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Feedback on SWR’s Mini Mo Analogue Multi-Effects Bass PreAmp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Music Attorney, Feb 28, 2004.


  1. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Looking for some feedback on SWR’s Mini Mo Analogue Multi-Effects Bass PreAmp. I have searched the forums here and elsewhere, I have searched the Internet, and am surprised that so little has been written about it. I saw the unit at NAMM this year and was impressed.

    I use to play professionally in L.A., but stopped, went to law school, and now spend my time making sure musicians, songwriters, artists, etc. don’t get screwed over….well…..at least not without their eyes open ;-) I’m ready to do some playing again and want to get some new gear. My gear criteria is as follows:

    1. I’m a huge Marcus Miller fan and usually liked the SWR sound and products.
    2. I would really prefer not to have a bunch of different pedals and/or rack mount units and the pain of set up, maintenance, etc. unless the individual pedals/units are just so superior to the effects on the Mini Mo. The primary effects I want include a good synth bass, chorus, compression, wah, and anything else that gets me some greasy stanky funk. I realize that sounds are highly personal. Personal experience and reading a number of polls at this site make that abundantly clear. However, if the consensus is that the effects are at least an “8” out of “10”, then that’ll probably do it. I simply don’t have the time to go and try out all the potential gear ya’all discuss.
    3. Portability/weight is important.
    4. I really like the idea of the unit’s “clean” look, foot controller, combined effects, and what appears to be its ease of use. When I was playing, Bob Bradshaw pedal boards where the thing to have. This kind of reminds of those Bradshaw set ups.
    5. The unit won’t be moved around that much. Maybe 2 to 4 times a month at most.
    6. Price is not a primary concern. I’ve seen the unit listed on the Web for around a $1,000 new. I mean if someone can point to a combination of pedals/units that fulfills my criteria and they only cost, say, $500, then that’s probably worth considering, but I’m fortunate in that I don’t need to save a couple hundred dollars here and there. I’m not trying to be insensitive here. I’ve done those gigs where you end up with just enough to get a Fatburger, fries, and coke. So I know a couple hundred dollars can make a real difference for some people.
    7. My current axe is a Valley Arts Guitar custom 5 string. Bet most of you don’t know what that is. Like I said above, I love that Marcus sound so I might be switching to on old Jazz bass and/or one of the new Marcus Miller 5 strings.
    8. Not sure about the amp yet. At 32 pounds, the SWR Power 750 is a little heavier than I had wanted. I’m open to thoughts here too.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
     
  2. Nice post! Well defined objectives will make suggestions much easier.

    I'm not much for effects myself so I won't comment other then to say that most multi-effects units are pretty much crap (IMO). I did some reading on the Mini Mo though and it appears to be well thought out and flexible pre-amp with many useable effects. Something else to consider might be a Line 6 Bass Pod xtPro. You would need to pair either with an amplifier. Many guys will suggest QSC PLX and Stewart World Series amps but size and weight were a concern for me and I went with a Peavey DPC 1400X. It's a single rack space, weighs 15lbs, and produces 1400 watts bridged at 4 ohms. To maintain "accuracy" in reproducing your effects I would suggest full-range cabinets with as near a "flat" response as you can find (ei; "hi-fi"). Very few manufactures fill this nitch, here's the ones I know of- Acme (which I use), Euphonic Audio, and Accugroove. I play a modified Fender Jazz w/EMG's, Badass II, and DR Marcus Miller strings (sound like anybody?). The Acme cab allows me to hear what my bass sounds like vs. what the speakers or pre-amp sound like, much like the tone I achieve in the studio. Due to your lack of financial "restrictions" I would strongly suggest you give Accugroove serious consideration.

    Hope this helped!
     
  3. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I've never played a mini mo' (or a mo' bass) but Bass Player magazine gave it a very good review recently.
     
  4. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Guy:

    Thanks for all the links. I heard the Line 6 stuff, but preferred the Mini Mo. As for the amps, I think the Peavey is a little more than I need (and want to spend), but I appreciate the heads up on the QSC line and will search the forums for info on it. From what I saw at the link you provided, the Accugroove cabs were too heavy and too pricey for what I want. I’m sure they sound great, but I’ve heard other cabs that are lighter, less expensive, and suitable for the playing I’m doing. The EA CXL-112L looked interesting, but I’ll wait until I finalize the bass and electronics before I spend too much time looking/listening to cabinets.

    Fred312b:

    I checked the Bass Player website and didn’t find the article, but I found a post in their forum by a guy who had just bought a Mini Mo. Granted, it’s one only person’s opinion, but he basically gave it a “10” out of “10”. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  5. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    did you check swr's website (swrsound.com)? they have other bp reviews up there, like the one for my sob :)
     
  6. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I bought a Mini Mo' last spring when they first came out. I love it -- great sounds from both the preamp and the effects, and the convenience of a single rack unit and integrated foot controller is really nice -- but I haven't been able to put together a decent rig around it due to lack of funds. As such, I'm looking to sell it and move back to my trusty ol' combo. If you're interested, PM me and we can try to work something out. The unit will still have over a year of warranty on it that I'm sure can be transferred. Also, if anyone has specific questions about the Mo', I'm happy to try and answer them...
     
  7. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Brad:

    You said: “I bought a Mini Mo' last spring when they first came out.” The webpage for the Mini Mo at SWR’s website lists 4 “new” features for the Mo’s front panel features. Does your unit have these features. Also did you find the Mo user friendly? That is, in getting the most out of the features, does it take a lot of time and understanding? Thanks.

    MA
     
  8. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hey, I didn't receive a notification email that anyone had replied to this thread. Sorry for the delay in posting again.

    All the "new" features are part of my unit, yes -- when the site say they're new, that means they're new to the Mini Mo' as compared to the original Mo' Bass head.

    User friendliness wise, I would say it takes only a little bit of understanding but it takes considerably more time to actually get the most out of this unit.

    To further explain: The Mini Mo' is all analog and controlled by knobs instead of the ones, zeros, and programmable parameters of digital multi-effects. This makes it easy to grasp what each effect and/or knob does in a conceptual sense, but each effect -- and each knob, for that matter -- interacts with the others in unique and sometimes unpredictable ways. In other words, expect to spend some time experimenting with the unit to find the "right" sounds for you. There are a LOT of possibilities, and, although it took me a while, I eventually honed in on a preferred setting for each individual effect so that they sound good on their own or when used together in almost any combination.

    Hope this helps...
     
  9. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Brad:

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Also, in response to your interest in selling your Mo, I tried to PM you but I wasn’t able to. I appreciate the offer. However, I doubt you want to be as “aggressive” in your pricing as I would need to overcome my concerns. I have some connections at a major retailer who will give me the unit at their cost. Also, for obvious reasons, I’m a little leery about buying the unit used. I assume it’s in perfect condition? That said, please feel free to e-mail your price if you want at ___. I don’t normally check the account, but I will look for something from you for the next few days. Again, thanks for you help.
     
  10. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Actually, I've decided to hold onto the Mo' for a little while longer. Pricing wise, I got a great deal on it through Rik's Music in Knoxville -- other dealers actually got offended when I asked them to beat it -- so you might be surprised at my asking price, although it sounds like saving a few bucks is not much of an issue for you. Regardless, you're probably better off going with your retailer connections -- I'm assuming they'd let you try out the unit and return it if not satisfied, something I can't offer. Let me know if you have any further questions, though!
     
  11. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    FYI, the BP review of the Mini-Mo was in the September 2003 issue. I don't have the capability to scan it for you, but it's an extremely favorable review with the listed pros/cons as:

    Pros
    Excellent construction
    Each effect sounds great
    Numerous connection options
    Well-written manual

    Cons
    You'll need a good-size rack
    Clean sound not for fans of super-warm tone