How do I run my rig (SWR SM400s/Warwick)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassbrains, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. My gear: SWR SM400S head
    Peavy 4x10 4ohm cab
    Peavy 2x10+1x18 4ohm cab

    97 Warwick corvette proline 4 string
    70's Yamaha BB1600
    Warwick 5 string streamer standard

    Questions how do I connect my rig up for the best sound? e.g. do I bi amp run stero run the crossover?????

    Also how do I set the eq for a dub sound (Sublime)
    A funky fat slap sound (Mark King)
    A Ska/pop/punk sound (No Doubt)

    What other tools do I did to better the rig (all gear is stock) do I need pedals compressor etc....

    Thanks heaps for the advice I just started Bass and know nothing. Although I've played guitar for a long time.
  2. Anybody out there ???

    Please answer
  3. Well since no one else is helping... I'll throw an idea or two at ya. (I usually try to reserve myself for equipment that I have exact experience with).

    I would not run the crossover. I've set my SM-400 up that way a few times and seem to lose more than I gain. I would bi-amp it, even though SWR says you can use the bridge mode to run down to 2 Ohms. That's up to you and probably won't make much difference.

    The SWR website has a suggested setting page that may help you with eq settings. I personally don't like their suggestions too much. I set my eq to a very little low/low-mid bump, and a very little dip @ 1k (almost flat overall). Turn the Aural Enhancer almost all the way down (below the first dot up) and play with a light touch.

    I'm not familiar with the control layout on any of your basses. I have a MM SR-5 with a 3 band eq. If I want a fat slap tone, I leave the preamp at the bass flat (maybe a little bump on the low). For a dub sound, I turn the low up a little more, and the trebble down a little. For a more ska sound, the bass up, the treble flat, and maybe a little dip in the mids (but not usually).

    I don't think you need anything else to complete the rig, but then I'm not an effects type guy. You should be able to get a very usable and versatile sound with what you have there.

    Hope it helps... but if not, don't hold it against me. That's just how I do it.
  4. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  5. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Hey fat boobies,

    Hold on... fat boobies, fat boobies, fat boobies...

    he heh...

    Anyway, I run an SM400, swear by it and woud like to suggest the following:

    Set the amp to stereo. Plug the 410 into 1 power amp and the 1218 (or whatever it's called) into the other. That way your amp will be pushing around 250W into each cab at 4 ohms per side, very comfortable. The only problem you might run into is that the 410 is probably going to sound louder than the 18 cab.

    BTW, the amp WILL NOT bridge into 2 ohms. DON'T DO IT! If you are going to bridge the amp, you can run just one of your cabs.

    Personally I'd just bridge into the 410.

    As far as EQing this puppy:

    I like to set the Aural enhancer at around 10 or 11 o'clock, Bass at 3 o'clock and the eq sliders pretty much flat to start, limiter barely on. (I use a MMSR5 which has a lot of mids so I end up cutting a bit around 400hz). This gives the head a general coloration like most amps.

    Now, Eric Wilson of Sublime basically has nothing above 2khz in his signal according to an interview, so turn the treble down on the head and play close to the neck. Keep in mind he uses Roto flats which are tight strings with lots of mids on a hollowbody bass.... In other words you'll have to adjust your technique as much as your amp settings.

    Mark King basically is a flat sound (with a slight farty boost at around 200-300hz) with brand spankin new roundound strings. Crank the gain up a bit higher on the pre and give the treble a bit of a goose if your strings are old.

    For the modern "ska" (is it really ska though?) basically use the starter setting and adjust the tone from the bass.

    Remember, trying to cop a sound made in the studio is difficult.

    Let me know how it works out and oh yeah, all this was just MO.
  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Hey Fat boobies, I can't wait to see your avatar when you become a supporting member:D
    4 ohms is min. for bridged mode with SM 400/S

    I own a SM400-S with a Warwick Streamer.
    Use your bass tone controls as well.
    I've found (and many pro's) that the amp runs best bridged @ 4 ohms.
    This gets the cap's all juiced up and provides the most punch, therefore use one cab or the other.

    How do I set the eq for a dub sound (Sublime):

    Aural E - 2:00
    Bass - 3:00
    1st EQ - 10:00 boost 10+ db
    2nd EQ - 10:00 boost 10+ db
    3rd EQ - Full right @ 800Hz 5:00 CUT 10 db
    4th EQ - Full right @ 1.6 kHz 5:00 CUT 4 db
    Treble - Full OFF
    Transparency - Full OFF

    A funky fat slap sound (Mark King)

    Same settings as above except:
    4th EQ - Full right @ 1.6 kHz 5:00 BOOST 4 db
    Treble - 2:00
    Transparency - 2:00

    A Ska/pop/punk sound (No Doubt)

    Aural E - 2:00
    Bass - 2:00
    1st EQ - 10:00 boost 10+ db
    2nd EQ - 10:00 boost 10+ db
    3rd EQ - Full right @ 800Hz LEAVE FLAT (center dent)
    4th EQ - Full right @ 1.6 kHz 5:00 BOOST 3 db
    Treble - 1:00
    Transparency - 12:00

    Byran Beller:
    Bass Player Magazine Contributor
    Beer for Dolphins
    Here's the settings he's used for over 10 years...

    Limiter - OFF
    Aural E - 12:00
    Bass - 2:00
    Treble - 1:00
    Trans - 1:30
    EQ 1- 11:00 and +3 lines
    EQ 2 - 12:00 and +4 lines
    EQ 3 - 12:00 and set to center
    EQ 4 - 3:30 and +2 lines

    The SWR SM-400 this amplifier is the single most important piece of gear I've ever owned. It's been with me since 1990. Through Berklee, through various Boston gigs, through Z, Keneally, through everything, this piece was there. In ten years and thousands of usage hours, it never failed once. Not even after I dropped it down a flight of stairs at Berklee did it malfunction.

    But I didn't buy it to accommodate my clumsiness--I bought it because it was the greatest-sounding head I'd ever heard.

    I was in my second semester at Berklee in 1990, and I had a Gallien-Krueger RB400, which sounded well enough. I distinctly remember walking by a rehearsal room and hearing a bass sound that encapsulated everything I'd ever wanted to hear out of my own rig. After crashing the rehearsal and grilling the bassist about what the head was and how he got it, I purchased my own SM-400 two weeks later and sold the GK head at a significant loss. And I didn't care.

    In the beginning I used to bi-amp the head into a Trace Elliott 4x10 and a Mesa-Boogie 1x15. Why did I bi-amp? Because everyone told me to. It was a nice concept, separating highs and lows into two different cabinets and getting that "hi-fi" sound, but once I left Berklee I realized that I was basically cutting the full range potential of the amp in half by doing so. By this I mean that the "low" cabinet was only getting frequencies below 120 hz, and the "high" cabinet was only getting frequencies above 120 hz, while both cabinets were perfectly capable of reproducing a fuller range and increasing the perceived volume of the whole rig. Once I hit L.A., I began bridging the power amp mono, full range, into a single 4x10, which has been the basis for my rig ever since.

    I was very consistent in my use of the SM-400's tone controls. From 1-10: Gain at 4, Limiter at minimum, Aural Enhancer at 6. Bass (clock face): 2:00 PM. Treble: 1:00 PM. Graphic EQ Sliders: #1 at +3 lines, #2 at +4 lines, #3 at center (or zero), #4 at +2 lines. Rotary Frequency Selectors for the Graphic EQ section: #1 at 11:00 AM, #2 at 12:00 PM, #3 at 12:00 PM (irrelevant anyway because the level was set at zero), #4 at 3:30 PM. I added the transparency control as a mod in 1998 and usually set it at 1:30 PM. I also eventually added the XLR variable pad and ground lift mod, as well as the separate pre-master effects loop.

    But mainly I plugged this baby in and got a great sound right away, and that was why I used it. When it came time to expand it, I saw no need to run out and get a different head. I just ran the effects send (a post-master-volume line out) to an additional power amp and controlled all master levels with the SM-400 Master Volume control. It was great tone and tons of power made easy.

    It was still my main head all the way up until late 2000, when I made the switch over to the Mo' Bass. Now this beloved piece of gear serves as my backup and occasional practice amp, but there's no reason it couldn’t be pressed back into service at any time. And in my humble (and potentially biased) opinion, I think that it belongs right next to the Ampeg SVT as one of the two most important and influential bass amplifiers ever made.

    --Bryan Beller
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Sooooo I'm a little confused. You're Bryan Beller (by the way I love your BP mag articles) Who is Donne Demarest? Anyway Ditto on how great the SM400 is I bought one used about 2 years ago and it's been flawless. I now run it as a preamp to a PLX 1602 until I get an I.O.D.. But I'll be keeping my SM400 for sure.
  9. No... I 'm not Bryan.
    That's why the settings and article are sited.
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  11. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I have a slightly related question:
    If I were to hook up the SM500 (I have the 500) to a power amp, is it better to use the effects send (with the effects blend knob cranked) or use the DI to connect to a power amp.?

    If you use the effects send do you have to plug something into the return to make the loop active, or will the send alone work?

    This is just in case I play larger gigs and need the power amp.

  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I use the XLR out to hook up to my PLX1602 and that line/direct slider I set to line so I can still use my EQ
  13. Wow thanks for replying guys.

    I got a gig tomorrow so I will try all your suggestions there.

    Sorry about my lame name I couldn't think of anything at the time.

    Thanks again.
  14. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    hey all...

    Just picked up a used sm400s - so far so good.

    In order to run this amp, bridged/mono, is it just a matter of switching into the bridged/mono mode? The manual makes reference to banana jacks - what are they, what do they do and how would I use them on the sm400s to maximize the mono 500W output into a 4-ohm load (2 cabs @ 8 ohms)?


  15. Flip the switch to BRIDGED and use the BANANA JACKS. The BANANA INPUT (one black/one red) is between the left and right 1/4" phone jacks.


    Notice that one end has a phone jack and the other end has a BANANA JACK.

    There is a TAB on one side of the BANANA JACK this is the NEG. indicator. The TAB SIDE of the BANANA JACK always goes to the BLACK INPUT.

    Yes, two 8 ohm cabinets run together properly equals 4 ohms.

    TO RUN STEREO to take advantage of the BALANCE and CROSSOVER, flip the switch to STEREO and use the QUARTER INCH PHONE JACKS.

    Download the the Manual:

    SWR SM 400-S Manual
  16. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North

    Donne - thanks dude! After a couple of visits to local music stores, I found exactly what you've illustrated above.

    The first thing I did was RTFM, but it was pretty lean wrt to the whole bridging/banana jack thing.

    Kelly at SWR also provided me some good advice.

    Long story short: I got two banana -> 1/4" adapters and hooked up the cabs with my existing speaker cables with no chance of blowing anything up.... tah dah!!

    Thanks for all your help, guys.

  17. Kelly's the SM 400 guy for sure.

    Hope you have the same Good Luck and
    Satisfaction with your SM 400-S that I enjoy.