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  1. The first song of our set is always something which is reasonably lively, yet easy to play. Partly because wind instruments need to actually physically warm up (and its not always possible to do this prior to the performance starting).
  2. I've never been asked either, and I'm based in the UK. I think its because the OP (and a lot of the following posts too) assume a small-ish pub, probably with no raised stage area; there are other kinds of venues.
  3. Up until very recently, our requirements were pretty much the same as above. We were covering larger venues (150-200+) and had a big band behind the singer (which will give a good indication of the volume achieved). You can combine the monitor + mixer in one, by choosing something like a Behringer B205. It has 3 inputs (2 XLR) so you can run 2 mics (singer and announcements if someone else does those). Then hook up a 12" active speaker. We used an Alto TX212 with no issues although you might choose a 15", or the TS312, or another brand. You don't say if mics are included in the £500 budget but even so, its got to be around £500 all in. The B205 can go on a mic stand (and has adapters to screw into the standard fittings), so we dedicated one for that purpose - a straight with a solid/heavy base. Below is a pic of it in use (the cable hanging off it is an XLR to a DI box near bass and guitarist, in case an amp goes funny etc.
  4. Don't be the one to act first, let the buyer cancel it from their end. I can't remember the options that they have. Otherwise, choose one of the options like "the item is damaged and no longer available" before you mark it as sent and it will go through better.
  5. I think the tuning is irrelevant, and I'd not be surprised if underneath the pickup covers were thin air. I think its a "mock up" thing made simply to shock. Its completely unplayable by a human with normal sized hands, for a start!
  6. At £90 you could buy one, see what its like, then buy 5 more?
  7. What kind of band, what personnel, what is the size of "tiny spaces" venues? I ummm'd and aaaaah'd for a long time looking at the TX208 (partly because of comments on this forum) but bought one last week and used it for a monitor at a gig at the weekend. It was brilliant - a really nice combination of sound quality, power and compactness (and price). Obviously, be aware of its limitations but I'd recommend one dependin on your actual circumstances as asked above.
  8. I can't say I've ever come across that specific issue - logic suggests it would occur the other way round (lower the action, and dead spots occur). So I'll do the same as you, await others' replies!!! Hope you get it sorted though. Just one final thought....how old are the strings?
  9. So you had it professionally set up but you didn't like it, so decided to raise the action, but now it has dead spots? Something isn't quite right here. Nevertheless, there's 2 aspects (well, more if you include weirdness like its twisted, or a bass with 2 truss rods but they're not set properly with respect to each other etc) to the "straightness" of a neck. AND.....the conventional proper setup is for a neck to be ever-so-slightly curved upwards. The two aspects are the neck itself and the frets. The way to check this (the neck) yourself is to hold the bass up to your eyeline with the bridge nearest, then look along the neck and you can see the curve (or not). To check the frets, fret a string at eg 1st fret and 20th (or whatever your last) fret is, then measure the clearance at the other frets (obviously if its an even curve then it will be in the middle). If its certain notes but not others, it sounds like either a twisted neck or uneven frets. (If the action has been set high - if the action were set low, then it could simply be you've reached the 'limit' of how low it can go, due to the small/acceptable imperfections which are bound to occur).
  10. I have a metronome app on my phone, it has tap tempo. Also, I have (in the past) used a piece of software which would identify the tempo of a song opened on it eg WAV or MP3.
  11. Its a bit like kids playing guitar in music shops on Saturday morning. If you don't own a guitar, then that prospect is filled with excitement and wonder. If you do own a guitar (and amp etc), then you can sit down and play it at any time at home, right? So the mystique is gone. Therefore, anyone who asks to play something at a gig, almost by definition, can't.
  12. Good info! Given the results, I wonder what a pragmatic test of a DI box should be then? Put 5 into a rucksack, shake them thoroughly, then leave it outdoors for a month, retrieve the one at the bottom and see if it still works? (That's not too dissimilar to the situation I'm in - my handy little bag of extra wires, pedals, etc lives in the car; the basics of one 1/4" jack lead and a kettle lead live in the pouch of the bass soft case, which comes into the house in between rehearsals/gigs).
  13. Do you measure the success of a band on the quantity, or the quality, of its followers?
  14. (Now that Saffron's gone) the only reason I watch Strictly Come Dancing is for the music. Its amazing to see such professionalism and competence, even more so when you consider the pieces are arranged thru the week, then they have just one day of intensive rehearsal, then put on the show. I am guessing they have some decent resources behind the main musicians though - I know they have quite a big "address book" of eg woodwind players and other session musicians to call upon. Past highlights include "Naughty Girl"* (Beyonce), "Scooby Doo Theme Tune", "When Doves Cry" *This features Kimberley Walsh, in not much clothing, doing a very sexy dance. It is NSFW. It is also probably NSFH either, if your wife/girlfriend catches you watching it or goes through your browser history. No amount of saying "but its just for the music" will convince her. Trust me on that one.
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