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Author Topic: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?  (Read 3106 times)

Brian Ehlers

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What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« on: September 30, 2011, 01:10:58 pm »

In light of the other thread regarding a console failure, I thought it would be interesting to hear what steps everyone takes to ensure that the show WILL go on.  One method, of course, is to always carry back-up or hot-spare equipment.

I know it's common to carry a couple of spare power amplifiers and even cabinets.  And redundant power supplies for the console have long been standard.  But how many of you carry spare input channels or outputs channels for your console, or perhaps a smaller back-up console just in case?  What about system processors -- do you carry a spare?
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James Feenstra

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 05:39:25 pm »

I think this depends entirely on the budget of your tour...

If you're out doing arenas, you're likely playing in markets where it's more feasible to rent a spare locally in the event of a catastrophic show stopping failure than to carry an extra. Most of the common desks are readily available all over north America, even in smaller markets.

On a club sized gig, I'd typically consider the house console as a backup to whatever you're carrying, as budgets are normally fairly tight.

In lighting world, we typically carry a spare desk, although it's not really that necessary these days as reliability of consoles has gone up considerably. With the advent of computer based lighting software, a laptop may very well serve as a viable backup to a desk like a ma or a hog, depending on the scale of the show of course. Arenas we always carry a second desk simply because we can, or may need a second for the extra playbacks. In the event of a console failure the wing can be used as the primary without much interruption to the show. Obviously were always carrying a spare or two of every fixture we're using, as well as replacement bulbs and what not.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 12:45:19 pm by James Feenstra »
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paul bell

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 05:44:06 pm »

I did an event where a 24 channel console was requested for just 10 channels use. I had my trusty A&H GL3300 on the job. The console got just a little wet in a light but highly unexpected rain that couldn't have lasted more than two minutes. By the time we covered it, the rain had stopped.

Sure enough, some channels had issues.

We were just coming off another event and had the APB ProRack in the truck. It worked out perfectly.

Now, I always find a spot in the truck for the APB.

PS: After a good drying out and checkup at a repair center, the A&H is just fine again.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 05:52:18 pm by paul bell »
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paul bell

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 05:47:19 pm »

As all my monitor stuff is on Drive Rack 260's, I carry a spare unlocked 260 with all my settings in it. This year, I've had to go to it twice.

I'll also carry a compression driver diaphragm and spare mains woofer.
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Ryan Cecil

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 06:13:18 pm »

For the past three years, on two separate tours I have been carrying a spare FOH Rack for my Venue system. 
There isn't always time to get a replacement out there, and dialing up a 24 plus mix show with 70+ inputs just isn't possible on another desk day of show, at least not to the level of expectations.
I consider the spare foh rack to be much like the B engine on an SD7 or PM1D, and when you crunch the numbers even the pricing is about the same.
I would expect any vendor sending out a large scale PA to have spare system proc. and drivers as well as amplifiers.
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 09:19:50 pm »

In light of the other thread regarding a console failure, I thought it would be interesting to hear what steps everyone takes to ensure that the show WILL go on.  One method, of course, is to always carry back-up or hot-spare equipment.

I know it's common to carry a couple of spare power amplifiers and even cabinets.  And redundant power supplies for the console have long been standard.  But how many of you carry spare input channels or outputs channels for your console, or perhaps a smaller back-up console just in case?  What about system processors -- do you carry a spare?
Spare amplifier/s and a spare console is a good idea.  Just count on if its gonna fail...its gonna fail.   I am talking about anything can fail.. Typically the devices that generate the most heat are most likey to fail first.   Power amp output transistors come to mind. 
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Steven Barnes

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 10:59:10 pm »

It depends on the show.

We usually have a couple processing units if they are XTA or Dolby Lakes, I have one unit for left and one for right, If one dies I can mono the PA and get through the gig. I usually have a spare cfx16 or something as a ABSOLUTE worse case scenario. Spares amps always, spare cabinets occasionally depending on the rig going out.

On tour, depending on the length of the run, we will carry a spare digidesign profile surface, stage rack and FOH rack or Mix rack. If we have a bad input or output card we can pull from whatever we need. Both FOH and MON consoles are the same so that helps, and we usually spec out at least one extra input and output card in each stage rack. We carry quite a few spare mics, console fan out, 25' monitor snake cable, speaker cable, xlr, sub snakes, W1 and G2, monitors etc. We also carry spares for all the backline.

The key for use is to have common infrastructure so if an incident does arise we can get it handled with. If the show is local I have the number for 5 or 6 companies that I can call 24/7 and get what I need in an emergency.

Knock on wood I have never had a show not happen due to gear failure. I have had a console die on me, but we were able to get it going enough to make it through the show.

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peter dakin

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Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 04:29:05 am »

Before a tour everything gets serviced.

I then tend to carry a spare x-over, couple of spare amps, spare drivers for monitors/array etc and a few diaphragms for compression drivers. Obviously spare mics, cables, stands etc.
Last tour, I didn't have any spare boxes, but had one spare wedge (used as mon cue wedge, but after 2nd show wasn't used).
I don't carry a spare desk due to budget/space and also wear and tear. As mentioned its pretty easy to hire something locally and if all else fails, you could run the show off Monitor/FOH desk depending on which one dies.
As a PM/TM I always hire a space guitar amp or two, spare head for bass, spare keyboard etc and bucket load of skins
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: What back-ups and hot-spares do you carry?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 04:29:05 am »


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