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How does a SWR 350x compare to GK BL600 or Carvin PB500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bass Man Dan, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    Here's the deal: My only amp set-up for the last 20 years has been a Carvin PB 500 with matching Carvin 4x10 and 1x15 cabs. Right now I am using the Carvin head and 1x15 for rehearsal and the 4x10 cab with a GK Backline 600 head for solo practice. I have been offered an SWR 350x in trade for a bass I have. We play 90s rock. My question is, I guess, is the SWR 350x a substantial upgrade over my other two heads? I've never played through one and was just curious how it ranks among these other two heads I have.
  2. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I can't comment on the 350x, but I used to own a 550x for a number of years. I greatly enjoyed the scooped, tight, modern sound. However, I found it to be the quietest 550ish watts I've ever owned. It was lower in perceivable volume than a 350w Hartke Transient Attack, 500w Peavey T-Max, and questionable 2000w rating of my Bugera Veyron M (which is now my main) believed to be around 500w RMS.
    Bass Man Dan likes this.
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    I like SWR gear, the tone and feature set work for me. So I would make the swap. I don't know how that helps you make the decision though, you may hate it.

    What do you mean by "upgrade"?
    Bass Man Dan likes this.
  4. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    I just meant is it markedly better all around, I guess. But anyway, I did the swap on my way to rehearsal today and used the SWR for the entire time. It sounded good. I will say it will not nearly keep up volume-wise with the PB500. I had this thing on about middle of the dial for volume. My PB 500 I usually run at 3 or less. But the tone was good. I'm not nuts over it, but this head will serve more use than the bass I traded was going to. So it was a good swap.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    GlassToMouth likes this.
  5. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    If you didn't actually run out of power, it will keep up fine. Knob position means nothing. And the SWR is definitely the best amp of the 3.
    GlassToMouth likes this.
  6. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    So we are switching rehearsal spots, so all of my gear is temporarily at my house. I went through all three heads one by one into each cabinet individually (4x10 and 1x15). I was just trying to see if anything grabbed me by the hair and said "here is the best sound!" The short answer is none did.
    My quick take is I slightly prefer the 15 over the 4 10. Just seems to have a bit more bottom end yet still sounds full.
    As for the 3 heads: The GK sounds the cleanest, clearest. The Carvin sounds the fullest, most well-rounded. The SWR has the most character, most distinct sound.
    I would gladly play live with any of the three. However, I think the Carvin has a bit of constant noise that comes out not only through the cab but also the direct line out. That kind of kills it for gigging. So I believe the SWR is my go to for now.
    GlassToMouth likes this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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