reggae pre-amp wanted.

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Postby russ d » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:44 pm

"maybe im thinking about this too much or something but a "reggae" pre amp? what the hell is that? "


http://www.disciplesbslbm.co.uk/bslp6.html
this page has a pic on an old custom `barracuda` made pre-amp...

http://www.disciplesbslbm.co.uk/siren.html
on this page you can see a couple of jah tubby`s custom pre-amps...

toxic`s fist post has the link for mostec pre-amps...


these are all `reggae pre-amps`.. custom made for sound system use, whilst probably all of them do`nt use particularly high standard components (that would push the price way up !!) they are/were all made by guys with years of experience in reggae and sound systems, so things like the correct cut off frequencies and eq frequencies, as well as other features that have been required by sounds over the years are all there...the thing is they were originally designed way back in time when alternatives like dj/studio mixers and crossovers were less prevalent, especially to the owners of sound systems, and maybe even more especially financially available, like to get a decent mixer to do the things they wanted to do back then might well have been far more expensive than getting a bredren electrician friend to design and build something more usable for the sound... these days most people i have sold jts pre-amps to prefer the control they have in the one unit, and the overall sound they get compared to thier first alternative of cheap mixer and crossover (that usually they do`nt know how to set !)... as a last point, i think quite easy to overload a pre-amp, which in essence is a glorified mixer, and most mixers require good gain control, if not then distorted signal even before it reaches the amps, something i also think a lot of sounds suffer from !

oh, just lastly, the weakest link is the operator !!
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Postby massada » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:41 pm

Did anyone ever tried to upgrade its Jts pre amp with top quality components ? and how much can it cost to do that ?

Russ nice session in Grenoble on saturday ! nuff good dubplates !
Respect to you and Jonah !
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Postby humble » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:47 pm

Wish somone would build pre-amp that would have short-throw rotary knobs as cut outs, and have one knob that can cut-out both mids and highs together.

Thats all i want modified. Tired of asking tubbs to do one for me.
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Postby vibesmaster » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:20 pm

something ive always wondered is how comes you see a few barracuda power amps floating about but never a pre-amp? did barracuda mainly make amps ? how do barracuda amps(not pre amps) rate to a jts amp of a similar power?

:roll:
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Postby russ d » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:47 pm

thing is with big power amps, once you stop runnin sound you`ve no need for them, but a pre-amp you can set up at home and still run your tunes, for your own pleasure, thats why you do`nt see so many pre-amps, of any maker, floating about....

i think barracuda was making some lightweight (kg weight !) amps, different kinda technicals, channel one ran them, dunno who else, but it seemed to me they did`nt have the same weighty drop as tubby`s big amps, dunno about barracuda`s earlier amps tho...maybe east ten can come comment more on that...

i think any pre-amp builder has to have limitations to what they build, in the case of tubb`s who builds far more quantities of these things then it has to come in some standard form, for him to do anything different is more time and work... you could probably go to someone like mostec and ask him to build you something completely custom and to your design, i did, and i`m looking to get him to build me another custom pre-amp, to my design, so check him out humble, the guy is safe too.

i think some sounds have given pre-amps, inc jts ones, to other engineers to have some parts upgraded, you can imagine if changing every potentiometer (33 of them in jts standard pre-amp) then it can add a signifant ammount on top, its not big ££`s to anyone that was inclined to go for it still, but y`know tubbs pre-amps are very reasonabely priced, against most other builders, yet we still have nuff people moan about the price, so he uses standard parts, as do every other manufacturer, even in main industry, so to keep the price affordable to a larger clientelle... maybe if anyone wanted better parts and offered him the appropriate ££££`s to do it then he would !
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Postby vibesmaster » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:06 pm

respect for the reply russ :wink:
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Postby mskeete » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:58 pm

"i think barracuda was making some lightweight (kg weight !) amps, different kinda technicals, channel one ran them"

Yep, just before he retired barracuda was making class d bass amps. Some had switching power supplys and some had 'normal' supplies. I think most of them were around 2.5K or 3.6K. I've got a 3.6K version with two transformers that is supposed to "do the business" according to barracuda but I've never really tested it but it might get a test real soon maybe even this week....

The only thing I don't like is that it's a bass only amp and there's some sort of soft limiter circuit so that you can't push and get a harder sound from it (maybe that's a good thing)

Would be interesting to hear it against a tubby's 4K, same stack same place. No point comparing it to a 6K. I've heard a tubbys 6K on 8 bins against a tubbys 4K on 6 bins + a barracudda (one transformer version) on another 3 bins and the 6K took the mick. The boxes & speakers probably had something to do with it but not that much
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Postby humble » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:52 pm

Yes, much agreed there Russ.

Tubbys is pretty much standard in reference to his works now. He can roll them out in his sleep. I have asked him he did do s special customized pre amp for me years back but took him a year and 3 eternities to complete.

I also have one of his 4-way prototypes which i am using as main pre at the moment.

I contacted Mostec, and spoke with him yesterday, and he willing to work with me. He mention he has a new push-button switch for the cut-outs that he is working on which may be to my liking. And the price he gave for the 4 way is reasonable also.

ONly thing is , i have not heard a sound use his pre-amp. Besides your custom one from him, how do you rate his to tubbs 4-way preamps?

respks
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Postby russ d » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:54 pm

humble, well as you can imagine my mini pre-amp from mostec was custom built to my features and for use when i play on pa / club systems...as such it differs from what he would regularly build for sound system use, all i can say is it does its job and has a clean sound... i know of two sounds that i think have his 4 way pre-amps, messenger sound in scotland and zion gate in france, i`ve not personally heard either sound since they had them, zion gate said he was happy with his one, messenger said when he tested his he liked it, although he also told me later that he wasn`t sure about the clean-ness of sound, but this partly due to him using barracuda pre-amps for many, many years, and barracuda`s had certain different features and a kind of characteristic sound that he could get on it, so that opinion from someone very used to what he previously had and not a dis of the mostec one...

in my opinion i think you should be able to get the exact same sound from any particular pre-amp, in the past i`ve setup my old barracuda against a new jts one and could make them sound the same, i`m sure i could do with the mostec, similarly with any other make of pre-amp, the main difference is not in the overall sound but the features of each pre-amp, maybe in particular the special features like wether standard eq or parametric eq, and the filters, and then maybe just how its all laid out and perhaps its cutoff frequencies will be a determining factor....

the point these days is that a decent sound should have quality amps and speakers, and the correct ratio between them, after that the pre-amp is just the control system to deliver the correct sound to those amps and speakers, as such it should not really impart too much of its own character... when you set up a sound you should find some tunes that you are sure are of a decent quality to test with, with such you should find you`d barely need to apply much in the way of eq, just a balance of bass / mids and tops (maybe low mids too, if running 4 way) the rest of a pre-amps eq is for a bit of fine tuning, and more for the operator to adjust in a mixing kind of way during a dance, like at the points you really want to boost more bass to make the crowd go crazy, or swish up the mid filter for effect etc.
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Postby Sir Bellyas » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:26 pm

Yeah, well in my... oops! Techie post, I'm outta here!
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Postby humble » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:42 pm

Agreed again Russ, the speakers are the heart of any good system, and the pre just helps enhance them.

I guess, what i am getting at is why should i leave tubbys pre amps and deal with mostec?

Guess the only answer is that mostec is more willing to customise it to my personal specs far more then tubbs would. I am willing to work with him on a preamp and see/hear the outcome.

Also, the fact that so many guys want to buy some of my existing JTS preamps over here in the states, i want to look for something different also. And mostec seems like a good choice at this time to persue.

I wonder if he builds digital delays also, i saw this sound over here with a customised feature that i would like to implement in my own delay. I will have to speak to mark more on this.

Respek for the input still

HT
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Postby russ d » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:04 pm

do`nt know if mostec builds delayers... out of interest i know that another builder `lincoln` builds pre-amps with inbuilt delayer, but i think it a bog standard foot pedal circuit board for it, does a job but seemed very fiddly on the pre-amp i saw !
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Postby humble » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:11 pm

yeah what i am looking to do is build a delay with a rotary knob for the "hold" function. So as to avoid the "clink" when you push in hold. I love my HH analog unit, but want a digital box to compliment it also.
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Postby rez » Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:06 am

humble.... I would argue that POWER AMPS are the heart of any system and that the thinking which you put forward, that they are less important than speakers or "pre-amps" (processing equipment) is what leads alot of sounds to not sound as good as they could... 90% of sound setups I see (in Ireland not talking bout proper reggae sounds) are using inferior quality amps with insufficient power output to make the most of their speakers... people just don't seem to realise the important of high quality amps and headroom...

On the whole "reggae pre-amp" thing what exactly is the benefit sound wise with having one of these as opposed to off-the-rack commercial gear. I can see how having knobs like the JTS units makes things easier to change quickly in a dance compared to using say a DBX Driverack or something but for a few hundred quid you could easily get separate EQ, Compressor/Limiter and Crossover units with rotary knobs (and of course signal level/clip lights!) from commercial producers. So what is the advantage to the JTS style units?
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Postby russ d » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:48 pm

without it just being about `jts` pre-amps, the point of a pre-amp is that it is an all in one control box that gives you `the reggae sound system` sound... yes you could quite concievably put together parts from `commercial` gear (why is jts not seen as commercial !?) but you`d have to have far greater knowledge and technical abality to get it sounding right than if using such reggae pre-amps... you may say for yourself that you`d be quite capable of doing so but i can tell you not all sound system operators, experienced or novices, can get a sound to sound good, i can imagine many novices being mind boggled at setting crossover frequencies, let alone dealing with equalisation and the whole wiring up scenario... pre-amps have been in use on reggae sounds going back to 60`s, why change a good thing just to make your setup with shoddy cheap behringer gear !... you can`t run a sound on pennies, its not like in 70`s (like in babylon where they`re nicking tannoys from a local school for their set) these days its a far greater and more technical thing, especially if your gonna take your sound into the arena with another sound, if you got crap gear and they got good, your gonna be mashed, look a joke and flop yourself bad !

a little `but`... a pre-amps features like cutouts, filters etc are probably more suited to roots and dub sounds, more so than a sound running in a ja dancehall style, dancehall sounds do`nt really need to be dubbing it up live with filters and fx, they do`nt need to be mixing off tops and mids to rumble the bass to excess etc etc... so it might depend on what kind of sound you are as to wether you would need one.

good amps, good speakers, good cables, good mixer....but most of all .. a good ear !
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