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It happened to me - bad cable wiring


Tom Capasso

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Last week I finally solved a problem that's been bugging me. One of the reasons that it took so long to fix is that I don't use my amp rig very often.

 

When I bought the second Berg (EX112) and used it on it's first gig, I dropped the first Berg (HT112) on the way in. When I hooked it all up, it sounded awful. I disconnected the HT and used the EX only. Testing at home was inconclusive, but I called Jim and he recommended replacing the speaker. I did that, and it may have been bad. My problem wasn't completely solved. Some gigs I played sounded fine, some didn't.

 

I had a gig Saturday, and had gotten the Programmable SansAmp, so I wanted to test everything out. With my son Andrew listening, I plugged in one Berg - nice. I swapped to the other Berg - nice. Both = ass. Completely awful - no lows, complete crap. Andrew looks up like "what happened?".

 

Turns out that one of the speaker cables (Speakon to 1/4") was wired incorrectly. I did a quick test and all was right with the sound again, so I soldered it up and there was peace again.

 

This explained why on recent gigs I sounded so bad and couldn't hear myself. One of those gigs was the same bar I played Saturday (getz76 was at the first one). Last time I had my volume almost all the way up. Saturday it was less than half. What a difference !! The other point I remembered was that when I would borrow an amp (before last year's EA purchase), sometimes I'd used cables that came along with the amp (which were fine). And one wacky gig I used two heads - each with it's own Berg. Again, the cabling issue was hidden by this (though not completely).

 

Needless to say, Saturday was a success from an equipment standpoint - my rig behaved well, and I had my version of the MauryBoard (SansAmp and TU-2 on a special board - I still need to decide about colors...).

 

Along with that, the gig went well. The venue serves dinner, and doesn't want load-in until after 8:30. Last time we played this place, we were concerned about how long it takes us to set up (PA, 2 drummers, etc.), and the space is tight. I had written a "dictator" memo to sequence how we brought our stuff in and who set up when (to get some folks to help each other out). While the band made fun of me for it (why not?), most of the guys liked how things went. This time I changed the physical layout and tweaked the setup sequence, and it went very well. We weren't ready early, but it was comfortable. One of the guys even printed out the drawing that I'd sent out with some wacky embellishments (to continue the teasing). The set-up worked better than last time.

 

We didn't get as many of our "faithful followers" as we'd have liked, but did get lots of "walk-ins" who stayed and rocked. We played pretty well, and the people rocked out! Everyone in the band really had a good time, and they asked us for a Feb date after the 2nd set. Money? Not much, but we could see that they didn't make a ton at the bar. And that's fine - we had a blast and got the door.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Nice to have that piece of mind.

It happened to me also - halfway through the first song at a big showcase my amp quit. Turned out to be a speaker cable but getting to the point of realization was time intensive and embarassing.

 

I am totally anal about my cables now and I make my own.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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So to ramble along in my own thread, we did have trouble with PA monitors. Ours are not very good (floor wedges). The sax/harp guy thought about the HotSpots - these would be for vocals/sax/harp only.

 

Any experience?

 

And another gem I added to the giant bag of stuff I carry - a flashlight. Gig after gig I'd struggle with seeing the PA and backs of amps thinking "the guys on the board always have a flashlight". After the last gig I finally bought one, and it was great. Extra bonus: shining it in the guitarist's eyes to annoy him.

 

SansAmp has been fun so far!

 

Thanks

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Our drummer uses a HotSpot and loves it. Says he can hear everything. He sings like a crippled mongoose so the actual sound of it might be true.

 

Brocko

Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
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The cable thing -- that's the kind of thing that can just about drive you out of your mind trying to sort out.

 

"Why don't these cabs sound right?...WHY don't these cabs sound right?...Why don't THESE cabs sound right?...Why don't these CABS sound right? WHY DON'T THESE #@$%^*& CABS SOUND RIGHT?!?!?!"

 

Glad you figured it out.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Originally posted by Whacked:

HotSpot?

Are you talking about WiFi or something else?

They are small monitor speakers - they are available in powered and un-powered versions.

 

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/5/4/332454.jpg

 

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/4/9/332449.jpg

 

Looks like my drummer has already bought the unpowered version, and my sax/harp guy will buy the powered version. I'll buy an unpowered one, and we should be in good shape.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I worked with HotSpots for a number of years, and they deliver what you want if you are only running vocals through them. They do not like a full mix, or bass-drums-keyboards, etc. But they do get vocals right in your face, even if they do sound a bit ganky. You can help that a bit by cutting the mids with a graphic, but they won't ever sound really full range.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I'm having a similar fit with my Schroeder, although since it has 2 drivers, due to their location I think that only one of them has a problem. I've email Jorg and he was extremely quick in replying and helpful as well.

 

I'm going to test some things out with all new cables, however I think that a replacement driver is in my future very soon.

 

The perils of buying used.

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