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  • Hey gigging guitar players, I need help!

    Hey guys, could use some advice here -

    For the past 5 or 6 years I have been playing nothing but acoustic, was in a duo and our gear was pretty simple.  So it's been a *long* time since I have even picked up an electric.  Well all that changed when I relocated and decided to join a southern rock band

     

    So now I am a bit lost - I know gear has changed a lot since I was a kid and everyone was hauling around stacks of Marshalls, 15 stomp boxes and solid state amps sounded like so many  turds.  

    Anyhoo, just wanted to see if I could pick some brains on what I should keep an eye out for to get the most bang for the buck - at the moment I am using a squire Tele (which is surprisingly decent for the price) and a borrowed fender blues amp. Guitar upgrade(s) are in the works but I need advice on the amp/effect situation....

    What should I keep an eye out for to get that classic rock/sSouthern rock sound without breaking the bank?  Line 6 amps seem to come up a lot in conversation and I know I have seen quite a few on stage - one thing I am not real sure of is how much power I will need for your basic bar gig - 

    Any info appreciated!

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="royalblue">Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.</font> <br />
    <br />
    <font size="1">The show, no matter how retarded, must go on. This is why musicians drink so much, alcohol helps them cope with facts by enveloping their brains and auditory senses in a haze of thickly applied B.S.<br />
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  • #2

    I am far from a gearhead and definitely not a tone junkie either, but for the money, here's what I'd do.  Pick up this amy:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/fender-pawn-shop-special-excelsior-13w-1x15-tube-guitar-combo-amp

    It has no distortion, just a really nice clean tone.  Then if all you need is a couple dirty tones, maybe pick up one of these guys:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/visual-sound-v2-series-v2jh-jekyll-and-hyde-overdrive-and-distortion-guitar-multi-effects-pedal

    Gives you a nice overdrive on the left and a good dirty distortion on the right..  For southern rock, I think you'd be solid.

    If you want more flexibility (which I need), use the same amp with this:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/line-6-pod-hd500x-guitar-multi-effects-processor

    That's my complete setup.

    ****************

    Jason
    My band: http://www.facebook.com/thetrickydickies

    "Do or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

    Comment


    • vanlatte
      vanlatte commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks Tricky - dont ask me what I am doing up at this hour on a Saturday morning

       

      Will def. look into those - about the amp: is 13 watts really enough to gig with?  That's something else I am adjusting to - seems back in the day wattage was everything but I keep seeing things like 15w. 30w. etc and am never clear if these are practice amps or expected to be used as monitors while going through the house.

       

       


  • #3

    My experience has been that relatively little wattage is needed for bar band venues.  For those kinds of gigs I gig variously with a Marshall Haze 15 (15 watts), a Mesa TA-15 (selectable between 5, 15, and 25 watts), a Carvin V3M (selectable between 7, 22, or 50 watts), and a Line 6 Spider 4 75 (75 solid state watts).  All are more than sufficiently powerful, and you can probably select a usable amp on attributes other than output levels.  Light weight appeals to me, so I turn to the Mesa and Carvin more often than the others (both come with shoulder bags for carrying), pairing them with a 12 lb. DV Mark Mini 12 cabinet. 

    Going through the PA  has some obvious advantages in terms of not needing to use a amp at all, but it can be tricky to get the mix right if you don't use a sound person.  Additionally, it's harder to control your own sound/volume/tone, you won't get the true sound of tubes, and you won't be able to get the synergy between a well-matched amp and speaker which also contributes to tone, if that matters to you.   

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.engine14.com" target="_blank">www.engine14.com</a></div>

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      GmanJeff wrote:

      My experience has been that relatively little wattage is needed for bar band venues.  For those kinds of gigs I gig variously with a Marshall Haze 15 (15 watts), a Mesa TA-15 (selectable between 5, 15, and 25 watts), a Carvin V3M (selectable between 7, 22, or 50 watts), and a Line 6 Spider 4 75 (75 solid state watts).  All are more than sufficiently powerful, and you can probably select a usable amp on attributes other than output levels.  Light weight appeals to me, so I turn to the Mesa and Carvin more often than the others (both come with shoulder bags for carrying), pairing them with a 12 lb. DV Mark Mini 12 cabinet. 


      Going through the PA  has some obvious advantages in terms of not needing to use a amp at all, but it can be tricky to get the mix right if you don't use a sound person.  Additionally, it's harder to control your own sound/volume/tone, you won't get the true sound of tubes, and you won't be able to get the synergy between a well-matched amp and speaker which also contributes to tone, if that matters to you.   




       


      Nice post. The most effective choice is... get a few different amps that play in the sweet spot for different sized venues. (Or one with multiple, switchable output stages) That has been the MO of every great guitar player I've gigged with over the years. Or just get one of them Line 6 thingies but that isn't nearly half as fun.


  • #4

    I didn't see anyone else mention it... but is this a two guitar, southern rock type band?  And is the band already established?  Just asking because if it is a two guitar band that is already established some things might be in place that you might have to "compete" with.... i.e. the other guitar player.

    http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture<br>

    Comment


    • #5

      My most often used gigging amplifier is a Zinky Blue Velvet.

      Comment


      • iamjethro
        iamjethro commented
        Editing a comment

        I am sure that what I use is under what most use here, but it works well enough for me.

        I am currently playing through a Vox Tonelab ST live (your choice of modeller may vary).  This goes into the PA for the world to hear.  From the DI I also go to a Fender frontman 25R (cos the red is really pretty!).  This is just for me to monitor with and is low on stage and aimed at my head.

        The good thing is if either piece goes out, I can still play.  either by changing monitor settings if amp goes out or if the pedal goes out, at least I still have 2 channels to set a clean and dstorted sound that I can limp thru with.

        Not very expensive and sounds decent enough in a live setting that is so iffy becaus of room vairiables, etc.

         


    • #6

      As has been mentioned in several earlier posts, there are quite a few of us using the Fender HRD (plenty of them around used at about $350-$400), which is going to offer all the volume you will probably ever need if you are playing without miking everything. I play a MIM Tele through it most of the time, and about the only thing I would fault is the drive. You can probably find a pedal that will work to get the exact sound you need, but the clean sound is going to be great through this tuber... It's not the lightest thing to tote around, but it's not going to take up much space either.

      If I'm feeling frisky, or there is a lot of extra help at load in and I just want to go a little more old school, I can stack it on top of a Fender DT- 412 cab loaded with Celestions. But, that's not going to happen very often. We do play outside venues a lot during the Summer, and I'm able to hear myself better if the amp is sitting up higher and right behind me, because that wall of horns can be hard to hear over. I'm usually not that close to a monitor, so it can be touchy, but it works.

      Comment


      • #7
        Bit of an update: I found an Epi Les Paul Classic I fell in love with, git it set up now plays and sounds fantastic. Guitar center having a Presidents day sale so my amp may be right around the corner!

        This is fun
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="royalblue">Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.</font> <br />
        <br />
        <font size="1">The show, no matter how retarded, must go on. This is why musicians drink so much, alcohol helps them cope with facts by enveloping their brains and auditory senses in a haze of thickly applied B.S.<br />
        </font><br />
        </div>

        Comment


        • Vermoulian
          Vermoulian commented
          Editing a comment

          Something to keep in mind about effects/modeler gizmos:  while a modeler into an amp often does not work well, it may be possible to use the multi-effects aspect of the device without engaging the modeling.  I have a Boss GT10 that I use, and for live playing, I just don't put a preamp module in the signal chain.  The actual amp supplies that.  On the other hand, I've used the preamp models for recording with great success.  I suspect it could be run straight into a power amp with the preamp models very effectively, but I haven't bothered since I've got nice amps that I like for my basic sound.


          In the category of small stacks, besides the Egnater Tweaker that has been mentioned above, I've been really happy with a Vox Night Train, although mine is the old version with one channel and no reverb.


      • #8

        15-30 tube watts is plenty for gigging on smaller stages. Lots of good budget 2 channel tube amps out there. My advice is to make sure and get a true 2 channel Amp, and not just 2 channels with a shared EQ section. They NEVER match up well for me. That will give you a cean or semi-clean rhythm channel, and a crunchy rhythm channel. Then you can use your guitar's volume for bumping up leads if you aren,t playing too dirty and/or add a few pedals for further seasoning. a loop is also nice because it gives yu a place to add a true volume boost if necessary(if the amp doesn't have one built in)

        <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="mailto:tlbonehead@yahoo.com">tlbonehead@yaho o.com</a><br />
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        - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping<br />
        - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds &amp; looks good. $250 + shipping. <b>SOLD</b><br />
        - Crate Palomino V8 - 10&quot; Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)</div>

        Comment


        • vanlatte
          vanlatte commented
          Editing a comment

          tlbonehead wrote:

          Depends. If you are using a lot of amp gain for your main tone and are using the unit just for effects I'd put it in the loop. If your amp tone is cleaner either spot works. Most effects sound better after the overdrive/distortion, especially if it is heavier saturation.


           

          Yea that is the plan, between the tube gain and the GT 500 I have all the overdrive I need so am running the RP500 in amp bypass mode.  So just modulation effects really.  I have heard people complain that modelers suck out the tone, but I spent quite a while messing with it and really dont notice anything at all when its in bypass.

           

          In that case would it make sense to put the RP into the loop and run the guitar through the GT500?


        • SaintJames
          SaintJames commented
          Editing a comment

          vanlatte wrote:

          In that case would it make sense to put the RP into the loop and run the guitar through the GT500?


           

          That's what I would do. Dirt pedals and wah in front and everything else in the loop.

          Nice choice on the Egnater, btw. I really like mine. 


        • musicmanmu
          musicmanmu commented
          Editing a comment

          I'd second that - definitely put your RP into the loop, and run your Fulltone pedal out front. I use an Egnater Rebel 30 head and run a similar setup, and it works great. I think you'll be happy with it.


          If I could add one thing, I'd think about a boost for the loop - whether it's an EQ pedal, or (like me) a BBE Boosta Grande. It will give you a volume bump without changing your tone for leads. This is really useful if you're already running a lot of gain out front, as boosts don't seem to do much when you put them in front of an already overdriven amp.

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