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My new baby ( . . . blue)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eric Moesle, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Wow, I walked into a Guitar Center store in Columbus yesterday just to get a strap. I'm never usually entertained by the crap they have there, but I always do a quick walkthrough of the bass dept. Sitting there was a used SWR Baby Blue II combo, with the 2x8 speakers. Tag $499. I've always wanted to try one of those. Of course, it followed me home for an adoption fee of $400.

    I had a rehearsal last evening to learn some new tunes, and the thing absolutely smoked. It was hands down the best sounding combo I've ever played through, and it held its own against the drummer in a small studio room. I'm used to high-end gear, and my main rig is a n Eden Navigator pre and QSC PLX power, but this thing sounded IN-FREAKIN'-CREDIBLE.

    I plugged my Ernie Ball 2x10 extension cab into it for awhile, and though it had more lows, it lost its sweetness and evenness, even after necessary tone tweaking, so I went back to just the internal speakers.

    What an incredible little beast. Hands down the best $400 bills I ever spent on gear. I'm going to mic this thing for recording, use it as my practice rig, and plug my NS upright through it for small jazz gigs. I never thought a combo could sound so good . . . and my bandmates were in awe and disbelief.
  2. Best Preamp of all time.

    Wonder why SWR doesn't incorporate the Blue
    preamp in other designs?
  3. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I fully second that. FunkyJ has an old electric blue (just the head) and it sounds AMAZING. Nothing like what's being produced now.
  4. Small world.

    I traded that SWR Baby Blue II even to them for a used Ampeg 350T and a monster cord a couple of weeks ago. I paid $200.00 for it cash at a pawnshop on West Broad Street. I liked it but it didn't seem to have the deep bass I am looking for in the eights. While Brian was checking it out when I was making the trade ..it really sounded better in the store than it did at home. That made me think about changing my mind with the trade for about two seconds. I have rotten acoustics at home though. I have taken that thing with me to Atlanta and other places in the back of my car or van so it's very portable and easy to move about. Have fun with it. It was my little bedroom boogie amp. I have a few pictures of it you need them.

    I got my sights set on a Hartke 1410 Combo now to replace that since the Ampeg 350T Combo is slightly too much to throw in back with the suitcases but I'm absolutely in love with the Ampeg and the only thing it do not have that I would have enjoyed would be a headphone jack.

    I really liked the SWR but when I walked into GC and saw the Ampeg 350 T Combo ... I immediately said to myself after playing it a couple of minutes ...."Now what do I have at home I can trade?"
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Wow, super-small world. I love that little amp. You got a hell of a deal if you got that at a pawn shop for $250. I ran that sucker pretty hard at rehearsal, and there's not a thing wrong with it, that's for sure. It sounds great, but you're right about one thing, it is what it is. You can't do a gig with it, its just beyond the capability of the 8's. For practice, a small rehearsal, and for playing an upright through at small coffee-house type gigs, it simply can't be beat IMO.
  6. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    Any one have an idea how the older baby blue's compare to the newer ones with the single 10" speaker?
  7. I paid $200.00 cash for it. In fact when I stopped at the pawnshop looking for stuff I didn't have the $200.00 so I asked if he would hold it until I got back and went home and pawned a bass downtown at Uncle Sams Pawnshop and then drove back up Broad Street. The guy didn't know what he had I suppose. I did not either until after I got back home and did a search and begin to read reviews and different things about the amp that I found out that this amp list for up to $1300.00. I really think I did well especially with the even trade for the Ampeg 350 T Combo.

    I think the SWR with the tens add more bottom.
  8. I heard they are frequently a preferred amp for the upright basses.
  9. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Great amp Gigged 2-3 times a week for three years with mine with a Guild Ashbory. It sounds sweet. I used it at Wolftrap with David Wilcox. The new one doesn't have the bass. The BBII does great with 5-string at med volumes if there is some resonance from the environment, some wood in the room. Great for recording as you can make you own headphone mix with as much of you as you wantwhen no one else hears it that way. The "more me" concept. Look at the owners manual on the SWR site.
  10. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Great looking Minute Maid!
  11. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Yea I was never a fan of SWR amps, but the Baby Blue models do sound pretty good. Good luck with the new amp.
  12. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    good price!

  13. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I like the "vintage" bass player mag with J. Bruce!

  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've had my eletric blue for 10 years or so.........got it used for $300
    i'ts a really nice amp and is still in my lineup (you should hear it through a bagend 12 and 15)
    on the subject of preamps..............the only thing that ever bothered me about the blue was the lack of bass and treble shelving controls
    the sucky thing about the grand prix was that the semi parametric didn't extend to the treble range
    overall i though the sm-900 was the best preamp they ever put out
    i'd buy an old one of those any day, they sure seem to go for a lot still huh?
    actually, if i ever saw another old electric blue for sale i'd have a hard time not buying it
  15. iloveloosey

    iloveloosey Guest

    Sep 9, 2000
    does anyone know if the current baby blues and electric blues have the same preamp as the old ones?

    or is this one of those situations where you'll have to "go vintage" to get the gold?
  16. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    at http://basstasters.com you can hear the vintage electric blue compared with a IOD and GP... all sound clips were recorded with the same instruments, the same person and the same day, so all differences should be the preamp...

    maybe that would answer your question?
  17. Yggdrasil


    Aug 16, 2001
    Jack Casady uses one in small acoustic venues with Jorma.

    $400 is a super deal!!
  18. iloveloosey

    iloveloosey Guest

    Sep 9, 2000
    i don't know if that really answers my question. i mean, if i were to buy an electric blue or baby blue today, new, then i would *not* be getting the "vintage" version. so if they're making the preamp differently from the way they used to, or using a different tube in it, or whatever, then the sound clip i hear, being the "vintage" version, wouldn't represent what i would be buying.


    i don't know if listening to the iod and gp would help, since i think the baby blue and electric blue has/had an entirely different/unique preamp circuit from those preamps.
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i dunno,
    but after hearing the diff between the eb and the gp on the website, i'm glad i have an electric blue!
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Geez, get a life :rolleyes:

    SWR has not modified the Baby Blue preamp since day one. They did some mods to beef up the power amp when they came out with the BBII, that's it.

    You can always change the tube if you like. SWR used to use GTs, probably still do but that means little, older GTs might have been US made newer ones are from China, Russia, etc.

    If you're worried about sound variations due to what tube is in the head but you are making a buying decision based on some mp3s posted on the web, well, good luck :confused: How about the sound variations due to your sound card, your headphones or speakers, how the guy recorded the clip, how he encoded the mp3, etc. All that stuff will color the sound way more.

    Boy am I grumpy today :D

    P.S. I own both the BB and GP, nice units.