equipment a lot of the local musos haul in. I can think of very few local clubs where a full Marshall stack is needed to fill a room, yet the always seem to do it (especially when there's a sweet PA available for them to mic or run direct through).

    Also, you mention about having a helping hand - I like being self-suffcient with my gear in case I'm doing a gig in which I really don't know the guys or the musicians I'm playing with aren't very friendly. I've played with guys who are very aloof.
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    In my experience, most club PA's suck. Even in "famous" clubs who host larger-name acts, the club's PA just won't do rock music well-no bass, overly loud mids, and crummy monitor mixes. Even when a club has a good PA, the likelihood of the soundman knowing what they're doing, or dialling in a good sound for your band 15 minutes before downbeat is slim.

    Solution? My metal band got tired of sounding bad out front, so we haul a huge PA system (the singer and I run sound for festivals, etc as a sideline) and have an oversized backline. We also don't play in the "5 bands in one night" type situation, preferring only one, or even better, no opening act. This makes it easier to get paid, and bypasses those pesky promoter-types that hand you a printout at the end of the night telling you how bad you suck and why you're not getting money, while pocketing a grand or so from the bar.

    Weight's not a factor--we have a reputation for a full sound, our fans (admittedly not many, we're a LOCAL act :) ) know we put on a good and good sounding show, and all that makes a slightly sore back and occasional sleep-deprivation worth it. We know we sound good, loud when appropriate, and we can deal with club owners directly for $$$. Why wouldn't we put up with the extra hassle?

    Personally, I'm amazed that so many are willing to trust their hard-won sound to a club's PA--the ones in the Bay Area are generally horrible, and I think it's worth it to haul full stacks and 8x10's to make sure the audience actually hears ME and not some horrible engineer's interpretation of me.
  7. Oh man - I know exactly what you mean - and, you know the sad part about it is that for many bands the solution is simply to turn it up - i.e. louder is better!

    …9…10…10½…11…11½… :)

    - Wil
  8. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    I'm one of those people who gets laughed at for bringing along the big backline amps to shows, but I got the laugh last night when we travelled to a show several hours away from home only to find that the PA was a pair of 1x15 cabs and a 400 Watt mixer amp. A few other bands from our area came along and all their bassists chose to bring along there 200 watt combo amps which means that I got to laugh my ass off as these ****ty ass amps struggled to fill a large bar with sound :spit:
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I know in the UK that back problems are the single biggest cause of people being off work - I assume it's a big problem everywhere...?

    Need I say more?
  10. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I have back problems @ 22 :( not to mention I resent people judging me by my equipment.
  11. My Schroeder 21012 / 1210 Thunderfunk, QSC 2402 Sansamp RBI rig does sound alot better than the refegerator rigs I thought I just had to have.
  12. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    According to Jorg and some Schroeder users, the 21012 has the same maximim SPL as an 8x10 Ampeg, weighting less than 1/3!

  13. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    Because it is heavy.
  14. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's a week old but I'll say that at a ripe age of 18, I can feel my body wearing out, but it's a price I'll pay for tone.
  15. Only


    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    I once saw a keyboard player fall down a flight of stairs under his B3. He's the best keyboard player I've ever seen in my life, he's played with quite a few famous people, I'm pretty sure he could even give Bernie Worell a run for the money in the improv department. He's near broke now because he can't carry a keyboard or amp, and can't play more than an hour or two from his injuries from that B3.

    I've seen a guitar player blow out his back lifting a 4x12 cabinet. He didn't stop screaming until the EMTs sedated him. He's had multiple back surgeries since then and is now 2 inches shorter.

    I've seen another guitar player get home from a gig at 3 am, not have the energy to carry his huge amp up stairs from the car, and have it stolen during the night.

    I'll happily sacrifice some tone to avoid being physically or financially crippled.
  16. good lord only, those are some freaky stories!

    if i may ask, how old, and what kinda shape were these guys in?
    I'm only 23, but im at the gym all the time, so i think im in pretty good shape, but i'd hate to have one of these horror stories one day.
  17. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    My story
    Before: Marshall 410 combo - 130 lbs - great sound, but... hernia..
    Now: Eden head+1210 - 15+47 lbs - MUCH lighter + better sound
    Moral: don't play with your health, problem can come suddenly and is irreversible :meh:

    Unless you have roadies, go with strong and light rig, these days it doesn't mean sacrificing the sound.
    Last week we played a big outdoor gig, audience 1500+ with PA support and had no problem hearing myself on the large stage with my GREAT little 1210 cab :bassist: :D
  18. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    My SVT410HLF is about 110 pounds and worth it for the sound it gives me. My rack is in the 50 lb area if I had to guess.

    It has a tilt-back design and is pretty easy to move as long as stairs aren't part of the equation.

    I wouldn't mind having a nice light setup as well though. 800RB and a nice light cab would do me just fine.
  19. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    ahhh i love having roadies.
  20. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If you need a big rig, fine. I find that - luckily - for the places I play, and the kind of gigs I have, all I need is my HT112 and a head. No sacrifice in tone or volume - to me anyway. I love having a small, light, easy load in and out.