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How to build a sound system for reggae / dub

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dubbed-up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2014 at 7:58pm
Originally posted by Saul Saul wrote:


their biggest downfall is the inability to delay freq. bands. 


Jo Red builds pre-amps with built in delays.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigSoundNorthWest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 8:35am
SAGE Preamps.
Built in delays, DSP etc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SouthwestCNC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 8:43am
Vocals are an important factor in reggae and dub. That's where either reflex or front loaded horns are favourable above 90hz depending on the amount of efficiency you require. A bph such as a hd15 or es18 etc wont sound great for reggae, great for kick bass for techno etc but have poor vocal reproduction.

Edited by SouthwestCNC - 07 April 2017 at 8:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cookie-dj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by SouthwestCNC SouthwestCNC wrote:

Vocals are an important factor in reggae and dub. That's where either reflex or front loaded horns are favourable above 90hz depending on the amount of efficiency you require. A bph such as a hd15 or es18 etc wont sound great for reggae, great for kick bass for techno etc but have poor vocal reproduction.


I don't agree here

ES18 is one of the best kick for roots/reggae I've heard. The general rule is to keep the vocals out of the kick bins, and kick range out of the mids.

You can't polish a turd!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 8:13pm
Originally posted by cookie-dj cookie-dj wrote:

Originally posted by SouthwestCNC SouthwestCNC wrote:

Vocals are an important factor in reggae and dub. That's where either reflex or front loaded horns are favourable above 90hz depending on the amount of efficiency you require. A bph such as a hd15 or es18 etc wont sound great for reggae, great for kick bass for techno etc but have poor vocal reproduction.


I don't agree here

ES18 is one of the best kick for roots/reggae I've heard. The general rule is to keep the vocals out of the kick bins, and kick range out of the mids.




Your method is the primary reason why many say Reggae Sound Systems sound like utter rubbish due to having tons of bass, excessive treble a no mids. How can you separate the two when male vocals can reach down to 80Hz and, the attack of the kick reaches all the way up to 1kHz?

Best Regards,


Edited by Elliot Thompson - 07 April 2017 at 8:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valve head777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 9:50pm
In the arena of soundsystem, you are not after a big hifi. You need to be able to stand next to a stack for 8 hours+. When low mid is amplified it becomes very tiring at soundsystem levels. Therefore low mid should be attenuated to suit.
I said STAND NEXT TO the speakers, as you do in reggae dances not necessarily in front as in a PA.
Many don't appreciate or understand the difference between reggae soundsystem and public address, hence modern reggae soundsystem now resembling pa.
And btw, my definition of a shit reggae sound, is having my head blown off be excessive kick bin volume.
A prime example is Dub Judah's tune Revelation news. This tune uses timpani on the intro. I've left a dance before because the operator couldn't reign in the kicks for this track.
Reggae bass should massage you, not knock your head off.

Edited by valve head777 - 07 April 2017 at 9:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 3:06am
Originally posted by valve head777 valve head777 wrote:

In the arena of soundsystem, you are not after a big hifi. You need to be able to stand next to a stack for 8 hours+. When low mid is amplified it becomes very tiring at soundsystem levels. Therefore low mid should be attenuated to suit.
I said STAND NEXT TO the speakers, as you do in reggae dances not necessarily in front as in a PA.
Many don't appreciate or understand the difference between reggae soundsystem and public address, hence modern reggae soundsystem now resembling pa.
And btw, my definition of a shit reggae sound, is having my head blown off be excessive kick bin volume.
A prime example is Dub Judah's tune Revelation news. This tune uses timpani on the intro. I've left a dance before because the operator couldn't reign in the kicks for this track.
Reggae bass should massage you, not knock your head off.



What you are saying sounds more to wards having a small sound system. Large Sound Systems will have their bass bins elevated (due to ground stacking) 6 feet in the air. So unless you are taller than 6 feet you are not going to be overwhelmed with a fatiguing low mid. However, you will be hit in the face with lots of bass standing next to a column.

For the past 40 years Reggae Sound Systems were judged on their overall sound quality at a distance. It is at that distance, where one can determine the strong and weak points of a Reggae Sound System.

Best Regards,



Edited by Elliot Thompson - 08 April 2017 at 3:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 7:40am
Originally posted by Elliot Thompson Elliot Thompson wrote:

However, you will be hit in the face with lots of bass standing next to a column.

for the die-hard bass-heads that is exactly the point and purpose LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valve head777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 10:42am
Here in the UK, a stack more often than not, is a row of bass with kick at head height. It's not the same as the US where your reggae dances seem to be held in stadiums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 11:11am

Originally posted by valve head777 valve head777 wrote:

Here in the UK, a stack more often than not, is a row of bass with kick at head height. It's not the same as the US where your reggae dances seem to be held in stadiums.


The Large Sound Systems in the UK follow the same principal I mentioned as well. It is only the smaller sound systems that fall into the category you are suggesting. 


Best Regards, 

Elliot Thompson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elliot Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 11:20am
Originally posted by bob4 bob4 wrote:

Originally posted by Elliot Thompson Elliot Thompson wrote:

However, you will be hit in the face with lots of bass standing next to a column.

for the die-hard bass-heads that is exactly the point and purpose LOL


Decades ago, I used to own 12 Scoops and it was common to have 6 - 8 Scoops per column. Four Scoops standing upright and, two laying on their sides perched on top. 


Best Regards, 

Elliot Thompson
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