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  1. #1

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    Prefacing this with the full understanding that I am incredibly lucky to own any of this equipment, and any further bickering is gratuitous, but here it is anyway.

    A while back I picked up a '66 BF Vibrolux Reverb, which is amazing. I had to sell my "working" amp to get some cash for this purchase, and it was a great thing. I am very happy to own a great vintage amp. But now, I own this amp and my little practice/portable amp - a Roland Cube Street EX, which is also great for the bedroom, but not really for a gig aside from a little restaurant or something.

    I'm lately getting the feeling that the BFVR is TOO NICE to take out to gig with- at a bar or something! If I had a reissue, or another amp that wasn't worth the same dough (north of 3Kish), I would not lose my mind in the same way, if it were to get dinged or something on a gig. So, in short, I am thinking about picking up a used DRRI to have as the "not collector's item" amp to gig with.

    How insane am I, on a scale of 1-10, 10 just being bat shit. Is this logical?

    thank you,

    Charlie

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I used a minty '66 BFVR for yrs before switching to a BFTR.
    I have no problem bringing good vintage equipment to gigs.
    Play and enjoy imo.

  4. #3

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    What good is owning "quality" equipment if you can't enjoy it.

    On the rare occasion I get a Bass gig I have no problem playing my 64 jazz bass.

    Life is too short to worry about these things.

  5. #4

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    I never take my Twin Reverb from 1967 out of the house, so I am in agreement with you. Lately I have been trying to find something small and light, combo-wise, or just a head to go with my cab. In your case, take a look at the Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb...if they ever make a Tonemaster Princeton Reverb it will be mine immediately.

  6. #5

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    9.5 crazy.

    It's gear - unless you're a "collector, " it's meant to be played.

  7. #6

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    None of those other amps listed can give you what a VR does unless you're micing it.

  8. #7

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    The whole point of a vintage tube is its sound in performance (especially one on the larger end of the spectrum like a Vibrolux Reverb). Tube amps are robust and repairable (especially old ones). Tolex is meant to have beer spilled on it. The amp will be fine. The only reason not to use it is the schlep factor. Look at it another way -- horn players and upright bassists routinely bring instruments that cost several multiples of that amp and are much more delicate without giving it a thought.

    John

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Headshot
    I never take my Twin Reverb from 1967 out of the house, so I am in agreement with you.....
    I could barely lift mine, especially after I installed the Electrovoice SRO's. It had to weigh at least 80lbs., so it never left the house either after my back went to hell, until I sold it. Great amp though. Great on noisy bar room gigs. Crank it up, the baritone sax player had some serious competition!

    Cheers.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    I could barely lift mine, especially after I installed the Electrovoice SRO's. It had to weigh at least 80lbs., so it never left the house either after my back went to hell, until I sold it. Great amp though. Great on noisy bar room gigs. Crank it up, the baritone sax player had some serious competition!
    I had a 67 silver-face non-master-volume Twin Reverb with SRO's in it too! It weighed more than 80 pounds!

  11. #10

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    Many of my performances as a pianist on a keyboard have been affected by the lack of sound quality and volume/sustain. Add the feeling of knowing the instruments are really special I think would benefit my performance.
    But if it’s too heavy to carry then it’s a no go for sure.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #11

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    Get a good TUKI padded amp cover and take your amp to the gig.

  13. #12

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    I believe in gigging with good stuff. When we were doing jazz gigs, these were my main guitars. The L-5 is a 1940 and the Super 400CES is a 1969 (with a 1 3/4” nut believe it or not).

  14. #13

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    The L-5 happens to be the one on the far right in the photo accompanying this article, btw.


  15. #14

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    I don't take my Vibrolux Reverb out of the house, for one reason. It's too big and too heavy. I used it regularly, back about 30 years ago, but I was about 30 years younger back then, and I didn't know any better. Now, I can get the same sound, or close enough for bars, with a solid-state head and a cabinet, or even my DV Mark Little Jazz. I'm way beyond lugging 50+ pounds around, especially when it could blow a tube at any time. But if your VR really does it for you, and you're willing to accept the size, weight, and possibly doubtful reliability, go for it. It's just some wood, Tolex, and parts, not something to be worshiped. If you can't afford the financial loss, you probably should sell it and get something cheaper and more practical. But if you can afford it, have fun.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilpy
    Get a good TUKI padded amp cover and take your amp to the gig.
    Sound advice, I use them on my amps as well. You're highly unlikely to damage an amp using one as most damage occurs during load in/out. I'm very careful w/my stuff anyway but don't ask about the one time I was running late for a gig and set the VR down behind the car while I loaded the old L-5 into the backseat and forgot about the amp.
    (well since you asked, I backed over the amp and it got wedged under the rear bumper. But the Tuki did its job, only a couple minor nearly unnoticeable scuffs thanks to it )
    That was one incident in about 15 yrs of using the amp, just be careful and you'll be fine. These things are tools, and if you respect them as such they'll provide many yrs of service w minimal cosmetic wear.

  17. #16

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    I'm a big fan of Studio-Slips for amp protection. They've kept my stuff really well maintained after years of gigging.

    I only stopped bringing my 1939 EH-185 to gigs regularly because I was getting a close enough sound from my much lighter Vintage '47 VA-185G. So practicality, not "too nice for the gig" was the only reason.

    And as far as "too nice for the gig", unless you have a very specific concern about that gig (whether its the weather/climate, or some other specific reason to think damage is likely) I don't think there's a reason not to bring the good stuff.

  18. #17

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    I always gigged with my best gear. I played a '64 Brownface Vibroverb for years. It had a good cover, and remained virtually mint. Ditto for my carefully-restored wide-panel tweed Deluxe, my '72 Plexi, and many others. My stage guitar was always my #1 - a mid-sixties ES-345 TDSV, followed by an '86 PRS CU24, and my ES-175 for jazz gigs. A back-up was always handy, but only used once when things were looking to get out of hand.

    The trick is to be very careful in the handling of your valuable stuff. Amps had covers and were moved via hand-carts; riding in my vehicle on a minimum of six inches of foam rubber. As to guitars, no-one touched my guitars but me. The same was true of amps and every thing else. In no case could you hear me set anything down. I've seen equipment handled roughly too many times. Guys would come in carrying heavy amps and speaker boxes and slam them down on the floor with a bang just to display their manliness to the ladies. Juvenility in all its glory. And nothing stayed in the car overnight. Ever.

    Take care of your tools, and they will keep working for you.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 11-11-2020 at 04:07 PM. Reason: tYp0

  19. #18

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    I understand the dilemma.

    It takes a lot of effort to get to the point where you can play well enough to even get a gig. And, it's your art, so you want to sound your best.
    Why go to all that effort and expense and then play through something that's less than optimal?

    OTOH, that's one of the best amps ever. Even if it's not stolen or destroyed, you're putting wear and tear on it. But, that is what it's for.

    It brings a story to mind. I was playing at a hotel in Oakland. Bad parking. So, I double park, load-in, ask a bandmate to watch my valuable guitar (a vintage L5S on that gig) like a hawk. Then, I go park and walk back to the gig. When I arrive, my gear is by itself in a hallway, not far from the front door and my bandmate (a good guy who is ordinarily fully reliable) is oblivious. The L5S was still there, fortunately.

    After that, I revised my gigging gear so that I could do it in one trip, no double parking. Just unload the car and wheel it in. That required a gigbag on my back, a cart and a reasonably sized amp.

    On balance, I'm with the poster who suggested protecting the amp as best you can - and using it.

  20. #19

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    Umm...what's this "Gig" thing you folks are talking about??

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Umm...what's this "Gig" thing you folks are talking about??



    [still too soon, Git, still too soon]

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Umm...what's this "Gig" thing you folks are talking about??
    I remember "gigs", maybe one day they will be back......hope springs eternal.

    Here is my 2 cents:

    1. Play the guitar and amp that inspires your playing. Instruments are tools to help us express ourselves musically. If you are after artwork, buy a painting or a vase.

    2. Gigs are not a one size fits all situation. I bring my vintage D'Angelicos to nice indoor gigs where I am certain that I can look after the instrument. An outdoor gig where I may encounter some drunks is another story. I have a Les Paul Studio for those gigs.

  23. #22

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    If it keeps you up at night, it's too nice to take gigging.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by crhyner
    Prefacing this with the full understanding that I am incredibly lucky to own any of this equipment, and any further bickering is gratuitous, but here it is anyway.

    A while back I picked up a '66 BF Vibrolux Reverb, which is amazing. I had to sell my "working" amp to get some cash for this purchase, and it was a great thing. I am very happy to own a great vintage amp. But now, I own this amp and my little practice/portable amp - a Roland Cube Street EX, which is also great for the bedroom, but not really for a gig aside from a little restaurant or something.

    I'm lately getting the feeling that the BFVR is TOO NICE to take out to gig with- at a bar or something! If I had a reissue, or another amp that wasn't worth the same dough (north of 3Kish), I would not lose my mind in the same way, if it were to get dinged or something on a gig. So, in short, I am thinking about picking up a used DRRI to have as the "not collector's item" amp to gig with.

    How insane am I, on a scale of 1-10, 10 just being bat shit. Is this logical?

    thank you,

    Charlie
    If you feel that way, just get a cheaper amp to gig with

  25. #24

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    My 1950 Gibson ES-125 and my early 60ies Framus tube amp get gigged every week (before COVID anyway). They sound great, I want to have that sound wherever I play. No other equipment gives me this sound, so what’s the point of leaving them at home?

    I have a nice softcase for the ES and a cover for the amp and I am careful. They don’t damage that much.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 11-13-2020 at 03:08 AM.

  26. #25

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    This is why ‘player grade’ is a thing....

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    This is why ‘player grade’ is a thing....
    Absolutely! I only have player grade stuff, I don’t care for collector grade... or more precisely, I don’t care for collector grade prices ;-)

  28. #27

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    Violinists "gig" with some of the most valuable irreplaceable instruments in the world. They're meant to be heard. Just playing devil's adv.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Violinists "gig" with some of the most valuable irreplaceable instruments in the world. They're meant to be heard. Just playing devil's adv.
    Very true of course! I wonder if violinists are as obsessed with keeping the instrument “all original”. I tend to think they see there instruments much more as tools and have repairs, replacement of worn parts and maintenance done according to the need of the instrument.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Violinists "gig" with some of the most valuable irreplaceable instruments in the world. They're meant to be heard. Just playing devil's adv.
    Not a lot drunk bar patrons at their gigs though!!!

    I am also in the "play it live" camp. Especially on jazz or more reserved gig environments. Rowdy country bar? Probably not. The only other thing is keeping it serviced for reliability sake. I typically bring a cheap backup amp, especially with vintage ones, that stays in the car.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Very true of course! I wonder if violinists are as obsessed with keeping the instrument “all original”. I tend to think they see there instruments much more as tools and have repairs, replacement of worn parts and maintenance done according to the need of the instrument.
    As I understand it, the only REALLY important part for originality with a violin is the body. Bridges, tailpieces, fingerboards, even the entire neck are expected to be replaced at some point.

  32. #31
    Didn't expect this much feedback, thank you. I am going to gig with the BFVR AND buy a much less expensive reissue Deluxe for the potentially "rowdy" gigs. Probably just justifying a new purchase to myself. Then I can use BOTH!

    thanks again,

    Charlie

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie2
    Not a lot drunk bar patrons at their gigs though!!!
    They also don't set them on the floor, and between sets they take them with them as if they were their babies.

    Apples and oranges.

  34. #33

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    Actually, I am not so much afraid of damaging the amp or instrument on stage or during transport but more for theft.

    I do have (much) less expensive instruments and amps I can use for occasions where we have no other choice then to leave the instruments unattended, which can be the case at festivals, or when I don’t handle transportation myself, or on (rare) occasions when we are asked to build up the day before and leave equipment overnight.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    They also don't set them on the floor, and between sets they take them with them as if they were their babies.
    Although sometimes they leave them in taxis :-o

    Most Amati and Stravarius violins are not owned by the musician btw but by another party; a wealthy individual or foundation, and then loaned to the musician.

    Which kind of makes it scarier!

  36. #35

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    But even a typical professional cello or violin costs much more than most of us would pay for a fine archtop guitar, even a vintage one.

    As violinist friend puts it, buying a violin is like buying a house. Guitarists otoh can afford to be collectors!

  37. #36

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    Another big difference is the violinist’s audience is quiet, respectful of the musicians, and listening intently.
    And a jazz audience, well especially in the States is trying to talk over you playing, the bar/kitchen noise, cruddy acoustics.
    So. IMHO I get a kick out of people concerned about their pristine jazz guitar sound out at a gig. Ain’t happening, so play what makes YOU play your best!
    Full disclosure I always gigged with my L5 and Walter Woods amp)))

    Tal used to love playing in the UK and Ireland and Sweden as I recall, as the Audiences actually listened. Course that was in the 80’s.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Absolutely! I only have player grade stuff, I don’t care for collector grade... or more precisely, I don’t care for collector grade prices ;-)
    When I bought my stuff it was "player grade". Years later they are now "collector grade".

    To me they are still player grade.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    But even a typical professional cello or violin costs much more than most of us would pay for a fine archtop guitar, even a vintage one.

    As violinist friend puts it, buying a violin is like buying a house. Guitarists otoh can afford to be collectors!
    Many good bows cost more than most would pay for a fine archtop!

  40. #39

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    True true. Daughters viola bow was 3000 and that was a reasonably priced one.

  41. #40

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    A premier French made bow can go well into six figures.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    A premier French made bow can go well into six figures.
    it would be cheaper to get a horse to rub his ass on it

  43. #42

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    So can horses (go into six figures)

  44. #43

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    Re: violins--

    The headstock is worth a fortune, too. I did a gig once where the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and another classical musician, virtuoso viola artist Toby Appel were there. Each fellow asked me if they could stash their "fiddles" behind my amp. First thing you know, I had a Stradivarius violin and a Guarnerius viola leaning on my Polytone Baby Brute. Yikes!

    I asked what each was worth. I was told by the violin player that the headstock from Appel's viola was worth $125,000 then (25 years ago). Oh, they _do_ leave them on the floor.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Violinists "gig" with some of the most valuable irreplaceable instruments in the world. They're meant to be heard. Just playing devil's adv.
    Stradivarius instruments accidentally left behind!

    Three extraordinary stories of Stradivarius instruments being left in taxis and... - Classic FM

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    it would be cheaper to get a horse to rub his ass on it

  47. #46

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    My wife's most recent concert violin. Kinda nicked up and worn around the edges. We spent about 3 hours trying out several at the shop near the Eastman School. She played them all, we listened both close up and across the room, over and over, comparing, and picked this one. Never once paying attention to cosmetic wear. At her first rehearsal with it, others were coming up saying how great she sounded. Just sayin', priorities. (FWIW, a few of them that cost more, did not sound as good.)

    Too nice to gig with?-violin-jpg

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    I'm a big fan of Studio-Slips for amp protection. They've kept my stuff really well maintained after years of gigging.
    Not in the same league, but Tuki covers are pretty nice for local gigging.

    Amp and Speaker Covers & Bags - Fender - Page 1 - Tuki Covers

  49. #48

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    I believe in "working/jobbing instruments" for live music unless the gig is 100% safe in all aspects(rare). The potential for damage is everywhere and when you're a guitarist, every goon in the world that can play three chords wants to get on the stage with YOUR guitar. I rarely have a problem on Classical gigs unless there is alcohol involved: wedding, private party, or wine bar and then I play my "working" guitar rather than my irreplaceable concert instruments. In over 50 years of performing, I have seen more tragedies with instruments than I would ever like to recall. Different strokes for different folks.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  50. #49

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    I think if a violinist/cellist could get close to the sound they get at home with a cheap "player-grade" instrument, they would do it. With acoustic instruments like this of course the sound issue becomes an obsession.

    I do gig with my ES-135, which is not a super-expensive instrument of course, but for the smoky cigar bar we used to play in I took my Peerless Sunset. And I'm sure I could get by in 98% of the situations we play in with my cheaper Tele or Godin 5th Avenue.

    If I had a $3000 guitar or amp, I would not gig with it. I would buy a cheaper gigging rig. JMO.

  51. #50

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    Really? Well I left my 175 in the pub once after a gig. It was still there thank god.

    Find the sound you like. There’s no way I’m not playing my Gibson on gigs if that’s the sound I want for the gig. And none of my other guitars sound like it.