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Fan noise on bass heads (esp. SWR SM-900)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mgmadian, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hi All:

    I'm thinking about simplifying my pre-amp/power-amp rig and going with an integrated head, and one in particular I'm looking at is the SWR SM-900.

    One concern I have is over the noise produced by the fan(s) in the units...somewhat of a problem in the studio, and when I'm practising at low volumes with the current rig.

    So...how loud is the fan with these integrated heads? Have any of you guys with the SM-900 had problems with it? I understand that it kicks on only at "higher temperatures"...does this really work? Have you figured out any ways to reduce the noise that it does generate?

  2. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I know exactly what you're talking about. I had a SM-400S that did this. It really got to be a problem especially in church where I would have to shut the amp off in between songs!

    My solution? I sold it and bought a GK combo amp! Don't miss the SM-400S at all and the GK doesn't make a peep!
  3. BenF


    Mar 29, 2001
    Boston area
    The fan in my sm900 sounds like a 747 at high volume levels, particularly when the amp is run bridged with the master at 3/4 or fully pegged. It's tolerable at low to moderate volumes but I've only used it live, never in the studio.
  4. Hmm... "Turns on at higher temperatures"... meaning all the time :). I have an SM-900 that I am using now with a drummer and guitar player... I'm running it at 4 ohms mono through 2 Goliath IIIs, so it's getting plenty hot. The fan turns on after a few minutes of playing and will keep running until well after we're done. I really haven't found it to be any kind of a noise problem, but i'm only playing at relatively loud volumes. I know that the SWR Super Redhead I used to have had a fan switch allowing you to turn the fan off for short periods in the studio and whatnot.

  5. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    If used in the studio the fan shouldn't go on.
  6. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Apparently the fan in the SWR's can be easilly replaced by quieter, more powerful fans used in computers. I still haven't gotten around to doing this in my SM400s, but most posters have said this is a good solution to the noise problem and a good fan can be purchased at any computer store. The power, tone, flexibility, and reliability of the SWR's is definitely worth dealing with their noisy fans.
  7. In my computer business, I use Panasonic Panaflo fans because they are nearly silent and run in a sealed hydraulic bearing. They don't whine like ball bearing types do.
  8. spidey255


    Apr 25, 2002
    fans? mine just has a buncha tubes...well it is from the 80's but o well. i get this loud humming sound sometimes but i think it's from the input of my guitar cuz when i move it into a different position it stops.