Your amp nightmare...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pharmx, Jan 30, 2008.


  1. pharmx

    pharmx Member

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    Ever had a gig where things went terribly wrong with your equipment? Post your experience here so that we can all learn something!
     
  2. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    1 man solo show: amp completely cuts out in the middle of performance. Vocals and guitar completely die.


    unfortunately on a personal level, the gig got MUCH worse.
     
  3. Guitar Slinger6

    Guitar Slinger6 Member

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    18 yrs ago I got a gig with a touring band and on my first night with the band towards the end of the show things got a little crazy.Durring my big solo where the singer screams "on the guitar" and screams my name. I grab pose and a note and bend hard. So hard in fact the string breaks and at the time I had a Floyd Rose fully floating that went WAY out of tune. No problem, I scramble like a spider monkey and pick up my back up guitar because I am a professional and tear into it again while the croud stares at me like I have 3 heads. Well as luck would have it I broke another string within 2 seconds, still durring my solo. And at that time I really liked Floyd Roses and of course it went out of tune just as badly as the the first guitar. No problem our keyboard player (who is looking at me in unbelief) had a guitar that he used on certain songs for rhythm. At this point I unjack the cord and dove (head first) behind the keyboards for the guitar trying save face while the audience is now captivated by my circus like antics and performance. I got the guitar plugged in with a few bars left of the solo (enough to save some dignity) and my Mesa Boogie blows its fuse and the amp goes completely dead. As the song ended (without any guitar) the crowd watched watched me as I concluded my little show within the show by repairing literally all of my gear in front of them. While trying to get everthing put back together, I heard a mans voice from the front of the audience that was one of dismay and said and I quote "what the hell is this guy doing" then I heard a womans voice say "SHHH, don't bother that poor stupid guitar player". Yep! I remember it well as I am sure the other 2,000 people in attendance do. :cool:
     
  4. Guitar Slinger6

    Guitar Slinger6 Member

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    Sorry, I forgot to post the lesson. Don't play in Cincinnati!
     
  5. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Playing with borrowed gear is always a complete disater to my experience.
     
  6. dash_doc

    dash_doc Member

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    O' man that's rough :eek:.
     
  7. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    Twice I've had stuff go very wrong with the amps being used.

    First time was about 2 years ago at a club here in Toronto... I brought my (then) Mesa MK IV head along with the Mesa 4x12 to the gig, and my (then) gigantor pedalboard. I turn the amp on and let it warm up in standby mode from the start of the first bands set (we where 2nd). I go up on stage, all ready to play well and stuff, and as soon as I'm about to strum the opening G chord to one of our songs, this PIERCING high pitched squeel comes out of the amp and scares the crap out of everyone. I get that fixed eventually, but it keeps happening again and again and on all the channels. I had to turn down to a VERY low volume, and had the sound guy control the volume from the board, and had to use pedals for dirt only. It was hell.

    Second time was about a year or so back at another venue, performing at the emergenza festival. The emergenza company provided us with some "Awsome" genz-benz diable half stacks. Wow man! the tone! Anyways, luck was on my side that day (yeah right) and the amp would just keep crapping out every 30 seconds, and required that someone keep switching it on and off almost non-stop while I play. Talk about a natural amp tremolo. wtf, man? I was pissed during that gig, and this was yet another gig were I had to rely simply on pedals for my dirty sounds.

    Oh yeah, there was one more time when I had to use someones cheapo Roland or crate 2x12 from like the early 90's, and I just couldn't get one good tone out of it. It didn't take my pedals well at all, and my tone was shyte.

    Point is, don't use a Mesa MK IV for live gigs, unless you have the time to tweak it to perfection before you go on. Also, yeah... Don't use the "awsome" house amps that "they" provide you with. Even if they're "boutique"- which would be something like a Vox. lol. Lastly, don't use other peoples amps that look like they're from the earl 90's and cheap.
     
  8. glenecho

    glenecho Member

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    Only partially an equipment failure (though I have had my share, especially back in the 80s when I played through a lot of Scholz stuff) but...

    Playing in a cover band in Peoria, and the band (as it often did) is ripping the place apart. We, as we often did, decide at the end of the night to throw a 180 at the crowd and finish off the night with Yes' Roundabout segued directly into Kiss' Rock and Roll All Nite (earlier in the night we had done Suite: Judy Blue Eyes followed by Wang Dang Sweet Poontang). I get to sing the Kiss song...which gives our lead singer a chance to run around the stage and generally be a goon. As he's doing this he trips over my guitar cable and boom...no sound. I spin around to see what happens...and in a freak occurance...I dislocate my knee...mid song. We've got the whole place in a frenzy, so I was somehow able to finish singing the song, though I do remember fighting back actual tears of pain. It still, despite some sports injuries and other broken bones, remains the most painful experience of my life. Song ends and my bandmates help me off the stage as they can see from the way my bottom right leg is hanging exactly what has occurred. I finally pass out for a few seconds.

    Good ending though is that I had spent most of the night talking to a very pretty girl, and that was all it took for her to go straight into nuturing mode. She took me to the hospital and they managed to get the knee back in place after shooting it up with pain killer. The rest of the night...it went well after that.

    Bad part is that I spent the next 5 years with my knee "going out", which continued to happen on stage and otherwise and could often take days to slip back into place. About 10 years ago...it finally just stopped doing it.
     
  9. glenecho

    glenecho Member

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    Yep...my first gig with my Mark Iv also didn't go pleasantly as well...though I didn't have squeeling problems, the tone just wasn't good. After I got it tweaked though it is sounding great.
     
  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Princeton Reverb II that I love. We took a gig playing background for the Relay for Life, two days in a row. First day everything sounds great. Second day, plug in, turn it on and nothing. The light goes out, the fuse dies and I'm sitting looking silly. New fuse. Same story. Haul out the Sansamp pedal and go direct the rest of the show. Somehow, someone had broken a 1/4" jack off in the amp years before, when I tilted it to put it up on the amp stand, the little broken piece welded itself into the AC line-a straight short. Actually the gig went well from then on-the Sansamp sounds good and takes pedals well. Not as exciting as dislocating my knee, though...
     
  11. Grap

    Grap Member

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    Let's see now. I've had the mysteriously crapping out pedal board last September. Drove me mad and turned out to be the crappy Fender ST-1 tuner that would randomly throw a wobbler and start causing a huge buzz even through it was not in the signal chain.

    One outdoor gig on a temporary stage where the power to my effects rig started crapping out as soon as the stage started to bounce. Korg G4s and Mesa V-Twins both take whole numbers of seconds to start up again after the power comes back. That was fun. I ended up pulling them both out of the rig. Then my Twin Reverb died. Fortunately I had a Tech21 Trademark10 already DI'd to the board so I just had to switch the cable across.

    One time years ago I had four guitars on stage with me. As we're about to sing the first song some yahoo in the crowd shouts out "What, are you trying to show off or something?". I broke a string during each of the first three songs and ended up on the last remaining guitar with a full compliment. As I picked up the last one and hung it around my neck I went up to the mic and said "That's why" :)

    Oh yeah, another lesson learnt. Played a gig long ago with three other bands on the bill. We were second to last on. After our soundcheck I left my effects gaffa-taped to the stage ready to roll. When we got up to play the previous band had kicked the **** out of my pre-amp and it died during the first tune. The monitors were switched off during our set as well. Funny how they were fine during the sound check: "Trust nobody. Keep your laser handy" Ok, so that was from the old Paranoia RPG, but it fits the business too :)
     
  12. mcgriff420

    mcgriff420 Member

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    I had a tube socket go completely microphonic at a show recently -not the tube the socket.. Who carries around spare tube sockets?

    I decide to use the sans amp pedal I've been dragging around to all these gigs in case my amp goes down. I had been so spoiled by nice tube amps that thing sounded like -insert expletive. But we finished the show.

    Power going out really sucks too, I had a girl ask me why we kept stopping the song when it was the power that kept kicking out. i had to argue with the bass player who runs the light board to turn down the lights to keep the power on -he said to turn down my amp???


    ..
     
  13. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    here's a quick version of my worst night. on the way to my gig - i get in a car wreck and my 66 Bassman head tumbles into about 6 pieces and the two strats I planned to use that night were ruined. went home - got my Sovtek M50 head and two other strats and proceeded to the gig by riding with a band mate. Get to the gig and I turn on my M50 - smoke starts boiling outta the thing - i think a resistor or whatever was bridging the tube socket failed) - luckily ( i think) the club had a SS Kustom PA head. Played on......
     
  14. mcgriff420

    mcgriff420 Member

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    A bassman and two strats? thats tough man..
     
  15. iaresee

    iaresee Supporting Member

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    My first tube amp was a JTM-60 3x10" combo way back in like '94. I would have been...oh...17 at the time. Bought it brand spanking new and had it for maybe 2 weeks. It was the night before my jazz trio was scheduled to play a high end restaurant opening. I turned it on to rehearse...pffft....fiiiiitz...pop!

    No sound.

    I had no idea what was going on with it. My first tube amp, what did I know about carrying a spare set of power tubes? Nada, that's what.

    I called up the store and they agreed tubes should last longer than 2 weeks after I insisted I hadn't nudge the MV above 3 on the amp at all. They took it in and loaned me it's little brother off the floor, a 1x12" JTM-45. Swapped the amps right before the gig. Got to the gig, plugged it in....pffft....fiiiiitz....pop!

    No sound.

    QUIET FREAK OUT IN THE CORNER OF TRENDY RESTAURANT ENSUES!

    I ended up calling a friend who brought his JCM-something-or-other combo (ack!) by for me. Saved the gig he did.

    I was pissed the loaner died. The store was pissed I fried their loaner's tubes. It was a big fest of pissed off when I brought it back to the store the next day.

    Anyhow, I was reading something years later (maybe it was here on TGP?) about those early-90's JTM reissues being biased way too hot out of the factory and they had a tendency to fry tubes really quick if you didn't get them re-biased right away.

    I always carry spare tubes now. Power tubes, preamp tubes. A full compliment I can drop in if need be. It's saved my butt once in the last 13 years since then: my power tubes in my Rect-O-Verb died while setting up for a big Canada Day show in Ottawa a few years ago. But no panic (okay, a little panic but I think only my band mates could sense it). Just dropped in a new set and went on to rocked the house. Oh yea.:dude
     
  16. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    one of the strats wasn't salvagable - one was.... get this though... got home and over the next couples days and a **** load of elmers wood glue and carpet glue for the tolex - i pieced it back together and stuck a new set of tubes in it.... IT FIRED RIGHT UP!!! I was in shock....
     
  17. jezzzz2003

    jezzzz2003 Member

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    Worst Ive ever had are bad tubes and blown HT fuses in my old Marshall's easy fix, oh, and a bad transformer in a 900, ewwww.
     
  18. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    As recently as last summer, I was playing an outdoor Motorcycle rally gig with The Motor Kings in Colorado, and the power was on a Generator.....[you know where this is going]...All of a sudden, my Aiken Sabre channel switcher switches channels to default clean, then no sound, then it comes back, then no sound...I switched out my guitar cords 4 diffrerent times till I gave up and just started laughing at this ridiculous situation..[it was low voltage].......To make matters worse/or more comical...the whole band got sick from the diesel fumes of that F...ing generator, and our singer Julie Stewart LOST her voice....LOST it...GONE.....Rob The bass player and I ended up singing some of the tunes Julie usually sings......I've said more than enough
     
  19. paulscape

    paulscape Member

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    Colleague lends me a Galien Kruger bass amp for our 1st gig in sydney when I was playing bass...top of the range amp but he was using the worst speaker cable in history that looked like it had been through D-day - held together loosy with gaffer tape, string, snot, beer and it was starting to fraying all over the place. Of course I only found this out after the bass amp started smoking and blew up! He never quite trusted me again, despite admitting he shouldn't have been still using that cable and he never was able to fix it no matter who he took it to. Now Im like a NASA engineer when I check speaker connections.
     
  20. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    One interesting tip I read about, but it depends on your amp...

    Some Fender and other amps, use different preamp tubes for the two inputs. Which means, if you tend to use input 2 for example and the tube went, you could just take the one out of V1 and replace it into V2.

    In essense, you carry a spare with you in the amp.

    Output tubes, on SOME amps (not sure if all), if you have 4 and one goes you can pull the corresponding mate and run at half power.
     

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