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My head died...point me in the right direction

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zillo, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    My lovely 18 year old SWR Workingman's 4004 has given up the ghost. I loved that thing.

    A replacement is needed though. I like that SWR sound and play folk rock kind of stuff that needs a nice full but not overpowering low end and jazz, both funky style and standards. I prefer a baked in mellowed top end when I can have it.

    I play a mim fender jazz v and streamer LX 6 for the most part these days. Point me in the right direction with the good stuff in today's amp world!
  2. Perhaps you could find another SWR? I've seen a few of those for sale every once in awhile, like on reverb.com, or do you just want to get a totally new amp? I'm not really sure what a modern equivalent would be. Maybe one of those Fender Rumble 500 heads might do the trick. I have one of the older combos, the 350 model, and I think you can get that type of tone with it. I haven't been shopping around for amps in awhile, since I have that and an Orange 1000 watt head in my collection.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    lowplaces, ubernator and zillo like this.
  3. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    I am thinking newer. The SWR amps are great, but even the newest of those are probably 10 years old now? That would be my only concern, not to say that plenty of the used ones out there would not have a lot of good years left. Gig dependability is a big deal.

    Mine died on the job, but I had my backup mb 200 handy. That's not my ideal for a main amp -killer backup though.
    Paul LF likes this.
  4. Yeah, I know what you mean. You'd have to buy used, since they aren't around anymore, and sometimes that can present it's own problems. There's often a reason people rid of their gear, although it could be just a matter of get bored with it, too. What about the 500 watt version of the GK head you have?
    G RICH 5 and zillo like this.
  5. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    Gk is good...I have always liked the sound of the 400 rb. The MB series to my ear is a little strong on both the bass and treble. I can most definitely dial in something I like, but I don't get a new amp very often, so I am kind of looking around for something that has my baked in flavor, if that exists.
    Paul LF likes this.
  6. ubernator


    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Time for an upgrade, an SWR bass350, sm400/500 etc... Pref pre fender with a tube pre.

    That being said, my bass350 was stolen (so you may end up with mine lol). I am now using a v3 rumble, and it actually makes me happy. The 500 head will probably make you happy as well. The 4004 was not SWRs best anyway.
    Manticore, Paul LF and zillo like this.
  7. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    What price are you looking at? Do you care about weight or size of the amp?

    And +1 to what @ubernator said. I think you'd like how the Fender 500's sound.
    Paul LF and zillo like this.
  8. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    Weight & size not much of an issue....not looking for an SVT....but 25ish lbs does not bother me. Light is good all things sound wise being equal ....I don't have a huge budget....maybe 500 bucks+-
  9. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    If the 4004 got you there, the Bassman 500 should too. Great amp. Portable, comes with a gig bag. I didn't keep mine because I like a like a lot of headroom into an 8 ohm cab. It worked for me but I ended up returning it.

    That amp has always been in the back of my mind though. Considered buying one as a backup. I really like most Fender Bass Amps.

    There are several other options though. The Tech21 VT Bass, Carvin B1000, GK MB500, Peavey. If you go used that range opens up quite a bit.
  10. ubernator


    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    $399 rumble 500 +$100 to get your 4004 fixed, there are no expensive parts in that thing
    Paul LF and aproud1 like this.
  11. Like what was mentioned before, you might want to check out the Rumble 500 head. I have a feeling it might work out for what you're looking for. I know there's a ton of new bass amps out these days, but that's one amp I do have some general idea of how it can sound, and it seems to fit in with your budget and weight concerns.
  12. I'm selling a mid 2000's Hartke HA3500. It's a great solid amp 245.00 delivered to your door. Let me know and I'll give you some more details.
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  13. Where are you ? There is a Ashdown ABM 500 rack chrome in the local CL CHEAP!.
    floydman likes this.
  14. Ed455


    Feb 26, 2017
    Shreveport, LA
    Hartke LH500 sells NEW for about $350 most places. I've found them as low as $299 occasionally. I have both an LH500 and an LH1000, that's how much I like them.
    pcake likes this.
  15. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. Here is a NOS one for under $500 shipped:

    SWR Workingman's 4004 Bass Amplifier Head
  16. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
  17. Lots of good stuff out there.
    It is a buyers market on used gear.
    I would second the Ashdown EVO 500.
    I use one myself.
  18. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Normally I'd recommend sticking with the brand and model that you are most familiar with. At this point however, it seems more logical for you to start fresh and become familiar with some other amps and their tonal characteristics.

    It's easy to shove the "typical" Fender Rumble, Ampeg PF series suggestions out there, but those are only vaguely close to SWR, and in only 1 or 2 specific settings. Really, what you need is to go out any try stuff. It's admittedly harder for me to isolate the differences of the Workingman series as opposed to their upper scale amps, which I'm more familiar with.

    Markbass and GK have always come across as having some of those SWR characteristics.
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  19. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Eden wt405
    TrevorOfDoom likes this.
  20. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    A lot of great suggestions have been made for good, reliable amps but very few that have any similarities to SWR at all tonally. At least IMO.
    SWRs have (had....) a very distinct, somewhat scooped tone that was immediately identifiable.

    GK? I don't hear any similarity at all, personally. But Markbass, yes. As well as Eden (with some mid scooping) and Ashdown.

    It's likely you can find a good, clean, used SWR if you hunt, but I do understand you wanting to go with something newer and, ostensibly, more reliable. For tone that's roughly in the SWR ballpark, I'd investigate the brands I list above.
    Trombassix and Sartori like this.