Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gear trouble at an Eric Tessmer Band show. Shocking, I know!

So I recently had my new run Acoustic B200H serviced by a tech, after being non-functional for 3+ years.

Blown solder joint to voltage regulator. $30. Well shit. I could have come up with $30 back then hahaha.

Have had it back for a few weeks but haven't been able to properly try it out, and have been brainstorming on how to rack-mount it.

So I finally fired it up at Dead Oak rehearsal Wednesday night of last week (Dec 18). Holy fucking shitballs. Forgot how awesome it sounded!

As I've been using the SWR/8x10 amp in their jam room, I tried it out on the fridge cab. Blew the SWR out of the water. It was loud. Like, stupid loud. Not bad for a modest 200 watts (the SWR was 350 and I still couldn't hear myself). Needless to say, I had to keep turning down to avoid overpowering the rest of the band, which is usually Kirk's job with his guitar rig, hahaha.

So yeah. I was happy, they were happy.

Thursday night had a last minute Eric Tessmer Band gig fall into my lap at Friends on 6th Street. Which was good as I can always use the money and love playing with them. And an early set so I could still catch Amplified Heat and Alien Knife Fight after our set.

But then we are informed the later band has cancelled and we could play all night if we wished, and we opted to do so.

I was stoked cause I could finally fire up the B200H at a gig, and I hadn't used it in battle since it became my main amp when my SVT was having trouble back in the Mother Truckers days in 2008/9. Sweet!

Sounded great sound-checking! YES!!! It liked the 8x10 cab in the Dead Oak room, but it LOVED my Dietz 2x15. Needless to say, I was stoked to play it all night and see what happened.

Looked pretty cool, heh!

We launch into the first song, and after about 4 notes the trouble began. Cut out immediately. Shit. Still has power, thats good. Peak light not staying on like when it was previously fucked, that's good.

I switch to the SVT and fire it up, plug in speaker cable. Still nothing. What the hell?

AH. Speaker cable probably rattled out.

Happens sometimes. Checked the back of my cab. AHA! Plugged it back in, switched back to the Acoustic, rejoined the song for a few more notes. Then it cut out again. Pushed the cable back into the jack. Hit a few notes, and it was spit right back out.

That jack must be getting loosey-goosey from years of use. It has two inputs, and the nut holding the other long since fell off and of course the jack retreated back into the speaker cab. I'll have to remedy that on break.

In the meantime I get gaff tape from Eric and tape the fucker into the input. It works, sort of. And this was the first song. It continued to cut out intermittently which was funny for the first hour, but not so much for a 4-hour set. Shit. Even the SVT was spitting the cable out at this point. Shit.

Did the best I could but the cutting out kept getting worse and worse. Play a few notes. Cuts out. Reach back and fiddle with the cable. Which became less effective as time went on. OK, starting to get pissed.

Eric had a cordless electric drill on hand. The problem with the Dietz was that the jackplate itself does not screw onto the cab from the back, but from the inside. Which means in order to swap out the speaker jacks and get thru the set I would either have to:

(a) pull the entire front of the speaker cabinet off, switch the jacks, and close it back up


(b) take a chance on just removing the side handle and hope to Cthullu I can access the jackplate that way.

And this would all have to be done mid-song.

So I spent most of 'Armadillo Strut' removing the screws from the speaker handle. No big deal. HOWEVER: I removed all of them except 2 which stripped out in the process. Fuck.

So I flip the cab over and try to remove the other handle. Same fucking deal. You got to be kidding me.

SO I flip the cab BACK over, as those stripped screws are in a more favorable position for me to use my screwdriver to PRY THE GODDAMN HANDLE OFF.

It worked, and I was able to not only access the jackplate with much appreciated ease, but got the jacks swapped out no problemo.

Then I switched to the SVT, as I theorized the B200H was producing some weird extra frequency which was the main culprit in the jack plate constantly spitting out the speaker cable. Which was probably the case, cause I had no problems whatsoever the rest of the night...

Fucking hell.

SO. I have since come up with a solution to make sure this never ever ever ever EVER fucking happens again:

I will, when I have the time to take the Dietz damn near apart and get the proper part, I will route out the jackplate on one side and install a speak-on connector, and get a speaker cable that is 1/4" on one side and speak-on on the other.

Those twist and lock into place. Problem fucking solved. The B200H sounded great while it worked, and is a worthy back up amp that I wouldn't mind using for a gig once all this is done.

So yeah. And I still have some of the screws from the side handles rattling around on my pedalboard.

No comments:

Post a Comment