Penetrations Equipment Sidebar... for the gearheads.
I was also attached to my Guild Starfire bass guitar,
a short-scale bass with one pickup near the bridge; it didn't have much
fundamental in its sound (I think there must have been something wrong
with it, but I never found it), so I used a bass-booster box with it.
We played a gig at a high school in western Kansas, and during setup,
the Guild - which had no case - fell over and the neck fractured at the
headstock. Luckily, there was a Fender Precision in the band room
to play the gig with. I had the Guild repaired. Sometime in
late '73 I offed the Starfire and got a Fender Mustang bass, a big
At first, I was using a Sunn Sorado head with a Sunn speaker with two
JBL D140s. The Sunn, though a great amp, was only designed to
make 50 watts, so, later, we had an Ampeg
VT-22 combo guitar amp we didn't need, so we cut the speaker
portion off of it and used it as the bass head, making it the
equivalent of a V4B.
Darrell always used a Gibson
ES-345, which he bought for the
Penetrations, and a Fender Twin Reverb with JBL D120 speakers. The 345
is a stereo guitar, but he used a "Y" adapter with both cables plugged
into the single amp.
Darrell calls that Twin Reverb "the best-sounding amp I've ever used."
Brad started out playing Michael's RMI "Electra Piano" electric
keyboard, and I think we plugged it into a Traynor bass-instrument amp
with at first a Showman speaker; later, Brad would get a full-range
speaker with woofer and tweeter. The RMI had no touch control but it
DID have an organ sound. Brad didn't like it. At some point Brad
acquired a Leslie speaker and a Hammond M3 organ. That
was sweet, but carrying that rig up and down the stairs to the loft was
hard. The "late" Penetrations era saw Brad using a Fender Rhodes piano,
with no way to produce an organ sound at all.
Buddy, of course, played his blue-sparkle Ludwig drums with an
assortment of great Zildjian cymbals.
He had a custom design on his bass-drum head (the smudge wasn't there):
We started out with a Shure Vocal
Master PA. This was 100 watts, 6 mic inputs, and column speakers.
In late '72 or early '73, we acquired JBL 4530 scoops and horns. This was a BIG
improvement in our sound. We kept one of the Shure columns for use as a
We didn't have the best mics. Becky used an AKG D100, I used a Shure 55
(the "Elvis" mic, not that great); Buddy used a Shure Unidyne, and Brad
used a Turner 510. And we traded around from time to time.
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Copyright 2006 by Andy Curry