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Basic Black for rock, blues etc?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by riker1384, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    I'm thinking of getting a used SWR Basic Black. My main concern is, will it have too much of a modern, bright tone? I want to fool around with different types of music, and I don't go for a super-modern tone. I'm not usually slapping. Can it be adjusted to give a more modern tone?

    Also, is the power sufficient? I'm not in a band right now, but if I was I'd like to know it could handle a band rehearsal or small gig. It's pretty low-powered by today's standards, and the cabinet is a little small.

    Do they hold up well over time?
  2. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    SWR Basic Black

    120 Watts RMS @ 8 ohms
    160 Watts RMS @ 4 ohms
    *current limited at 2 ohms for thermal stability.
    *160 Watts RMS @ 2 ohms

    Size: 22.75" wide X 20.5" high X 16.5" deep
    Weight: 50 lbs.
    Impedance: 8 ohms
    15" Woofer
    2" edgewound copper voice coil; die cast frame with bolt on magnet; 150 Watts RMS power handling capacity; custom designed and hand made in the U.S.A. for SWR by Professional Audio Systems
  3. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Have you listened to one, to see if you can get a tone you like?

    Tone is like hamburgers. There are plenty of variations, and we each have our favorites.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    The small combo amp you are getting - how large of a band are you looking at? If you are up against a loud drummer, don't expect that thing to get you audible. Then again, I have not heard too many loud blues drummers...

    I think it would work out for a decent practice amp for yourself. But seriously, try it out in the future and see what happens. I bet anyting you will most likely be looking for something bigger/louder/more wattage/better tone - that's where we can help!
  5. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    I'll take this moment to nostalgia - this was my second amp, and my first not-crap amp. I was unstoppable on stage with this guy, and it was plenty loud for the band back then. Of course, my idea of 'pro' was a little different at 17.

    Anyway, the fact that you're buying an amp that was discontinued years ago should tell you something about its durability - for all you know that might be my amp. You can dial back the brightness and get some warmth from the single 12AX7 for sure.
  6. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    The tone is fairly versatile. The tube definitely adds something, but not the grit thing that some people like in tubes. It will stay fairly clean, but I notice a little (and I mean a little) more grind in it than my thunderfunk. It does lean a bit toward the modern thing, but the cabinet that combo has is a little smaller than it should be for correct tuning. At least I suspect that is the case as it has a bit of a mid hump in it nautrally with the enhance knob off. Rolling the enhance knob up will help flatten it out. That really is a nice sounding combo. It'll do the stereotypical SWR scoop thing, but that isn't its natural tendenct. I picked one up used for relatively cheap and I must say that it is better than I had anticipated.

    The downside, it really lacks headroom. I've used one as a stage monitor with drums/two eletric guitars/and a keyboardist on tour before. The only way I got it to work was to get everyone to play quiet. A single halfway energetic drummer will drown you out in no time flat. As you turn up the amp and hit the wall headroom wise, you'll get some nasty SS clipping. I've heard of others using compressors and extension cabs to make their's work for them on stage. Mine has since been relegated to rehearsal duty in a nearby town I frequent so I don't need to lug my regular rig for rehearsals. My basic black never sees the stage any longer.

    Honestly, if that combo was in the 400 watt range (with maybe 550 or so with an extension), it would be durn near the perfect combo. It really does sound good.
  7. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I still have mine that I got in 1992 (although I've since upgraded to an epifani/genz benz rig and am trying to sell it). I used it on hundreds of gigs and practices (it's still in fine shape), but there were plenty of times where it just wasn't loud enough (and I wasn't playing in loud bands). For larger gigs, I always went through the PA, so the SWR just served as my monitor (and provided the tone for the PA), but sound guys rarely put bas sin the monitors, so the SWR was all I had, and a lot of the time, i could've used a lot more power.

    it's a good sounding amp, though. The tube preamp can definitely give you some nice grit, and the 15" speaker provides a lot of bass. The tweeter isn't the smoothest sounding, but I think its slight harshness is really apparent only if you're slapping.
  8. i would try it out, like kael i had some clipping issues when pushing it in a loud jam situation. it was fine for rehersing with a 15 piece big band though. for gigs i usually used it for monitoring as i had PA support.

    adding a second cab (there was a matching one) might help but 160w into 2x15 isn't that much.

    but ... i do really like the tone of it
  9. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    I fooled around with the bass some as a teenager. I sold my amp a while back, so I haven't played in years. I just wanted to get something to practice on, but that I could jam with a band on if that arose. I'm not into extremely loud music or anything.

    I don't want any item that weighs over about 60 pounds, so I can move comfortably myself. I was thinking of a good 15 combo, or a head and an 8-ohm 15 or 210. I don't want to get something that's only good for the bedroom and then have to buy another rig.

    I'm looking at Craigslist listings to try to save some money, but if I do that I don't want to waste people's time kicking tires on a bunch of amps. My plan was to get an amp from Craigslist, and look for a used bass in the local music stores.

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