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bitflipper

Last Night's Gig

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Could have been a disaster. The guitar amp was DOA. He had a small second amp that's normally used as a satellite on my side of the stage so I can hear the guitar better. We had no choice but to mic that little amp and run it through the PA. With no extra mic stand, we had to dangle the mic down the front, so we're capturing it off-axis. An SM-58 is definitely not a side-address microphone, so as you can imagine it sounded pretty thin and nasty.

Fortunately, we had a great crowd and the performance went over well. Everybody was firing on all cylinders, even me, being fueled by Starbucks iced mochas. With my high blood pressure I'm not supposed to do caffeine, and normally avoid it. Put a couple iced mochas in me and I'm like that squirrel in Open Season.

One of the reasons the performance worked well was that for the first time I was getting guitar through my vocal monitor. Being able to hear him clearly meant that we were in better sync than ever and I was able to play off him in a complementary fashion. 

Sometimes adversity spawns epiphanies. So today I'm trying to figure out how I can monitor the guitar like that in future. I'm thinking a line out to the board and just routing it to the monitors but not the mains.

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Get the Sennheiser e906 (a Benjamin at Sweetwater) and dangle it in front of the amp.

image.png.c71440f3fb1ef5bd30e7daba20f8bb93.png

or.... buy a mini amp stand for the SM57

image.png.731d861d0b9611ca596bba228fe90527.png 

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That might just work better than a line out. And I've actually got both. But I don't carry them in my gig bag and we were playing on an island hours away from the nearest music store. I thought I was adequately prepared because I'd brought a hat.

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Posted (edited)

I used to have a Peavey Chorus 212. The solid state one not the valve one. It was a true stereo amp with stereo fx and pre-amp ins/outs. I made a small cabinet with a 12 in it and wired a connector in the back of the amp so I could quickly disconnect one of the 212 speakers and connect the external and I would sit it on the opposite side of the stage because the other guys had a hard time hearing me especially on larger stages.

Stereo delay and stereo chorus sounded great but overall it was a thin sounding amp and I eventually got rid of it. The rhythm guitar, bass, and keyboard players liked it. But the drummer didn't like the fuller sound and since it was his band I had to scrap the idea.

Toward the end of our time together he discovered I had an Alesis SR16 drum machine for recording. Amazingly he suddenly developed arthritis and said the band was done unless we switched to the drum machine because he couldn't lift, haul, or play his drums anymore. He immediately connected it to the PA blowing the 15s in both monitors multiple times from the overpowering kick. After 10 years together we broke up shortly after the drum machine incident. Hah.

Edited by Shane_B.
Fixed spelling errror.

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I used to run my keyboards stereo, first through a pair of Roland keyboard amps, later through a pair of QSC self-powered PA speakers (which sound great).

But I eventually gave up trying to go stereo because the audience refused to all group in the sweet spot in front of the stage, equidistant from my speakers at 45 degrees.

Leslie effects aren't quite as good, but mono improves overall clarity and tone. Plus the guitarist and bassist don't have to listen to just my left hand all night when I play piano. I still use two speakers, high up on stands on either side of the drums. For better or worse, everybody can always hear me clearly.

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Yepper. The stereo thing was cool when I tried it but it would have been better to just run through the monitors. We weren't allowed to though. They had to be all vocals with heavy reverb. No guitar allowed on the drummers monitor system! Hah. Except for his, er, my, drum machine. I still have that Alesis. Last time I looked they still make it new.

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On 7/11/2021 at 10:55 AM, bitflipper said:

 I thought I was adequately prepared because I'd brought a hat.

Well, you can leave your hat on.

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Now, Ed, remember this is a family-friendly forum. There could be young children reading this who are also Joe Cocker fans.

Or maybe not.

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The other guitarist in our band and i have the same set up - Bugera 55 Infinium Combis and A Peavey 112 each. 

in order to hear each other in places where we don’t need to mic the guitars to the pa,   we run two  lines out from our multi pedals (ME 80 for him and GT 100 for me) one into our Bugera (valve power) and the another line out into the other person’s Peavey.

Works great and balances the sound.

If going through the pa then we both DI into it.

J

 

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Sounds like a great setup. Unfortunately, we're already a six-piece band and can't afford to bring in a second guitarist for operational redundancy. Then again, we have no fewer than three tambourine players. Just in case one of them goes out of tune.

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23 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I used to run my keyboards stereo, first through a pair of Roland keyboard amps, later through a pair of QSC self-powered PA speakers (which sound great).

But I eventually gave up trying to go stereo because the audience refused to all group in the sweet spot in front of the stage, equidistant from my speakers at 45 degrees.

Leslie effects aren't quite as good, but mono improves overall clarity and tone. Plus the guitarist and bassist don't have to listen to just my left hand all night when I play piano. I still use two speakers, high up on stands on either side of the drums. For better or worse, everybody can always hear me clearly.

This was me as well, for my first years playing in the early 90s I was lugging two JBL 15's with a dedicated Crown amp, just so I could play gigs in stereo. Beautiful, digital piano of the early 90's in stereo. Gaaaaack.

Of course for the cheesy early 90's organ patch, I had a Motion Sound real fake rotating horn Leslie simulator, which I stereo mic'ed and fed to the P.A..  Truly not even mildly authentic.

 

The good news is, whenever you wake up and realize that playing keys in stereo at gigs is truly stupid and pointless, you at least by then have a decent stereo P.A. to play mono in.

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So last night I plugged in the guitar amp to see what the problem was. I know the guitarist is extremely strapped for cash and wouldn't be able to take it to a shop. Frustratingly, it worked just fine.

I've repaired a lot of amplifiers in my day, and Fenders are among the easiest to work on. But they've always had obvious, consistent problems (smoke being a reliable diagnostic indicator). Never had one that was dead one day and OK the next. I've reseated all the tubes, about all I can do for now.

This is a model I've not seen before, much less opened up, called a Bassbreaker 15. In case anyone has any thoughts on what the problem might be.

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I see the problem

you have a guitar player

bada-boom

I'll get me coat

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8 hours ago, bitflipper said:

This is a model I've not seen before, much less opened up, called a Bassbreaker 15. In case anyone has any thoughts on what the problem might be.

I just read a forum post by an amp tech. He said it's the hardest amp in the world to work on. His problem was a shorted power tube that fried a zener diode. 

Looking at pics online it looks like the ac power uses a removable cable. Was it totally dead as in nothing lights and tubes don't glow? If that AC cord socket on the back is mounted on a pcb it may have a cold solder joint. I've seen tgat a lot on office equipment I used to service where that socket was mounted on a pcb. Never happened when they had wires soldered to it.

Of course ... you could always order a new amp on Amazon to, you know, compare voltages? Then return it because, you know, it was DOA. J/K. 😜

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Thanks for lending a few brain cycles to this, Shane.

The amp had power and the light was on, but there was no sound at all out of the speaker. I spoke to the guitarist yesterday and suggested that he really needed a better amp anyway, as he has trouble getting enough volume on clean tones. Knowing he's broke, I volunteered to buy the amp myself and let him use it while he saved up enough money to buy it from me. Yeh, I know, that's almost as bad as loaning money to a friend, a practice I long ago vowed never to do again after bad experiences. But hey, if he bails on the deal at least I'll have a nice amp.

This is the one we're considering. I watched some YT demos and it sounds quite nice, either dirty or clean. It's got an amp sim built in to the line out that I'll be able to run to the vocal monitors. Two channels, each with its own gain and master volume controls. Closed-back with a single 12" Celestion. Switchable between 20W and 40W. 

DSL40CR.jpg.auto.webp

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Just remember Dave, until he's paid up it's your amp and you get to dictate how loud he plays it. 🙂 

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I love my Fender Champion 100. It's a basic modelling amp. A poor mans Mustang modelling amp. The Mustangs have bluetooth and presets and tons of effects but sound horrible IRL. I bought the big Mustang based off some youtube vids and returned it 3 days later. Horrible sounding amp and the software simply did not work.

My Champion 100 is a 2 x 12 100 watt amp. Blows my old Mesa Dual Rectifier Tremoverb clear out of the water. They make a Champion 40 that's a 1 x 12. The 100 was $350 and the 40 was $250 last I checked. Btw the Mesa was $2500. 

I had a Marshall Valvestate 80 iirc?? Never could warm up to it. Humbuckers seem to do well through those but not single coils. At the time I playing a strat with EMG's. 

That's good of you to help him out. 👍

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Just remember Dave, until he's paid up it's your amp and you get to dictate how loud he plays it. 🙂 

Good point.

I've already warned him he'd better not become "that guy", you know, the one who decides he's the star of the show. Although in my experience it's usually been bass players who are more likely to have that problem. Anyway, his 40 Watts will still have to compete with my 4KW.

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8 minutes ago, Shane_B. said:

My Champion 100 is a 2 x 12 100 watt amp. Blows my old Mesa Dual Rectifier Tremoverb clear out of the water. They make a Champion 40 that's a 1 x 12. The 100 was $350 and the 40 was $250 last I checked. Btw the Mesa was $2500. 

Hmm. Now that's some food for thought, being as the Fender would be a whole lot cheaper than the Marshall, which will come to a grand with tax and slip cover. Only problem is he seems committed to tubes.

Funny, he's 28 y.o. but often says he feels he was born in the wrong decade, being a fan of classic rock and classic tones. I guess that's why he's happy playing in a band with a bunch of geezers.

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3 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Hmm. Now that's some food for thought, being as the Fender would be a whole lot cheaper than the Marshall, which will come to a grand with tax and slip cover. Only problem is he seems committed to tubes

That whole tube thing is hard to overcome. The best thing that could happen is to find out one of the tubes is bad in his amp to scare him away from them.

The amp modelling is very limited on the Champion as well as switching fx. But what is there is excellent imo. I ran some pedals through it and really liked it.

I hated my Mesa amp after I had it a while. I played out with it for 9 plus years iirc? Thin sounding and the overdrive was harsh and 'glassy' sounding is the best way I can describe it. But I kept telling myself that tube sound is what I should have. Plus I had to like it because of the money I dropped on it. I would have loved gigging with this Champion 100. Small and light. All digital fx. No banging on it to get the spring reverb working. Good luck with whatever you end up with.

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