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Classic KT88 valve amps

'a piece of 600'

Valve amplification was the technology of choice to power speakers in the days before transistors, using classic valves such as the legendary KT88.  These amplifiers were heavy, unreliable (and unsafe) in the wrong hands, expensive and fragile.  But they sure sound good on sub duty.  Sounds and Pressure Lo Fi runs a wide selection of original vintage sound system amplifiers as well as accurate modern reproduction valve amplifiers to power the vintage style speaker stack.

Sounds & Pressure - a bit of background

Sounds and Pressure audio products are a range of audio equipment designed by Dr. Phillip Bush.  Driven by a long-time passion for vintage Jamaican music, sound system culture and DJing, he's been building sound system equipment since the 90's.  This all sat alongside a professional engineering career in the automotive industry, managing technology research and development departments for big companies, until in 2019 he decided a new career path was in order.  Now with the benefit of decades of multi-disciplined engineering expertise and experience behind them, Sounds and Pressure products are going forward. 

Our primary products are of course mostly analogue, for which we have a passion for.  Unlike most, we have the advantage of having built both digital and analogue preamps over the years and so feel well placed to comment on the pro's and con's of both.  Indeed our first digital preamp was built early 2000's purely as a development experiment.  But our passion and focus remains in analogue equipment and with the tonal creativity and warmth that such equipment provides.

So all of the equipment we sell has been extensively tested on our own sound system - Sounds and Pressure Lo Fi.  We specialise in older styles of music and particularly what was played in Jamaica from the 50's through to the 70's - that's US R&B, Ska, rocksteady and early Reggae for those who don't know.  The quality of this stuff was all over the place in terms of engineering and manufacturing quality.  Some of it was really good and some of it.... well, let's say not so good.  But Sounds and Pressure products are designed to get the absolute best out of these older tunes, in any format.  And if they can do this for those crappy old pressings, think what they can do for more modern formats and productions.

Sounds and Pressure Lo Fi sound system is still gigging of course.  We run a couple of sound systems - a high powered transistor rig (big switched mode amps, scoops, etc) and a traditional vintage style system running valve amps and vintage style speaker boxes ('house of joy' quads).  We will post some of our forthcoming events on this site and potential customers are always welcome to come along and see the current range of products in use in anger.


Dr Phillip Bush


The Preamplifier

'the heart of the sound'

The preamplifier, or preamp as it's more usually called, is a piece of equipment distinctive to reggae sound systems.  Many of the features found on more modern mixers and DJ equipment originated on these preamps.  Typically custom built to the sound system operators specification, these mysterious devices enabled sound systems to achieve their own distinctive sounds and to manipulate music real-time.  This preamp is a Sounds and Pressure custom product, using recycled 60's hardware to replicate period correct sound system equipment, as well as innovative circuitry to replicate valve amplifier tone, even when using more modern transistor amplifiers.


Vintage Speakers

'dropping weight' 

The speakers used on Jamaican sound systems back in the day were not available to purchase over the counter.  Everything was hand build using any materials available.  Wardrobes, old crates, anything was fair game.  Speaker drivers of choice were typically 100W 18" Goodmans when they came on the market.  The systems became huge.  10+ quad boxes (that's with four 18" drivers in each) were not uncommon in dances.  Sounds and Pressure Lo Fi has replicated one of these original massive systems and uses them regularly at dances.

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