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A wall of fake Marshall amps? Please...


surferbeto

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...So, in essence, the stack has always been about the look. Having a bunch of fake ones and one or two live ones is just an extension of that...

 

 

So I started this thread saying KISS were wankers for having lots of fake stacks, and now you're telling me that I'd be a wanker if I didn't have some? :poke:

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When I was touring full time in the 80s playing larger clubs, most of the rock bands in our agency had to carry enormous PS systems and lots of double stacks. The funny thing is that, just like today, most of the cabinets were not even plugged in and were there for show. But if they didn't have them they were told that their system wasn't big enough. Those bands all had to have huge box trucks to carry everything around in.


My own band was a Southern rock/country rock band (it was the early 80s) and while our PA was small by comparison, it was still overkill for most of the places we played. We had a large sub, two cabinets with 2/12s each and two horns, a hi/mid and a high, on each side of the stage. Each stack was about 8 feet tall. We ran a tri-amped system. We also had to have a 24 light PAR system.



Holy crap, it makes my back hurt just thinking about how much gear we had to lug around.

 

 

 

I remember those days so well. We had a 48 passenger school bus we converted into a cargo carrier, leaving just the front 4 seats for the band plus our soundman and lightman. The rest of the bus was filled with (as specifically as my brain can remember lol):

- a massive Martin PA (two double 18" loaded bass bins, two mids and two horns per side) and 4 QSC power amps,

- a 24 channel soundcraft board for FOH,

- a 16 channel peavey board for monitor mixing,

- a full rack with alesis midiverb, two SPX-90's, two 31 band eqs, a 4 track - tape recorder to make board tapes, a tape deck for tunes between sets, more that I can't remember ...

- six 15" Yamaha monitors (2 for me, 2 for drummer, 1 each for bassist and other guitarist),

- mics, stands, cables, snakes

- two Marshall 100 watt full stacks,

- an 11 piece drum set plus cymbals,

- a Peavey 'fridge' size bass amp,

- a follow-spot,

- 2 fog machines,

- 48 par-64 lights,

- 3 banks of aircraft lights plus trussing and stands for the light show

- 6 guitars and 2 basses

- our suitcases

- a vcr, a microwave and a hotplate

- beer (lots of beer)

 

and this was playing bars ... Overkill d'ya think? We would show up at some bars and the owner would have a heart attack when he saw the rig, thinking ohmigod this is gonna be LOUD. But it all looked so damn cool and we were a rock/metal band in the 80's so it just seemed to fit.

 

Nowadays, I show up with my personal gear and the venue/promoter handles the PA/Lights - and that's just the way I like it lol.

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I roadied for Slaughter (just one gig) a couple years ago. We set up four Marshall stacks for the guitar player on one side and 6 Ampegs for the bass player on the other. The guitar player plugged into a Peavey Bandit behind the stacks, and the bass player used one cabinet.

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Hey, wait a minute man!!!

 

Are those REAL chickens on the rotisserie, or rubber ones in a FAKE roaster? :confused:

 

Only the coolest of the cool :cool:would play rock n roll in front of a wall of roasting chickens :thu:, but if those are only fake chickens put there for show, then what?!?! :freak:

 

I cannot accept proposition that the great Geddy Lee could be some kind of a wanker. You are blowing my little mind here, bro. :rolleyes:

 

That's a mic stand with a mic on it in the lower left corner

07jun27_photo1.jpg

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Yes, when they'd do Heart Full of Soul and a few other songs on the R30 tour he'd break out the acoustic. I don't remember Geddy playing any acoustic during Snakes and Arrows...but I could be wrong.

 

And yes, those are REAL chickens. Maybe. I know I read somewhere that at least a FEW are real...hell I don't know. I'm just going to go with thinking they are real because Geddy and Alex are so cool. ;)

 

"Those are part of the secret to my bass sound. Those roasters give me a hotter and tastier sound." - Geddy Lee, National Post, April 15th, 2008

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Now I fully understand my adversion to country!

 

"Adversion"?

 

Is that fear of advertising or something? ;)

Brian V.

 

And P.S. - all those little pseudo-Dr. Z amps are actually lights and are an integral part of the light show. They look pretty damn spiffy in action.

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Dude, I don't wanna know
:facepalm:
does he break out an acoustic during the show?

 

I bet that's a mic so he can actually hear the ambient sound of the crowd. When you're wearing in-ears, that's the biggest drawback - you totally lose the "space" you're in, and you can't really hear much of anything but what's coming through your monitor. Hence, the ambient mic.

 

I'm about to go back to in-ears, and give an ambient mic a try so I can actually hear the crowd. I think it will work a lot better.

Brian V.

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I bet that's a mic so he can actually hear the ambient sound of the crowd. When you're wearing in-ears, that's the biggest drawback - you totally lose the "space" you're in, and you can't really hear much of anything but what's coming through your monitor. Hence, the ambient mic.


I'm about to go back to in-ears, and give an ambient mic a try so I can actually hear the crowd. I think it will work a lot better.

Brian V.

 

 

Huh, that's pretty interesting.

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"Those are part of the secret to my bass sound. Those roasters give me a hotter and tastier sound." - Geddy Lee, National Post, April 15th, 2008

 

 

Lol. Funny Geddy. Maybe he should add a slab of ribs to one rack and switch to that case with an AB pedal when he needs a meaty boost for a meat & potatoes solo.

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I remember reading something about where the "stack" came from in the first place. I think it was Jim Marshall describing that rock bands needed something to give them a backdrop on the stage. Before that, big bands (4 trumpets, 4 bones, 5 saxes, plus piano, upright bass, drums, guitar) has their own "stand fronts". You probably remember that look:


DCRBB_Amersham_Filming_Set.jpg

Or maybe it was that musicians asked Marshall for it - I think it was The Who - and he made them some 8x12 cabinets. But those were a big pain to move around, so he split them in two, and the modern stack was born. So, in essence, the stack has always been about the look. Having a bunch of fake ones and one or two live ones is just an extension of that...

 

I seem to remember watching something about Marshall and the stacks. It was more that guitarists of the time, mostly Townshend and Hendrix, needed something loud for the shows they were playing, because at that time PA systems really weren't capable of reproducing the guitar effectively, especially in clubs. As the shows/crowds got bigger, so did the stacks. I remember reading something from Dick Dale saying something similar. He had fender make bigger and more powerful amps to play louder to cover a crowd. The distorted tone was more of a side effect then anything.

 

Kind of funny now days millions, if not billions are spent by manufactures around the world trying recreate the distorted sounds of those early amps that did it not because it sounded cool, but because the guitarist really had the thing cranked to the brink of blowing up, which they did regularly. :)

 

You can look back at Townshend and Hendrix and others of the time and see how they were jumping from one head to another sometimes to another and so on. Running 2-4+ amp heads through 8 cabinets. It was the real deal back then, not vanity.

 

Now, though, I doubt you can find any real band out there that has more then maybe 4 cabinets on the stage that are real.

 

I remember also reading I believe it was Mark Tremonti, and whoever else they were touring with at the time (Maybe Godsmack?) got in a friendly match of who could get their MESA rep to send them the most dummy cabinets for their individual bands backline.

 

Pretty much if you see a wall of amps, the only ones that area actually producing sound are the ones that microphones in front of them, and sometimes that's not even always the case.

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Hey, wait a minute man!!!


Are those REAL chickens on the rotisserie, or rubber ones in a FAKE roaster?
:confused:

Only the coolest of the cool :cool:would play rock n roll in front of a wall of roasting chickens
:thu:
, but if those are only fake chickens put there for show, then what?!?!
:freak:

I cannot accept proposition that the great Geddy Lee could be some kind of a wanker. You are blowing my little mind here, bro.
:rolleyes:

 

I remember reading that the chickens are real and are used to feed the band and crew.

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Surprisingly, a lot of metal bands do this. Slayer plays with a backline of 24 4x12's most of the time. Sometimes Jeff himself plays with 18. Usually only 1 or 2 are mic'd. Marshall probably signed it into their contract to boost their metal appearance.

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The interesting thing about this thread is that people seem to think that somehow the music is a little less authentic when the band uses dummy cabs. Like it's a little emasculating to the audience, and therefore they think a little less of the band. As if using a Pod and a wall of dummy cabs really puts a band in the same league as Milli Vannili. It's show business. When you go to a play, do you expect the trees and buildings on stage to be real?

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Status Quo's 'Marshalls' were 99% dummy cabs and one Vox AC30 in a Marshall box.

 

They had a publicity deal with Marshall.

 

In fact that 'Marshall' sound is actually an AC30, Slash, the Quo, and numerous others use AC30s in the studio and live with a Marshall stack posturing as their amp on stage.

 

Marshalls are only popular because they were the cheapest amps in the 60s

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Marshalls are only popular because they were the cheapest amps in the 60s

 

 

Marshalls were far from the cheapest amps in the 60's, 70's , or any other decade. They (and others) were built that big to satisfy a need that no longer exists. Unfortunately, that big stack is sexy to 14 year old suburban guitar wankers with hedge fund managers for mommies and daddies. So they sell. And sell. And sell. It's telling that you don't see many middle aged pro players that actually have to move their own gear playing with multiple full stacks. One half stack is fairly common, because of the sound, but not multiple full stacks. They're just not necessary any longer. Basically, any time that you see multiple full stacks, it's nothing more than stage dressing.

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Status Quo's 'Marshalls' were 99% dummy cabs and one Vox AC30 in a Marshall box.


They had a publicity deal with Marshall.


In fact that 'Marshall' sound is actually an AC30, Slash, the Quo, and numerous others use AC30s in the studio and live with a Marshall stack posturing as their amp on stage.


Marshalls are only popular because they were the cheapest amps in the 60s

 

 

A lot of bands use different amps in the studio than live. It's a completely different thing. I use pretty much Fender tube amps live but in the studio I used a little Marshall Valvestate, a SS Fender Princeton 112+, a Blues Junior, a Sears Silvertone, some Carvin amp the studio owned, a big Twin Reverb, and a few others.

 

And no, Marshalls were never cheap. The dream setup in the 70s was a Les Paul through a Marshall stack. I could afford either the amp or the guitar, but not both, so I got the guitar and figured out how to make a late 50s Fender Bassman piggyback sound decent until I got a Music Man.

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A lot of bands use different amps in the studio than live.

 

 

That's exactly my point.

 

Tho I'm pretty sure i read that Marshall was cheaper than the other amps (Fender and Vox etc) at the time. I may be mistaken, they might just have been cheap for the stars as an endorsement deal.

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