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Old 02-11-2013, 06:10 AM   #1
Rawshik
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What type of gear is required to gig?

I've never had an "official" gig (I have but they never went through) and my current band just broke up. So I'm looking for a new band but thinking that I might not have the gear anyway to join a more official band. So what is needed amp/watt-wise and is there anything else?
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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Depending on the size of the venue a 150w and above, preferably something with a 1x15'' or 4x10'' cab.

A tuner pedal. Seriously, get a tuner for on stage. You'd be surprised as to how many guitarists and bass players can't tune their instruments on stage.

A good gigable bass. Needs to be relative to the rest of the band. Your guitarist plays a 2000 dollar gibson, don't turn up with a squier affinity or an Ibanez GSR..... You get the point.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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TBH, I tried gigging with a 150W amp. Once you get beyond 1 guitarist and a drummer, it doesn't cut it I would start looking at 200W and above and then get as much headroom as your budget can allow.

To the above I would add a set and and extra set of good reliable cables, strap locks and a good strap. People seem to scrimp on these and it comes back to haunt them.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spanner93
Depending on the size of the venue a 150w and above, preferably something with a 1x15'' or 4x10'' cab.


A good 2x10 is as good as a 4x10. Or a 2x12 (my personal favourite).

Regarding wattage, I used to gig regularly with a loud drummer running an amp at 75 watts and still had quite a bit of headroom. Not what I'd recommend you do, but my point is that wattage doesn't automatically equal loudness. That was a particularly loud amp for its wattage.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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More is going to be better though. You can always turn a loud amp down but an under powered amp can't be turned up past a certain point.

There is no way in my current band a 150W amp would cut it with a drummer and two guitarists.
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Don't you mean "Why do we alcoholics keep taking about bass?"?


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Old 02-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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I wouldn't worry yourself about power too much. What you need is a good speaker cabinet with sensitive speakers. A 400-W amp is not twice as loud as a 200-W amp. You get the idea. As ZB says, you don't need to get a particular number of speakers, either. Most speaker cab makers will give a value for the sensitivity of their cab, which is measured in dB/W-m. The higher the value, the better. It's all about finding the loudest setup you can afford. If that's a 2x10 with a 200-W amp, or a 4x10 with a 600-W amp is something that you will have to find out for yourself. Just don't expect the loudest one to be the one with the biggest number of speakers or power.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Well; it varies. A lot of it depends on the type of music that you play, the type of gear that the rest of the band uses, the size of the venue, and whether you plan to use an amplifier or go direct into the board.

At the very least, you need a reliable bass capable of performing the music your band plays. So if you guys are into way down down-tuning, you'll probably need a five-string bass. Otherwise, a four-string should serve you well. And you'll need a good Direct Box to go direct inot the board. Throw in some cables and a strap and you're set.

Now, if you want to use an amplifier, things get a bit more complicated. First off, what kind of amplifiers are your bandmates using? If you are in a band where the guitarist (or guitarists) uses a Marshall stack, then you'll need some serious firepower to keep up. Remember that bass frequencies are more difficult to amplifiy than are guitar frequencies, so you generally need three times the power of the guitarist's amplifier, unless you plan to mic the amp. At any rate, a good 2x10 combo with about 300 watts should do the trick. If you have the bucks (and a big enough car) for a 1000-watt monster and an 8x10 cabinet, then by all means, go for it. You can always turn a big rig down, but you can't always turn a small rig up.

As others have said, you need a pedal tuner. They are essential; particularly if you change tunings throughout the gig. If there are any effects that you can't live without, then you need those, too.

While some would say this is unnecessary, I recommend a back-up bass. You never know when your primary instrument is going to crap out on you. But as long as you take good care of your #1 bass, you can get away with just one bass.

Cables, cables, cables!!! I cannot stress this enough! Those suckers will crap out on you at the worst possible moment, so make sure you have plenty of spares. That includes patch cables if you run a pedal board.

A comfortable strap (preferably with strap locks) is also essential. Basses tend to be heavy, and some narrow nylon guitar strap can end up cutting into your neck and shoulder after a while. Get yourself a good, wide strap. You'll also need a stand for your bass. Do not put you bass up against your amplifier between sets. Someone will knock it over and probably break it.

Extra strings are also necessary. Bass strings don't break as often or as easily as do guitar strings, but they do break and you'll need new ones if it happens to you.

That covers the basics. Try not to bring too much gear to a gig. It just gets in the way and it is a pain in the ass to cart it back and forth from the gig. Just bring what you know you will need.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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^ and batteries if you are using an active bass or using the onboard power for any pedals you have
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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^a small screwdriver is also a good thing to have in your gig bag as well.
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Don't you mean "Why do we alcoholics keep taking about bass?"?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LHWok-9xhc Yup.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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i have a whole damn tool kit. allen keys for truss rod + saddles along with every other size. (just incase my bed needs adjusting or something) and all the screwdrivers and spanners you can shake a stick at. all miniaturized of course
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:54 AM   #11
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Wow, lots of good replies here! I have pretty much everything that you guys said except for a DI box and a decent amp. I'm currently using a Peavey TNT 130 that's done the job for practice with bands but it can't really get much louder because it's light that tells me I'm over doing it usually comes on if I go just slightly louder.

So I guess I need to be looking into a new amp then. Can someone explain the difference between volume and wattage? Generally, can't I go by the wattage number to determine how loud something is gonna be?
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawshik
Wow, lots of good replies here! I have pretty much everything that you guys said except for a DI box and a decent amp. I'm currently using a Peavey TNT 130 that's done the job for practice with bands but it can't really get much louder because it's light that tells me I'm over doing it usually comes on if I go just slightly louder.

So I guess I need to be looking into a new amp then. Can someone explain the difference between volume and wattage? Generally, can't I go by the wattage number to determine how loud something is gonna be?

Wattage does give a rough guide to volume, it's not perfect, but it's good enough. Roughly speaking, 10x the wattage will produce double volume. Then it comes down to speaker sensitivity and which frequencies are emphasised. Also, to consolidate gear I'd look into an amp with a built in DI (Unless you want a driver DI like a Sansamp BDDI or Behringer BDI21).
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawshik
So I guess I need to be looking into a new amp then. Can someone explain the difference between volume and wattage? Generally, can't I go by the wattage number to determine how loud something is gonna be?


Roughly speaking, they pretty much mean the same for your purpose. More watts is generally speaking louder (just not in Behringers). Full tube amps work differently with the watts-volume link, but as full tube amps for bass are actually quite rare/expensive, you shouldn't encounter many.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawshik
I've never had an "official" gig (I have but they never went through) and my current band just broke up. So I'm looking for a new band but thinking that I might not have the gear anyway to join a more official band. So what is needed amp/watt-wise and is there anything else?


Bass: Something road worthy, not fragile or ornamental.

Amp: 300w solid state, speakers of your choice.

Optional: EQ pedal (depending on your amp), compressor, sturdy cable (do not skimp.)

Always have a backup bass, batteries for active equipment, a plug in tuner, straplocks (or duct tape) and a big, squishy strap.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawshik
So I guess I need to be looking into a new amp then. Can someone explain the difference between volume and wattage? Generally, can't I go by the wattage number to determine how loud something is gonna be?

More watts is more headroom, not necessarily volume. The more headroom you have, the higher you can turn your amp up without distorting or clipping. Volume or loudness isn't as straightforward, but the short story is: headroom is good. Get as much as you can afford.

Something I don't think anyone else has mentioned yet is that if you don't have a good hard case, get one. Gig bags are fine and dandy if you're transporting your bass yourself and you're in a good safe environment, but if you're playing club and bar gigs and shoving your bass in the back of a van full of guitars and drums and amps and what have you, a good hardshell case is essential to keeping your bass in one piece.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:32 PM   #16
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OK assuming we are talking about RMS watts when comparing then doubling the watts gives you 3dB extra volume. Going from 1W to 100W gives you an extra 20dB.

A speaker cab for bass might give you 93dB for 1W which is poor or 100dB which is good. So a 100W amp will give 113dB through the first speaker and 120dB through the second.

A drummer will create as much as 110dB but bass needs to be louder as we don't hear bass very well. This means the first combination won't quite be enough for every situation. You will need just over 4x the power to get the first speaker to be as loud as the second.

Read about it all here http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colu...ng_it_loud.html
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #17
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^Dang. No offense, but I don't want to get that technical just yet. So you guys recommend a 300w amp then? How does that work with speaker? I have very little knowledge of this and all I know is you gotta match ohms or something?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #18
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There's a good explanation in the FAQ and here's another helpful link:

http://www.whatpa.co.uk/MatchingOhms.asp
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Quote:
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Don't you mean "Why do we alcoholics keep taking about bass?"?


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Old 02-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rawshik
^Dang. No offense, but I don't want to get that technical just yet. So you guys recommend a 300w amp then? How does that work with speaker? I have very little knowledge of this and all I know is you gotta match ohms or something?


If you are playing through a combo amp and you are not using an extension cabinet, then an ohms match is not an issue. They're already matched. If you have a separate amplifier and cabinet, then yes, you must match up the ohms. That usually involves nothing more than reading the sticker or plate on the back of the cabinet for the ohms rating, and setting the ohms selector switch on the amplifier to the right number. Easy enough.

Yes, 300 watts should be fine for most gigs, unless you guys play at apocalyptic volume levels or you are playing a large, outdoor gig and can't mic the amp through the P.A.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:41 AM   #20
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Wouldn't it be possible to directly connect the amp head into the PA? So I wouldn't need a DI?

You guys have been a great help btw, thanks!
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