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Author Topic: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?  (Read 4186 times)

Twinfan

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Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« on: July 10, 2012, 12:18:33 PM »
So I've got a small private party gig coming up next week where my covers band will be playing a couple of sets in a bar's function room.  We've played a similar gig before and I used my full Bogner/efects switching rig which sounded great as always, but on reflection we were probably a bit loud for a social event  :(

After seeing Phil X and Larry Miller recently, I've been struck by how effective a simple rig can be.  I've always used a smaller and cheaper rig for rehearsals, but since upgrading it a bit I think it may be ideal for a quieter event:

* 65 Amps London Pro and footswitch
* Semi-open back Zilla 1x12 with a G12M Greenback
* Tuner
* Klone
* Chorus
* Two guitars and that's it!

So I think I'm going to give it a whirl and see how I get on.  I usually take the 65 to pub gigs as a backup to my XTC, but it's not going to work the other way round as I'm only taking a small cab.  As the London Pro is cathode biased, I can just take some fuses/El84s/ECC83s/EF86s to the gig and then unless something in the amp actually breaks I can fix it in 2 minutes.

What would/do you guys do - spare amp head or spare valves and fuses?

WeAreNotGentlemen

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 02:33:34 PM »
I can't imagine something as costly as a 65 would ever actually "break" inside.   :lol:

But I've never seen the construction so I can't really say. Seems like a spare valves job to me.

Twinfan

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 02:37:29 PM »
Inside it's top quality, no issues with that, and I'm sure the transformers are solid.  Things can break though, for example a power valve can pop and take out resistors, but I guess it's a gamble that might be worth taking...

djl

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 03:48:00 PM »
If it's an important gig, I always take a spare amp. You're probably right, and you could probably fix it in 2 mins, but even good handwired amps occasionally have non-valve things go wrong. It depends on how important the gig is I guess...

My setup is v simple too, and so far (touch wood) I've never had to use my spare but you never know

Fourth Feline

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 03:50:15 PM »
 I eventually took a spare amp everytime ;  even if it was something small that could be run into the P.A. option - so the  diagnostic process could be reduced to the removal and re-insertion of a 13amp plug.   I used to carry the whole electronics repair kit,  but one ( fateful ) night,  a fairly basic problem became a time eating 'spoiler' of the gig's vibe and continuity.    I eventually realised ( in my situation ) that whilst there may be another ' tone seeker' somewhere in the audience,  most of the audience have come to enjoy the show itself ,  and where we  fit in - as only a smaller part of the overall picture.  It's the song(s) they want, not our pedigree.  :)

« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 05:39:22 PM by Fourth Feline »
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gwEm

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 06:29:00 PM »
i know a few guys take a modeller as backup in this situation. straight into the desk.

(edit: Dave, was it you who scored a pocket pod at one stage? take that maybe?)
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Ian Price

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 06:32:41 PM »
I'm pretty sure that Dave has moved the pocket pod on now!

I must admit that I never took a back up amp with me to any gigs I did. If I was gigging again I'd probably go for something really small like a 22 caliber.
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Elliot

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 07:46:42 PM »
Joyo AC Tone as a backup  :lol:
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AndyR

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 10:54:08 PM »
I never took a spare when I was gigging. I carried spare output valves for a while, cos the bassist insisted I did, but he nicked them himself! :lol:

If I went out again, I'd take a modellor as a spare and go into the PA.

Definitely like the sound of you heading towards a simpler rig (it's still more complicated than I was using!). Good luck, hope you enjoy doing it that way :D
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38thBeatle

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 11:10:47 PM »
I don't take a spare amp either-I am beginning to think I should but in fact, I have only had one total amp failure in the last few years and luckily I was about 2 miles from home and so was able to nip home and get my Laney Cub and mic it up. It is small enough to stick in the car though so maybe I should in future.
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Twinfan

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 12:23:31 AM »
Cheers guys - good suggestions  :)

I haven't got the Pod any more, but one of those E-H Calibers might be a good idea...

Telerocker

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 12:43:45 AM »
When I gig within a range of 25 miles I never take a spare amp. Otherwise I take a Blues Junior, just in case my Rockerverb 50 head dies. It never has. Btw, the BJ hooked up to a 2x12 cab can be pretty loud, at least in our coverband. We don't play that loud on stage. It's easier for our soundtech to make a good mix that way.
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nfe

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 01:03:58 AM »
I don't know a professional musician who takes a back up amp to anything other than on long tours :lol: Hell, I don't know many who take a back up guitar unless they need them for particular sounds/tunings. I really wouldn't worry about it.
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asianaxeman

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 02:02:53 AM »
Understandable, the falliability of valves can make one nervous..I take a vox modeller for direct in to the pa and others I know also go for the preamp option. Light weight mini head is an option to gi through speaker if u take a combo.
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hunter

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Re: Gigging question - spare valves or spare amp?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 06:36:34 AM »
The good thing with the pedal based setup is that the amp itself is not THAT important anymore.

Why not get something small and really cheap for that purpose. It's very unlikely the 65 would break, so an Egnater Tweaker or something, damn even a Roland Cube should do it for that purpose? I never take a backup amp anyways. Some spare tubes and surely fuses, yes.
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