What do you use as a back up in case your amp goes down at a gig?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Bogmonster, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Bogmonster

    Bogmonster Active Member

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    For all you gigging musicians, what do you use as a backup in case your main amp dies at a gig? Do you have a second identical head or something else?

    I've been looking at some form of backup for my main amp in case it goes down. Something affordable but will do the job. I've been looking at a Quilter or a DSL1H or Bugera G5 (I'd re-amp through my Fryette to get more from them) or a preamp to run into the Fryette. Something that won't take up as much space as a spare head.

    What do you use? I'm curious to see how people do it. Especially when space to carry extra stuff is limited.
     
  2. Alter

    Alter Active Member

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    Get a pedal power amp, they are cheap, small and reliable. Or if there's always a PA and a monitor for you at your gigs, a preamp pedal that can go direct to PA. Why carry a whole second head?

    Plus in 30 years of gigging i 've only had one amp failure (boutique solid state) and luckily on the ending of the last tune :) . So another solution is to use quality stuff, where dependency is one of the things you pay for.

    Also it depends of the level you 're gigging. If small gigs where you are your own boss, i can live with the odds. If bigger gigs where you 're hired and there's a production company etc, have them provide an amp so its out of your responsibility and just carry a spare pedal. You may compromise sound wise sometimes, but things will flow. My perfect such scenario has been a tour where i didn't even have my own guitars, just a provided tele and strat!
     
  3. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I just have one of my other Marshalls standing by if needed. Usually waiting in my SUV but then again I don't gig much at all unfortunately.
     
  4. JacksonCharvelAddict

    JacksonCharvelAddict Well-Known Member

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    I have not gigged in years but if I could not used my Marshall I would probably use my Kemper direct to the board. The Kemper is a little lighter than my stack too.
     
  5. Bogmonster

    Bogmonster Active Member

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    These are all good options. It's just cover band gigs I'll be doing as a 3 piece. The Quilter or DSL1 head are sort of what I'm leaning towards since they can both just fit in my bag and are very light. The Bugera looks great for it's features and handy size. I've always had a spare amp but that was in my old band where we had a big van to go to gigs. Something small will be easy to set up and have to hand in case something goes wrong. I'd be hoping not to have to use it but you never know.
     
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  6. JacksonCharvelAddict

    JacksonCharvelAddict Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked into those mini Joyo amps? They have several different versions that clone classic amp designs. They have a couple Marshall clones and one that clones the Vox AC30. They are priced less than 200 bucks too and they sound pretty killer.
     
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  7. spacerocker

    spacerocker Well-Known Member

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    I always carry spare valves for my JVM410 and it hasn't let me down yet (in 10 years gigging) - but my absolute last resort is this:

    [​IMG]

    I played a charity gig recently and the "house" amp was a clean 100W Fender transistor amp. So I used this Behringer thing for the first time and was surprised how good it sounded!
     
  8. Musicmaniac

    Musicmaniac Member

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    I take my Micro Dark Terror in my gig bag every gig. I haven't needed it yet but I've gigged it with excellent results.
     
  9. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    I tend to take a spare head with me. Usually test it at sound check and tuck it behind the cab.
    Not needed it yet but sufficiently superstitious to always take one even if I have to leave locked in the boot when space is tight.
     
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  10. JimiRules

    JimiRules Well-Known Member

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    I have a TSL60 that I use as a backup amp.
     
  11. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    My gigs are private parties, friend's camphouse by the pond kind of thing. I dont do the clubs or bars anymore. I hate dealing with drunks I don't know.

    I use my 2525H as #1 but I always have either my DSL20HR, Origin 20H or both.
     
  12. StratoMarshall

    StratoMarshall Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of those guitar into amp guys, so if my Marshall goes down, I've got a Blackstar Fly that I'll run into the PA. Surprisingly similar in sound and response to a Marshall!
     
  13. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have a 50 watt Quilter SS amp that is about the size of a pedal. It pumps out enough volume, and I have a TS-9 for OD tones. In the years I've been gigging, I've never had an amp die on me, so I wasn't willing to lug around a real amp as a backup, when the likelihood of having to use it is so low.
     
  14. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    I only had my amp go down at a gig once in 20+ years, but I carry around a small home-made 2w solid state amp (that I built into a pedal enclosure) that is 9v powered in my cables bag. Nothing fancy, but it could do the job in a pinch. Definitely enough to get me to the end of the set anyways.
    Plus on bigger stages I run stereo, so I can always switch to mono in case one amp goes down.
     
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  15. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    I have a .44 Magnum pedal for a back up. Haven’t had to use it yet...knock on wood (my head).
     
  16. Ivanock

    Ivanock Member

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    How did you used it? As a drive in front of the amp?
     
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  17. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I used to take the Peavey Mini 6505MH head. It's small and woild work fine for ghe venues I play. I use a speaker extension so I can run it go the combo speakers when I use a combo.

    But I found this. 60 watts, 1 - 12AX7 tube, 2 channels with a boost, loop, etc. Sounds fantastic! I would have no problem gigging with this and did in a very small venue. Sounded very good.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. jmp45

    jmp45 Well-Known Member

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    Long time since I gigged but if I did I have a crate power block I picked up cheap at GC on a close out many years ago I'd probably take along.
     
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  19. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    Back in the very early 80’s
    We didn’t even think about a failure, but we both brought extra guitars, if were to gig now, and with the room to bring one of my rigs, the spare would already be on the stage.
    My rig is 2 full stacks, with 3 heads, 2 origin 50H’s and a lead 100 mosfet, if one should fail, the spare is already there!
    Cheers Mitch
     
  20. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently not gigging but if I was I'd use my Helix as a backup. I currently run the Helix with my DSL and use about 20 presets - some where I use the DSL for the tone and Helix for effects only, and others I use the Helix preamps and go into the DSL effects loop so it's Helix preamp and DSL poweramp. My plan, if I gig, is to copy my presets to a different set list (bank) and configure those to go direct to FOH. If I have a problem with my DSL, easy - switch set list in the Helix, connect XLR (tested during sound check) and I'm back in business. I tend to not mess around with presets much after I get them setup so it's not like I'd have to constantly tweak two sets of patches.

    If my Helix fails there's not much in my current set list that I couldn't get by without effects if I really had to. And yes, I have a set list an no band lol. Rhett Shull has a video on YouTube where he traveled over-seas and the TSA took apart his pedal board. He ended up having to go straight into the amp for the show. While not ideal, it all worked out in the end. If he can do it as a professional musician, then I could deal with it if the time ever came.

    Great post - I've always wondered what people did for backups so it's interesting to hear all the ideas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019

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