SWR SM 400 Settings Thread

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by 3mrhythm, Jan 11, 2013.


  1. 3mrhythm

    3mrhythm

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester, NH
    Okay.. i'd like to see what others are using for settings since i havent really been able to completely hone in the sound i'm looking for.. i'm guessing others could benefit too..


    Here is how you should post.

    Example

    Bass: Washburn force abt 5
    Active/Passive: Active
    Finger/Slap/Pick Style: Fingerstyle
    Cab: EV115 Custom Flightcase cab
    High/Low Input: Low

    Picture of Settings:
    [​IMG]

    Thoughts:
    My bass has 4 knobs. Volume, High EQ, Low EQ and Pickup Blend. I usually have volume about 95% up, Pickup Blend about the same High EQ at mid point and Low EQ just below mid point. If I bring the Low EQ knob any higher i start to breakup and distort. The settings that I have right now sound really good and i can play as hard as i want and arent getting any breakup. But.. I think i might want to tool around for a little more headroom.





    Active Bass:
    3mrhythm- Washburn Force ABT 5 Finger Style (Revised Settings)
    odineye- Warmouth Jazz Finger/Slap


    Passive Bass:




    Here is the template to save you some time . just copy and fill it in!

    Bass:
    Active/Passive:
    Finger/Slap/Pick Style:
    Cab:
    High/Low Input:

    Picture of Settings:

    Thoughts:
     
  2. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    Great idea! I'm interested to see what settings others are using as well. I'll get a pic and post tomorrow evening.
     
  3. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    I'm curious. Have you thought of or tried plugging into the high gain input? I ask because you say your looking for more headroom and, the high gain is where the second stage of the tube kicks in and when the aural enhancer really begins to shine.
     
  4. The Nameless

    The Nameless

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    +1 for above! I never use the 15db padded "active" input. Shoot, I run my Jazz Deluxe 5 thru a BK Butler Blue Tube OD an then into my "passive" jack. Still run my gain at about 1 o'clock before clip light hits. Lotta headroom in the older SWR pres.
     
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  6. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    Bass: Warmouth jazz body with Basslines SMB-4d MM style P/U and STC-3M3 pre-amp
    Active/Passive: Active
    Finger/Slap/Pick Style: Finger/Slap
    Cab: 2 Goliath I, reloaded with 8 ohm Eminence 1040s and the horns set at about 35%.
    High/Low Input: High

    [​IMG]

    Thoughts: I'm running from the sm-400's effects out into a QSC RMX 1450, which has a high pass filter set at 50hz. The bass I run with the volume full on, Bass at 65 to 70% Midrange at 50% and treble at 50%. These have pretty much been my settings for the 24 years I've been using this amp and (even in the original configuration of sm-400's power section and stock Goliath I speakers) I've always enjoyed a full, clear tone, with plenty of headroom that has never been lost in the mix but at the same time was not competing with or overwhelming other players... Unless I turned that master up really really high. :p

    The nice thing I've found with this setup is; You can plug a variety of different basses in and with, at the most, minor changes in gain it does a great job of letting the individual character of each instrument shine through.
     
  7. 3mrhythm

    3mrhythm

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester, NH
    Okay Odineye i used your settings as a starting point and really was able to tighten things up.

    Bass: Washburn force abt 5
    Active/Passive: Active
    Finger/Slap/Pick Style: Finger
    Cab: EV1 15 custom cab
    High/Low Input: HIGH

    Picture of Settings:
    [​IMG]

    Thoughts:
    Vol 95%, Blend 45%, High EQ 50%, Low EQ 45%
    I just put on fresh cobalt strings.. idk why i went so long without changing strings.. lol sounds sooo much better..

    I basically started with odineyes settings and found a good point of clarity and volume without getting the low farty noises. I found most of the fartiness was from the low eq on my bass.. i turned that down and things were a lot more consistent.

    I made some video recordings.. just with my ipad.. they came out pretty good.. definitely appreciating the tone..
    I did three short clips.. Slap, finger and some slower pretty sustained stuff.

    Slap Style
    http://youtu.be/bi65EetVR1U

    Finger Style (bass line notes from one of my bands song.. played a little different)
    http://youtu.be/X7FdreMJrLw

    Sustain strumming pretty thing:
    http://youtu.be/atmFFMXiWYc




    I'm going to rock these settings at the next show practice and see i how well i cut through.
     
  8. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    Cool deal, glad it seems to be working for you. I do think one of the big mistakes a lot of players have made with this amp is equating the high gain low gain inputs of the sm-400 with the passive active inputs of a lot of other amps. Not realizing that by doing so, they're not using the whole tube or getting the full benefit of the Aural Enhancer, and then wondering why the amp doesn't live up to the hype. Of course, I'm one of the few that believes the AE is one of the best features on this amp.

    Looking forward to hearing how it works out live.
     
  9. 3mrhythm

    3mrhythm

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester, NH
    the biggest issue i was having with this amp was the breakup..it would cause me to be frightened to turn the amp up more thinking i was going to blow the speaker.

    but backing off the low eq on the bass and backing the bass knob down on the head really helped get rid of that.

    i use a line 6 m13.. so i was able to play and loop part of one of our songs and fine tune as it was playing so that i didnt have to focus on two things at once.. I am able to max the volume now without the breakup and farty noises.. lol


    i originally got this amp in a trade.. I traded my parker pm20 that i paid like $400 for. I got the amp, flight case for the amp and the 15" ev custom cab that was built into the flight case.. Definitely a solid trade. I've been thinking of selling the sm400 and grabbing something else.. like an orange 1000 bass terror or something.. but the more i read on the sm400 the more i was thinking i should try to play with it some more. People rave about these amps.. one guy i was reading said he thinks its one of the best amps to date..

    I imagine i'll try to fine tune a little more as time goes on.. but hopefully this thread will be beneficial to the other sm400 users.
     
  10. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    +1 on using a loop to tune an amp. Every once in a while I like to do the same thing. Fire up the DAW, run a line from the interface to to amp input and hit play. Nothing more fun than sitting back and listening to yourself play through your rig without touching a string once in a while.

    I'd say you made a pretty solid trade there, and I think you'll be glad you at least gave it one more try. I'm not one to say the amp I use is the one everybody should own, but... I've owned and heavily used the sm-400 for 24 years now. In that time I've auditioned A LOT of other amps, and never once thought of giving this one up. In fact, during a couple of short periods when this was out of commission for one reason or another, I found myself seriously jonesing to have it back.
     
  11. 3mrhythm

    3mrhythm

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester, NH
    Okay..

    I made some recordings.. just with my ipad.. they came out pretty good.. definitely appreciating the tone..
    I did three short clips.. Slap, finger and some slower pretty sustained stuff.

    Slap Style
    http://youtu.be/bi65EetVR1U

    Finger Style (bass line notes from one of my bands song.. played a little different)
    http://youtu.be/X7FdreMJrLw

    Sustain strumming pretty thing:
    http://youtu.be/atmFFMXiWYc
     
  12. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    Per one of the posts above, this head literally requires an external hi pass filter. That HUGE amount of below 30hz sub bass coming out of this head (why anyone thought that was a good idea I just don't know) results in lots of wasted power, stress on the drivers that doesn't translate into anything good in a live setting, and blurrs the otherwise excellent EQ of that head.

    I'd HUGELY recommend TBer FDeck's small, relatively inexpensive FDeck Hi Pass III. Set it at about 50hz, and you will be amazing at how much louder that head will get, and how much the midrange will open up. Go VERY easy on that aural enhancer also.

    I got one of these when they first came out (late 80's) and hated it until I put a RANE hi pass in the signal chain.
     
  13. odineye

    odineye Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Bear DE
    So, this thread got me to playing around with settings a bit, then I saw some sound samples up and thought "Well... why not?"

    Some minor changes since my last post;

    1. I changed the HPF setting on my power amp from 50hz to 30hz.

    2. Rolled back the bass just a bit.


    [​IMG]

    And a couple of quick cheesy sound samples.

    Recorded with my trusty old Shure sm-57, about 18" away and about 5" off center from the cabinet > Presonus firebox > Studio 1 v2 w/no processing.

    https://soundcloud.com/chris-miller-13/finger-sample

    https://soundcloud.com/chris-miller-13/slap-sample
     

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