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Have you ever actually needed a backup?


ramosric
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LT user here, Ive been tossing whether i need a Stomp as a backup, but its a pretty heavy investment just for a backup purpose. So what are the chances that the LT is going crap out mid-gig? Has it ever happened to you?

i can understand needing a backup if it craps out during a software update, or if you need to send it away for hardware repair, but for that i reckon i can just bring my amp and analog pedals for the next gig while the LT is down.

so the question really is, have you ever needed a backup while you are in the middle of a gig?

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I needed a backup twice. But that was with analog stuff. And only once did I have a backup (was allowed to play through another guys amp on a festival), on the other gig we had to have a short break (well, actually, the others kept jamming) while I was removing the input jack of my Marshall and soldering the input cable straight to the circuit board - no, I'm not kidding you! Fortunately, I always had my littly emergency bag with a soldering iron and some lead with me.

 

These days, I usually just have my Atomic Amplifirebox with me. I created two patches dedicated to suit such a situation, they'd likely get me through pretty much any gig with not too much trouble. I'm however thinking of replacing it with a NUX MG 300 as that would also double as a small audio interface, a looper and what not.

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Never have needed my backup Stomp while using my Helix, but I like the confidence of knowing if it does go down for some reason, I can get through the gig.  I also take the Stomp to practices and use it so it wouldn't be a completely different thing if/when I need it at a gig, Peace of Mind is worth it to me.

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I don't remember a time that I have needed a backup... not with amps, or modelers - including the Helix. 

I also don't remember a time that I haven't had a back up ready to go.... not with amps, or modelers - including the Helix. 

 

At local gigs I carry my old POD XT Live as a backup loaded with tones that are more than good enough to get me through a night. 

On tours, I rent/carry a 2nd Helix which is inline and ready to go into action within seconds! 

 

13 hours ago, ramosric said:

So what are the chances that the LT is going crap out mid-gig?

 

IMO, it likely won't! I have 100% confidence in my Helix LT.... but I still carry a backup for insurance. 

Insurance always seems like a waste of money until you actually need it! 

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15 hours ago, ramosric said:

LT user here, Ive been tossing whether i need a Stomp as a backup, but its a pretty heavy investment just for a backup purpose. So what are the chances that the LT is going crap out mid-gig? Has it ever happened to you?

i can understand needing a backup if it craps out during a software update, or if you need to send it away for hardware repair, but for that i reckon i can just bring my amp and analog pedals for the next gig while the LT is down.

so the question really is, have you ever needed a backup while you are in the middle of a gig?

 

Nobody can possibly calculate the odds of your LT choosing to $hit the bed while you're on stage. But the reality is, it's a computer... and sooner or later all computers fail. If you're lucky, it'll happen at home when it doesn't matter,  but let me ask you this: have you ever had car trouble in your own driveway when it was nice and convenient? Me neither...most of the time you're on the side of the road somewhere, waiting for a tow truck.

 

Do you need a backup if you gig regularly? Yes. Should that backup already be there in the trunk, every show, just in case? Yes. But nowhere is it written what that backup has to be. If you're content to bring along other gear you already own in case of disaster, so be it... but you have to finish the gig somehow. However, nobody's forcing you to spend money on an identical backup rig.

 

I've had numerous equipment hiccups at shows over the years. The two most memorable moments were a Marshall head that actually started to belch smoke, and a close second was a MIDI footswitch that completely failed... bunch of rack gear, and no patch changes. Didn't have a backup that time, as I was young and stupid. It was not a fun show. Learned my lesson though, and I never did that again.

 

If you do this long enough, gear failures are inevitable. And the more you gig, the closer you get to your own personal Spinal Tap moment. It's like riding motorcycles... it ain't if you're gonna go down, but when. Helix hasn't failed me live yet, and maybe it never will. But it also might die on me the next time out... there's no way to know. If you don't have a Plan B, don't book the show.

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