#1
Hey guys, I'm just posting this for advice from you gigging musicians, as I haven't gigged properly for three-four years now and I was wondering what I could do about some stuff.

So at present, my gigging rig (For when we mic up) is an Orange Dark Terror/Jet City 22H (left and right) and two Harley Benton 1X12's with a couple of guitars and a small Pedaltrain Mini sized pedal board.

Now, my questions are, because the places that we maybe playing (Colleges, peoples living rooms and other pretty grimy places) the electricity might not be 100% clean like in a venue and won't have the proper safety precautions a venue might have. So in order to keep my gear safe, would I just need a surge protector. Or is there anything else that's advised to stop things happening to my amp?

Also: What are some idea's to keeping your gear protected from thievery? (Yes, I can replace it, but I shouldn't have too if it gets stolen for my incompetence) Obviously my guitars are in hardcases and if someone picks one up I can see it. They're also marked in UV pen, with my number and address on it if it does get stolen, but I'm not sure on the amp apart from keeping a watch on it at all times and staying by the car when loading, unloading and until everyone has left.

Also: How do I keep myself safe incase there's any bad current on mics and things. Wouldn't want an electric shock from touching a microphone...

Am I being paranoid with all this?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#2
I wouldn't worry to much about power, but using a surge protector is always a good idea.

Besides keeping an eye on it, I'd make sure you have all the serial #'s of your equipment, and maybe even some pic's.

I've been toying with the idea of picking up a couple small gps trackers, and embedding them in my guitar or its case in case it does get stolen.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#4
Yep, sometimes stuff goes missing. This is my method FWIW:

Prep:
Keep it simple. Only bring what you need and not everything you own. Mark everything with colored tape so you always know which gear is yours. I used to play with another guitarist who brought 5-6 guitars and 3 amps to every gig. It was crazy and yes his stuff sometimes went missing.

Load-in:
Find the shortest distance from car to stage and park there. Unload and bring all your gear in at once and move or lock up your car.

Set-up:
Use a test tool to make sure all outlets are grounded and proper polarity. If not certain I always make sure my guitar amp and PA are on the same power strip so polarity will be the same. This eliminates most shock hazards. I will also sometimes put a meter on a circuit to make sure we have plenty of voltage. Low voltage can kill amps and electronics.

Tear down:
I bag guitars 1st, then cords and mics, amps and PA last and put them all in a pile where I can take inventory.

Load out:
I bring my car back to the nearest spot and load out all the gear at once just before leaving. Never leave gear in the car out in the lot and make sure band mates are watching each others back when in the lot.

This method has worked well for many years in and out of every conceivable auditorium, venue, pub, dive bar, or backyard party. I hope you find it useful.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#5
http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/safety/index.php

(I'm no eletrician, so I don't know how accurate that is)

Also from what I hear you can wire a big capacitor along your guitar's ground wire. Not sure the exact ins and outs but I've heard people suggest that (it needs to be a certain value and rating, I forget exactly what). Doesn't keep you completely safe, but maybe better than nothing. Ditto an RCD (but again doesn't keep you completely safe and can lead to a false sense of security).

get a little socket tester and test any sockets you plug into. Again, doesn't keep you completely safe but better than nothing.

I don't gig but I'm paranoid as well. Hopefully the more electronics-minded regulars can chime in to help as well (or confirm/deny that what I've posted is helpful).
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
Quote by Dave_Mc
http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/safety/index.php

(I'm no eletrician, so I don't know how accurate that is)

Also from what I hear you can wire a big capacitor along your guitar's ground wire. Not sure the exact ins and outs but I've heard people suggest that (it needs to be a certain value and rating, I forget exactly what). Doesn't keep you completely safe, but maybe better than nothing. Ditto an RCD (but again doesn't keep you completely safe and can lead to a false sense of security).

get a little socket tester and test any sockets you plug into. Again, doesn't keep you completely safe but better than nothing.

I don't gig but I'm paranoid as well. Hopefully the more electronics-minded regulars can chime in to help as well (or confirm/deny that what I've posted is helpful).


I put one in my strat when I shielded it and rewired it.
I forget the value, but its 400 volts.


Get a surge protector/power conditioner.
For me this is a MUST.
I don't plug my gear into any outlet without it.

I have this :
www.guitarcenter.com/Monster-Power-PRO-1000-with-Clean-Power-Stage-2-Power-Outlets-102790748-i1125242.gc
And a Livewire surge protector
A decent surge protector/power conditioner will also have a ground indicator on it.
This indicator will tell you if these is a good ground on that wall socket.
Something like this is a good idea as well: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-GCFI-Receptacle-Tester-RT200/203195019

As for theft, when loading or unloading, make sure someone you trust (band member, trusted friend, not some bum you pulled out of the audience) is at the car/truck/van/trailer, when you are loading and unloading.
And have someone inside the venue watching your gear while its being loaded/unloaded.
As an example:
The bass player takes his amp out to the van and loads it up.
Then he waits there until you come out with your amp, he goes back inside to pick up more gear while its your turn to wait.
Same process for unloading.
It may take longer to load/unload that way, but would you rather it take longer or have your gear walk off?

Back in the 80's the band I was in did a "tour" of the southwest (Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Nevada).
We slept in the van most nights while our gear was in a trailer.
When we parked, we backed the trailer up against a building or brick wall to block access to the trailer door.
Loading and unloading was done like I described above.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jan 9, 2015,
#7
Just a point of clarification.
A surge protector will protect sensitive electronics from high voltage spikes but they do not protect the player from electrocution. Amperage is what gets people and that usually comes from mis-wired outlets and ground faults. A GFI offers the best protection from ground fault deadly current.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/gfi.html
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
^^ (rob)

and yeah ^ surge protection protects the kit, but if push comes to shove i'd prefer to protect myself first. granted, protecting both me and my kit is even better.

I think a GFI is what I referred to as an RCD (but I could be wrong)- a residual current device or circuit breaker. But as far as I'm aware it doesn't protect you from all hazards- and from what i hear, again could be wrong, maybe not the most common ones and as I said can give you a false sense of security which is never a good thing. But still I'd rather have one than not.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jan 9, 2015,
#9
A surge protector is a good failsafe idea. They don't cost a lot.

GFIC/RCD fuses are a good idea for personal safety. They're pretty simple. They just detect variations between power on the active to power on the neutral. If they aren't the same, the current had to go somewhere didn't it? POP!

Loadout is the real killer, though. That's when shit gets stolen. The trick is to never leave either end of the load trail vacant. One person should always be at one end. Absence promotes theft. I had a bass player who lost a good instrument in less than a minute - somebody had to have been watching him. Never leave gear unattended. Be vigilant and you'll be ok.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#10
Quote by Fisheth24
Also: What are some idea's to keeping your gear protected from thievery?


Assume that your gear will be stolen and get a good insurance policy. The market for stolen instruments is too big to effectively protect yourself from theft when you play gigs. I’m not saying your shouldn’t try to keep your stuff from being stolen—obviously you should. Just be prepared for a disaster.
#11
Thanks for this guys, I'd rather protect myself than be electrocuted from touching a mic or whatever. Does the RCD just plug into a random source and it'll protect me from whatever, or do I have to plug it in somewhere specific?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#12
Quote by jpnyc
Assume that your gear will be stolen and get a good insurance policy. The market for stolen instruments is too big to effectively protect yourself from theft when you play gigs. I’m not saying your shouldn’t try to keep your stuff from being stolen—obviously you should. Just be prepared for a disaster.


have you done that? i was told by my house insurance does not cover gear unless it is appraised. i don't know how much or cost or where people are, but 20+ guitars and mesas and splawns, etc.

____________


i don't really know what you plan on bringing. i have a note thing on my Android phone, i have everything listed and check it off as you go. edit as needed if something changes.

____________

also don't grab something unless you NEED it FOR that gig. if were to be playing at a back yard, i would bring a cheap guitar, amp, and just maybe an od if you need it.

if i were to be playing a big gig, i bring the best of what is needed that i have. just different gear for different cases.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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#13
Quote by Fisheth24
Thanks for this guys, I'd rather protect myself than be electrocuted from touching a mic or whatever. Does the RCD just plug into a random source and it'll protect me from whatever, or do I have to plug it in somewhere specific?


I could be wrong but I've heard that RCD doesn't protect from all types of shocks- and the mic stand one might be the one it doesn't protect from (if it's plugged into a different polarity socket).

This is getting way beyond my pay grade though, hopefully one of the other electrically-minded people can help. (That link I posted had some good info IIRC, assuming it's accurate.)

The main thing is, while you might as well use an RCD, don't assume that that means you're invincible. Because you could still be electrocuted even with one. And having a false sense of security arguably makes you less safe than you were before you got the safety kit. Like driving faster because you have seatbelts.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by trashedlostfdup
have you done that? i was told by my house insurance does not cover gear unless it is appraised. i don't know how much or cost or where people are, but 20+ guitars and mesas and splawns, etc.


I don’t have anything so expensive that my homeowners’ policy won’t cover it. There are specialist insurance companies just for musicians, you can just Google “instrument insurance”. You shouldn’t need to get your stuff appraised if you aren’t collecting vintage or high-end stuff and you kept the original receipts—always photograph receipts for big purchases and email a copy to a Gmail account so you have it later.
#15
Quote by Dave_Mc
I could be wrong but I've heard that RCD doesn't protect from all types of shocks- and the mic stand one might be the one it doesn't protect from (if it's plugged into a different polarity socket).

This is getting way beyond my pay grade though, hopefully one of the other electrically-minded people can help. (That link I posted had some good info IIRC, assuming it's accurate.)

The main thing is, while you might as well use an RCD, don't assume that that means you're invincible. Because you could still be electrocuted even with one. And having a false sense of security arguably makes you less safe than you were before you got the safety kit. Like driving faster because you have seatbelts.


An RCD/GFI will protect you in 95% of cases but there is always some risk when working with electricity on multiple unknown circuits. I use a "tap test" on the mic with my other hand on the guitar strings to see if things are safe. This is much less painful than lips on the mic windscreen to find out you have a ground fault or polarity problem. A simple wall outlet circuit tester is cheap and less painful still.
http://www.zoro.com/i/G4042315/?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google_Shopping_Feed&gclid=CKG-paWElMMCFRJlfgodXlIA5Q
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#16
Quote by jpnyc
I don’t have anything so expensive that my homeowners’ policy won’t cover it. There are specialist insurance companies just for musicians, you can just Google “instrument insurance”. You shouldn’t need to get your stuff appraised if you aren’t collecting vintage or high-end stuff and you kept the original receipts—always photograph receipts for big purchases and email a copy to a Gmail account so you have it later.


The deductible on a homeowner's policy will kill you.

If you're a working musician, get a liability policy (for when your Marshall stack falls over on someone or for when someone trips over a cable) with E&O (the bridge sued because you didn't learn her song) and performance protection (the bridge went out, you couldn't get to the gig and the bar owner decides to sue you for lost revenues). Get "marine" insurance protection on your gear -- this will insure your gear for replacement costs that you determine (your homeowner's policy will depreciate your gear and then give you a percentage *after* the deductible kicks in), and it will cover all risks (no matter what happens, including your dropping it or it falling overboard on a yacht gig, etc.).

Power:

If I know the venue and if power is tricky (the back of a flat bed with a diesel generator, or a sketchy bar where you plug into the same circuit as an overworked ice machine), I have an old, very heavy APC UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that has a lead-acid battery that's nearly automotive in size). It was designed for bigass computer servers. It does two things -- it filters the power supply ( an under $100 surge protector won't) and maintains the voltage at a specific level. It also protects against surges and spikes (for when the ice machine kicks in or the diesel generator skips a beat and then picks up again). As an aside, if the power goes out, the UPS will keep your gear running for a certain amount of time. Very funny if everyone else has completely lost power and you're still playing and looking around trying to figure out what happened to them.

I'll also (usually) have a rackmount Furman or Carvin power conditioner, like the AC120. In the latter case, I plug everything into the Carvin, check the voltage (it'll tell you what the wall voltage *really* is) and then hit go. The Carvin will bring everything up *sequentially* with a programmable number of seconds between each item, so that you don't get a huge surge with everything coming on at once.

Theft:

People will take what you're not actively watching, and what they think they can carry away quickly. Guitar cases get chained (yes) together and to the flight cases (or to a convenient pipe, etc.) Bags of cables and backup items go INSIDE cases.

Three people handle gear. One watches the stuff that's still on stage, one carts the stuff back and forth and the other watches the vehicle/cars. You can swap off, but if you have a bimbette watching your gear on stage, make sure she's *watching* it and not being distracted by some guy hitting on her.

I was at a venue discussing an upcoming gig with a manager when I spotted a thief snagging a guitar belonging to a band getting ready to go onstage. I pointed it out to the dunce security guard and he took off after the guy (who was outrunning him). Two patrons actually nearly corralled him, and he tossed the guitar up in the air and took off. He was later arrested when he was spotted coming back to his car; he'd parked in the venue's parking lot! Meanwhile, the band was completely oblivious and tried to blame the venue manager for the whole incident, rather than taking responsibility for their own gear.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 14, 2015,
#17
Quote by dspellman
The deductible on a homeowner's policy will kill you.


It would if I had a cheap policy. I don’t. I was burgled in 2008 and my out-of-pocket cost was $500.
#18
Quote by Cajundaddy
An RCD/GFI will protect you in 95% of cases but there is always some risk when working with electricity on multiple unknown circuits. I use a "tap test" on the mic with my other hand on the guitar strings to see if things are safe. This is much less painful than lips on the mic windscreen to find out you have a ground fault or polarity problem. A simple wall outlet circuit tester is cheap and less painful still.
http://www.zoro.com/i/G4042315/?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google_Shopping_Feed&gclid=CKG-paWElMMCFRJlfgodXlIA5Q


I know on another forum one of the resident tech types (who seems to know what he's talking about) says that RCD doesn't actually protect you from the most likely source of electrocution, but

But as I said, I'd have one anyway- as long as you realise it doesn't make you invincible (as you said, there's always some risk), some protection is better than nothing. And a socket tester, as you said.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Write down the serial #'s and take detailed photos of all of your gear, or if you have a lot like me, the stuff that you really worry about replacing.

It also pays to learn your local laws in case of the event something is stolen, it may be recoverable through local authorities. In places like Washington, this can be handy because guitar shops/pawn shops are NOT allowed to sell anything without a serial# and not allowed to sell anything that comes in for 30 days after the item is "sold" to the establishment, and it is checked against a database of stolen items. This gives time for local authorities to find the stolen item and recover it. This also trumps any ability to gig with REALLY inexpensive gear through because some of those cheap items DON'T come with serial numbers when new, or items which had cheap paper tag serials that faded/wore off can be considered 100% lost forever because they thieves can't sell it and the establishments won't take it in - unless they are shady themselves.

I take my #1 guitar to gigs all the time, I NEVER let it out of my sight, actually, the two guitars I take most nights are kept in a double gig bag on my back so they're always with me and I'm always in body contact until they are on stage (and heaven help anyone who tries to take them there - you want a show, you'll get one, that will end seeing stars and then sirens).

One thing I've read that might help is not putting your band's name on your gear, I've heard for some odd reason that ATTRACTS thieves because they see of it as "quality" gear (Quality = high $$$$ to be given) so they tend to gravitate to that.

Also, assume any of your personal music gear is NEVER safe. Don't trust that weirdo on the street that wants to assist in loading in. Don't leave your gear in a parked car, and for god sakes, don't assume the Rhythm Guitarist remembered the P.A. stands! That last one comes from personal experience!

Also, as far as power, it might be a good idea to carry some spare cables and at least a few outlet strips with you, I won't even begin on how many times I've gotten creative hooking things up because nobody in the band carried an extra extension or power supply with them.
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)
#20
OP: I came across some gig-bags by Diamond Tactical that you may want to check out. I have a hard case from Diamond Guitars and love it. The tactical bags are from their new line and the quality in the showroom was top. They seem perfectly geared towards gigging as they have modular pouches. Check it out at http://diamondtactical.net/collections/bags
#21
Here's one from me: "Invest in a well protected rehearsal space".

The one we rented had on site security guard, lock down coded gates and cam systems.

The upside - the rehearsal room was left wide open for two days (drummer forgot to lock after gear load-in) and we didn't have a single thing stolen!

I attribute that to the fact that all the bands around us were solid gigging bands that also knew us well as we were long-term tenants as they were and to the security of the place.
Probably the fact that it was Sunday and Monday also helped as most musicians were suffering from hangovers.
#22
I'd carry a surge protector, a stabiliser, extension strip, multimeter & one of those outlet testers. Actually some of those power strips come with surge protection & oulet testing feature built into them. A UPS is heavier than a stabiliser unit, an extension cord plugged into it will give you more outlets to plug your amp & effects into. You can also look into OnlineUPS, those convert the AC to DC & back to AC giving you cleanest source to work with, but they might be too expensive or impractical.
#23
To protect your instruments, you can use the smartphone app GPSRoadie.

I developed the app as way to protect gear - instruments, tour vans, tour trailers, using phone's cellular and GPS techs. You can either buy a cheap used smartphone and use that, or if you are in a band, use one of the band member's phones to protect the van or trailer at night in hotel parking lots which is usually when and where trailers are stolen.

The app also broadcasts stolen alerts to everyone using the app. The alerts are from ScreamingStone.com.

It's very easy to use: add contacts that you want that phone to notify if stolen, then turn on the protection. That creates a virtual fence around that phone. Put it in an instrument case, tour van or tour trailer, and that is now protected. If it's stolen, alerts will be sent to the contacts with location updates every 60 seconds.

The app is Droid only right now, but can communicate with any smartphone that can receive text messages, Droids, iPhones, Windows...

There are dedicated GPS devices available, but those cost hundreds and require a data plan. This solution costs way less.

I created this app because I run http://screamingstone.com , I help musicians get back their stolen instruments by publicizing instrument thefts. It's much easier getting your gear back when you know where it's at.

Here's a link to the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appinventor.ai_gpsroadie.GPSRoadie