Last Minute Emergency Rig Changes

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cam.man67, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. cam.man67

    cam.man67 Member

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    ever had this happen? You're on your way to a gig, maybe that day or the day previous, and all of a sudden X breaks. You can't cancel because you don't want to lose the opportunity to play, so you improvise with something. Gig get played, you shake your head after it's over and vow "never again".

    Thinking on the "Favorite rigs" thread got me considering this. From 2008 to 2015 I gigged weekly or biweekly nearly constantly. All in all my gear held up well, I never had any major issues except one show early on.

    It was right after I graduated HS, so summer 2008. My first band was booked to play an outdoor show for 150~ people--huge for us at the time. Two days before we played my Blues Jr burned up its transformer. It went to the shop, but I was ampless. I had just bought a Boss ME-20 for delay and modulation use, realized it had stereo outs. I borrowed two crappy Marshall 10w SS practice amps and turned 'em up as loud as they'd go without speaker clipping. It worked, and we got through the gig just fine. But I can't imagine it sounded very good.;) let's hear your war stories!
     
  2. sturge

    sturge Member

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    Before getting the Quilter Aviator, I was always a tube guy and I usually brought a backup because 'sh*t happens'. Over the last 5-6 years, any time I have had an issue I have had my backup (Tweed BJ) with me it worked out fine. During a gig if I have problems I prefer to do a quick check to verify it's not guitar, pedalboard or cable then just swap amps versus messing around troubleshooting the amp on the clock. I have a little cheat sheet and appropriate patch cables enabling me to quickly go from my main rig (with an effects loop) to the BJ (no effects loop). Not hard but in the heat of the moment it makes it easy to ensure I still have access to my Nova System effects no matter what amp I use. It only has to happen once and you will quickly realize how important it is to have a backup plan.
     
  3. scmavl

    scmavl Enjoyer Silver Supporting Member

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    I was going to a two week stint as a drummer for a band from LA. Their tour started in Phoenix so they flew me in to meet them there. So I'm at the venue waiting on them. An hour till showtime, they're still not there. They finally get there (van trouble) and we set up with only 30 minutes until showtime. They had packed the drums so when I finally got everything out to set it up, I was missing the rack tom stand, the hihat clutch, and the throne (stool). These are important parts! With no way to get parts in time, I made do. No rack tom, found two stackable chairs that got close to drum stool height, and duct taped the top hihat cymbal onto the stand. It was a terrible setup and we had zero rehearsal (we had NEVER played together, at all) but it was one of the most fun gigs I've ever played. I heard a recording of it and the energy was off the charts.
     
  4. TheLateGreatJC

    TheLateGreatJC Member

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    We have never had that happen to us as a band, that is not to say that we have never had equipment fail on us, just that we have always been prepared for it, when we started gigging for money instead of for free, we made it a band policy that we would never gig with equipment that we didn't have identical backups of, so that meant if I played a Les Paul Studio, I would have to buy a second one and modify it identically to the first one before I would use it for gigging, the same for amps, cabs, pedals, mics, cables, racks, stands everything, including our P.A. system we have at least one identical back up of, yes it makes things more expensive, but at the end of the day, they are tools we need to preform our work, and what professional tradesman doesn't have spares and backups of the tools that he needs to do his job to the best of his ability.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  5. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    My band has cancelled gigs due to family medical problems twice in 21 years of playing but never cancelled because of a gear problem.

    We have enough gear to cover most emergencies, either before or during the gig. We don't carry spare speakers, but they're low risk. We also don't carry spare tubes - there's no time to diagnose and treat a sick amp - we plug in a spare amp that can be used for anything.
     
  6. JGD5150

    JGD5150 Member

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    Back in the early 90s I had a power tube go out in my Marshall Jube 3rd song in. Venue had a silverface Twin Reverb. I put a Tube Screamer and a DD3 through the front end and managed to make it through. Up until that point I was a total Marshall freak and wouldn't give Fender amps the time of day. That gig really opened my eyes.
     
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  7. tommygunn1986

    tommygunn1986 Member

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    I have a pedalboard with ATA flight case, a backup guitar, a solid state backup amp in case my tube amp goes out. Buuut, I work too much to be able to afford these things so I don't have time to write or gig. :dunno
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  8. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    I have had a few tubes go out over the years, had spares, but thats what made me decide to get a Quilter. My intent was to get a small amp as backup. But I liked the Quilter clean so much, it really is my main amp now. I still have tube amps for recording. I dont think Quilter is even trying to totally emulate a tube drive sound, its more like a nice drive pedal sound to me. Sure does seem to fool people though.
     
  9. EyeUrnMayDen

    EyeUrnMayDen Member

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    yup. few years back my 6505 redplated at rehersal the night before a gig.
    Fortunately i used to carry a pocket pod just in case, ran it through FOH. Didnt sound great, but i got through the gig.
    Now i bring a valveking micro as a backup everywhere i go.
     
  10. Mule

    Mule Member

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    I was playing a gig that was 2 hours away. My Rivera Rake Reverb (that had worked fine at the gig the night before) took a dump 10 min before we were supposed to start. I remembered I had my old Digitec RP1 in my van for such an occasion. It was in my van for over a year and I hadnt used it for several years. It worked but for some reason when I tried to plug it in the PA it wasnt anywhere near loud enough. Luckily the bar used to have a DJ booth. Inside of it I found an old power amp that still had one working channel. I dragged that out and hooked up the RP1. It wasnt ideal but it worked for the evening....


    Currently I carry an Orange Micro Terror with me to all gigs......
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  11. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

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    In the early 80's I was about 19 or 20 in my first good band doing a gig out of town for a few nights. The first night my Marshall 100 watt JMP head blew out the power tubes and some resistors. The only backup solution available was a mini battery operated Marshall practice amp, about 8"x8". Plugged in, mic'd it up, sounded like crap but made it through the night and found a tech to repair the amp the same day before the next show.
     
  12. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I used to play a Super Reverb. I had just bought a Line 6 DM4 distortion modeller and set it all up and it sounded just like I wanted it to.

    Got to the gig, and it just went crazy. It was automatically turning presets on and off, changing presets, and so on - total poltergeists (oddly, I had an elderly cat that was basically dying while I was at the gig so I wonder...).

    So I had to play straight into the Super - and to get any amount of drive -which really was very little considering I had some Randy Rhoads level distortion on some of the tunes - it was Super Loud!

    Even then, after being used to the sustain from the pedal (and pedals I'd used in the past), I felt like everything was "plink plink plink" all night long - thin, no sustain, and overwhelmingly loud just to get any kind of breakup.

    One time, at band camp, er, I mean, a gig, I either had that same Super, or a Twin Reverb, but turned it on and it just didn't come on. Tried everything. Every outlet. It just wouldn't come on. I ended up limping through the gig by playing a Line 6 Pedalboard straight into the PA - even though it was designed for that, all my presets were set to go straight into the amp, so they all sounded thin and cheesy - had to set the EQ on the board to all mids and no treble or bass to get any kind of amp-like sound coming through the mains. It was no monitor band too so I could barely hear myself.

    Got the amp home. Tried it the next day, came on fine. Never had another problem with it...

    Over the years, I learned to carry a backup of everything.

    I had two guitars, multiple cables in my gig bag, plenty of 9vs in case the power supply went down, extra strings.

    But more importantly, I always carry a backup amp with me (Pro Junior, which I've actually had to use as a backup once and it saved me and sounded great!) and I used to carry my Fulldrive II with me - it stayed in the car all the time - just in case.

    I have had to pull a pedal off a pedaboard to get through a gig, but luckily I either use two drives or have a duplicate of something so worst case scenario, I can get through the gig.

    I've been tempting fate the last couple of years by not having a backup guitar but have been in bands with two guitarists where in an emergency I could use one of theirs.

    But in general, my advice to people who haven't already learned this is, carry 2 of everything, or at least a "main" piece and a viable "backup" piece for every piece of crucial gear.

    It's also a VERY good idea to learn how to play "naked" just in case - Guitar straight into amp, or Guitar into 1 pedal (drive) into amp. That skill is lifesaver when things don't go your way.
     
  13. big mike

    big mike David Grissom Wannabee Staff Member

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    2 heads always.
    If pedal board goes down (minimal anyway) I'll crank the input and ride the guitar volume.

    Been there done that.
     
  14. sturge

    sturge Member

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    Just had one last night...My 73 Strat is getting refretted-this has always been my #1 with the Tele as backup during a gig. So the Tele became the main squeeze last night with my 83 Les Paul Studio thrown into service as a backup. Kinda had a lot going on this week with work and home stuff but I found time to open the Les Paul case the night before and there was a setlist from 2012...that's the last time that Gibson had been played. I had no spare strings so I cleaned it up, tuned it and played it for about 15 minutes and decided it was fine for a backup. On the way to the gig I stopped and picked up a couple of spare strings sets just in case. Sure enough...3 songs into the first set on an E string bend in the Allman Bros 'One Way Out' lead...BOINK! Broke and E string. I finished the lead but had to improvise a bit, and after the song ended I grabbed the Gibson for the rest of the set. As I started playing it my memory was quickly triggered that it has some minor grounding issues which causes a noticable buzz when gain pedals are kicked in so I had to manage that during quiet portions of songs but got through it. It was also the first time I ever played the Les Paul with the Quilter but it sounded pretty good and I enjoyed playing it. After I get the strat back I need to get the LP checked out so I can put it into action again. During the break I replaced the E string on the Tele and things went fine rest of gig.

    These things can and do happen but this turned out a very minor blip to our gig. Without a backup plan it becomes a bigger issue than it has to be.
     

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