On Saturday night I was performing and doing sound for an event with about 15 acts. We started at 6:00 pm and wound up about 9 hours later. The area I were servicing as perhaps 2500 square feet in the main space, seating 150 people. There were another 100 in a remote area.
I had six L1®s on the stage
2 Model IIs
We started with several solo acts, then duos, another solo, then a five piece ensemble, a four-piece country/bluegrass band, then four more solo singer songwriters.
Near the end of the night we had a classic rock band on the stage. They were adamant about using their own backline amps.
I have worked with them before and they are LOUD. While they roll in their gear the volunteers remove the chairs and roll up the carpets. It's been a great concert and now it's time to partay!
The band is known for pushing the limits and this means running the L1®s pretty hot and much closer to the brink of feedback than I like. I show them how to use the T1®s to control their volume and to dial in effects ("It ain't classic rock without effects!"), the mute and FX mute buttons. We all agree that the band is now in control of the sound. I stepped back and let them have the stage.
About 90 seconds into the first song there is an incredible shrieking noise. It is nothing I had ever heard come out of an L1®. There is a moment (an eternity) where everyone but the lead vocalist / guitarist looks at me like - "Hey Sound Guy fix this!". I'm looking back at them "It's not my gear". The lead vocalist / guitarist is wailing away, oblivious.
I leap to the stage and I'm bobbing and weaving using my ear like a metal detector trying to find the warbling high-pitched scream. It is NOT the L1®s. It IS the Lead Guitarist's stack. I point that out to the Bassist (the leader of the band) and he shakes his head in disbelief.
I bend down to mime ("Hey - you can hear it right here!"). He bends down too and touches one of the controls on the amp. The shrieking gets louder and he jerks upright recoiling at the sound. As he's coming up he whacks me in the head with the headstock of his Bass.
As I'm reeling backwards from the blow the Bassist turns down the Guitarist's amp. Yup that was it. I'm hearing this little voice in my head, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye". The point of impact was ¼ inch from my left eye.
Later the Guitarist says, "Oh yeah, that happens when I'm running too loud with the flanger on."
They fill the dance floor, but within half an hour the room is all but empty. They have pushed people into the remote room and outdoors. I wonder why they seem unaware that they are playing to an empty dance floor.
By this point I've been examined by a doctor who was in the house, and strangely, a lawyer too. I'll be fine but, "Yeah, that's going to leave a mark". A quarter inch to the right and it would have meant a trip to the hospital. I was lucky.
Later: Nursing my wound with an ice pack.
Out of curiosity, I put in my ear plugs and pull out my sound pressure level meter. I venture into the near-empty room. At 20 feet from the stage it is sitting steady at about 115 dB. (Joel - that's C weighted). The L1®s for vocals and 12 string guitar are keeping up with everything else just fine.
The next day my head is ringing. I'm not sure if it was the aural assault or the head bashing battery that was the cause.
Edit: point of impact.