Why do gigging players use such lousy amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by waxnsteel, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    :rolleyes: You know what it's about, but I really don't care what amp anyone plays at home. What I care about is being assaulted by Fender solid states, 100 watt peaveys on 1, master volume amps with the pre-gain dimed, and guys playing top 40 with a tele (neck pu all night) through acoustic guitar amps. I'm more concerned with poor live tone than the "injustice" of a guy who owns a the Custom Shop and Vintage instruments, and the amps we lust after, and never lets them see a stage.

    I'm sure everybody here has seen a guy or two doing what I'm talking about. Either cause he can't afford the gear he wants, doesn't care, can't tell the difference, or leaves the good stuff at home. Why else?
     
  2. toasteroven

    toasteroven Member

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    How did it sound in the mix?

    Did it work for him?

    Is his band his only income?

    I know this is a ******** thread, but I answered seriously anyway.
     
  3. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    The guys I've seen, the ones I talked about there

    Sounded awful in the mix.

    I don't know if the players liked their tones.

    Some didn't have day jobs.

    But yes, it is a BS thread.

    And some of the guys using the same approach sounded good to me, even using crap gear, cause THEY KNOW HOW TO USE IT! They may have even learned how to use their equipment in their bedrooms. HA!
     
  4. ChickenLover

    ChickenLover Member

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    IMO, good players with a good ear can make almost anything sound good...and certain players always manage to find a crappy tone no matter what they use. I've seen guys with Crates sound very, very good and others with really sweet amps sound like poo.

    So when I hear bad tone I chalk it up to pilot error and don't blame the gear anymore. It was their decision to acquire the amp and it was their decision to use the amp and they dialed it in...their fault.
     
  5. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    I agree (for my 1000th post)

    Saw a show at the 'Soiled Dove' here in Denver. Three piece. Guitarist had a teeny little Marshall miked up with a few pedals. The tone was really good. After the show, I went up and asked what model that was. He looked at the stage like he's seen the amp for the first time and sais 'oh, I have no idea, someone just lent it to me this afternoon'. Wow.

    Conversely. Another bar gig where a crappy Sun amp cranked out the WORST tone I've ever heard. I looked around and saw more than a few non-musicians wincing each time he blew off into a solo.

    Ugh.
     
  6. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    I agree.
    Damon Fowler plays here in town quite a bit at local clubs. The last time I saw him he was using a Roland Cube 60 and sounded great. Beautiful tone.
    On the other hand there is a local guitar player who gigs with a very clean 66 Pro Reverb and a 71 Gibson 335 and he manages to make that amp sound like a $100 SS POS.

    A good player with a good ear can work with just about anything and get good results.
     
  7. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    Most people, players or not, don't know jack about tone or equipment. Many just buy what they think they can afford without doing the research, or worse, just buy what the salesman tells them is good.

    People don't seem to understand that many salesmen first recommend the stuff they need to move.

    Some, like me, don't take the good stuff out.

    If I was playing at Legends, and knew the Buddy would be in the audience, I'd take my BFDR and ES 335 ($4K total replacement value).

    Otherwise you'd likely be hearing a Prosonic and a Les Paul Jr. Special Plus ($1.2K) which sound fine, but don't compare tone wise.

    Regarding the "bedroom" thread, an injustice to some is just jealousy or stupidity to others, but it was interesting to see how many TGPers responded.

    stratzrus

    Edit: It's two years later (10/08) and I now feel that gear is just gear. I have a small jazz gig coming up and I am taking my 335 and Super Reverb. Maybe it's because I now have a Sig:X and an Axe FX that I don't think it would be the end of the world if something happened to the Super Reverb, but for whatever reason I now just take whatever guitar or amp fits the occasion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  8. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Trolls, trolls...but the answer can be pretty straightforward. I don't want to beat the shytte out of my good stuff by dragging it around in rain and snow. I don't enjoy cleaning spilled beer off of it. I'd rather not risk having it swiped. And as a guy who used to play road houses, I learned the hard way what a good barroom brawl can do to musical equipment.

    I save my snooty amps for jamming with friends or for the occasional "genteel" stage gig. Playing a club (which I rarely do these days) I'd rather use the Peavey. And truth be told, boutique gear mostly makes a difference only to me and other players. On the whole, the club regulars could care less.

    Anyway,a lot of the things you complain about relate to proficiency and they aren't really equipment issues at all.
     
  9. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    Excellent post. Really thinking about it, how much bad gear is out there (not counting budget/beginner stuff)? When you think about it, so many production amps, whether it's a Peavey Bandit, Hot Rod Deville, Bassman reissue, or even a digital amp, doesn't sound bad at all. Guitarists have so much to choose from nowadays at every price level that I would think you would have to make a conscious effort to buy something that sounded terrible.
     
  10. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    Man, I'm just pokin fun at the other thread. And at the fact that gigging player doesn't always mean good player or good tone. And I completely understand not dragging a $3000 amp to a $75 gig in a questionable neighborhood.
     
  11. CGrisamore

    CGrisamore Member

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    This thread reminds me of a night about 10 years ago when I went to Beale Street with a fellow musician buddy. We stopped in at BB King's and listened to 2-3 songs by a well equipped band with a guy doing a kind of a Hendrix thing. It just wasn't entertaining enough to stay...

    While walking down Beale Street, we could hear music coming from Handy park and when we arrived we found some late 60's to 70 year old guys playing blues. There wasn't a single name brand piece of gear in the entire band. Cheap no name Strat copies, drums held together with duct tape (literally). The guitar TONE was atrocious, thin and piercing. HOWEVER these guys had a monster groove and the crowd was dancing and for my money that was the best band on Beale Street that evening.

    I understand that taste varies, but I listen to the music first and the tone second. In this particular case I was totally able to enjoy the music while at the same time recognizing that the guitar tone was not my personal taste.....
     
  12. fazendeiro

    fazendeiro Member

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    Saw Duke Robillard years ago with Kim Wilson. Duke played through a ss Peavey pa head into some kind of speaker cabinet, no pedals. Sounded like Duke Robillard. REALLY GOOD.

    Hard to imagine doing that myself.
     
  13. chumley

    chumley Member

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    Our bandleader uses an old Vantage 335 copy and the Crate G-60 he bought in college twenty + years ago. You can see daylight through the speaker, the result of an accident with a mic stand years ago. It doesn't sound that bad. Makes me wonder why I have spent all this money and am lugging around all this heavy gear.
     
  14. bickertfan

    bickertfan Member

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    A friend of mine always sounds good with his old Gibson and solid state amp. I asked him one night whether he ever thought of upgrading the amp. His reply ' I can pretty much get my sound through any equipment'. Granted his style is pretty much a straight jazz sound, but I can assure you he can back his comments up.
     
  15. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    LOL! Seems to me I started a thread a few weeks ago that ended up being
    'How do gigging players end up sounding so good through those simple, cheap lttle combos?"
    More about the blues jams where guys plug into a Fender 1-12 combo and a tubescreamer and just KILL.
    And yes, I've been to Memphis too, and had a similar experience on Beale Street.
    A great amp is no guarantee of good tone or performance, a bad amp does not condemn anyone to be horrible.
    More often than not, as said here so many times....
    its in the ears and the hands.
     
  16. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    Amen, and also to the inverse. I used to do sound for blues/gospel/zydeco bands, and saw some amazing stuff:

    - First mention goes to the guys with Twins pointed at their knees, rendering everyone in the direct line of fire infertile with their 118db Treble Beam. That used to kill me! "I can't turn down, or I won't hear myself" Really? Take geometry in High School? " I can't tilt it up, it will fall backward" I though that's what the tiltback legs took care of? "You can't put it on a chair, I'll lose all of my low end" Er, what low end would that be? :crazy

    - Hats off to the zydeco guitarist totally vibing off a PV SS 1x12 combo, and making sound good onstage, right in front of the stage, and throughout the house. :BEER

    - Another favorite, always somebody at a blues jam with a $1-2K Gibson, and a Booteek amp who can't dial in a tone or even...PLAY? :eek: Film at 11!

    - Then there was Bob at the blues jams. Always had a different guitar and amp, good quality, but nothing he needed an armed guard to leave the house with. Always sounded good, and could play his way into heaven if he was an unrepentant serial killer. Yeah, baby! :dude

    :D
     
  17. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I don't think the thread originator should be ridiculed or called a troll for his question. It's a legit question. That being said, J. Purcell nailed it. We often say 95% of your tone is in your hands. If so, the other 5% is in your ear. The top cats exude tone through anything.
     
  18. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    I gig a few times a week and all I have is "good stuff". That's what covers are for.

    FWIW - the other guitar player in my main band sounds fabulous no matter what he's playing through - solid state, whatever. We've done a few benefit gigs with a "backline" provided. Yeah, they provided the most crap stuff you can imagine. I can usually do okay myself, within limits.

    As a side note, the last benefit we played the backline contained some cool stuff. "My" amp for that gig was an all original BF Super Reverb. :dude
     
  19. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    I had crap gear when I was actively gigging in an original band because I was BROKE!
     
  20. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    was his teeny Marshall a 1974X? :dude
     

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