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SWR Black Beauty

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Freakapotamus9, Dec 5, 2002.


  1. Freakapotamus9

    Freakapotamus9

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Location:
    Nebraska
    anybody?

    ive never heard any word, good or bad, about the amp. never seen one other than on the SWR site either. surely somebodys got something to add about it.
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I've played through one. It sounded like, well ... it sounded like it had a 15 in it. The Super Redhead outperforms it in each and every respect. Even a Bassman 400 210 combo sounds much better.
     
  3. DigMe

    DigMe

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    interesting to hear that review from Munji. When I played the Black Beauty's predecessor when it first came out (remember when it used to be a "budget" combo called the Basic Black?) I basically had the exact same impression that Munji had about the Black Beauty. To me it's not just that it was a 15" driver...the pre just seemed unusually lifeless as well. At that time I was shopping around for combos and I ended up getting the Workingman's 15, which was actually about the same price or a little more at the time, because it sounded way better to me. Redhead kicked the crap out of it but I didn't have the money for that at the time.

    brad cook
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2000
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    1
    Location:
    Heber Springs, Arkansas
    Funny, my Basic Black sounds much better to me than any WM15 I have ever played through. Maybe I got a good one.

    I have not yet seen a Black Beauty in person.
     
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  6. whacker

    whacker

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan, USA
    Don't you think the Black Beauty was more of a replacement for the Silverado Special, since it's no longer around? That was a bear of a combo to lug around, but it basically has the same amp section as the Beauty and Sup. Redhead. Comments?
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    Naw...the Silverado was still around when the Basic Black was originally put out and the Silverado was just a different deal altogether. It had either 2x12 or (I think) 4x10 speaker setup, was much larger, and (to me) sounded way better. Mainly it was just a lot bigger.

    brad cook
     
  8. dmaki

    dmaki

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2000
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    I just played one today... I thought it sounded very nice, and the aural enhancer was helpful at shaping the tone. The Black Beauty also has a "sub-octave" effect that might be useful in some heavier situations... definately check her out
     
  9. amper

    amper

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    US
    I just played one today myself, and I was mightily impressed. I guess the "modern" predilection toward 10" drivers has resulted in a backlash aganist the 15"ers, judging from the other comments here.

    Personally, I don't like 10" drivers for bass. They so too bright to me. I can understand why some people like them, but they're not my preference.

    Maybe it was the amp I was playing through, but the Black Beauty sounded a little bit better to me than a Son of Bertha through a Mo' Bass.

    I also connected an SOB to the Beauty as an extension cab, as well as a Goliath Jr. Both worked very well.

    The only thing that would keep me from buying it is the fact that it's a combo--I like the flexibility of seperate cabs and amps. If I were looking for a combo, this one would be near the top of my list.

    As with any gear purchase, try before you bu--if you can't try, make sure the dealer has a friendly return policy Of course, you can't really tell what it's going to sound like with your group (if you have one) or in your normal playing space, but you'll be able to get an idea whether or not you even remotely like it.
     
  10. DigMe

    DigMe

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    I have nothing against 15's. I used to have the workingman's 15 and I really liked it a lot for a "second tier" combo. Now I happen to have a 4x10 but I still like 15's. My disdain for the original Basic Black had to do with it's lifeless tone to me. I was playing a Ken Smith through the one that I tried out so I know it wasn't the bass. Maybe it was a dud but it sounded so generic and lifeless that I couldn't imagine pulling any really good tones out of it. NOTE that this is NOT the Black Beauty which has considerably more power. I haven't played that one...I was just noting above that it wouldn't surprise me if that did end up sounding bad. It also wouldn't surprise me if it ended up sounding great honestly because it got a huge increase in wattage and well...it's SWR.

    Just thought it was somewhat interesting that Munji's dislike of the Black Beauty echoed my original impressions of the Basic Black 8 years or so earlier. Except that I don't think the 15" driver was at fault.

    brad cook
     
  11. amper

    amper

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    US
    Ah, I see...strangely enough, I recently played through a (used) Goliath III 4x10, and it sounded horrible, so I wouldn't be surprised if there actually was something wrong with the combo you played through.

    With the Goliath I played, every time I hit anything on the B-string, it would just fart out terribly. I was going through an SM500 at that store. I was thinking, I've heard so many good things about SWR that something has got to be wrong here. I went to a different shop and played through the Goliath III on their showroom floor, and I was blown away by the depth of sound.

    I'm actually thinking about changing over my entire setup from Trace Elliot to SWR--not that I think the SWR sounds better, but I've just been rethinking my signal chain, and I'm getting an Interstellar Overdrive/Power 750 setup. If I like the Stella better than my TE V-Type, I'll switch everything over just to match. I'm thinking of two Son of Bertha's, or maybe just a single Goliath III, but I hate moving 4x10's all the time.

    One big advantage of the SWR cabs as opposed to my TE's is that TE built all their cabs out of MDF, which makes them about 20 lbs or so heavier than the SWR plywood cabs--just enough to make them a bit annoying to move.

    If I had rehearsal space where I could keep my main rig, I'd definitely buy a Black Beauty to use at home. I really like the combination of deep bass from the 15 with the sparkle of the tweeter, which totally sidesteps the more midrange character of 10's, which I find too harsh for my tastes--even though I'm playing through a Trace Elliot 2102 and 1153 setup now (both tweeter-less).

    But then, I'm primarily a fingerstyle player. If I were more of a slap player, I'd probably love the 2x10's. One the other hand, the best 4x10 I've ever heard as far as bass extension goes was an EV 4x10 (no longer made and impossible to find used).
     
  12. DigMe

    DigMe

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    Aug 10, 2002
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    My WM-15 that I used to have had a hissy tweeter. I've heard this about other SWR products with tweeters (although I've found the Goliath III to be hissy-less in my brief experiences). I used to just turn off the tweeter but I got a good range from the 15 alone. I wonder if the SOB 15" has tweeter hiss. I've also found the Goliath III to be a pleasing cab with nice depth.

    brad cook
     
  13. amper

    amper

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    US
    yeah, I do have to admit that the tweeter in the Beauty was a bit hissy with the treble eq turned up, but I found that it still gave a pleasing tone with the treble just north of flat. Even with the hiss though, it would be hard to hear in a live setting with a loud band. of course, I find all active eq's to be a bit hissy with the treble...in basses and amps alike.
     
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lemme put it like this:

    mfff mfff mfff bmff bmff mfff mfff ...
     
  15. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Maybe a bad preamp tube or sumpin'?

    I just sold my Basic Black to a local studio engineer who had recorded me awhile back by plugging into its balanced output - he was pretty impressed with it - enough to buy it as a studio amp...

    Anyway, I agree with the 15" speaker complaint - with the sale of the Basic Black and the Basic 2-way that went with it, I'm 'totally tens' now in my gear :)
     
  16. DigMe

    DigMe

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    The balanced out doesn't have anything to do with the preamp. SWR just has quality DI's on their amps.

    brad cook
     
  17. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    You can select whether the (balanced and unbalanced) outputs send a direct or line signal - which means (to me) that there is a relationship between the preamp and the balanced out... I didn't mean to suggest that this could have been part of a bum Basic Black's problem... perhaps we misunderstand each other?
     
  18. Mesa Man

    Mesa Man

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Location:
    What most people call Sweden
    Hey Munji, you really oughtta get that beard shaved clean off! :D Can't hear a word your' saying! :eek: :cool:
     
  19. not78pbass

    not78pbass

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Colony, Tx
    I had a wondrful experience with the Black Beauty. It hdad character (which SWR usually lacks) and a broad [albeit single] tone. it was faster than most 15's, but no where near the GIII in tightness. For what it is, its perfect. C&W, RnR (covers or classic), and anythingthat deserves 15's, it fits the bill.

    But comparing it to a modern setup with 10's is a fault in and of itself.

    and yes, it weights a ******* ton!

    edit: mod. language
     

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