hi-fi tone: SWR 350 vs. Eden WT-300? Help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jsonnenblick, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. Hi. I own an older Ampeg SVT-III head which is great for rock, but (IMO) too midrangey and growly for jazz, funk, etc.

    So I'm looking to buy an alternate head (or possibly a preamp) which has a more transparent, "pure" tone.

    (BTW, I'm playing thru a Bag End 1-15 cab with no tweeter, if this affects the answers.)

    I have 2 offers, both on used, newish heads: an SWR Bass 350 for $400, or an Eden WT-300 for $450.

    Your advice?
  2. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    many people on this board will disagree with me, but i would prefer the swr. to me, the eden sounds like a copy of the swr tone that doesn't quite cut it. i'm not saying eden is bad at all, it sounds great. but everytime i play thru one, i keep thinking, man, this isn't as clear as the swr. more hiss, mud, and just not as much clarity. i confirmed my recurring opinion once again last weekend when i a/b'd an eden metro (wt400+2x10xlt) and an swr bass 350 with a goliath III (i know that's twice as many speakers, but still). the eden was impressive...but to my ears the swr is more hi-fi. so my pick would be the swr,but that's just my subjective take on it. saves ya 50 bux too.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Neither one of these brands is truly hifi. For transparent tone, you need stuff like a good preamp, tons of power amp and Acme Low B2s or Epifanis.

    The SWR IMHO is like stereotypical Marcus Miller tone in a box. Good lows, razor sharp highs, extremely scooped mids. And the more that you turn up the Enhance control, the more mids you lose. Some people like a scooped sound, but IME it will get you lost in the mix, especially if you play with loud guitars or mic'd horns.

    Eden gets a rap of being an SWR clone or wannabe, but IME they sound different. They have better lows than SWR, the highs are not quite as pronounced, and they have mids that are missing from the SWRs. Not as pronounced as Ampeg mids, but they are there.

    I have both. An SWR Basic Black 1x15 combo, which is a lot more like the Professional series than the Workingmans, and an Eden Metro 2x10 combo.

    The SWR sounds pretty good, but when I play fretless I have to boost the mids and turn the Enhance all the way down or I get no mwaahh.

    The Eden sounds great set totally flat with all of my basses, and gets a lot of mwaahh from the fretless with no mid boost necessary.

    Both make great amps. See if you can find a store that sells both and A/B them with your bass.

    Good luck!:)
  4. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001

    They have better lows than SWR, the highs are not quite as pronounced, and they have mids that are missing from the SWRs.

    yeah, i agree. compared to an swr redhead, the metro just has a bigger nutsack of a low end. the highs aren't as pronounced. i guess that's why i like the 8x8 cabinet - the le son tweeter instead of that horn. and i agree with the missing mids. i had an swr basic black (just sold it), and i had to turn up the mids to about 3 o'clock in order to really get some pitch definition and presence. but overall i like the swr tone. nowhere (that i know of) near me carries the over the line high end stuff like epifani, ebs, bergantino, etc. i'd love to try it, but i'm not gonna buy anything i haven't heard. (rules out carvin too, but i don't feel i'm missing just a whole lot there).

    i have been considering an aguilar head and 4x10 even though i haven't heard them, just going on what people on this board say about them. costs alot though.
  5. I bought the Bass 350 over the weekend (from Guitar Villa -- great place).

    It's awesome for my purpose (wanting to sound different from the SVT-III). For a blues jam, I'd still bust the SVT-III out of mothballs, but for everything else, I love the Bass 350. Those sweepable mids make dialing in a tone quick and easy. With Enhance up and the mids drastically cut at 800 Hz, the slap tone rules (and with faster attack than the SVT-III has). For fretless, I just crank the Enhance down and boost the mids at ~200-300 Hz.

    Thanks for the advice. This site is a great resource because of its friendly, caring participants. . .
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Frankly, I don't think you could have gone wrong with either amp--both great, reliable, toneful heads, IMO. I own a Bass 750 and WT 400 and love 'em both.
  7. I have a WT-300 and much prefer it to any SWR I've ever tried. The real advantage of the Eden is that it's a lot closer to flat frequency response than most bass amps--not quite at mic preamp + reference power amp territory, but close enough. This puts more emphasis on the technique, bass, and speakers you're using, which is IMO a good thing.

    Since I'm using a pair of D-210T cabinets, I play just a bit in front of the bridge pickup with a fairly light fingerstyle, and I'm using a bass with an alder body and maple neck, I get a very punchy sound with a lot of treble clarity. The amp seems to have a sweet spot at a master volume setting of 4.

    Congrats on your new amp nonetheless, Jordan. Sorry my SVT-III sucked donkey balls... :(
  8. Analogkid -- the SVT-III wasn't BAD; it just wasn't the right sound for my needs. I'm still keeping it around as a backup, and it's loud and reliable. . .

    but the SWR sounds like the sound in my head.
  9. i picked Eden over swr. Why? i could get the SWR sound wiht the eden (please, no fights, it was to my ears, not yours), but not the other way around. Also, i got the Eden couple hundred off (WT-800 for $1,000)
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A purely subjective opinion, of course, since there is no universally accepted definition of "hifi." Here's my purely subjective opinion: Eden is most definitely "hifi."
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Okay, since we're on the subject, how do you define "hifi"?

    Sorry...I couldn't resist;)
  12. My understanding of "hi fi" is a totally flat response with no coloration of sound from the input signal.
    In other words, the sound would be exactly as your bass sounds.

    Euphonic Audio and some of their users have made this claim, that whatever you put into it is exactly what comes out.

    It does seem to be sort of a grey area though, because anything that uses a tube in the preamp stage is going to add color to the sound.

    I myself would prefer a colorfull, warm sound but I'm guessing with an upright, which carries it's own warmth you wouldn't want to alter it's natural sound.

    I'll see what else I can find on the subject.

  13. On second thought, after looking around at all the upscale stereo equipment advertised as hi-fi (most of which are of tube design), I think it just means expensive.

    Websters II:

    high fidelity n. Minimally distorted electronic sound reproduction, as on records or tape.


  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The opposite of "lowfi." Seriously, it's not possible to really answer the question in a purely objective way. The term is one of those common-usage expressions that means slightly different things to different people. My vague definition would imply some sort of sonic excellence that elevates it beyond the mediocre and truly awful. Anything more specific just doesn't make sense. It's like trying to agree on what "good" means. Go ahead, talk amongst yerselves...it's like buttah.
  15. OK, I started this hi-fi thing, so I'll define what I meant.

    I wanted an amp head that would sound much like the Alembic F1-X I used to own. So the clean, pure F1-X tone is my def'n of "hi-fi." I sold the F1-X, however, because it didn't have parametric EQ, and I wanted more mid-shaping ability.

    So I was looking for that basic sound, but with the added bonus of more flexibility. . .
  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Gotta feeling you might dig the Euphonic. The i amp 600 is a pretty strong, clean and reasonably transparent amp. Not sterile sounding, tho. However, I still prefer the Eden's "tubeyness" but it may not suit you given your stated preference.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    As an admitted audiophile wannabe(can't afford to be a real audiophile, it would take all of my gear money and then some to support THAT habit!;)), my definition of 'hifi' is 20 hz to 20,000 hz frequency response with less than 1db of variation and as little thd and imd as possible, like less than .0005%.

    Of course, you could also just say truly uncolored or transparent sound, which neither Eden or SWR offer. But I don't like my bass tone uncolored.

    I have heard the Acme Low B2 cabinets and the Epifinani 3 way cabinet, pushed with with a Demeter and an Aguilar preamp through Crown and Crest amplifiers.

    Not my cup o' tea.

    There are guys who love this tone, and this tone is as close to hifi as bass tone will probably get.

    But I prefer the coloration of an Eden head, an Aguilar tube preamp AND tube power amp, or an old SVT(the real tube models, not all the transistor stuff that SLM puts the SVT badge on nowadays).

    I also prefer the coloration that most modern bass cabinets add to the sound, stuff like Eden, SWR, Aguilar and Bag End.

    So while I like hifi for home audio, I don't like it for bass.
  18. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    y'know, something i've noticed about bass gear...it's all voiced for bass. therefore it's never gonna be 'uncolored'. i mean, get what's considered to be a transparent cabinet (EA 210 or something), and plug it into a home stereo cd player. it'll sound like ass. plug that same receiver/cd player thru some comparably priced home speakers (cambridge soundworks, polk audio, infiniti, whatever), and it'll sound great. i'm not sure about using a bass amp as an amp/preamp for a home stereo...i suspect it would have better results than a bass cab used in a home stereo situation, but still, bass gear is voiced for bass. there is no such thing as 'uncolored'. actually, there's no such thing as 'uncolored' home audio reproduction either. i mean, even if you go buy some krell components with some theil speakers it's gonna be colored. it'll sound awesome as hell but sill sound like krell/theil.

    a short while ago there were some posts on here about expensive bass amps. like 50,000 dollar gold chassis bass heads. well, a pair of mono 60W all tube/pure silver wiring Audio Note home 'hi-fi' power amps costs 120,000 dollars. stupid money. i don't give a ****, it's still colored. or at least it's still distinctive. heh.
  19. As an Acme/Kern/QSC owner, this rig is the closest I have come to a system I would consider "hi-fi". For me to consider a system hi-fi, it should accurately take an incoming signal and not color it any more than possible when the controls are flat. That said, I think the system should should then have great tone controls. That's my beef with SWR and Eden. What's with the hiss? In my experience, every Eden/SWR I've tried hisses like crazy when the treble is boosted past flat. You could say that it's not necessary to boost past flat, but I think they could do better. I had an Ampeg SVT-4 that was very quiet regardless of how the treble was boosted.

    I agree every system adds it's own personality (color). I think that's what you pay for when you decide on a particular brand - do you like what it does to the incoming signal? I liked my Ampeg. But regardless of how I set it, it always sounded like an Ampeg. That's great, if that's what you want. It wasn't what I wanted.

    Unfortunately for my bank account, I was smitten by the audiophile bug years ago and have managed to put together a pretty good system. I've learned that I am not crazy about the "ultimate in transparency". Krell does that well. It sounds great if your recordings are perfect. If not, they can sound like crap. I have an all-tube system (amp, preamp, D/A, phono) that colors the sound. But, it colors it in ways I happen to love. That warm tube sound rules! :D

    I guess the bottom line is that it has to sound good to your ears!