Risks with ungrounded musical equipment

I'm familiar with musicians getting injured or killed during rain at outdoor venues, but my band will be playing a number of clubs beginning next month, and I'm wondering about the risks of incorrectly grounded circuits. These are all indoor situations, by the way. Hypothetical example: Let's say I use a circuit tester and find that the guitarist's amp is plugged into a correctly wired outlet, but the microphone mixer is not. There's no connection from his guitar strings to anything electrical, but there certainly is through the body of the microphone, and perhaps the stand itself. Is he at risk only if there are other problems within our equipment, or at all times due to the wiring faults at the outlets?
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 18:25:35 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

The strings are attached to the bridge, and the bridge is wired to ground, which travels back to the amp.
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 18:25:35 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

If you're working outside, get wireless mikes, and hire a competent theater tech to tour with you and do setup.
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wrote:

Indoors.
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The risks are at a maximum- easy death.
I believe you could build a couple of outlet strips with GFCIs that you could bring to your venues- or just by a GFCI-protected extension cord or 3. I think I've seen them home despot.
Dave
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outdoor
month,
use
equipment,
I'm not sure about any risks to human life, but problems with wiring can cause noises to show up through your speakers. You would especially hear things when you have a situation that you describe above.
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Doug,
Many musicians carry a cheap outlet tester because if one of you dies it spoils the show. Your strings are connected to your amp's ground. It would be nice if your amp was grounded. Even if it is you will be touching mike stands, mikes, and fellow musicians who may have defective grounding. Be sure that all of the bands equipment is ok. Always be suspicious of the house PA. And be sure that everything is plugged into the same circuit so there won't be ground loops.
Dave M.
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it
There's currently a thread going on in "alt.guitar.bass" NG " AC Power Issues in Clubs". Here's a couple posts:

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Got one of those circuit testers. Not only does it reveal electrical problems, but it also indicates where building inspectors are being paid off, usually with beer.
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Doug,
Now make it a term in your contract that the bar or whoever must supply "safe" electricity. That if you show up and the house AC is unsafe that you will be paid but not perform. Or go wireless. I'm sure you remember when many amps had the third prong of the power cord cut off because most bars did not have grounded outlets. This was very common in the 70s.
Dave M.
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Contract? Ha! Around here, unless you're playing festivals run by promoters or the city, everything's a handshake. It actually works well about 90% of the time.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

well you can typically feel the shock, so its not likely you will die outright. However, other problems arise. If polarity is reversed you can create 220v situations between equipment on seperate circuits I believe. This is espeically problem for your equipment because your equipment tends to all connect to each other sooner or later. You definitely want good solid grounds to eliminate the sometimes humm you can get from ground imbalances.
I would carry a tester with me. I would simply not plug into anything with reversed polarity. Open ground you can get away with if it sounds ok and you dont fall in any puddles :)
--
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 18:25:35 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

Getting fried trying to imitate Jimmy Hendrix can be a bummer. My suggestion is to buy several outdoor outlets that incorporate GFCI devices. I have seen them at Home Depot and Lowes, or you can make on up yourself.
We keep a few of them around because some of our remodeling jobs don't have GFCI's and it is a company policy that all tools must be connected to a GFCI device.
A GFCI should not introduce any noise into the circuit and it can save your life, even if the power source is not properly grounded or not grounded at all.
If your equipment trips the GFCI then you either have a fault in the equipment or there is a problem with the power being supplied to the GFCI.
If you go wireless, you can reduce most of the risk, but I would still not want to get zapped while turning off an amp.
Good Luck
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