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#1094887 - 11/01/15 10:12 PM Amp criticizes my performance!  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 436
Jeff Epstein Offline
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Jeff Epstein  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Melrose, MA, USA
So...I played outside today at a farmers market. The show went well for the most part. I was going through a 15w Beringer mixer-amp (an acoustic guitar amp with a vocal input and channel on it.) Then, in the middle of a song I hear out of the speaker: "...he's not doing too good. I wonder if he will strike out."

The amp had picked up a ball game.

I treated it like feedback (potted down, unplugged and re-plugged etc.) and it went away for awhile. But I've never heard of this. I must have created an antenna somehow.

Geez, I have enough issues without my amp making smart remarks, ya know?

#1094934 - 11/02/15 04:10 PM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Jeff Epstein]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,922
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Um, Yes,
I guess you are using a tube amp. If a radio station transmitter is close by you can pick up the signal because the signal is radiating right into a tube. Tubes, as well as other parts of the amp are shielded with metal housing surrounding the tubes, among other things. See if one is missing. If so you will have to see if you can find one. Places that sell tubes may also be able to supply you with tube shields.

Ray E. Strode
#1094935 - 11/02/15 04:46 PM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Jeff Epstein]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Hi Jeff,

Sorry to hear your plight!

In case it happens again, "rolling with it" could be fun and garner you respect. Maybe revisit "This Is Spinal Tap" and learn a few bits/songs, since there's a well known scene with unwanted radio feedback that most people would "get." Maybe immediately start improvising along with the static, saying something like "this is called "Free Form Jazz Odyssey"..on the bass, Derek Smalls..HE wrote this.."

EDIT: Jeez....that's the longest delay on a laugh I've ever had..half way through dinner, I realized you titled your post "amp criticizes my performance!" LOL...I can imagine you shrank a couple feet and smiled real wide..haha..I mean..what else could you do?


Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 11/03/15 05:16 AM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1094984 - 11/03/15 11:47 AM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 436
Jeff Epstein Offline
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Jeff Epstein  Offline
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Melrose, MA, USA
Oh sure, Mike, it was more of a joke than anything. This was a farmer's market in November, so not a lot of people were around. It was essentially busking. So I just cracked wise, fiddled with the cables and got it to mute. Then I went on to the next song.

The tube theory is interesting, Ray, coz I don't think it has a real tube. It has a kind of virtual-tube circuit that I don't know much about...maybe has the same effect. Also, I was going through a pedal, so I had a line in and line out (both cables shielded though). Finally, there was the house PA amp sitting next to mine. So...who knows. I was just wondering if anybody else ever had a similar issue.

#1096349 - 11/30/15 04:30 AM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Jeff Epstein]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
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Berwyn, IL, US
It will happen with a solid state amp too. I do a regular weekly gig with some friends at an old folks home that has a small, low wattage radio station upstairs. The bass player who used to always bring a doghouse bass has started bringing an electric with a small solid state amp and she regularly picks up the radio station from upstairs. Sometimes rotating the amp a little cancels out the radio signal.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 11/30/15 04:31 AM.
#1098011 - 01/04/16 08:25 PM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Jack Swain]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,442
Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,442
Dang, Jeff:

Sounds like you made the best of a bad situation... well, maybe only a little irritating. It must be tough enough to perform in public... but to have a rude surprise like this occur would sure be a "downer" for me. I never perform, thankfully. Must be a total lack of courage on my part, LOL!

Thanks for sharing. Interesting theories about how radio signals can be accidentally picked up. Regards, -----Dave

#1098557 - 01/13/16 06:00 PM Re: Amp criticizes my performance! [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,566
Rick Heenan Offline
Rick Heenan  Offline

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Lockport NY, usa
Yep, something ain't shielded. Our drummer once made up some new speaker cables for us out of lamp chord. They worked great but were not shielded. We picked up Niagara University's basketball games through the tube amps on rehearsal nights.

Sometimes an unshielded guitar chord will get used on a line device. That could do it too.

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