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Do I need to upgrade my SWR350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Devo39, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Have been struggling to get enough volume out of my SWR350 I have to turn it up to 9 to get enough volume, however, not sure if it's just the cabinets I have used with it. I use either a 15 which is 250W 8 Ohm or a 4x10 which is 200W 4 Ohm. Should I just get a new cabinet?
  2. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Ever use both cabinets together? That amp is rated at 2 ohms. You'll get more additional volume by using more speakers than by just adding more power.
  3. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Thanks. Yeah 2 cabs certainly give more volume, but I was just borrowing the 4x10 and I don't really want to lug 2 cabs around if I can avoid it.
  4. lazyone2


    Jul 27, 2006
    new jersey shore
    Are you pluging into the passive or active input on the amp. The passive input is 10 db louder. Turn up the gain in the pre-amp section till the clip light comes on and then back it down abit. Now turn up the power section gain to adjust the volume. Also if your having trouble hearing yourself, reduce the bass and boost the mids abit.
  5. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Have been using the active input as I play a Stingray5, thought that I should use the active in this case?
  6. MarkMyWordsXx


    May 17, 2006
    i think its a good excuse to upgrade. i would go get a solid cab first. a 4 ohm 4x10 or something like that. then upgrade the head later
  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones

    You'll get more power out of the head driving 4 ohms than 8 (still more out of driving 2 ohms if you're willing to schelpp 2 cabs). That amp should be fairly loud with a 4 ohm 410.
  8. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    NOOOOO! Plug your SR5 into the Passive input. You'll immediately gain a lot of volume and punch.

    I find that the Active input is useful for basses with a REALLY hot preamp like G&L, Spector, and such. The EBMM does fine in the passive input of my SWR heads.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    This is good advice. Also, leave the enhance knob (also known as the suck knob) off. Boost the preamp gain as high as it can go without breaking up the sound. It is OK if the clip light comes on a lot. Just listen and if the sound is good, the tube preamp is not being over driven enough to have it matter. Also, keep the bass knob at 50% or less. Boost the lower mids instead.

    Check the battery in your bass. A compressor with some boost might help---I've found this useful at times with my SWR 350 (which I love). :bassist:
  10. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    You've gotten some really good advice already.
    I gigged this model for over a decade and I'll just add that its not uncommon to run the master at 3/4 (or much higher) on SWR amps like yours.
    The master knob rotation to the resulting volume ratio isn't as linear (or even) as most other brands, with slower gradual increases at the lower knob positions and then much more rapidly escalating volume increases in the last second half of its rotation.

    So these SWR master knob positions typically end up much higher than most other similarly powered amps.
    (If your cab can handle it, dont be afraid to crank it up dude)
  11. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Try the passive input, just pay attention to the clip light. If you're clipping a lot, back the gain off a bit. If you have to drop the gain too far to get decent tone, get a good 4 ohm 4x10.
  12. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    What's the story with the compressor giving more boost? I noticed using a wireless that I seemed to get a lot more volume and my guitarist seemed to think it was because of the compression that the wireless gave because he got the same with his....
  13. BillisCool


    Apr 16, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I used a swr 350 a few weeks ago that was backlined at a show... and through a 2x10/1x15 setup I found it to be extremely lacking in volume. The drummer couldn't hear me and he was right next to it... and this was playing funky blues.

    The tone wasn't bad at all... and it may have been the cabs... but I'll never play one again if I can avoid it. :)
  14. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I have this amp and with an efficient 4 ohm cab or a pair of 8 ohm cabs, its fantastic. The above advice is crucial to getting the most out of it. Lets recap:

    1. use the passive input
    2. turn up the gain until the clip light flashes on your hardest notes (with an SR5, this will be quite high, about 3/4 of the way up.
    3. turn off the enhance knob
    4. set the tone controls flat and then add some mids for more growl and cut in the mix
    5. dont be afraid to bring up the master quite high and also dont be afraid to full the limiter defeat knob as the limiter tends to cut in pretty early.
    6. always run at 4 ohms if possible or lower.

    My 350 run with a 4 ohm Eden 410XLT is killer loud and has a gorgeous tone.
  15. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Hey nice summary Crabby, thanks.
    A little confused about the limiter, doesn't this protect the speakers from damage, if I defeat it might I be leaving myself open to blowing speakers?
    Also what does the enhance knob actually do?
  16. mattq


    May 23, 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    most good 4 ohm cabs are rated at much higher wattage than the 350 watts that amp can put out. it's 350 watts average which means, what, 500 watts peak? that eden 410xlt can handle 700 watts average. with the right cab you're not gonna blow anything up. the enhance knob bumps up certain frequencies while cutting other ones the more you turn it. it'll but the midrange and push highs and lows until about 2 o'clock, then start putting more high(?) mids back in
  17. P2040025.
    is this the amp you are referring to? if so then what has been said is probably the best thing to do. run through the passive input (i dont think i've ever actually run through the active input on it) and run the gain up. the settings on that amp are pretty accurate to my live settings save the enhance knob being up past 0 and the master being so low.

    the best ive heard that amp sound was when i ran through a 4x10 and an 8x8 ( overkill but i love it ) at 2.67ohms. so it may benefit you to get yourself a nice 4ohm 4x10 and run 2 cabs, its really not that bad schlepping 2 cabs.
  18. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    The limiter is designed to limit clipping when the amp runs out of power. If you ran the amp into clipping for an extended period, you might damage your speakers. This would likely be something you could here in the form of distortion. The built in limiter is like a bit of security from running the output level too hot. By not using the Enhance, or boosting the lows too much, you can get a ton more volume out of the amp before it goes into clipping.

    You can defeat the limiter and just use your ears if you have the amp cranked. I find if the eq is setup properly, I will rarely run out of headroom.

    The enhance basically boosts the extreme lows and highs to give you a more scooped modern sound. This of course sucks up power and causes the amp to clip sooner. You also can get buried in the mix when scooping your tone. The enhance is cool when jamming alone for a more modern tone but I never use it live.
  19. sjb64


    Aug 2, 2007
    I once owned a Bass 350. It's a good amp.

    I found that the Preamp Gain had to be turned up really high, maybe 2 o'clock or higher, when using a passive/active input jack, with a passive J-Bass.

    Just pay attention to the preamp clip light and make sure that it's not constantly on, if you're going for a clean (not overdriven) sound.

    By the way, you should be using the Passive/Active input jack.
  20. Devo39


    Jan 24, 2008
    Hi JacksonMen

    My 350 is a silver/black face not the red face. I think it is basically the same as the red except it has a fan defeat. It's not the 350X though.

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