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Looking for a warmer sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by supernaut, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. I am currently using a SWR SM-500 and it has been a great bass head for me, but I am looking for a warmer and slightly colored tone. I don't really want to go all tube at this point because they are too heavey for what I do, and ease of portability is important. I was looking at some of the Ashdown heads, the Evo series looks interesting. just kinda looking for some directions to explore.
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    EVO is fatness and warmth. kinda like ampeg and eden having hot, passionate sex.;)
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i'm sure there are many heads that other members here can help you with, but how 'bout some other possibilities?

    have you heard of the "rack" setup, where the preamp and power amp sections of the amp head are separated?

    the preamp is pretty lightweight @ around 7 lbs., but the power amp can be solid state, and weigh as little as 15 lbs. like a Stewart World 1.2, which is fav among many here, myself included. because the two components are separated, as long as you have a nice transparent sounding power amp, you can experiment and mix & match preamps to find a sound that best complements your speakers and your tonal sensiblities.

    a great lightweight power amp to check out is the 21 lbs. QSC PLX series. i've got a 1602, and its just a joy to pick up.

    as for preamp sounds, head on over to www.basstasters.com and check out as many of the clips of the preamps they have there. find the preamp and download the clips of the bass that's best closely resembles your bass to get a feel for how the preamp might treat your bass. and VOILA, you should have a great idea of where to go for your next setup.

    your speakers can have alot to do with getting a warmer sound. FYI, i find the SWR cabs & speakers to be very bright and harsh. you can try turning down the tweeter and seeing if that smoothes out the sound for you. or you can try Ampeg's or Ashdown's cabs, which are palpably darker and smoother sounding.
  4. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Warmer and slightly colored tone you say? the new Eden WT-550 might be the one. I bought one a few months ago and I'm realy happy with it. I'd say it gets you a fat deep bottom that's still punchy, along with warm mids and highs. Most would say that it has a dip in the mids (which can easily dialed back in) and has a "colored" tone, the signature Eden tone. I've played through a WT-300 and WT-800, they all pretty much have the same tone. naturally, the higher powered ones have more headroom.

    also the WT-550's 500 watts into 4 ohms gives you plenty of headroom.
  5. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    try EBS stuff
  6. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Aguilar DB750. The king of warmth!!:bassist:
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Have you tried rethinking your eq on the SWR? Adding some mids and rolling back the treble would had warmth.

    Or...how about just adding something like a SansAmp Bass Driver between instrument and amp?

    Either approach would be less expensive than buying a new amp...
  8. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I have some of the same issues with my SWR SM500. Thus once some money comes in I plan to get an Aguilar DB659 pre-amp and QSC/PLX power amp (27 pounds total). It will add more warmth yet still be articulate. I also have Aguilar GS112 cabs.
  9. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    I second the idea of trying a DI or inexpensive solution to enhance your amp. I have a friend who plays everything from jazz to rock with a hartke kickback amp and a Modulus Q5. He gets incredibly warm sounds out of his Modulus using a Fishman pro-eq platinum bass preamp/DI. It's a small and relatively inexpensive unit, and if it can warm up a Modulus/Hartke combo, I'm guessing it can do the trick. I switched from an SWR to a tube amp which shall remain nameless, and though I really had no major complaints, I immediately missed the punch and incredible clarity I get with my SWR. Nothing has the slap sound of an SWR IMO, and I have yet to find another amp that sings so well and cuts through as nicely on high notes and riffs played above the 12th fret.
    I did a search and found this on the fishman
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    If you've been happy with the performance of your SWR, you might look at going with the SWR IOD preamp...really the best of both worlds. You can get that 100% pure SWR tone if you want it, you can run the tubes full out (getting the tone of a tube amp without the weight and reliability issues of a "real" tube head), or you can mix/blend the two tones to suit your needs. Also, you might want to look at rolling back on the tone knob, favoring the neck over the bridge pickup, or backing off/shutting off the tweeter on your cab (if it has one) and boosting the treble on your bass/amp to get more high end.
  11. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I also tried the EBS 650 tube/SS hybid head and the Aguilar DB750. Both very awesome amps with warm tube style tone but very punchy as well!
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    From what you're saying I'd absolutely go with the Ashdown. I used to have an ABM500 and then I got rid of it and tryed other things. Well, I ended up going back to the Ashdown. Warmth and articulation are the trademarks of the Ashdown amps with just enough color to kill ya!. I don't however suggest the Ashdown cabs. I don't like them at all. Try a 112 cab or two for a warmer sound. I've got Bergantino's but there are others out there that are quite good.
  13. Peavey Pro 500. Warm, tight, clear, and punchy. It may be a little underpowered for some, if so try the Pro 1600. The 1600 one is on my wish list.
  14. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    The signiture SWR sound a'la SM500 is super clean
    Hi Fi. To warm things up with mine I use a
    Boss SE 50.
  15. thanks for all the responses, I'm in no hurry so I have some time to look around. I want to check out that Eden WT550 because I have been hearing good things about that, and the Mesa, and ashdown heads look promising too. I'll also go and try some preamps like you were suggesting.

    I really dig the Aguilar tone, but unless I can score a deal on the DB659, their stuff is too spendy for me right now.
  16. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I forgot to mention the 300 watt Mesa Walkabout in my previous posts. I tried that one too. Nice warm deep tube tone and it didn't seem underpowered given its 300 watts.

    so many to choose from! it's not an easy decision.
  17. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Abza friggin' lootly.

    I've had one in my SWR so long that I forgot
    what it sounds like with a stock tube.
  18. Oh baby....:eek: :eek:

    I too am on a quest to warm up my sound, yet my Ampeg SVP-BSP is being a turd. I was looking at the Eden WT-550, but its too expensive for me:bawl:. Maybe I'll be able to track one down someday...

    Any suggestions? My preamp only has 1 tube, so how can I warm it up?
    Thanks a bunch!!
  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey, just to come back to this thread, i had a chance to try the SM500, and found it to be a really fun little amp!

    but, with a bolt-on Warwick Thumb 5, thru a goliath 4x10 / 1x15, set with all the EQ settings flat, i found the sound REALLY bright and harsh. almost annoyingly so. thankfully, the EQ was really versatile. not touching any of the EQ dials, and using mostly the EQ sliders, i found a really great "joker" tone.

    boosted the lows around the 40Hz, and gave a nice shot in the 125Hz, which warmed up the sound considerably. i also lowered some EQ around 6.5kHz, which i found as the culprit to the harshness, and added just a dash of higher highs for articulation.

    also, i dont think swapping tubes will really warm up any amp too much. IMHO, its all in the EQ'ing. but if you must, try a JAN GE 12AX7. big huge low end, attenuated midrange, and airy highs.

    but overall, i think i found my new "rental" setup. ;)
  20. is a 5751 like a 12AT7, because I put one of those in my m-pulse and a nicer warmer mid was the reward.

    Very fat and warm sounding the m-pulse is!;)