Improving SWR mids?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Osobass, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. I play an SWR Super Redhead with an WM-15 extension cab with my P-bass. There are times when I could use a rounder Ampeg like tone in the midrange rather than the SWR midrange zing.

    What is the best way to achieve this transformation? Can it be done with an external EQ or a DI?. It doesn't seem like using an amp modeler would give me the sound that I am looking for at volume.
  2. Audiosolace

    Audiosolace Guest

    Oct 8, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    If you wanted to take advantage of that built in rack space on your Redhead, you might consider buying an Ampeg SVP-Pro. Sometimes the best way to get that Ampeg sound is to shell out the beans for an Ampeg!

    An outboard EQ might help you round out SWR's notoriously glassy midrange, but I don't know that you'll be able to get that bite that you're looking for.
  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have a Super Redhead that I use with upright bass. The tone of SWR tube preamps is improved dramatically with the instalation of a USA or European tube. I have a Telefunken ECC83 in mine. The tone is much warmer and less brittle sounding than it was with the OEM tube.

    I installed a Tech 21 RBI in the rackspace in the Super Redhead. I have the output of the RBI running into the effects return on the Super Redhead which bypasses the SWR preamp. It does sound much warmer and usually better when I use the amp for electric bass. I always use the tube preamp for upright bass. Sounds wonderful.

  4. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Sounds more like "changing" than "improving." You're after a different sound. I'd bet the Sans Amp box would make the change for you, whether on board or as a pedal. I heard one on a little GK combo and it provided a much smoother sound.
  5. Great ideas. I've got a spare Electo-Harmonix 12AX7 tube that I could try, but it's Russian. If it provides no improvement I'll try to hunt down a Telefunken ECC83.

    The Sans Amp sounds like the next best option. The Sans Amp would give lots of options for placement relative to the SWR pre amp. Kind of bums me out to think about bypassing the SWR pre all was one of the amps main selling points.

    The SVP-Pro would be way cool, but pricy of course.
  6. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    If you're looking for a tube, my favorite for my SM-400 amp is a Tesla JJ ECC83. You can get them labeled as such or under the Groove Tubes label if that's easier to find.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The SABDDI and RBI are excellent devices, but tend to cut mids in most settings. Because you're looking to restore midrange, I too would suggest the Ampeg SVP-Pro: I chose that over the RBI specifically because of its stronger mid-shaping capability (note that I already own a SABDDI pedal).
  8. It seems like the midrange problem is related to the tight Q on the midrange. Regardless of the frequency selected, when the mids are boosted it sounds a someone has only raised one slider on a 15+ band EQ.

    Has anyone modified their SWR amp to increase the Q on the midrange EQ? If so, where did you find the schematic? What exactly did you change? Are you happy with the results?
  9. A parametric EQ like the classic Furman PQ3B would be a great addition.

    I guess you want round mids, but if you want really snarly, honky, aggressive midrange, you could always try to score a used Trace Elliot preamp. :D
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Turn the Aural Enhancer down if you haven't already...
  11. i have a swr wm 12 which drove me nuts for 8 years with that mid control operating at 800hz
    i bought a sansamp box and plugged straight into the low in put and adjusted gain etc and it transformed the sound...
    later the penny/cent dropped and i plugged into the effects return...wowowowowowow
    the wm pre amp is now not in the chain an my P sounds like a P and with the sansamp being my preamp now the whole world just lit up...
    i can get growl fahrt and dub
    clean top end and no whining...
    its a joy...
    now my next move may be to ditch the wm 12 and get a powered speaker to feed the sansamp into..
    well worth the cash it cost...and i use it on mains adaptor so i got over the awkward battery change etc.
    go for it.:)
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, I've always found it necessary to run a parametric EQ in the effects loop of my SWR's to get the sound I want out of them. The mids are one reason, the highs are another. SWR made an EQ box for a while, it was like a 9-band parametric or something. Once in a while you still see them on eBay. But that's what it was intended for. Nice amps if they're EQ'd right. That tweeter is a little funny though, on their speakers.
  13. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Thats basically what I've done and I love the RBI/SWR power section combination. I have the RBI and a Bass 350 amp with Aguilar cabs. I never thought I'd like to get away from the swr pre tube sound, but the rbi is a much more useful tone for me on stage for tone and cutting through. I'm seriously thinking of ditching my swr and get a poweramp or the Tech 21 Landmark 300 instead. I play electric bass basic rock stuff.