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REGGAE / DUB GEAR, ETC.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by acrofts, Mar 7, 2006.


  1. acrofts

    acrofts

    Apr 16, 2004
    I'm not exactly sure which category this post should fall under, so here goes- I am really getting into reggae / dub bass as of late and was wondering if any of you have any suggestions as far as bass / pickup / strings /amp / effects combinations, tecnique, or anything else that makes a real fat, solid dub sound. I play a '62 p-bass with an Aguilar DB659 preamp and an Epifani 310 cab. This sounds great, I am just wanting to hear some different opinions from more experienced reggae bassists out there.
     
  2. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Virginia
    i do alot of dub live and in the studio...
    i like lots of power and 18" speakers to get the massive going on..
    been renting front-loaded jbl subs, but will be purchasing a nice solid cab soon. i use a dbx 120xp sub synth for bass and other sounds, run in my rig with a mixer off an aux. i also use the old dod fx25 for big bass drops. i suggest checking out some sly and robbie records:
    reggae greats, dub factor, brutal dub....
    dub is really about a production style, predecessor to hip hop,
    drum n'bass, and modern re-mixing.
    it's not only about sound, but feel.
    obviously by my listening suggestion, i'm into the electronic era but it goes back much further into producers like king tubby and lee scratch perry.
    robbie shakespeare is amazing, tight minimalistic lines that really anchor a tune even when everything else is stripped away.
    in an old interview in bp he was using a paul reed smith bass w/flatwounds.
    there's alot more, i'm sure others wil chime in soon,
    some probably flaming 18's 'cause they are not "hip" right now, but for me there's nothing like 'em.
    in the end, it's about the feel and the pulse, and that irreplaceable
    solid line.
    cheers
     
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'd be happy to step up and flame 18's.

    I've played Reggae and Jamaican music for many years now and have never had the need of 18's. For most of my time I've used 4x10's and a variety of heads. Lots o' reggae guys also play SVT/8x10 combos. Unless your vibe is early 70's 60BPM reggae, then 18's are too slow. Faster Sly & Robbie, Roots Radics or other 'modern' reggae is often in need of a certain amount of response. The last time I played with they Sagitarius guys, their bassplayer had a bunch of mids and punchy 4x10 sound.

    That said, don't concentrate on your gear. Real reggae sound comes from how you EQ your sound and how you play your bass. The ol' guys in Jamaica didn't have the luxury of being picky with gear...they played what they could find and just learned how to tweak their sounds. Dub is in the mix...
     
  4. paulodumb

    paulodumb

    Jan 16, 2006
    ypsilanti, mi
    I keep the tone knob on my bass rolled all the way down, and on the amp I turn the bass way up. If I have a knob that lets you shift the frequency of the mids, turn that all the way up and your bass tone will get so much deeper.
    I use a few different basses, strung with flats or rounds, but that's how I get my dub/reggae sound with every one of them.
     
  5. Saying 18's are too slow is just like saying 410's can't go low enough. Sometimes it's true, most of the time it isn't.

    I like the 18's I've used for a thick and meaty tone, no tweeter. Passive pups on the bass, tone knob definately rolled all the way down. Check out the Italia Mondial bass, it's got good dub tone.
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Thanks, Joshua...Its the truth of things as far as I can tell. I've seen countless bands and the variety of gear and types of basses are endless.

    My personal experience from sharing the bill with a bunch of different bands (and also providing backlines for more than a few of them along the way) is that they traditionally ask for a 4x10 for the bass along with a head of at least 300w(tube) or 500w (SS). For guitar amps, the two standard requests are Fender Twin or JC-120.

    I've also been on the road with a 4x10 & 1x15 and it's nice too, but unneccessary. Let the PA do the work.
     
  7. Is it a Talkbass foul to revive (even if only for a short time) a very old thread ?

    For my part, I can get my tone with my hands, bass and long cord. I've used: an Aguilar AG500sc with a pair of GS210's by itself and then I've also connected a powered sub with the rig, Aguilar DB 680 with a fEARful, Eden Navigator with a fEARful, Ashly BP-41 with a fEARful, Yamah PB-1 with a fEARful, Aguilar TH500 with a fEARful and very soon an Aguilar DB 659 with a fEARful.

    The AG500sc gave me a very warm tone. It was always easy to plug and play with that one.

    I had a whole lot of fun with the powered 18" sub when connected to the above Aguilar rig. It had very nice character in the low end. It was a bass massage. But because I connected it in tandem with a full range rig it became difficult to tame sometimes - balance out the 10's and the 18. So I sold it and the Aguiilar rig to fund a fEARful 1515/66.

    It was the fEARful "66" that permanently concreted my confidence in my tone from my hands, bass and long cord. This cabinet is the one for me. It is ideal for Reggae although I do eq it quite a bit. I might have an easier time eqing my 66 if it had Alpha Lights instead of 18 Sounds. The 18 sounds could probably cut diamonds with their tone. I have an Alpha Light in another fEARful stack that are p e f e c t.

    The DB 680 sounded very nice too but believe it or not the eq just barely afforded me enough control. This really really puzzled me. But I was able to make it sound super nice with lots of experimentation. I will always have a lot of respect for the DB 680 but I found a good home for mine.

    The Navigator which I still have sounds great with the 66. I can really dial up the tone just right. I probably don't need to rock the preamp boat.

    I'll have a DB 659 pretty soon. It should be very good. It will be compared to the Navigator. May the odds be forever in the Navigator's favor.

    Funny thing is, all my gear flipping happened after I joined TB in about 2010 when I sold off the above Aguilar rig.

    With all due respect the Ashly and Yamaha above just did not sound strong enough for me.

    The TH500 sounds very good but it's a backup for me. It actually runs out of power on long, clean, low notes (yes it does, we all know what that sounds like in the moment). But I fixed that on a gig with a quick knob twist. And to "kick a reluctant horse" (with all due respect) they might consider doubling the power and expanding the eq section to match that of the DB 680. The power switch would need to be on the front panel and rack mounting needs to be an option. Still, the TH500 is very good just the way it is.

    Irie. And to add to what Burning Skies typed above I'll say that another part of the role of bass in Reggae is the player's Love for the music.