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Cheap Reggae Setup?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by groovejam, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    I am looking for a cheaper reggae amp setup. I would consider my max budget do be $650. My main use for this amp will be for jamming at home, and recording. I will not be playing any large gigs.

    I am mostly interested in reggae/dub bass sound, but have some interest in funk,jazz,ska and even alternative rock. I am not really sure what my best options are. I was looking at the Ampeg B-100r, the B-115, and the workingmans 15 combos. I have little knowlage in building affordable stacks. I have been profoundly influenced by Aston Barrett and know that he played with an Acoustic 370, which I have heard is cheap, but I don tknow where to find one. I also dont know of any cheap cab's that would be esp. good for reggae.

    I live in a small, isolated town, so buying used at a guitar center is not an option. I am pretty restricted to the internet. I would apreciate any response, and love a detailed one!
  2. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    those are interesting, i think I have heard others talk about those, do you have any experience playing with these for those styles of music?
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I think you can't go wrong with finding a used EB/MM Audiophile HD212. Huge value, can go as deep or as high as you want, and are pretty transparent. They sound like the amp you're using. I can't reccomend these cabs enough.

    Get a warm/tubey amp and/or warm bass, you'll be grooving all night.

    If I was going to do raggae on a budget, I'd get an HD212 (can be had for $400 shipped, from anywhere in the CONUS. Don't let anyone charge you more than $350 + $50 for shipping on one of these), and with the remaining money, I'd get a used head.

    Whatever you can afford, head wise, but I hear what a lot of raggae guys do (or was it dub? er...) would be get an Ampeg SVT head, and just absolutely crank it as loud as it would go, then use a super light touch to get some pretty happening tone at a reasonable volume.

    For a cheap head, I'd reccomend a Hartke.
  4. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Avatar is simply good, affordable stuff. Of the combos you are considering, I'd go with the B100r for the vintage tone. An old Acoustic amp won't be easy to find, but they do come up regularly. Actually, I just remembered BassNW was selling some Acoustic stuff - http://www.bassnw.com/usedamps.htm

    Basically, find a nice warm amp and a 1x15 or 2x15 cab. I assume you already have a Jazz bass, right?
  5. Though I never played raggae in a band, but I jammed to some raggae tunes with a drummer and a singer just for kicks before. I don't think I had Avatars at the time, but having played through Avatars I can tell you they are the best cabs you can get for the price. They are versitile, so long as you turn down the horn. I don't think you are playing with a horn for raggae? If you are its another $30 or so mod I think to get a better crossover. They are the best cabs you can get for raggae with your budget. Oh, get the Ashdown head special to go with it. I think the 212 or 210 and 115 would be enough, or perhaps the 410. They would all work.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Hey, I've played in a reggae band for years...and played in other Jamaican music bands (old, new, & 2tone ska, and rocksteady).

    For years I used an all around basic set up and got a variety of tones...from punchy for modern ska to fat and deep for roots & dub. For a bass, I'd suggest a Jazz style instrument. They've got the punch for the quicker stuff, but rolled back they can have monster low end.

    For cabs, I still think you can't go wrong with a solid 4x10 cabinet, but I'd avoid those aluminium cone Hartkes...If you're looking for something to push a lot of air, then maybe a 15 and a 4x10 would be a standard. Traditionally, I'd go for a tube head, but failing that, you want something warm with enough power to push boosted lows without clipping or distorting at loud volume...if there's one thing King Tubby taught us...it's that its all about the bass in reggae...LEAD INSTRUMENT....

    Anyway, for many many years I made a solid go of things using a Hartke 3500 and using only the 'tube' preamp. It was cheap and hardy and I just rolled off all the highs and boosted some of the lows.

    Currently, since the new wave of 12 inch speaker cabs are pretty freeeekin' good I'd look at one of these. I've been using an Avatar SB112 for my practice cab with my Mesa head and it's been plenty loud without any problems. I wouldn't want to use it in a loud volume setting by itself, but for small and medium volume applications its great. If you're looking for a single, think about the 2x12 Avatar.

    Before I ramble on more and such...why don't you PM me and I'd be happy to discuss things...

    Check out a couple of unmixed demo tracks of my band here:

  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA

    1 or 2 cabs that handle low end bump well and have a reasonable amount of low end to begin with, maybe even mid shy.

    roll off the treble (doing this with a passive tone control on the bass itself works the best IMO)

    if that's not dubby enough try cutting a bit of high mids or mids and maybe bumping some bass.

    tink "one drop", repeating two bar riffs, and riddim.

    54 46

  8. groovejam


    Apr 26, 2005
    There are several models of 4x10 on avatar. Anyone know the man differences? Also, I am a newbie to cabs, i would assume a 4x10 puts out more sound than a 2x10 or 2x12, but does it add to the quality or depth of the sound?
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    While you certainly can't go wrong with the ol' SVT (if I remember, SOB's in NYC usta have one for backline with the 8x10)...and many a live reggae sound has been made with an SVT, I've found that they've got too much aggressive mid to be terribly useable for roots/dub style...They're perfect for quicker punchy stuff a'la early 90's Toasters (Bucket kept one for band backline for whoever was playing at the time).

    Keep in mind that if you plan on playing any other types of Reggae besides oldies style 60bpm Barrett Bros. stuff, you'll want some punch.

    Most touring reggae bands I played with requested 4x10's for backline (along with Fender Twins and JC-120's for the guitars)...we used to open/provide backline for lots of these shows...
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Now somebody else has got my number.
  11. I'd get an SVT if I had $2000 sitting around...
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    way over budget, but i tink a cool reggae setup would be an eden wt300, 400 or 550 with one or two aguilar gs-112 cabs. when i had the 400 and one gs-112 that gave some nutty dub tones considering the warmth of both of those units.
  13. I don't think even the Eden is in the buget though...
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I'm hoping my dream reggae set up will be Mesa 400+ and Schroeder 1212.

    I'll find out sometime next week, with some luck.

  15. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Weren't those Cerwin-Vega folded horn 18"s the cab of choice for a lot of guys? The house guy at Mr. B's in St. Martin (Oyster Bay, right by the border) used one. Worked nicely.
  16. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Ever tried the 400+ with an Aggy 212 for reggae?
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Nope. The only place around here that carries any Aggy stuff is a place I won't support...

    I'm in the middle of downsizing my rig for easy transport, so I'm hoping the Shroeder 1212 will take care of the lows while also giving me some useable on stage mids. It's been years since I was in a band that did a lot of road time, but my current band is starting to get offers 5+ hours out, so the smaller I can go, the happier I'll be.

    In a PM i sent last night I mentioned that you could get a good reggae sound out of most gear, it's all about your hands, bass, and good control of the amp's tone. Those old Jamaican guys didn't have the money for gear...they got their sounds with whatever they could get their hands on.
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    18's are a bit of a nightmare by themselves...and I find them difficult inside due to their throw. They're also pretty power hungry. I think in most applications they're a thing of the past.

    (looks over shoulder to make sure there are no big ben users around)
  19. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Make sure you buy a dod fx25b for those dub moments

    Just play softly through it so the filter doesn't open instant booming lows.

    Never a bad thing

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