My very good friend Mog had gone down with the lurgy during the week. His band ReTrio had a gig arranged for Saturday at Searles holiday park in Hunstanton. As the gig approached his voice gave up and he accepted my offer to help out with the vocals. As I had a busy day I was late getting there so everyone was set up when I arrived.
Being a bass player ‘by trade’ I don’t often get the chance to play guitar and I had never gigged my Tech 21 Trademark 60 combo, despite owning it for a couple of years so I was more worried about that than anything else. I love these little amps, they can reproduce the sound of just about any famous amp, but the unorthodox EQ settings need to be mastered. Playing in the bedroom is just not the same. This is a solid state analogue amp that imitates the characteristics of a valve amp extremely well.
As the well-populated room was a ‘sit at tables and watch the band’ venue it didn’t seem right to fiddle with the amp after every song so I kept the settings the same throughout. Overall I was very happy with the sounds and it cut through the mix very well. On getting home I realised I could have improved things with just a few minor tweaks of the ‘punch’ and ‘growl’ controls.
For any enthusiasts, the amp tones available are here: http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/amps/guitar/trademark60.html – I basically aim for the clean Fender sound on channel one and a dirty Marshall sound on channel two. With the included channel / boost footswitch it’s a versatile stage amp.
Roland + Apple = No thanks
I had toyed with the idea of changing it for a Roland Cube which I really love but now that Roland seem to have ‘got into bed with Apple’ and included an ‘iPhone’ dock on their amps, they can shove it where the sun don’t shine. Apple is a company that I despise, nearly as much as Microsoft but for different reasons. For me, a guitar amp should last for many years and having a blinged up temporary fad permanently wired in, just isn’t cricket. I will stick with the more organic Tech 21 now I know what it’s capable of. I just need to add a stand so that I can angle it back slightly, probably a wedge affair so I can keep some contact with the floor so as to retain some bass.
The PA sound was superb. Mog uses the Bose L1 Model II system which in my view is the ultimate set up for these kind of venues. We had a fantastic night and it was a real pleasure to play with my old mate Mog and his band. We had some positive comments and the crowd enjoyed it despite me making up most of the words.