venue electricity issues

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by cyclopean, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    so i'm not really sure where this belongs, but the amps seemed to be getting hit the hardest, so here it is:

    i played a gig on friday at a local venue, which i'm not at the moment going to name.

    three out of four bands were having very strange and fairly serious gear issues.

    i borrowed an amp from another band playing the gig, because my main amp is in the shop.

    the first two songs were fine, and the borrowed amp sounds great. then i start getting a thin sound, and the sustain is shot to hell. i start trying to adjust my pedal board, and the whole thing is acting up. i have a clean boost last in line before the amp, which acts as a master volume for the entire thing. i started getting widely varying levels of volume and gain out of my dirt pedals, even with the clean boost on. then the sparkle/top end started getting sucked away. then the amp shut down, and wouldn't come back on, during our second to last song, which ended our set.

    the next two bands were having issues with their gear, including a bass amp that "kept fading in and out".

    the headliner managed to get off without much of an issue.

    this venue has changed it's name in the past few years, and the location of the stage has moved a few times. i really think it's ****ty wiring, and i think the amp i was playing probably blew a fuse due to a power spike. i think my pedals were acting up because of not getting the kind of juice they're used to getting.

    anyone have any experience with this? this board has some serious road dogs and people who gig a ****-ton locally.

    i've been either attending or playing shows on a regular basis for over twenty years, and i've never seen anything like this, not even in basements or squatted warehouse spaces or other places that aren't technically "venues".
     
  2. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    also, what do you do when you find yourself in this situation? it got bad enough we were joking about ancient curses.
     
  3. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    I test every outlet I plug an amp into. Keep one of these in my kit bag. Cheap insurance.

    Also, power conditioners ain't that expensive, if it's something you think you'll have to deal with regularly.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

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    The bare minimum for me is a power bar with built-in surge protection.

    I'm interested in what others use.
     
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  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting you say the headliner managed to get off without much of an issue.......was it sabotage?
    Many years ago, my band opened for a regional "major" band. They had a larger PA than we did, so everyone agreed to use theirs. When we started, the sound was terrible.....voices came through, but thin and distorted. It sounded like a bad speaker connection or something. The other band's sound guy didn't do anything to try to fix it, but after our set, he asked if they could use our PA. (the old Peavey with four 12" CTS speakers in each column mentioned in another thread) It sounded crystal clear, and I wondered for a long time if we had been deliberately "bushwacked"......?????
     
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  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have such a thingie.
    So...you get to the gig, plug in your thingie, and it says Hot/Neu Rev.
    Now what?
    Ask the owner to call an electrician?
    Pack up and go home?
    It's a real question.
    According to Gatton, he used to have a pedal that he plugged directly into a wall socket.'
    If things were bad enough he would step on it and blow out a bunch of fuses.
     
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  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've seen this.
    It was in our contract to use Big National Act's system and guy. We thought...great! Big National sound and guy.
    Said guy went through the EQ and bottomed out several faders to make sure we didn't sound to good.
     
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  8. ChuckC

    ChuckC TDPRI Member

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    played in an old movie theatre with a sound man/mixer plugged in out in the audience area with the mic's power amps & speakers on stage with us hooked together with a snake when we turned things on the mixer and power amps went up in smoke, several hundreds of dollars worth of damage. We found that the AC receptacle back stage, into which the amps were plugged, was wired wrong with the hot and neutral reversed. I think the sound man sued the theatre owner for damage to his stuff. ... Now I always carry on of those AC line testers in my gig bag.

    I found a receptacle wired with the hot & neutral reversed in an American Legion hall and told the post commander about it. The post commander's only action was to tell me that I'm the only person ever to make that complaint....
     
  9. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've also wondered this. I would think if you were cool and had something about the electricity requirements in a contract, that would be pretty much your only recourse. But I'm not sure how many bands even use contracts, or anything more official than a handshake.

    Even if the outlet is wired properly, when you start plugging things in who knows what else is on the circuit that could cause problems.
     
  10. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear ya. The show must go on, right? I mainly use it to decide which amp I want to plug in. If it's squirrelly, I'm not plugging a vintage tube amp into it. I have more "disposable" amps that I'd rather risk.

    I've actually been contemplating getting one of the pedal-sized amps (Quilter, EHX, etc.) to have just-in-case.
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .


    The gradual "brown out" you experienced is due to equipment heating up or drawing so much power for the line that the line or long extension cord was heating and increasing its resistance. Ever fire some machine up and the lights dim? That's the kind of problem. The equipment that needs higher voltages to operate are the first ones to drop out.

    Use the tester and if it shows reversed wiring then test and use another plug that works. Label the badly wired outlet as a shock hazard.

    If you google you can find famous artists that were electrocuted between their guitar and lips on the microphone.


    .
     
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Good call. I keep a Joyo American Sound in my gig case.
     
  13. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Yup, I had this happen to me at a gig.

    I also blew out a mixer while recording at an old apartment. I could feel a shock when I took the case of the mixer while also touching the guitar strings!

    Actually, when I was a kid I found out that if I touch the Handle of the refridgerator and the rim of the kitchen sink at the same time I could get a little shock - it was even a bit more shocking it you put a pickle slice on the rim of the sink and touch the pickle. Lukcily, nobody I know takes pickles to gigs!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  14. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just looked it up on Amazon. Am I seeing that price right? $40 new? Dang...might have to get one.
     
  15. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Certainly would not have been the first time
     
  16. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have encountered this so many times where the power is browned out by the current draw at the venue , so I built this it feeds off of a 40 amp 220volt dryer outlet and gives you 2 phase 110 ,I keep all the amps and gear on phase one (Black ) and the lights on Phase 2 red, this is of course if there is power to the stage

    this thing was worth its weight in gold

    P1011648.JPG

    P1011646_2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i don't think that's the issue because the people who booked the show were in the 3rd band out of 4 and were also having some pretty serious issues. and the amp that failed during our set was one we were borrowing from them.
     
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  18. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    we were plugged into surge protectors coming off of the stage outlets.
     
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  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ya, wait until you have to get a bunch of converters to go down to
    2 prong outlets, and crawl underneath 2 pooltables to get to them.
     
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  20. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    Easy to test... and until you do it's pure speculation.

    The headliner had no issues? Did they come better prepared with line conditioners?
     
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