Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

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Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby brass finger » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:18 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-13-06 AT 04:25 PM (EST)]When I was young and playing in the bars I spent all my money on Les Paul Customs, Strats, SG's and a 100 watt Marshall Stack, which was not easily bought in the 70's let me tell you.

But then I had no P.A., which meant no control, and I had to play in a lot of bands that did Tommy Two-Tone.
That Sucked, and I usually just quit.


My advice to youngin's out there is too invest most of the money you'd use for flashy guitar equipment on P.A. equipment, so you have more leverage and control over the material played in the band.
More control period, if you know John sucks but is a good-buddy and everybody likes him you can still say he's out. That's if your not a total control freak and bend a fair amount of time with the others.
My philosophy was not too make friends as much as good music.
Friendship was secondary.

This sounds petty, but your going to play with a lot of conmen, good buddys and creeps so you'd better be prepared to have the ride home if you know what I mean.

So it's far better to buy good sounding small amps that can do marshall and fender adequately, like the newer Traynor amps.
Then spend the Lions share on P.A. and Monitors.

P.A. and Monitors=Playing what you want to play.

Buy a newish Traynor and you'd be surprised at how much it can sound like a marshall and adequate fender, for fairly cheap.
Old beat up late 70's Ibanez guitars often play better than Pauls and are total cheap.
Alvarez beats Martin as far as I'm concerned.
So your not stuck with having to get ripped off by the big companies.
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby 1dustyeod » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:15 pm

I'll second that thought..... I can't even begin to list the headaches that will be remedied by owning your own PA. I have enough equipment to outfit the whole band. No one has to bring anything to practice except a good attitude (including instruments). And believe it or not they still bitch sometimes....

The 1st band I was in took a 'cut' from every gig for equipment and truck payments.... Then when the band finally broke up, the drummer kept it ALL. Its much better to have your own.

Tommy

[www.tommystriplethreatbluesrevue.com/BandPage.html]

"A strat, a cord, and an amp set to 10 is all I really need. Nothing sounds better than a tortured stratocaster....."
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby stratman_27 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:19 am

Been there and done that. I promised myself that before I started with or started up another band I'd invest in some decent PA equipment. I got stuck in a band I started and eventually left over the material we played. I didn't own the PA equipment so much of the control was out of my hands. Most usually my band or the band I was in always practiced at my place because I had the space available. I echo the own PA equipment because it makes thing so much easier. If its nothing more than a microphone and a solid state keyboard amp(been there, done that) Nothing worse than having practice with no vocals or trying to outsing the band with your naked voice. If your playing small gigs where your instrument amplifiers don't need to be miked you can get by with a small 4 channel PA and a couple mikes. A good 4 channel, a couple mikes, stands and a couple speakers can be had for less than a grand. In some instances less than 500 bucks.

"You Damn Right I Got the Blues" Buddy Guy
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby dfduck » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:13 am

I have a PA. But don't gig, sing, or play publicly.
Mostly I use it for recording. I mic acoustic instruments, run the PA about the same volume as the instrument and add just a touch of reverb. Then place the recording mic about half way between to pick up both. And I use it to mic my 4x6x2 inch 4 watt Johnson guitar amp for recording.
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby jeffl » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:04 pm

It's a good point,and one that needed to be made. The person who owns the PA is definitely a factor in band dynamics. It is also very nice to be able to have a rehearsal space set up continuosly,with PA and drums always ready to go...that goes a long way towards not being too dependent on others when you wanna have a band going. I'm almost totally dependent on others,'cuz I'm a harper who jus' wants to play harp...so for the average band,I'm too expensive (as in,"why pay a harper?"),and I don't lead tunes. I'm jus' a sideman. I own a 4-channel tape mixer and a Crate Taxi...is that a PA,lol?
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby allanlummox » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Of course, the biggest proponent of the "Bats and Balls" attitude - you know, "Do it my way or I'm taking my Bats and Balls and going home" - is gear salesmen. Usually unscrupulous ones.

There's an advantage to having all your own gear. But it's easy to get turned around and create a situation where the only pros involved are the guys ringing the cash register.

I sold my PA when I bought my National. When I need one, I rent one. At some point, I'll get another - when it would pay to do so.

The real trick is to treat gear the way a carpenter treats power tools - the question I ask myself about music equipment purchases is "How long will this take to pay for itself?".
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby nhslim » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:23 pm

If most of us used this system for music gear we would never buy any thing! LOL.

>Of course, the biggest proponent of the "Bats and Balls"
>attitude - you know, "Do it my way or I'm taking my Bats and
>Balls and going home" - is gear salesmen. Usually
>unscrupulous ones.
>
>There's an advantage to having all your own gear. But it's
>easy to get turned around and create a situation where the
>only pros involved are the guys ringing the cash register.
>
>I sold my PA when I bought my National. When I need one, I
>rent one. At some point, I'll get another - when it would
>pay to do so.
>
>The real trick is to treat gear the way a carpenter treats
>power tools - the question I ask myself about music
>equipment purchases is "How long will this take to pay for
>itself?".
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby allanlummox » Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:07 pm

Which keeps GC in business.

It's also why Gibson's quality has gone so far downhill - but they can afford "Only a Gibson is good enough" TV commercials.
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby lorilu » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:51 pm

This is some seriously valuable information. Thanks. What about older amplified mixing boards? Is it not good to have vintage equipment? Seems like all I have is vintage.
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby 1dustyeod » Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:53 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-14-06 AT 07:55 PM (EST)]If it works, and its cheap... pick it up. I wouldn't go smaller than an 8 channel board. One can never have enough 31 band EQ's or power amps (400 watt or more....) Effect units are good. Midiverbs might be cheap in some peoples eyes but if thats what you've got... that'll work. Another must is compressors (vocals, bass). A good PA should include a set of bass bins and top cabinets, at least 4 monitors, a snake to match your board (8, 16, 24, 32 channel), a power amp for each of the lines (1 for top cabs, one for bass bins, one for monitors), and an effects rack (plus cabling, mikes/mike stands, etc). Just about everything can be picked up a piece at a time and before you know it.... you've got a whole PA. Its always better to have more power than you need. A PA that strains is more likely to blow something than one thats not being pushed too hard.

Tommy

[www.tommystriplethreatbluesrevue.com/BandPage.html]

"A strat, a cord, and an amp set to 10 is all I really need. Nothing sounds better than a tortured stratocaster....."
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby bosco » Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:40 pm

While I agree with the concept of owning the PA giving you more control over the music that is played, I would like to stress to the younger players out there that it is still no substitute for learning to play your instrument, learning to sing, or practicing.

This true story that I posted last year is a perfect example.

*************************************************************

Our lead guitar player's former band was led by a "harp player" named Craig. Seems Craig had a problem with recognizing the changes in a twelve bar blues format and making the necessary adjustments in his playing. The other guys quickly grew tired of shouting "One", "Four" or "Five" across the stage so they devised a system that was deemed a little more discrete and professional. After the stage was set and all the cables were taped down, the bass player would put three parallel strips of duct tape on the floor in front of him. When the band was on the one chord, he would place his right foot on the first strip of tape; likewise, on the second or third strip for the four and five chord respectively. All of this for the benefit of Craig so he could try and figure out what to play next...and for four sets worth of music a night!

I can't imagine having so little feel for the music or the blues genre that you couldn't hear the change coming, but I suppose there are people like that out there. I asked "How the hell did a guy like that get into a band?" Turns out that Craig had basically bought his way into the music scene. In addition to being an so-so singer, Craig owned the PA system, the rehearsal venue and a van. He doubled as the band's manager, booking gigs and overseeing setlists, etc., thereby assuring himself of a spot in a band. As my bandmate puts it, "Craig was great guy, he was just a shitty harp player."

To borrow Sonny Boy's line, "Those boys want to play the blues really bad.....and that's really bad."

*******************************************************************
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby brass finger » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:21 am

Lorilu, yea, Old Tube Mixers are great!
If you got one already that's great.
If it's powered already that's sort of a plus depending on how fancy you want to be.
You dont' want need super volume and hi-fi if your playing blues because you want sort of a raw sound anyways, unless your playing at a sports bar..and that would be the last place I'd want to play cause it's all new and everything.

I just gave my last peace of P.A. stuff to my niece.
I had an early 70's Peavey Tube Mixer,,( yes, I did say Peavey..but old and rebuilt by my friend.) It was mono, but it did the trick. And sounded great.
Then and a separate,Peavey amp that was 80's and substandard, but was all I could afford but would do.
That's all I had money for.

I never had P.A. speakers..like I said, I never had a P.A. so I concentrated on buying whatever I could.
Then when you meet some other broke musicians you go "well I got a board already it's powered".ect..

It's important to have any single piece of equipment you can.

Monitors are the most important thing to have if you can't afford a complete P.A.
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby brass finger » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:28 am

Bosco,,oh man I hear your story loud and clear..oh man...
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RE: Invest in P.A. Gear for More Leverage

Postby lorilu » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:24 am

I have an old Randall mixing board with a lot of channels. At the Salvation Army I got these 2 huge old homemade speakers but they're not really right for the mixer. But they will be a lot of fun at parties or I might donate them to some of my daughter's friends. I found an old Yamaha PA at a school auction from the music department but unfortunately lost the bid. I am terrible at bidding and bargaining. I am drawn to the old equipment so I am glad it can still be used. I have an old Yamaha Bass tube amp with a now blown speaker but will be fixed at some time. I guess I will not be wanting to control a band but I like having equipment that is useful. Hey Brass, always good to hear from you.
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