Air Friendly Amp Rig???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by reddgeetarzan, Sep 15, 2005.


  1. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    Anyone have any ideas on a GOOD sounding SMALL amp rig (under 50lbs in a road case) or some type of preamp that I can carry on a plane that will take the place of my tube rigs when I can't ship them??? I love my tube amps, but its just not always practical or cost effective to ship them around to gigs.......ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!!! Preferrably something I could carry on the plane with, but I'm open to ideas on a rig that would not exceed the 50lb limit most airlines have- that would have to be road case included on the weight.

    I would rather have some control over my tone than have to accept what might be available at the far away gigs...

    THANKS!

    RG:dude
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Two suggestions:
    1. Original Sansamp-sounds great direct or into a Twin or Roland Jazz Chorus, takes pedals well and weighs nothing. You can carry one just as insurance.

    2. The new Crate Powerblock-reportedly sounds great and would easily fit in carryon.

    I don't think you'll be able to carry tubes and keep it under 40#, but a decent preamp into an ADA or Marshall SS power amp would be another thought....
     
  3. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    ZVEX Nano Amp?

    I've been contemplating getting one just to bring along for a back-up. It won't take up any extra space in the van and it will get you through the night if an amp goes down. Haven't played through one though.

    AL
     
  4. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    Yes, I've thought about the Crate- it even has a nice little carry bag......and for under 200 clams, its not a bad idea- I wonder how pedals sound in front of it? Anyone heard it yet??

    Hadn't thought about the Sans Amp- I'll check into it- how hard are the originals to fine these days??

    I was hoping I wouldn't have to go the POD route, I have a friend who swears by his Line 6 stuff.........and I know I'll have to make some concessions in tone- the ZVEX is also a good idea.

    THANKS FELLAS!!!!!!
     
  5. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    I did a European tour once with a Fender Pro Junior. It fit perfectly in the overhead compartment and you could run the speaker out to another cabinet when you get to the gig. It took a little longer to get through security with it but it was worth it.

    You could also buy something like a Carmen Ghia head and just rent a cabinet at the city you are playing in. The Ghia is very small and sounds excellent IMHO.

    My .02¢
     
  6. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    Hey Pappy-

    Great ideas- AND they are tube amps!!! On that note, I may just be as well off to get a good road case for my tube head (I'm bouncing between a Carr Slant 6v and a Two Rock Opal right now) and just taking your advice and renting a cab......

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!

    RG
     
  7. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    What are folks opinions of using something like a Palmer and running your head into the PA. I know one guy who went that route instead of a POD. Don't get the feedback and response of a real amp on stage, but at least the feel is somewhat familiar.
     
  8. ExtraStrength

    ExtraStrength Member

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    Some pro's put an amp head in a road case and use backline speakers provided at the venue. I admit there will be some variation between different speakers and speakers cabinets, but you will have overall control with you own amp and can adjust eq accordingly.

    Good luck
     
  9. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    Carvin has a little Vintage 16 amp, all tube: 12AX7 & EL84's. Not a bad sounding little amp, and responds well to a few simple mods.
     
  10. Fred McMurray

    Fred McMurray Member

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    Pappy, I like your idea about the Fender Pro Junior. And if it's damaged it ain't the end of the world.

    I haven't done the travel thing in over a year now, as life situation has changed, but I picked up some valuable experience. I've had to plug into everything in rented backline situations, but loathe the Marshall DSL & TSL amps more than anything. On good days, I've gotten lucky: a THD BiValve, a Mesa Lonestar, Matchless Clubman, a fabulous Marshall JCM 800 2203, and a Fender BFDR have befriended me at faraway gigs. But those days were the exception. Instead, it's mostly amps with too much headroom (i.e. Fender Twin) and no natural breakup at reasonable volumes, or abused newer Marshalls which tended to sound too brittle and flat.

    As for the Dr. Z Carmen Ghia: I actually DID this with my Ghia on a few occasions. It's not my main amp, but I've gigged and recorded with it enough to know what works and I will say this: to me, it responds very very differently to different speakers and cabinet configurations. I've played it through 210s, 112s, 212s, etc. Although the Ghia accepts effect pedals better than most EL84 amps, it can be picky when it comes to speakers, and not knowing exactly what lies ahead of you at the gig may not make it worth bringing a head like the Ghia: the resulting tones will certainly be good, but not necessarily consistent or predictable, especially if you're thrown a shiny new cab with speakers which have not been broken in, or a great cab with speakers that do not do the Ghia justice. Both situations happened to me, and I remember myself asking why I went through the hassle.

    I like the SansAmp idea. Also, don't flame me, but the (gulp) PodXT or something similar might yield some ok results if you can stand it.
     
  11. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    You bring up some really good points. I have a Carr Slant 6V that's been doing pretty well for me, but it is also extemely sensitive to speakers and cabs, so same problems will occur.

    On a tonal level, I like the idea very much of a small tube amp, but on a practical level, I'm leaning a bit more towards something like the Pod or similar unit- I'm just afraid I may feel the burn of my "sacrifice" when I'm on stage in front of a large crowd! I'm also a bit gun shy about the live "feel" of a preamp coming through the monitors- I'm so used to the physical movement of air from the speaker cabs- not to mention the naturual sustain I get.......

    This is going to be a trial by fire!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks guys!!! You've all had some excellent ideas.

    RG
     
  12. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Redd, I've been using my Zendrive and Mosferatu in front of the Powerblock and a GNX2 in the loop for rev, dly, vol, chr, wah, etc. It works unbelievably well, into the right cab. Highly recommended.

    jon
     
  13. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    For the money, the Crate Power block seems to be the ticket- it would serve a mulitude of functions- and also make a nice backup for my local gigs if my regular rig decides to bite the dust for whatever reason.

    I'm not familiar with the effects processor you mentioined, but I've recently talked with Alf about a Zendrive- I'm on the list for the Zendrive 2- the sound clips I heard from the Mosferatu didn't really get me all that excited- what's your take on that pedal? Does it do what the Zen can't??

    Thanks for your input- I think that's the way I'm gonna go....I'll let you all know how it works out!

    RG
     
  14. ottobahn

    ottobahn Guest

    It might look like a bomb to the airline. Especially if you tape an alarm clock to it!
     
  15. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I would gig a Pro Jnr. anywhere if I didn't need a lot headroom.
     
  16. Colt

    Colt Member

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    I second the idea of just getting a small amp head, and have the venue supply a cab.
     
  17. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Not too hard to find the original Sansamps around, they're not sexy like PODs so people may not hang onto them too tightly.

    Another thought, old Bell PAs with 4 channels can be built into very respectable 20-40w amps with cascaded gain stages. Since you'd be doing some rewiring you might even be able to build it right into a road case-just pop off the front and back panels and you're ready to rock!
     
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    The Crate PowerBlock is the ticket for me. They sound great, like pedals just fine, 4.6 lbs, come with a carry case, have plenty of power for most situations, and have some interesting options on the back panel. The XLR line out is a "compensated" line out like a Sansamp type device. I'm using the line out instead of mic'ing the amp, and it sounds fine.

    Someone here had them cheap on the dealers page. Don't remember the exact price but it was less than 200 shipped to your door.
     
  19. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    For the money, I'm gonna try the Powerblock- very practical in every sense- plus it will make a nice little backup amp if I ever need one- not to mention a good practice amp at home to keep my tubes fresh!

    I'll post my results- I have a show in LA on Oct. 1st- flying from Ohio.......we'll see how this baby performs live!!!!!!!

    www.alligatorstew.com for more details.......if you happen to be in the LA area, come down and hear for yourself!

    Thanks to ALL who have contributed recommendations- I'm going to try a few other of the ideas as well and will post my personal results!


    RG
     
  20. JamesPeters

    JamesPeters Member

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    I haven't heard it with pedals yet, but man it sounded very good for that matchless-meets-plexi classic OD. Not "the best" for that sound, but definitely easy to live with *and* be comfortable with.

    They're going to sell a lot of these things, if people actually try them.
     

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