SWR SM400 (pre-fender) vs Peavey Firebass 700 blackface

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Mar 26, 2014.


  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Hi, I'm new to this site. I own a 2002 Peavey Firebass 700 blackface head and matching Peavey 4x10 cab. I'm looking at possibly selling my amp and getting a pre-fender SWR SM-400 with the SWR Goliath 4x10
    Cab I've found online.

    Can anyone give me a basic run-down between the two? I've read some reviews on SM400s and folks complain of the unheard sub frequencies and lack of punch. I'm not looking to step down in power and was wondering if switching to the SM400 would be an upgrade?

    I like the punch and power of my 700 which actually puts out 450watts with the 4x10 I believe, but this SWR is the right price and if it's a super amp then I'll probably go for it.

    Thanks.
  2. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    Can you go and try out the SWR?

    It'll be a different tone, that's for sure. Though I don't know if anyone can really tell you which you'd prefer.

    The Firebass is up to 450 watts with a 4 ohm cab, 275 watts at 8 ohms (if memory serves). Peavey 410s came in both 4 ohm and 8 ohm varieties.
  3. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Yes I can and am going to. I'm just trying to get some more info on this amp before making the drive. I'd like to know if the sm400's a good amp. And if people have had good experiences with them playing rocknroll.
  4. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Picked up my SM400 today. Smokes! Lots of tone and dynamics. The bridge mode connectors are interesting because they're like speaker terminals on stereo vs 1/4" jacks on many other brands of bass amps.
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  6. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000

    May I offer to you this info?
    See if you can still download the manual.

    Crank the pre at least until the light flashes. Then add Master for whatever volume you need. Home practice is one thing but live don't raise that aural enhancer past 11:00. Sucks mids therefore punch. Reduce treble for more bass reduce bass for more treble. The graphic is very powerful but once set that's what the amp sounds like. If you want it to respond to your touch don't do radical tone control positions.

    The chassis will get hot, it's supposed to. It was designed to pull heat from the components. Obey the ohm rules. Like, don't bridge with two 4ohm cabs. It won't like operating at 2ohms. One 8ohm cab aside stereo will have each seeing only 160w. That can seem low powered.

    Leave 1/2 space above for cooling if it's in a rack.

    Enjoy it.:)
  7. groove pump

    groove pump

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Good input above from chadds. I had one of those heads a few years ago and the eq flexibility it offers is nice! Yes, that aural enhancer will absolutely suck the mids out of your sound - only fun for maybe about 30 seconds of slapping around at home.

    When I played my SM-400 at gigs, I had one of those little table-top office fans that I'd set behind it to blow air across the chassis from back to front. They do get warm and that entire outer metal "skin" is used to dissipate their heat.

    From what I remember, I rather liked the limiter that's in that head, too. I think I used to set mine on the mild side at shows, just in case I went after a string too hard and put a little too much clank into the amp. That gizmo helped with keeping things under control when I'd turn up.
  8. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    Used to see more banana connectors on bass amps, tho they have largely been replaced with speakon connectors these days.
  9. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks for the tone controls advice. I haven't gigged out with this yet so that will be the real test of power and tone. The guy who owned it before me installed a pc cooling fan on the preamp side with a switch to turn it on and off. The banana plugs on my bridge were also changed out to some sort of two terminal connector so I can easily disconnect the cab from the amp. Would anyone know of the Goliath 4x10 is a 4ohm or 8ohm cab? Doesn't say on the back plate. It does say it was made for SWR by Eden.
  10. wave rider

    wave rider Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
  11. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000

    8 ohms and one of the originals. Quite nice sounding cab.
  12. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Well I'm still messing with the SWR but I can definitely say that the SWR has a ridiculous amount of tone options with the 4 parametric eqs. It also pumps out lower frequencies than the Peavey, if dialed in.
  13. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Does anyone know any good EQ settings for the parametric EQ on the SM-400? I'm trying to achieve that solid Berry Oakley tone or maybe a
    nice Dusty Hill early 70s tone.
  14. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Is there an advantage to speakon and bananna plugs over 1/4 jacks? Do they denote higher quality equipment?
  15. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    1/4 inch jacks aren't great for high power, you have a lot of juice going through what is a relatively small connection. The banana posts and to a greater extent, speakons, are able to carry much more power.

    On smaller amps it won't really matter, but it's certainly something to consider beyond a few hundred watts (I can't remember the upper limits of the 1/4 inch jack).

    They are also a bit safer as they don't risk shorting if accidentally unplugged in use (plus speakons lock, much more secure connection).
  16. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I used to gig with an SM400 - I found it was fine for use with a single 4x10, but it struggled with more (which is why I bought an SM900, which never sounded quite as good).

    Oh, as for speakeron vs 1/4" - back in the day, pro rigs used banana plugs rather than 1/4" for the reasons listed; Me, I've never had an issue with 1/4", even playing at pretty high volume... but my current gear all requires speakeron, so I was stuck spending zany money for a freakin' speaker cable. So it goes. I guess they are harder to unplug!

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