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View Full Version : Solo acoustic gig rigs....


Colt
11-04-2007, 03:11 PM
Post up what you're using for you solo (or duo) acoustic gigs...Pa, guitar, DI's, amps, etc. etc.

I make more than half my income from doing solo gigs...but I'm lucky enough to play places that already provid PA, so I just show up with my Taylor K14ce (top,back,sides all koa), and a Beta 87a....I'm using a cheapo DI, but I'm about to get a para DI....

and I plan on getting a Martin HD-28V here soon and load it with an M1 Passive...and maybe mix it with ibeam...not sure yet...

but I'm wanting to get a small rig so I can open up my places to play...so I can gig where they don't have a PA, travel more. etc. I'm not REAL concerned with price, considering it's how I make most my money...but I'd like to stay under 2g's

waxnsteel
11-04-2007, 03:54 PM
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y176/waxnsteel/Looperinsnouts.jpg

Can't see a good reason to skimp on PA when you sprang for fairly expensive guitars. This is what I use, though. Usually the 614, a 655, and a backup 514. Through EV 1202s with Sennheiser IEMS.

uncletele
11-04-2007, 04:14 PM
Colt,
My wife and I have a duo that we do a lot of outdoor arts festivals, small theaters, and large coffehouse venues. We've been using the two Bose PAS systems since 2005, and I haven't looked back. They are awesome, and easy to set up and tear down. The new L1 system is even better.
She play electric bass and fiddle with vocals. I play my two high-end Martins with K&K ultra-pure westerns pups into a Baggs PADI, plus vocals. No processing other than on the fiddle.
It really is the reason that has kept me playing out into well my 50's.
Jerry

MattieRYFO
11-04-2007, 04:32 PM
Yeah, it's really hard to think of anything that is as good and as easy to use/haul/set up as the Bose L1. Now they also have the T1 system to add effects.

I absolutely love mine!

royd
11-04-2007, 06:15 PM
here's my rack which I've been using in solo and duo situations for about 8 years.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v627/royd/acousticrack001.jpg

My Lowden O25C Custom has a Sunrise and a McIntyre that come out via a stereo jack, go to the Sunrise stereo buffer to the Raven PMB-1. I add a touch of reverb, chorus, and compression and then send it to the PA. It makes for a huge sound that covers the entire spectrum.

For a PA when I have to bring it, I have an early Mackie 1202 board, a peavey power amp and Wright Brothers 2 way speakers. We use Audix mics. The system sounds fine but isn't amazing.

kmcmichael
11-05-2007, 02:02 PM
I would not spend the money for a Martin unless I was going to use a microphone instead of a pickup.

DavidE
11-05-2007, 02:24 PM
For guitars, I have two Ovation Elite T's with hot rod flame paint jobs (one red, one orange sparkle). I also have a Korean Alvarez Jumbo with a K&K transducer system added to the onboard electronics. Lately I've also been playing a beautiful Martin dread cutaway with built in Fishman blender electronics. All 4 guitars work great and I take two to a gig.

My pedalboard has a Boss AC3 for some mild tone shaping, reverb and occasional chorus. There's also a Boss TU2 tuner, a Boss looper so I can record on the fly and play solos over the recording or second parts or whatever and a Boss DD5 w/ tap tempo pedal.

For 99% of our gigs (I have a singer) I use my Bose PAS (original). 2 vocals, one guitar. Perfect except for huge outdoor gigs. We set up in 15 minutes and tear down faster. Sound is always excellent.

This past Friday, a great guitar player / singer friend showed up and I handed him my Martin plugged straight in and he played with us for a whole set. Good times....

jpfeiff
11-05-2007, 02:54 PM
Santa Cruz Vintage Artist with an active Fishman undersaddle pickup, into Baggs Paracoustic DI, into Fender Passport PD-250 PA system. The PA has some onboard reverb, but other than a touch of that, I don't do near as much processing as it looks like some others are doing. Real happy with the PA for up to two guitars and two voices, but mostly use it solo. It also flies well on airplanes as checked luggage.

Haven't tried the Bose system but would like to...

erniecaster
11-05-2007, 04:10 PM
Hi folks,

to be honest: I never played really solo but I played together with a female singer - so I was the only one to play an instrument.

My equipment is/was very simple. I used a Lakewood M-14 or M-32 equipped with a B-Band UST plus preamp without potis on the guitar. On my floorboard:

1. BOSS PQ-3B parametric eq, designed for bass guitar and discontinued. It is a great tool for acoustic guitars! It doesn´t look cool but it is "my favourite wrench". You can try out an BOSS GEB-7 as well - but B for Bass again!

2. BOSS RV-3. Just to give a little room. I love the tone poti - turn it on 10 o´clock and it´s very warm. Just early reflections to make the pickup sound more natural - not as an effect.

3. BOSS TU2 Tuner. I will never walk on stage again without one.

4. D.I. Gimme a passive unit without any knobs or whatever. Just to get an XLR out of it.

Pure and simple, it is even cheap...

Have a good time!

erniecaster

Steve Gambrell
11-05-2007, 05:24 PM
I would not spend the money for a Martin unless I was going to use a microphone instead of a pickup.
+1
It IS hard to mike an acoustic, especially in a noisy environment, but a cheap Taylor (or Alvarez, or Takamine) would get the plugged-in job done, for a lot less than that HD-28.

John Phillips
11-05-2007, 05:45 PM
I do the acoustic-duo thing with a (non-instrument-playing, unless you count tambourine and shakers ;)) female singer too. Mostly we use house PAs, but if we need to take our own:

Very small gig - Trace Elliot TA-100R acoustic amp. The mic channel sounds OK with vocals, but to be honest for gigs that size it's almost more 'reinforcement' than PA, even for the vocals - a bit more fullness and some reverb makes all the difference even at very low volume.

Small gig - ancient Peavey 50W (!) PA amp and a pair of (or sometimes only one) old HH 1x12" + horn PA cabs. Looks ratty, sounds fine. Actually quite a bit louder than the Trace, just because of the much greater speaker efficiency - the drivers are pretty much 1970s British Gauss copies.

Larger gig - now the Peavey is used as a driver for the monitors (Peavey Mini-Monitors, plastic clip-together things with upgraded drivers), with a line taken out of there and run into a Trace Elliot AH200 bass head (no kidding, it's an excellent power amp with a graphic EQ that goes all the way up to 15KHz), and then into the HHs.

And yes, all this old junk really does sound very good :p. And cost me next to nothing...

Into that I run a Taylor 312CE with Fishman electrics (piezo with Rare Earth pickup added) or a Fender HMT acoustic-electric Tele, through a pedalboard with a Dunlop Crybaby 535, Boss TU-2, Frantone Brooklyn (possibly being replaced with an Acoust-a-boost), Boss DM-2, MXR Micro-Chorus and Boss PH-1R.

:)

eugewong
11-05-2007, 06:24 PM
I do guitar and vocal duos, and it's pretty simple for me..

Godin Nylon SA (or most recently, Steinberger Synapse w/ GK-3 midi pickup)
Boss OC-20 Midi Octaver (drops my lowest 2 strings an octave)
into whatever house PA.

With this, I play bass and guitar at the same time. Mostly Jazz and RnB.

pingman
11-12-2007, 04:15 PM
I play in an acoustic duo. I have played a Taylor 314ce for about 5 years through a direct box into the PA. Nowdays I play straight through the pa at a small bar and it sounds good after fiddling knobs. Sometimes I bring a boss delay which adds a bit to the solos.

jimfog
11-12-2007, 04:19 PM
I do a LOT of these solo guitar/vocals gig......3-5 a week. It's my living.......

Since I try and keep setup, load-in, tear-down and muss and fuss to a minimum.......

Taylor 710ce

Boss RC20 Loop Station

Boss Tu-2 tunes

Sometimes I'll add a DD-6 delay.........

Shure Beta58 for vocals

All into a PV 8 channel 500 watt head (workhorse......lives in my trunk and just ALWAYS works......once had a drunk woman spill an entire Guinness into it.........after a couple days drying out, it STILL worked....lol).. and JBL 12" cabs on stands.........sometimes I'll use JBL Eon 10's for a very small gig.

Most importantly.....NO monitor. I hate them...... makes you sing and project better, less feedback, and you can control your dynamics better.

Plus, less to carry! ;)

cheers,

Jim

gitman
11-13-2007, 04:09 AM
for solo acoustic jazz/light classical gigs (about once every 3 weeks) i use a Lakewood
nylonstring guitar which has a b-bend USB pickup, straight into my ancient AER Acousticube (first edition). i do not sing. i am paid to provide a nice athmosphere so volume is not needed. i set up the AER so that i can hear myself well enough and the people sitting close to my spot can still have a conversation. the gigs are between 3 and 4 hrs. so i'm tired when it's over > i have the amp, guitar in gigbag, bag for cables, music and the small Boss looper; one trip to the car and i'm gone !

Scott M.
11-13-2007, 06:44 AM
Just solo guitar - no vocals.

Beauregard OM-C with a K&K Pure Western into an Acoustic Image Corus amp. I have a Lexicon MX-200 for a little delay and a Peterson Strobostomp tuner. The amp's about 20 lbs and 400 watts. Best little amp I've had yet.

chewynodoubt
11-13-2007, 06:58 AM
acoustic-->lr baggs imix (ibeam/M1)-->planet waves strobe tuner-->EHX Black Finger (tube compressor/pre)-->DI

--lava canare cable runs--

1after909
11-13-2007, 07:01 PM
I usually use my SWR California blonde with natural blonde extension speaker with my either Taylor 914C and my Kottke 12, or Santa Cruz FS thru this system. I also use it for a Rick Turner nylon, and a custom Kirk Sand L-5 style archtop with a Benedetto (Kent Armstrong) floating pickup. If the house has a nice PA, I leave the Blondes at home...;)Good Luck!!

zombywoof
11-13-2007, 07:56 PM
I do not do solo gigs but I do some backing work. I use both a 1960 Gibson J-200 with a DeArmond 210 pickup and 1930s Kay Kraft with DeArmond Rhythm Chief plugged into a Kalamazoo amp.

davidl13
11-20-2008, 10:49 AM
try the fishman solo amp, it is great. i think it is a better solution than the bose

Strat
11-20-2008, 10:57 AM
Kevin Ryan MGC, b-band, para DI, condensor mic, eventide, EH powered speaker

plaintop
11-20-2008, 12:50 PM
An ancient flattop and a small condenser mic, shure mics for vocals.

DavidE
11-20-2008, 01:11 PM
I use one of a number of guitars (Martins, Ovations, Ibanez Montage (which is good for blending a distorted electric sound), Alvarez, Taylor, Variax Acoustic 700) then put it through a pedalboard with a tuner, Boss AD3 (for minor tone shaping, reverb, occasional chorus and even more occasional feedback busting), Boss GE7 eq for lead boost, Boss looper so I can record on the fly and play solos or second guitar parts in many songs then into a Boss DD5 with tap tempo.

All of that then goes into a Bose L1 (original). SM58 to the Bose for my vocal through a Digitech VL4 for harmonies only (no preamp or effects). My singer plugs in his SM58. Sounds great.

You might also look at the Fishman Soloamp.

DavidE
11-20-2008, 01:14 PM
try the fishman solo amp, it is great. i think it is a better solution than the bose


A friend bought one. He said it's good, but it doesn't have the bass of a bose with a sub or two and it's hissy. They're using it for a trio as a monitor with QSC powered speakers as their mains.

Swirl
11-22-2008, 01:55 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3005/3046380348_ef5e83b395.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3215/3045546617_39835c0bd6.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3285/3045545561_aaace95fbf.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3062/3046381038_fc6d6d1867.jpg

Telemon
11-23-2008, 11:55 PM
The best I've found so far? My Ultrasound AG-50DS3 with an AG-50E Extension cab! it's lightweight portable and frankly, all I need...

jaywalker
11-24-2008, 05:18 AM
http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd173/jtdale/100_1888.jpg

soon adding a vocal harmonizer and a BOSS looper....

johneeeveee
11-24-2008, 05:33 AM
D.I. - Gimme a passive unit without any knobs or whatever. Just to get an XLR out of it.


I couldn't agree more. Passive DI's just sound more natural to me, and my fave, although not cheap, is the Radial JDI.

An ancient flattop and a small condenser mic, shure mics for vocals.

If the venue is quiet, I agree that there's nothing like micing. I personally love the Neumann KMS 105 on vocals.


Good luck - jv

coldfingaz
11-24-2008, 06:14 AM
+1
It IS hard to mike an acoustic, especially in a noisy environment, but a cheap Taylor (or Alvarez, or Takamine) would get the plugged-in job done, for a lot less than that HD-28.

Yeah, for me it's impossible to mic an acoustic while I'm playing. It would require standing still!

The M1 is a great pick up... not as natural as something like a K&K Pure Western Mini, but it's a feedback killer. I don't see anything wrong with using one with a Martin or any higher end guitar. Though the strengths of the guitar's natural/un-miced tone might not always cut through, it will still sound great and it will be the same amazing guitar you LOVE to play unplugged at home.

I understand why some worry about destroying their high end guitars, etc. out in live situations, but I'd rather play & enjoy what I have.

Shawn3786
11-25-2008, 11:59 AM
For this situation I like to plug my acoustic (Guild GAD-30) into a Fishman Pro Platinum EQ and from there I would go right into the PA via XLR. If the PA is not equipped with Delay and Reverb I would plug into my rack which I use a Lexicon MX 200 for Delay's and Reverb's. The beauty of the Fishman Pro Platinum EQ is that you go in 1/4 inch and this pre amp has everything you'll need. It features vol, gain, feedback, eq, brilliance, and can go in and out of phase if you'd like. You have the option of going out of the Fishman with either 1/4 inch or XLR, I prefer XLR for the better signal. That's about as simple as you need to be. I have found that in all of my acoustic gigs I've done that no amp is needed, plugging an acoustic right into the PA seems to work best.

sonhenry
11-25-2008, 04:48 PM
Looks like this-

Guitars -> Floor Tuner -> PA.
Plywood footboard with contact mic -> PA
Voice -> Senheiser mic -> PA

Simple. Gotta amplify that footstomp though. And for guitars, it's my taylor, an old national, an ES-125T and a few marine band harps...

sinner
11-25-2008, 05:38 PM
For this situation I like to plug my acoustic (Guild GAD-30) into a Fishman Pro Platinum EQ and from there I would go right into the PA via XLR. If the PA is not equipped with Delay and Reverb I would plug into my rack which I use a Lexicon MX 200 for Delay's and Reverb's. The beauty of the Fishman Pro Platinum EQ is that you go in 1/4 inch and this pre amp has everything you'll need. It features vol, gain, feedback, eq, brilliance, and can go in and out of phase if you'd like. You have the option of going out of the Fishman with either 1/4 inch or XLR, I prefer XLR for the better signal. That's about as simple as you need to be. I have found that in all of my acoustic gigs I've done that no amp is needed, plugging an acoustic right into the PA seems to work best.

Does that Fishman Pro Plantinum Preamp just lay on the floor at your feet? Or do they have a similar belt clip on sytle?

Also I didn't realize this Fishman Premap has the DI XLR out as a feature (?) I am debating between the Fishman or The LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI (preamp And XLR DI) for my passive pickup'ed acoustic.

205
11-25-2008, 05:40 PM
On top of band gigs I play around two acoustic solo gigs a week.

As far as PA systems for a solo gig you can't go wrong with a couple powered JBL's or Mackies with a small, good qualilty mixer. For smaller gigs use one powered speaker.
Don't use a mic on your guitar get a good quality pickup installed, use a feedback buster.

Simple as that.

asintoras
11-26-2008, 11:31 PM
Alhambra 5P (classical) or Ibanez V300, both with LRBaggs Ibeam passive pickups, into a LRBaggs ParaDI. Then, to a Matrix tuner, muter, and to the PA.
You don't need more than that.

RustyAxe
11-27-2008, 12:20 PM
For solo gigs it's just my trusty Roland AC-60, a Shure SM58, and my guitars (with pickups). Sometimes I'll bring a speaker stand to get the amp up just over the seated audience's heads.

For the acoustic band, it's a whole different deal. Four SM58's, two SM57's, various DI's, Yamaha MG166/CX mixer, two graphic equalizers (main and monitors), two Mackie SRM450 powered mains, two Behringer B212A powered monitors.

I'd rather load in and load out SOLO ... :grin: