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Is that true that SWR heads...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jabba, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Jabba


    Mar 11, 2005
    Is that true that SWR heads are quieter then other amps. For example SWR 300 Watt equal 200 Watt Trace Elliot. I have heard those rumours but it souds like a crap.

    And second thing, do you know any examples of SWR SM-400 sound such as albums, songs?
  2. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    My 350x is not very loud. Has the headroom of a 13" television really.
  3. I have SM-500 and I can't complain.
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    GC guy told you this, didnt he?
  5. Jabba


    Mar 11, 2005
    :eyebrow: What does it mean "GC guy"?
  6. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    Guitar Center guy...
  7. Jabba


    Mar 11, 2005
    no :D I've read about it... I can't remember where... other bass forum maybe
  8. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Well, a watt is a watt unless you are comparing tube power to solid state power (preamps don't count).

    SWR amps have a bit of a mid scoop in them that you can correct with eq. This mid scoop sends alot of power to lower frequencies that you can barely hear. The answer is to turn down the ultra lows and turn up the lower mids.

    This is compuounded by their cabs, which are a bit scooped also.

    I have owned an SWR Super Redhead and an SM-400. Also a Workingmans 10 and still own an LA 8. Oh, and also a Goliath III cab. I wish I still had the Super Redhead and the SM-400.

    I don't know any specific albums offhand but their website has a ton of artists that endorse SWR.


  9. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    If you swap out the ICs in your SWR circuit from the TL072 to NE5532 or better, you'd reduced the idle noise and it would be a lot quiter then. I found SWRs noisy (hissy) and this mod will involve about 8 chips depending on the type of EQ circuit your SWR has.
  10. SWR's are not priced for the entry-level market. If so, what are you paying for that counteracts the possible wattage/volume issue and the hiss problems?
  11. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Not priced for the entry-level market??

    LA Series.

    Mid market?

    Workingman's and now WorkingPro series.

    High end?

    Pro series.

    They have everyone covered.

    If it's hissy, turn down the treble and or your tweeter. Learn to use your eq and learn what makes a good tone that fits in the mix.

    I never had any hiss problems above and beyond any other comparable amp manufacturer.

    Too many guys try to get the 'bedroom' tone while playing live. That's not what you want. Trust me. Not if you want to be heard.


  12. hi lowtonejoe, I'm in the market for a rig so I've been scouring the shops but most shops I've gone to have had expensive SWRs and most of the storeowners/sales people have referred to the SWRs as a mid to high end brand so that where I got my impression from. It's been a nightmare trying to wrap my head around the info that's been thrown my way in the past few weeks! But any feedback I receive from you guys will help me greatly because it's a different perspective since you're not the storeowner or salesperson.
  13. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Hi there!

    Don't get me wrong, and entry level SWR will definitely cost more than a Behringer or an entry level Peavey but it all depends on the tone you want, the size of the room you will be playing in and the cash you have in hand.

    Click on this link for a list of bass combos sorted by price.

    You will see what I mean.



  14. Damn yeah I can see what you mean in that link you showed me. But when I saw this thread I was a bit worried in regards to the wattage-bang-for-your-buck. Testing its output with a band or at a gig is not something I can 'try out' in a store if you know what I mean. I only just learned today at one of the shops I went to that the 500w Warwick ProFet will not produce 500 watts of bass the way a 500w Ampeg would, you know what I mean? I feel like I'm back to square one in my search for a rig.

    Where do the Series X SWRs fit into the SWR picture? Are they considered their high-end series?
  15. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    The X's are the pro line.

    First - Decide on the tone you want. This will mostly be influenced by the type of music you play and then the kind of bass/pickups you have.

    Second - How much power do you need? This will be determined by the size of the rooms you will be playing and your speaker configuration.

    Third - How much money do you have? This will be determined by the size of your wallet, credit cards or the depth of you pockets.

    Follow these steps in order.

    Then try to decide.


  16. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    A response to a PM


    Saw your post on Talkbass.
    I'm curious about swapping out the TL072s in my Eden WT500, which is quite hissy. I've been thinking of using OPA2604s and possibly OPA275s in the EQ circuit. I've already modified the gain structure somewhat, reducing gain in the power section, and increasing the gain at the first gain stage, but it is still fairly noisy with the Master off.

    What is your experience in replacing the TL072 with better opamps?"

    I think any one item has no special magic or mojo but works in tandem with the rest of the circuit to produce a sonic outcome. I don't think there 's anything inherently wrong with TL072s or anything special about OPA2604s or NE5532s. The latter probably are better spec. for noise. It was my experience that in a typical SWR circuit there is an appreciable difference in 'idle noise' or hiss when you are not playing; even at moderate levels after the mod. The swap I did resulted in a lower noise floor, which to me was almost equivalent to the difference dolby on/off for those of you who remember using Dolby NR. I was too happy with the lower noise (as I am a studio rat) to bother swapping back to see if there was any tonal difference. I did not seem to think there was. That typical SWR low end hump was still there so it the swap did not affect the tonal character of the SWR type sound.

    FYI, the preamp I had was a GT studio preamp which is similar to identical to SWR, and most SWRs preamp sections are variants of a parent circuit to my recollection of schematics I have seen. I recall the differences were mainly in the EQ section. I have never looked into the guts of an Eden so I can't comment. I suppose the greatest effect an IC swap will have is where the noise (hiss) seems to come from - the EQ section. I suppose if you experiment with various ICs for your gain and output sections there may be some change to gain as the behaviour of these chips are not all the same. I would hazard a guess that if you swapped the chips in the EQ section to OPAs you'dn more than probably lower the noise floor.

    Also, my other preamps in my rack are an Alembic F1X, a Demeter (the 1.5 rack space one) and a Trace V type preamp. It got to the point where the GT/SWR circuit at least matched the idle noise levels of those.

    Hope this helps.
  17. I used to be a pianist/keyboardist. I've been many years out of music (playing, practicing, gigging), although a couple of years ago I picked up the bass for a change of scenery. I'm ready to take the next step and this will be my first rig. The problem is I am into many types of music, from jazz to jazz fusion, funk, folk/rock, hard rock. I just need a good rig that won't break down on me and can handle the variety I am likely to throw at it over the next few years.

    Right now I still have my first bass - a Yamaha BB350 passive with J pups.

    Also have a great Yamaha BBN4F III fretless passive 4 string with 2 EMG soapbars, I absolutely love this one.

    An Ashton acoustic electric bass guitar. This might've been a relatively cheap one but I love the tone I'm getting out of it. Maybe I was lucky and got one that was 'just right' out of the factory.

    A custom-made EUB with piezo pickups is on the way.

    I am looking to get an active fretted Warwick soon too, should do better than my old BB350.

    As for how much power I need, I have no idea where I'm going to land later this year, that's the hardest part. If I end up doing folk/rock stuff, I don't envision I would need much power. But if I find myself in a hard rock or a funk band..

    .. so I've been looking at the 300w to 500w range. So that's why I was a bit worried about certain brands and their relative wattage output. I was told today that the Warwick 300w amp doesn't really put out much power.
  18. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    I see your dilemma.

    You have a good selection of basses to work with but you don't really have a gig yet. And it could turn out to be anything.

    Would you be willing to lean towards a pre/power rig? It might be cheaper for you in the long run. Sometimes it's easier and cheaper to just swap out pre's. But 300w-500w is a good range to shoot for in a head.

    Wait, are you looking for a combo or a head/cab rig?

    Figure your price range and get the best general purpose amp you can. There is actually quite a bit to choose from as you may have noticed.


  19. I've been looking at a head/cab rig. I was thinking of settling with a Warwick rig, they seem to be the best value for my price range. But I came across a SWR Series X head for a reasonable price, that's why I was reading through TB threads and asking about it.
  20. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    My amps are an SM-400s and a Bass 350. Both have plenty of volume and tone.

    At a recent medium-sized gig with Eden 15 and 210 cabs, I never got the master as high as noon...and we were fairly loud.

    Something some people miss with SWR amps is that input gain might need to be turned up farther than on some other amps...a Jazz bass might have the gain as high as 1 o'clock.

    I usually boost the mids a bit...these amps have a lot of bottom.