frustration with SWR head and cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassoptimus, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Alright. i currently own a SWR workingmans 4004 head and a SWR workingmans 4x10 cab and had em for over a year. Is it just me, or with SWRs, (i am being as blunt as possible when i say all of this) it is very very hard to hear yourself over the rest of your bandmates. so for instance you get frustrated because you cannot hear yourself and you turn up louder, but when you do that your bottom end gets so insanely obnoxious and your treble becomes so piercing that ur band stops playing and brutally scolds you to turn down. then you cannot hear yourself again. i CONSTANTLY screw with my eq settings every 2 seconds but i cant ever get the perfect mix. i can deffinetly feel the bottom end, but i cannot hear the sound of the bass guitar itself whatsoever when playing with the rest of my band. and the clarity of what you are playing is very hard to pick out. to be honest i prefer the sounds i get out of my 50 watt crate bass combo. so i guess my question is... in a sense, what do i do??? aahh!! does anybody have suggestions on specific heads or whatnot? or what i should do with my current head?? anyone else feel my pain?? more importantly... does anyone know what im trying to say?!?!
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    if your amp has the aural enhancer i would turn it all the way off. it tends to cut mids. then i would experiment with boosting some midrange freqencies. you may not like this tone when you are playing by yourself, but i bet you will be audible in a full band setting. you could also try cutting the aural enhancer and cutting some bass and treble instead of boosting the mids.
  3. ohhh yea, trust me the aural is ALWAYS down. i mean yeah i do boost my mids and stuff but its like... i shouldnt have to sacrifice my tone because of it, and yes like i said before i screw with my settings every like 2 seconds so i probly cut and boost mids, bass and trebs and stuff like 50 times a song, i guess what i truely mean is like... what are some good non-SWR heads (i doubt my cab has anything to do with the problem) that would seem to get rid of my problems of getting drowned out?
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    What kind of guitar amps are you competing against? Are they cranked? Remember, rule of thumb: You need AT LEAST six times the wattage of your guitarist, and ten is better. You may just have insufficient power to compete.
  5. The problem is that the SWR Workingman's series arent quite as refined as the professional series. Cab construction isnt up to par, and the biggest difference is that in the Workingman's series, the amp heads lack the preamp tube that the pro series amps have. That single tube makes a huge difference.
  6. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    Reposition yourself in your jam room. Maybe in front of your amp or in direct aim of it across the room. The fact that your band mates are screaming at you to turn down indicates your being heard, just not by you.
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    There's part of your problem. Quit noodling with your tone and concentrate on playing your bass. You can achieve a lot of tonal differences with your hands, if you only try.

    There's no reason you shouldn't be able to get an acceptible tone with that rig. Start with everything at 12 o'clock, and use only SMALL changes. Remember, what tone sounds good when playing all by yourself will usually be terrible in the band mix, and vice versa.

    I always have to restrain myself from tweaking my tone during sound check/line check because my tone sounds like ass, but when the band comes in, its sits nice in the mix. EVERY time I tweak it to sound "better" during linecheck, it gets lost in the band mix when the show begins.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    +1 on needing more watts
    +2 on the swr workingman's series not being all that great, although IMO, the lack of a tube is less of an issue than the cabinet inferiority is.
  9. Simple answer do not pull the mids down, keep them at least flat or a little boost, but for SWR clarity as well as loads of other amps when playing live boost the 1.6khz ( or nearest to it ) frequency and this will make the bass stand out with good punch. The smiley face idea is ok for the blues boys but against distorted guitars etc you need to change the eq to be heard.

    This freq, 1.6khz is great for adding clarity and punch, its what you would call high mids.

    All my amps have sounded better live with this freq boosted a bit, try it with the band, also fresh strings also help, dead strings im afraid will not be heard only felt
  10. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    What kind of bass are you using? :confused:
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I would disagree 100%. Switching to an equivalent power SWR head with a tube in the pre is not going to make him suddenly cut through.
  12. +1

    You may be too close to your cabinet. If possible, stand several feet away. Also, you may want to wedge your cabinet so the sound is pointed at your ears, rather than at your ankles/thighs.
  13. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North

    for the last two posts.

    I'm using an SM400S (bridged to mono) thru a WM410T and have no issues hearing myself in a very loud band setting.

    I doubt that the cab is a real "problem". Any issues that do appear can quickly be dealt with via moving the cab into a better position - or you moving into a better position.

    I've got no opinion on your amp. Never used one.

    What kind of room are you playing in? Large? Small? Carpeted? Hardwood Floor? Baffled walls? Smooth walls?

  14. Fender "classic series" 60's jazz bass... to be percise ;)

    thanks, ill try tweakin the 1.6khz and see what it does, and ill start positioning myself in the room differently. and wel see what happens. or maybe its just that when i tweak with my settings, i am tweaking them dramatically and i dont realize how far i am moving the sliders up and down each time considering my cab + my head on top of it only comes up to my waste. perhaps if i place my head to the level of my shoulders or head... i duno that may be the problem... who knows.. but thanks for all the advice... i will apply it all as soon as we play again
  15. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I totally agree with most of these posts - where you stand relative to your cab makes a HUGE difference in how everything sounds. Even try standing on the opposite side of the room to your cab, so you're facing it but standing a long way away, rather than being close to it but with your back to it. Ears work a lot better when they're listening forwards rather than backwards.

    And although the myth that lows need space to develop isn't true, the highs/mids/lows will become more coherent and sound more like a clear point source when you get further away, rather than sounding like a disembodied tweeter, some honky but lost midrange, thick lows and then port boom, all from difference places.

    And standing further away gives the highs a chance to reach your ears rather than firing straight past your knees.

  16. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    And leave your EQ flat (no, really - try it!) and give your ears some time to get accustomed to your sound, and your hands some time to understand how they can affect it.

  17. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    Agree with everyone here.

    Also, I had a similar issue (SWR head and cab, professional series), and I turned the aural enhancer to 12 o'clock, and flattened the EQ on my bass. Try boosting your low mids a little bit (around 200hz). You'd be surprised at the effect a small adjustment has a high volumes.