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Growl -- Ampeg vs SWR

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dmaki, Nov 6, 2003.


  1. dmaki

    dmaki

    Apr 29, 2000
    Chattanooga
    I was testing out some different head/cab configurations today, and I stumbled across a few things that suprised me.

    First of all, I couldn't get a good tone out of any Ampeg setup for the life of me. I tried the CL, SVT-3, SVT-5, 2x10" cab and 8x10" cab. No combination, no matter how much I tweaked, sounded really good. I was testing through a Modulus Flea, a Musicman Stingray, and '62 Reissues Jazz and P.

    I have always heard that if you want growl, you can't go wrong with an Ampeg. There happened to be an SWR 500 head with the Ampegs, so I thought I'd test it out. Wow. It sounded awesome, and it was really easy to dial in a good tone, not to mention growl. I played it through the Ampeg cabs, which sounded OK, but when I had it going through an SWR 2x12" it sounded really good.

    Has anyone else had an experience like this? I've heard a lot of SWR bashing and Ampeg worshiping, but I'm starting to wonder why...
     
  2. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey Dmaki,

    I've never really played through SWR stuff too much as I've always been an Ampeg user, but I am happy with Ampeg and the tone I get. Ampegs do get a lot of praise on talkbass because they are, in general, good equipment, as is SWR. It's all about the tone you want and how you get it. If you get that sound through the SWR then definately go with that. Some people aren't real big SWR fans and others aren't exactly Ampeg fans but you will always find that with any product. What sounds awsome to one person sounds like crap to another. Go with what sounds good to you man! I know this isn't real helpful, but it's my $0.02.

    Good luck!

    Justin
     
  3. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you tried all this out at GC, i can see why you can't find a good sound. I can never do it. I was playing through an SVT-3 Pro at GC (i have the same amp) through an ampeg 4x10 and 1x15 (got those too) and it sounded like crap. I think its because they just don't give a sh*t about their amps there...
     
  4. I'd say if you can't get a good sound out of a CL (SVT that is?) and it's matching 8x10, it can only be one or a combination of 2 things....

    a) the equipment is broken

    or

    b) you can't play

    let's say it was "a"

    Mark
     
  5. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    SM 500's are now the only SWR preamp that has the
    original Steve Rabe designed Semi-Parametric Mid
    EQ with 4 sliders and 4 freq. pots; that made
    SWR famous. Pro Tone fer daze.

    The Saying goes:

    "You can tweak an SWR to sound like an Ampeg;
    But you can't make an Ampeg sound like an SWR."
     
  6. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    The Ampeg gear must not have been hooked up correctly. I actually have a full SWR and full Ampeg rig. They should be fairly comparible. It's usually just personal taste that will make you decide between the two. It shouldn't be so black and white.
     
  7. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    you should have no problem getting a good growl out of those Ampeg set ups. That being said you can also get it from the SWR.
    Now let me rant about Ampeg's speaker cabs.
    My main rig was an Ampeg B4r with a 610 hlf and it sounded fantastic. The problem being the size of the cab made it such a pain to haul around. I am also very unhappy with the way Ampeg is making their cabinets so cheap and flimsy. It's amazing that they can sound as good as they do. They use particle board instead of plywood now. One of the rubber feet came off mine and I couldn't screw it back on because the particle board just flaked away. I couldn't get the screw to bite into the wood. The paper crap they put on their cabs rips off when you look at it wrong. and that plastic velcro like stuff they use to hold the cloth speaker grill on with goes bad and the front falls off all the time. They need to get it together.
    Anyway I have two speaker set ups that I use now. One is two Bag End 15's and the other is two SWR Goliath Jr's. So back on your topic I think the SWR cabs are every bit as good or better than Ampeg's. and you can get a good growl tone out of them no problem. So pick the one that pleases your ears and enjoy.
     
  8. redneck2wild

    redneck2wild

    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    The placement of a cab can make a difference.
    This could be if it is in a corner, or next to a wall or even on top of a hollow stage or riser.

    Some music stores place cabinets in certain locations to help sell products or detract from the sales of another product. I don't think the guitar center here knows what they are doing - they just cram as much as they can in.

    A cabinet near a wall will sound louder with more bass as sound will bounce off the wall.
    A cabinet in a corner will most likely sound even louder as sound is bouncing off two walls.
    A cabinet in the middle of a room may not sound as loud.
    A cabinet on a hollow stage or riser may sound louder but could also be very boomy based on the material the stage/riser is made of.

    I know of a store that places the more expensive cabs against a wall while cheaper cabs are in the middle of the floor. The used amps are actually in the back of the store (harder to find) sitting on a small raised floor - to make them sound boomy in a bad way.
     
  9. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    The following comes from an SWR user so take it with a grain of salt:

    Ampegs suck. :D
     
  10. I agree, never had much luck with Ampeg (too colored, not enough note definition). I much prefer SWR (used to own a WM12 - awesome little amp, but not loud enough for me).

    But then, I'm a guy who doesn't like the Fender Jazz, though I do love the Precision.
     
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Your sound will be determined by the combination of your bass and your amp. The two have to be "matched" for optimal tone. Your amp (and cab) is only half the equation. A bass that sounds great with an Ampeg might not sound so good with an SWR, and vice versa. I've owned both brands over the years, and currently own neither (except for a vintage Portaflex and a little Basic Black practice amp). The ultimate decision is between your ears, so if the SWR sounds good to you, go with it. Ampeg's are great for certain things, but maybe not for everything. And the same is probably true for SWR. I agree that the weight of the amp and/or cab definitely factors into the equation, I'm getting too old to be shlepping around a hundred pound amp (and a two hundred pound cab). My solution: a Walter Woods amp, and as many modular Bag End cabs as I happen to need for a gig.
     
  12. hi there !! my current rig is as follows:
    swr 750x
    sansamp rbi preamp RACKMOUNT)
    ALESIS 3630 COMPRESSOR
    2 AMPEG 15" SVT CABS
    1 MESA BOOGIE 2 X 10 POWERHOUSE
    I HAVE HAD MULTITUDES OF AMPS INCLUDING MANY MANY AMPEGS, SUNNS, FENDER BASSMANS, TRACE ELLIOT, I SOLD ALL MY AMPEGS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT RELIABLE AND FARTED OUT AT ALL THE WRONG TIMES, TOO BAD BECAUSE THEY USE TO MAKE A GOOD PRODUCT...IE; I KEPT MY EARLY 70'S SVT TUBE HEAD AND IT IS STILL GOING STRONG, ALSO KEPT MY SUNN 200S WHICH I BRING OUT ON SMALL GIGS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS BUT MY MAIN MAN IS THE SWR WITH THE SANSAMP----IT ROCKS, GROWLS, PUNCHES AND ANYTHING ELSE I ASK OF IT !!!
     
  13. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    AWESOME! WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT US?
     
  14. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Growl comes from your fingers.
     
  15. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    No, growl comes from your bass (and your rig). Your fingers merely activate it.
     
  16. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    No, growl comes from Jaco... sheesh!

    ;) :D
     
  17. zoran

    zoran

    May 10, 2002
    croatia
    with swr you will rock!!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. I also use both and I like both. Kinda hard for me to choose between them!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  19. Sweet- the guitarist is left-handed!
     
  20. dmaki

    dmaki

    Apr 29, 2000
    Chattanooga
    What do you guys think of the SM-500? Is $750 a good price for a used one? I've seen some SM-900's for that price used, but they're older versions and I've got to wonder what condition they're in... SM-500 owners/previous owners - what do you have to say?