Monday, October 13, 2008

First Up: The Bass Rig

As I have ruminated on which equipment deserves the first push and effort to shed, I have decided to try out the following "Pillars of Shedding". All it takes is one pillar to remain standing, and the justification to keep the item is met.

The Pillars of Shedding are:

1. The item is actively being used by the principal owner.
2. The device has a specific place where it can be used and enjoyed by the principle owner.
3. There is more than a passing chance in the next year that the item in question will be of actual utility to the principal owner.

I have found the item that most readily fails the Pillar Test, and thus, my first concerted effort towards letting go and Shedding of Innocent Stuff will be applied to...:


OK, here's some true confession time. Back in 2001, I joined a cover band for what would be three months of rehearsals and one gig played. I was so excited about the idea of going back and playing my original instrument again (for those that don't know, I was a bass player before I was a front man), I figured it would be nice to get a rig so I could play bass with a band again. And while I was at it, I might as well get a rig that I could play the Oakland Coliseum with... stands to reason, right?!

Thus, for this small company get-together I would be playing for, I went and bought:

* a Carvin BR-115 (1x15") bass cabinet
* a Carvin BR-410 (4x10") bass cabinet
* a Gallien-Krueger 400RB bass head
* a Tech21 SansAmp Tube Amp emulator (OK, to be fair, I already owned this)
* a SignalFlex Power Distributor and Rack Light
* an ART FXR Elite MultiEffect unit
* an Alesis 3630 Compressor/Limiter
* a rack box to hold it all in
* and a Sampson Wireless transceiver, because, you know, using a 20 foot cable would have been *so* ridiculously sensible for the reception hall we ultimately played in (LOL!).

Three weeks after this gig, I was laid off from the company I was working at, which ultimately meant I was laid off from the band, too (since it was made up of people who worked for the company). Well, that's OK; I have this totally awesome rig that I would be able to play in any band, in any place, at any time.

Fast forward seven and a half years... I have not played another gig with it, I have not joined another band as a bass player, I have honestly not even fired this entire sucker up in over four years. Truthfully, honestly, soberly, and with much reflection, this is the most eligible candidate for Shedding. It is time. We must follow through.

But dude, how will you get your most excellent groove on? Are you willing to totally sacrifice your bass? Nope, I never said I'd sacrifice the bass itself, just the arena rocking rig.

A funny thing has happened over the last 10 years or so... the electronics industry has done a lot with the miniaturization of gear, and now, there's an absolutely awesome direct line box that I can plug into any amp or PA system or, heck, into a pair of headphones if I want to. It's called a KORG Pandora, and yep, I own one :).

So what's the next step? Do I try to sell it in one fell swoop? Do I try to piece it out and sell the individual parts? What's a guy to do?

The first thing I need to do is try to find out ultimately what I want to do with these items. In the case of the bass rig, I have a good feeling that these items, because of their durability and the need for bass players to exist in modern rock music and other genres, will actually find a buyer. Since I'm looking at a sale up front, I next need to determine an approximate value for the items I want to sell. For this purpose, there are three fabulous resources:

The Starving Musician

Craigslist is my all time favorite selling interface, because I can deal with local people and have the local people check things out and not have to deal with having to ship to parts unknown (plus it gives me the opportunity to examine cash up front). Also, it’s a quick and easy interface to update and keep current, with little hassle.

eBay is great because it lets you see if other items have been posted and it can give you a general idea as to how much they might be worth today in other parts of the country (of course, an item is really only worth what someone else is willing to pay it for, but I digress). Down side is that it’s not real helpful when you have an item that’s not already being offered by someone else.

The Starving Musician is, quite possibly, the best place to get used gear that is up to spec and has been cleaned, checked out and confirmed to be working when you get it out the door. I have a long standing relationship with The Starving Musician shop down in Santa Clara, CA; many items over the years have made their way to me through them, so of course they are also a prime source to determine approximate value of an item.

Next step, checking everything and making sure it all behaves itself before offering it for sale (let's face it, it would suck if I went through all the effort only to find out something is broken). From there, I will make the decision whether or not to try to sell the whole rig, or sell individual pieces. I'd rather sell the whole rig, to tell the truth, but that requires someone willing to buy the whole rig. I guess we'll just have to throw out the line and see who bites :).

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