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Cab combos for SWR SM-900

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cannon, May 29, 2004.

  1. I'm running an SM-900 bridged into a SWR Goliath II and an Eden D-210XLT. I can't seem to go much beyond halfway on the volume before I start seeing the power amp clip light come on. I don't want to crank the limiter beyond 12 o'clock. Do I need more watt capacity from my cabs? I was thinkin' of upgrading the Goliath to an Eden 410 XST. Will that be too much for my amp (1000 watts plust the 350 from the 210 cab)?

    See the rig if you want:
  2. Hey SM-900 owners, tell me what cabs your using. Any pics? :help:
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Hows your eq setup, including the onboard of the bass? What kind of sound are you after? Increasing the power handling of the cabs won't help you, you need cabs with higher efficiency (which isn't going to be easy considering what you already have).

    FWIW, I run my SM900 bridged into a 4 ohm Aguilar GS410.
  4. I've got Yorkville 2X10 and 1X15 cabs, both 8ohms. 800 watts, 400 into each 350 watt cab. I tend to run everything flat, at 12 oclock including the gain and limiter. If I turn the master more than half way, I do see the poweramp clip led flash but I usaully don't have to turn up that loud. The limiter is on a quarter to half the time, usually just when I go to the B string.

    What other musicians/equipment are you playing with? Perhaps you need 8X10?
  5. EQ is bass & treb. at 1 o'clock. 50hz & 4k at 1 o'clock 700hz at 2 o'clock. Aural E. at 3 o'clock. Gain about 2 o'clock. EQ on the bass is bass +9db (guesstimate from Zon specs) and treble just barely above flat.
  6. Oh, the band has 3 horns, guitar and drums. We play funk to indie rock. I'm typically trying to cut through the entire mix as they don't run me through the PA.

    Shouldn't I be able to crank my amp wide open? Say if I want to knock the neighbors out of bed?
  7. I've heard from another guy that the SWR SM900 through SWR Triad was the best he ever played through, just not loud enough. He switched to an all tube SVT an 8X10 cab and was in delight. Always wondered what it would have been like with the SM going through the 8X10. Is there any way you could try setting up another Goliath II and see what that does for ya?
  8. I love the way the Goliath II sounds, but perhaps its too deep and too clean. Its rear ported and I think that takes away some of the perceived volume. I see the new Goliath III's are front ported.

    I heard the Megoliath (8x10) and wasn't all that impressed. It sounded pretty harsh too my ears, but I can't speak for the setup on it. I tell everyone that the best cabinet I've heard up close is SWR's Henry 8x8. Surprising bass for 8" speakers. If I had tons of $$ and hired help I'd get a pair and run them in stereo!

    Can the SM-900 power 2 4x10's . I've heard arguments both ways about having your amp rated higher vs. lower than the total watt capacity of your speakers. Which is it?
  9. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Here's my take:

    Between the aural enhancer at 3 o'clock, bass at 1, 50hz AND the bass boost on the bass itself, you are using up a lot of the power to push the frequencies that don't help you cut through. People in the back of the room are probably thinking they've walked in on a dub band... while up close no one can hear the notes

    Regarding the power issue, if you add a second goliath to the rig in place of the Eden, the total power handling will be 1400WRMS (I believe) which should give you a comfortable amount of leeway should you occasionally clip the power amp. It will sound a bit louder than 6 speakers but not by much.

    Try this, with the caveat that what I suggest may not be to your liking at all:

    Take the Aural enhancer to around 1 o'clock, bass to 2 o'clock, change the first band of frequency to boost ~75hz instead of 50, reduce the bass on the bass itself a tad. Getting a fat punchy sound IMO is more about pushing in the 80hz-120hz range than in the 50hz-30hz range.
  10. What's your settings?

    For me, 90% of the time every control is to 12 o'clock and the bass is set to flat. Occasionally the limiter goes down to 9 o'clock and the Aural to 2-3 o'clock if I have more sonic space (i.e. - not the usual 2 guitars, keys and loud drummer)
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Bridged at 4 ohms, halfway on the volume is about what I get before clipping, running with 2 410 cabs (Goliath III and Avatar). I think that's normal and that's about all the amp has to give. I'm guessing that because of the different impedance and stereo/bridged possibilities that exist for this amp, the amount of clockwise cranking potential you'll get out of the master volume knob varies. If you were running bridged at 8 ohms, for example, you could crank it higher.

    If you want more volume out of this amp, I think you'll want more speakers (keeping the impedance at 4 ohms, of course). I suggest two 410 cabs of your choice. IIRC, the Eden XLT series have powerhandling comparable to the Goliath - so I'd recommend 2 410 XLTs if you go Eden, or possibly the 810 version. I'd guess that you DON'T want a higher wattage rating from the cabs you pick - I'm not familiar with the XST cab, but common sense says it's quite possible that swapping a cab rated at 700w (Goliath) for one rated at 1000w (the Eden XST) is going to give you LESS apparent volume because you're not working the speakers out and the cab is likely to be less efficient than a lower-rated one. A second opinion and a careful look at the specs may be in order (I ain't an expert on these things), but that's what I'm thinkin'...

  12. In trying to fix this problem I tried cutting all my eq's back to say 10 o'clock with the bass eq on the bass itself flat. Alas I still got clipping. Now I'm posting my problem to fellow TB'ers for help.

    I'll try focusing the eq's to ihixulu's suggestions. Maybe then I won't need so much volume. What sounds good playing solo doesn't always translate to sounding good w/ a band.

    SWR's website recommends 2 Goliath III's as a combo for the SM-900 which would equal 1400watts. Could be a marketing thing though... :confused:
  13. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My bass knob sits at about 1 o'clock with just a tiny extra bump at 80Hz on the parametric - so, not so different from your setting. Bass on my instrument is FLAT, however. I'd say +9db from the instrument is a pretty big boost, and the amp may be putting it's energy into the bottom of the mix at the expense of cutting through it... possibly... :)
  14. I think your on to something with the volume knob only going to halfway for 4ohms vs 8ohms. I hooked up just the Eden 210 on just right side only and could turn it up almost all the way before clipping. Now get this, if I hook up the SWR Goliath II on the other side I can't turn it up all the way with the Eden cab up all the way. All this with keeping the EQ's the same. In theory the clipping wont hurt at 8 ohms coz' the amp can't put near enough juice to each cabinet. However if everything is bridged that's a different story...

    Time for some more sonic boom experimentation...
  15. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    My settingsare AE at around 1 to 2 o'clock, bass at the 1 tickmark and treble at -1. EQ Channel 1, which I use for my rock gig has a 6 db boost at 80hz, a 6 db cut at 300 and a 3 db boost at 2.4khz. On my Sterling (which I normally use for this, with a pick)the bass is just past the center detent, mid and treble flat. I can afford to cut the 300 band a bit becasue the Sterling is so aggresive in the mids. If I bring out my P, I bring the 300 back up to 0 and cut a bit of the 2.4k.

    Channel 2 is kept flat for the cover band gig and I rely much more on the onboard to shape the tone between tunes.

    I never push the gain past 5. So far, I haven't been short of volume.
  16. In doing some loud experiments, I found that I can push the volume louder with less preamp gain. Seems the amp has more hiss and noise with the gain cranked even w/ turning the volume down on the bass to compensate. I ran it at 12 o'clock and never had the preamp clip. That's critical I think. AE @ 3 and Bass at 1 o'clock (down a tad). Was able to get the volume to 2-3 o'clock with hardly any clipping (limiter at 12 o'clock). I also noticed that the amp tended to clip more on hard plucking high notes and pops.

    I'm still not sure what to do about my cabs. Maybe the new Eden 2x10 XST would be better than the 4x10 coz' I'd increase my total watts to 1000 using the new Eden plus the old Goliath II instead of getting a new XST 4x10 combined with the Eden 2x10 for a total of 1,350 watts.

    So here's another question. How does the Goliath III compare to the new Eded XST 4x10?
  17. I have recently been forced into experimenting with cabs with my SM900. I now run the amp mono bridged through an SWR goliath senior 6x10..but tried several options before arriving here.

    Firstly I run the main eq flat other than cutting some of the mids at 800hz (mainly as my custom Status bass has a very active midrange)

    I originally had a pair of Hartke 4.5xl cabs (not to be mistaken for the cheeper transporter range) Both cabs where 8ohms and I ran the amp bridged mono. Sounded awesome, but two fully flightaces deep 4x10 are big and heavy...
    I wanted to downsize from two big cabs...

    I tried a pair of Eden cabs prior to buying the SWR 6x10 (D210xlt and D118XL) sounded good but not in the same ballpark as the Hartke cabs on volume. both cabs where 8ohm so running at overall 4ohm. they lasted a weekend and went back..remember the aim here was to reduce my cab size, and if I tried a pair of eden 4x10's against the Hartke's I am pretty sure they would have sounded awesome.

    18 months ago I changed the cabs for the SWR goliath senior 6x10 1200w 5.3ohms again running the amp bridged mono. It happily replaces the pair of Hartke cabs on sound and volume.

    I recently had problems howevor with damaged speaker cones in the SWR 6x10 (I have just sent one of the drivers off for analysis)

    While the cab is out of action I used a pair of my Peavey 2x10xt 4ohm cabs (my handy rehearsal rig) and ran the amp stereo. They sounded great until the band kicked in...just not enough volume (as I expected). The next nights gig I borrowed a friends peavey 4ohm 4x10xt and sat one of my 2x10xt cabs ontop. both cabs are 4ohms. After tweeking with the horn of the 2x10 I got a suprisingly powerfull sound. Not quit the same headroom as the 6x10 but very close.

    In every situation, if I see the clip light flash momentarily I will back off the power (the easy way is to back of a bit of the low eq)

    I just replaced the drivers in the peavey 2x10's with eminence gama 10 300w 8ohm bass drivers, and initial reaction is awesome..I think I have been lucky with the combination of driver / cab.

    I will be experimenting with replacing all 6 200w drivers of the SWR with the 300w gama 10's as my confidence in the PAS drivers is non existant (this is the second time the PAS drivers have failed)

    note:- I am pretty sure the clip indicator is only linked to the left volume control that runs the bridged section so if anybody tries using only the right hand output in stereo, the clip light will not come on, but that does not mean that the amp is not clipping..!!!

    Rambled on a bit here and hope I have not missed the point :D

    Basically the amp will clip at around 12 oclock if pushed, and the most efficient cab so far has been the SWR 6x10 single enclosure with the amp running mono bridged.

  18. For grins I hooked up my Goliath 4x10 and Eden 2x10 to the right side only of my SM-900 (ok to do per SWR). So I was running at 4 ohms @ 400watts to 850 watts of speakers. I had the gain just past 12 o'clock and the master volume almost to 3 o'clock. Limiter just over 1/2 way. Could barely clip the amp.

    Here's one final question to wrap all this up:

    What's the proper ratio of amp wattage to speaker wattage? :help:
  19. Just a word of warning direct from the SWR manual.

    "When using the SM900 in stereo with only one side, always use the Left channel only as the thermal sensor for the internal fan is connected to this channel. No harm will come from leaving the right channel disconnected"..

    I couldnt remember if it was the Clip protection light, but just checked out the manual.

    If you use the right channel only then you run the risk of the amp overheating and bursting into flames ...:crying:

    Left channel only in stereo ;)

  20. I should have said left, I was on the left...

    I'm willing to bet that if I hooked up another pair of speakers to the RIGHT side as well, I couldn't crank up both volumes as far as I did. It as if the left and right volumes are not totally independent of each other.