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Good Combo for Reggae Set-up?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by James1971, Mar 25, 2020.


  1. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    G'day Gents,

    This is my first post here. Been guest lurking for a while ....awesome resource...and thanks to all OPs who have contributed.

    I am getting into playing reggae on my bass and recently bought a 2nd hand Ampeg MICRO-VR HD Classic Series Micro Bass Amp Head (200 Watts @ 4 ohm)....I am just a bedroom enthusiast and have only so far used it with a DI box thru my soundcraft desk. I wanted to have a a go recording it mic'ed up using a Shure SM57 using a cabinet.

    So my question is would an Ampeg SVT210AV speaker cabinet (2 x 10) or an Eden EX112 sound best. I am guessing the Ampeg .....it is $579 AUD compared to $389 AUD for the Eden but it would be nice to hear back from anyone who has possibly used the combo or has experience with a traditional reggae bass sound say ala Family Man Barret which is what I am going for. He used an Eden or 2 so I have heard....obviously a lot bigger set up :)
    Thanks in advance.

    cheers

    James
     
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    By "combo," it is clear from your post that you meant "combination," not"combo amp." The thread title is a bit confusing. You can edit it.

    You will likely get some replies that don't catch that.
    In any case, I think it matters very little which cabinet you use, as long as it is reasonably clean down in the low mids.

    The Micro Bass head is nice, and quite honestly, I'd consider processing a nice clean fat signal once it is tracked.
    The real issue, IMHO, is what the line you play is like, and how you articulate each note. Reggae likes space, and plenty of contrast between short note values and long. Avoid being too busy, but that doesn't mean 16ths don't have their place.

    Most of all, remember you are, as the bassist, second only to the vocals in importance in the texture. Build beautiful lines that aren't too short. Reggae often uses repetition of 2 bar ideas, though plenty of counter examples exist.

    It seems like the Ampeg is a good match for that head, reggae or no reggae.

    Welcome to Talkbass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    James1971 likes this.
  3. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    Thanks for your detailed reply Jim. Much appreciated.
     
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    And pick up an HPF to protect the speakers.:thumbsup:
     
    James1971 likes this.
  5. GrassBass

    GrassBass

    Sep 4, 2018
    Argentina
    i can tell you what i found best for reggae: Ampeg 1x15, good compressor and play with the tone knob (0% is a great choice). Avoid the bridge pickups too. Anyway, reggae music is make feel reggae, and thats the key, above the equipment, thats why you will find variety in the rigs.

    Anyway, more “bassy” is general the right choice for reggae, i use a 70s Fernandes with a SD SPB1 and flats, Markbass compressore (Dédalo Gorila and EBS Multicomp made great job before too) and an Ampeg BA 115.
     
    James1971 likes this.
  6. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Given those two choices, I'd go for the Ampeg, mostly because of it's (theoretical?) SVT sound, which is pretty ubiquitous in reggae, and also because it pairs up nicely with your amp. Something to consider is that the Eden is rated at 4-ohms, which would enable the use of your (somewhat) limited power more efficiently. OTOH, if you think you might want to pair the Ampeg 210 box with another one at a later date, you'd be able to do that because it's an 8-ohm cab. Of course, at that point, you'd be wanting to get a bigger amp, so maybe that doesn't need to be a consideration now.

    So yes, you'll be glad you have a cab to go with your amp, but I'm not so sure you'll find mic'ing the cab to be all that rewarding. Sure, it will work, and can give you sounds you won't necessarily get with a DI, but IME/IMO it's not really worth the effort/inconvenience if you're just recording tracks in your bedroom. Still, YMMV and it's fun to try different things out, so enjoy! :D
     
    James1971 likes this.
  7. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    The 2x10, adjust tone as needed but be careful on
    volume when you boost the low frequencies.
    Welcome to TB
     
  8. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    WOW Thank you all for your detailed and informed replies; from playing tips to amp, cab and effects recommendations and settings. I am definitely thinking just get the 2 x 10. All you guys have been infinitely helpful; your a credit to a great forum. Glad I finally joined now. Cheers, Seb.
     
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Might add another thought here—if you decide to perform live with that Ampeg head and a 210, you could add another identical 210 if and when the ensemble and venues call for it. With the 4 ohm Eden, it would not be possible to add another cabinet, as the resulting 2 (or 2.7) ohm load would be lower that the minimum load (4 ohms) the head can handle. I think that was pointed out somewhere above. Stacked vertically, two 210's make a formidable array.

    The Eden 115 is no doubt fine, but I would not choose a speaker based on diameter. I'm not saying the Eden is not "better for lows." It may or may not be.

    Rather, my point is that performance and tone are not very much shaped by speaker diameter. That was somewhat so in days of yore, but new driver technology and better cabinet design have made speaker size unusable as a gauge of tone or performance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    Bassdirty likes this.
  10. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    @ Jim Thanks again for your advice. I dont think I will be playing out anytime soon but good to know the 2 x10's can be stacked and powered by the Ampeg head I already have. Also, thanks for clearing up the speaker diameter thing for me. I was still of the belief that this was the case. The 3 factors for the consideration of the EX112 over the SVT 2x10 was slightly bigger speaker diameter, cost and of course a favourite of the family man lol. Still love the trad sound of old school reggae bass!
     
  11. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    Sounds like you're putting the cart before the horse (or maybe putting the wrong horse before the cart). I assume you're recording digitally? It can be cool to record bass with an amp, but what you're doing just sounds like way too much trouble to me. Rather than try to tailor your amp sound for recording, I think you'd be better off recording the bass direct and getting the sound you want inside the box with EQ, amp simulator and other plugins. You'd have a lot more control in the mixing stage, and these days there are a lot more tools to get you close to an actual amp sound, including the option to reamp a direct track.

    Maybe you have gone that route already and found that it doesn't work for you, so if that's the case and you do really want to record an amp rig, I'd suggest a mic other then the SM 57 that is more suited to capturing low end sources, like an AKG D112 or a Shure Beta 52A.
     
    James1971 and Stumbo like this.
  12. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    And as for playing reggae, a major part of doing it well is in the touch, phrasing and attitude more than the gear you're using. Especially the overly bottom-heavy tone, which is not a requisite part of the equation as much as you might think. A Jamaican bass player once gave me a valuable bit of advice - always feel the "heartbeat" as the foundation of your groove as opposed to locking to an 8th note grid.
     
    James1971 likes this.
  13. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    @ ad9000 Thanks for your detailed replies ....its very much appreciated. Especially the recommends for a Shure BETA52A. I have a strat which I record using the SM57 mic'ed up to a Roland JC-22 and I record into a Soundcraft L7ii this goes thru a focusrite 18i20 into a mac running Logic Pro for recording. I use ITB drums, organ, piano and sax but I often route back out thru the board as I like using outboard gear ..... I have a Lexicon PCM91 for reverb which I like and quite a lot. I record then send out the tracks/stems to my analog desk and dub them up live with my outboard gear on effects sends. I suppose I could do more ITB but I like doing things this way...its fun and it sounds better to me. I realise there is only so far you can go with gear to get an authentic sound its all about playing technique which I am yet to master but having fun trying to get there ;-)

    I know this may not be the correct place to ask and I will move it along if told to do so. I have picked up a nice second hand jazz bass Mighty Mite Neck / Squier Vintage Modified 70s Body and wanted to get some flatwound strings for it.
    I am told by the guy I bought the bass from that I need long scale strings and that if you put a heavier gauge set on any bass, there will be more tension and there would be more relief in the neck, possibly needing a truss rod adjustment to set the action again.....which I do not want to do just yet.
    I have no experience buying strings for a bass so I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for Flatwounds to get the type of sound I am after and if a light or medium gauge would be ok. I particularly liked the sound of some Ernie Ball Hybrid strings I heard on a reggae / jazzy demo online but I have no idea if they are cobalt or nickle or the gauge used. So many choices there lol

    Again I do realize that playing technique is the most important factor in the equation here but if there are strings that will help me get there I am all ears.

    Thanks in advance Gents.
     
  14. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Before you spend any money on another dynamic mic, I suggest you go ahead and try using your SM-57 for recording. I've used SM-57s for nearly 50 years, and Beta-52's since they were first introduced; in spite of the marketing, I doubt you will hear much difference in the LF response between the two of them. Inside the monstrously large and awkward shell of a B-52, you'll find a mic element that looks remarkably similar to the one in a SM-57 or SM-58. The D-112 is likewise not all that great a mic, in spite of having a reputation for being a good kick drum mic; I have one to fulfill riders, but I don't know any pros who prefer it to a Shure. If you think you need a specialized mic for recording your cab, I recommend spending more money and getting a Sennheiser MD-421 or an EV RE-20; otherwise, your 57 will be fine.

    As far as strings go, I love my T-I Jazz flats, but they're low tension and thus would likely require a truss-rod adjustment, so I'm not much help there. I wouldn't be too concerned about adjusting a truss-rod though; it's not that big of a deal.
     
  15. James1971

    James1971

    Mar 25, 2020
    @Redbrangus
    Thanks for the tip. I got the Shure SM57 as a good all-rounder and for sure I will be trying it on my bass when it gets here....hopefully early next week. Thats also for the advice on the flatwounds. Stiil trying to educate myself on them....never thought it was such a complex issue ...well you live and learn. Cheers.
     

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