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Reggae Setups?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassBoyLeroy, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. I've recently got into playing reggae and reggae influenced ska, and I was wondering what setups are/would condusive (sp?) to a good reggae/ska bass tone. Specifically, I'm looking for:

    • Amps/Cabinets
    • EQ Settings
    • Basses
    • Pickups (?)
    • Anything else that might make a difference

    Im currently using an MIM Deluxe Active Jazz 4 w/ Rosewood 'board, an Ampeg SVT-II Pro, an Avatar b210 and b212, and for practice I use an Ampeg BA-115 combo. Suggestions on how to use my existing gear to improve my sound are greatly appreciated.


  2. I think most skka bassists use stingrays, there was currently a thread on ska bassist equipment.
  3. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    i've been playing ska, and reggae for the past 8 years (www.fabrudies.com) and I use an old Fender Bassman 135 tube head with matching 2x15. As for what bass I use I have used a Danelectro DC bass with flats, and currerently using a Fender Pbass 59' RI with flats, along with upright bass. I say found what works for you.
  4. Jim Jackson

    Jim Jackson

    Jun 19, 2004
    fender p bass. turn the bass al the way up on your amp and the highs all the way down. play with your thumb resting on the neck.

    reggea bitches
  5. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    Play on the fingerboard for overtones
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    The SVT/810 setup is a tried and true favorite but I've seen many shows where the player used other gear such as SWR, Eden, Mesa, Hartke. I've seen more 410's and 215's than 12's but that may simply be due to what was available at the time.

    FWIW, Robbie Shakespeare uses Warwick heads into a 410. Familyman plays an active Jazz into Eden heads with a 410 and a 115. The guy that used to back Ziggy Marley in the Concious Party/One Bright Day era got phenomenal results from a Trace Elliot rig. As far as basses go, reggae players have used a broad range of instruments, from Gibson EB-3s, Fenders (Jazz more than P), Steinbergers... basically whatever they feel like. Check out "the Reggae Movie" DVD to get an idea of the variety used.

    Ultimately though it has more to do with how you play than specific gear or radical eq'ing. Don't overdo the bass on the head becasue you'll just fart out. Rather, cut the mids a whole bunch (around 500 to 700hz) and cut the treble a bit less. Keep the pregain low while pushing the master pretty high. Play close to the neck and avoid digging in excessively.

    Also, I've found the Avatar horns to be a bit harsh. You may want to turn them off completely or leave one on just a touch for some definition.

    Good luck, have fun.
  7. I'd say if you don't already, play finger style with your thumb on the neck and your fingers going over the fretboard. Cut the high and high mids, turn off your horns, turn the tone nob on your bass all the way to the thump side. Also, definatly check out some Flatwound strings
  8. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I use a Jazz Bass and an SWR amp. Not in a band that plays all Reggae (we play ska and rock mostly) but I wish I was. Reggae bass is the best.

    I've actually found that turned the treble up high (about 3 o clock) and mids (same) and keeping the bass at lower (about 11 o clock) gives great reggae tone. And I don't play over the bridge. I like to cut through a little.

    Any settings that feature a more trebley amp setting? That is good with reggae of course.

    Listen to my band!
  9. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I would say that flatwounds are the most important element to start with. I've been playing reggae for almost 18 years, and I could never get the right sound with rounds, even if I EQ'ed out the highs.

    Reggae bassists have used all kinds of basses, pickups, amps, etc. I get a great reggae tone out of a semi-hollow fretless, Sansamp RBI preamp, Yamaha poweramp, and 2 Aguilar 1x12s. I also run my preamp into 2 Mackie active subs, which certainly helps!

    Playing reggae really is mostly about the feel. Don't push the beat or overplay, and learn to use space.