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Backline Amp = Sad Face

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by waparker4, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    We played a gig about an hour away this past weekend, at a venue we've never played before. They offered a Blues Deluxe as the backline amp. When we got there the Blues Deluxe was all set up on a nice amp stand... the ground prong of the plug had been sheared off. I had brought my Pro Jr. as a backup and a speaker cable, hoping to use the PJr thru the speaker in the cab. But I forgot my 1/4" connector at home :(.. so I plugged in the amp. The PA was on, I touched the guitar strings to the mic and nothing happened, phew.

    What a pitiful piss-poor amp. There was a note "DO NOT TURN THIS AMP PAST 3" so I turned it to 3, and I was met with a mouse fart of whisper soft guitar... Turned it up to 5 and I still could not hear it 10 feet away. So I turned to the drive channel. With the drive on 4 and the master on 6 I was getting DRRI on 2 level volumes.. This is supposed to be the linear taper master volume pot that goes from 0 to ears bleeding at 1 on the knob.

    I still could not hear myself the entire gig even though I'm on the overdrive channel cranked up a good ways and the amp is on a stand pointed right at my ears. I don't know what was wrong with the amp or if it was modded with a master volume set to 0.05 out of 10 or what. Sad guitar night for me :( I'll never assume the backline amp is usable again.. I wish places would not do this to musicians

    The "Loud Fender Amp" thread made me think about this amp. :lol:

    Your disappointing backline amp stories?
     
  2. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Specify your amp with no modifications. Sounds like someone pulled a tube in that amp.
     
  3. dmagalhaes

    dmagalhaes TDPRI Member

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    Why didn't you just use your other amp?
     
  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I should have but the amp was loud enough to get it miced up and sent back through the monitors. Then it was time to start.
     
  5. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    i think the worst backline amp situation i've been in was with bass. played a really big show on a giant stage... and was pretty excited to leave my gear behind because "pro amps provided".

    showed up to find an ampeg ba115 waiting for me... unmic'd! if you're not familiar with them, the ba115 is a small 1x15 combo with maybe 150 SS watts getting thrown at it. it was anemic... i was way too quiet... and sad faceswere had by all!

    never had an experience as bad as yours though. a blues deluxe on 3? you'd get better tone running your guitar direct into the PA!
     
  6. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Where were you at, WA, so I don't make the same mistake? I can't even imagine taking someone elses' word that the equipment I'm to use will be acceptable.
     
  7. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Some kind of Marshall Valve State amp that was provided for me at a wedding. There was a modded SF Deluxe Reverb there with an EVM speaker that the other guitarist was using, but he let me trade as he wasn't perticular about what he played through. It got me through the gig.
     
  8. Fred Rogers

    Fred Rogers Tele-Afflicted

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    Never had that happen at a gig, but I've played through some horrid amps at some rehearsal studios. Pure junk.
     
  9. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    I just played an event this past Friday in which a backline was provided, so I just brought my guitars and pedal board. The amp I was given was a Roland Cube 80. The previous player had it set to add this extreme chorus and had it EQed with really ice picky highs. I had about 2 minutes to plug in my pedal board, completely guess the knob settings and volume on the Cube, and then it's time to play. I could never get rid of the chorus for the hour I played.

    That felt like a really long hour, btw. I just wanted it to end.

    My idea of a backline is an amp with plenty of power, already dialed in to produce the proper volume for the venue, and defaulted to a clean setting so the guitar player can plug in as he wants. Then when the player is done, set it back to a default clean for the next guy.... please!
     
  10. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Mine too.. But I get the impression that a club owners idea might be an amp that can never be loud or something ?? I have seen two backline amps now that were strangely quiet, one a Twin Reverb
     
  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Played a backlined bass amp a festival. Giant outdoor stage, about 40k people in sight...

    Bass amp was a big GK head through an 8x10. I thought it would be plenty. Well, the volume knobs had been removed. So you could dial in a tone, but the volume was set permanently. It was so quiet I could barely hear it. Nobody else on stage could hear it. Fortunately, all the eq and the loop still worked. By boosting all the eq to max, and sticking my Boss GE7 in the loop and maxing the level, I was able to get enough out of it to get through the show.
     
  12. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

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    I've never had that sort of thing happen. Usually if I went to a jam let's say they would provide a Fender Twin or blues Deluxe But that's pretty unprofessional to have a half working piece of equipment. Rule is if in doubt bring your own !
     
  13. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    A couple of years ago my jazz band shared a billing with another band whose guitarist had played in a lot of Broadway pit bands during the '60s-'80s. He has a collection of valuable vintage equipment to die for.

    That day he had a minty '67 Deluxe Reverb and a nearly 50 years old Gibson Super 400. I had an Epiphone Joe Pass and a Peavey Vypyr 15 hopped up with a 10" Jensen Mod. I felt like I had brought a butterknife to a gunfight.

    He offered to let me use the Super 400 AND the vintage Deluxe Reverb and to demonstrate it he played a chord solo. His technique was flawless but the Deluxe sounded like a SS Polytone pulled from a flooded basement. So I played what I brought.

    And for what it was it sounded really good. He complemented me afterwards on my "good-sounding little Peavey tube amp" I didn't have the heart to tell him it was a SS modeling amp.

    Goes to show that even good equipment and great technique can't make up for crappy settings.
     
  14. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I can't think of one gig in the last 40 where I would choose to use a back line amp versus my own. I'm just a small town cover band member maybe that's why. We gig but rarely out of town. We sure don't fly anywhere to perform. Lol. I guess that's where a back line amp would be awesome. Excuse my petty ignorance. It's a part of gigging I have yet to experience. :)
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Only a couple times when I was told there was a bass amp I should use. Not could but should. The results were similar to what Jakedog experienced. Too small to handle a full band playing at normal volume. After that I always brought at least a 300w head and a 1x15 cabinet and said I'd provide my own thank you.
     
  16. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

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    Played a big outdoor blues festival years ago. Around 35k people there. We were told that we had to use the back line amps because there wasn't enough time to switch gear between bands. I usually played a Gibson ES-295 through a Fender Vibroverb. They provided a Marshall half stack! You can imagine the fun I had trying to control the feedback, let alone trying to get a decent T-Bone Walker/Gatemouth Brown tone with less than 30 seconds to fiddle with the knobs.
     
  17. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Tele-Meister

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    I got a last-minute call to fill in for the guitarist in a touring country-rock band. He'd thrown a tantrum and quit about 3 hours before showtime. I was told to just bring my guitar and pedals, amp supplied. I got there about half an hour before showtime, managed to write a few cheat sheets and learn a few song intros backstage, and then we were on.

    The amp was a Peavey 5150, no chance of getting a decent clean sound, no time to get another amp. Sad face all night.
     
  18. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Friend of Leo's

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    I've never played in front of 35,000 people but I have had the experience of having to tame a wild hollow body screaming beast in front of 135. It all comes down to body position and knowing precisely where the guitar won't feed back which can severely constrict your movement. But what a huge drag to have to be concerned about feedback when you have the thrill of playing for so many people. I'm not kidding, my heart goes out to you man! I hope it was great in spite of the feedback.
     
  19. J Hog

    J Hog Tele-Holic

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    Two years ago I did an outdoor gig, the anniversary of a local county park, playing pedal steel in the the Honky Tonk and Rockabilly band I'm in. There was a Twin, but the band leader got that. The only amp left was a Marshall 100 watt half stack. My Sho-Bud sounded like a CHAINSAW!!! It was HORRIBLE!!! This past year we did the same gig. Fortunately, they had a local backline supplier do the amps. I got to play though a Twin that they had set up for B.B. King. (In his contract, he has a rider where the promoter has to supply a Twin with JBL's.) It was sonic bliss!!!
     
  20. Bongocaster

    Bongocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I've stage managed and produced some shows and I DO NOT like dead air. That and putting 15 bands up on one stage in one evening doesn't really give you time to fool around with moving amps. Always made sure that there was good backline and have never had any complaints.

    I always make sure that everyone knows way ahead of time, what we have to do and why and everybody has always been cooperative about it. I've had people balk in the discussion stage but everybody eventually understands and goes along.

    Had some folks still want to use their own rig and I just say fine. It goes up on stage at the beginning of set up and then remains till the end of the show and becomes available as backline. Never had any takers on that one.:eek::D
     
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