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 improvement.

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.   Great amp.

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):

Bud's bass drum head design

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 monitor speaker. 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