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Old SWR Fans!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JohnnyChatter, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. I just picked up an other old SWR amp head. I love them. I plug in a sansamp bass driver programmable in to them and its like i can get any sound i want. More importantly my sweet sound that i love and have fought so hard to find. My newest edition to my family is a SWR SM-400. Got it for $200. I keep picking these old SWR's up. I mainly use my sm-500. I already have the studio 200, the SM-500, and the SM-900. I'm just missing the SM-1500. I know they are all the same pre amps just different power amps. I have owned upper end Ampeg, Ashdown, Fender, etc. Is there anything comparable i can check out? Anyone else sickly into them? Show me your SWR rigs! You can get them cheap as hell these days and it seems no one plays them. Oddly i love the cleans they get but I love making them go dirty. Reminds me of putting a tube screamer to a plexi. Just dark, low, growly, and super bouncy at the same time.
  2. They're fine heads and for the used prices, very hard to beat. $200 is an awesome price for a SM-400! I'm always keeping an eye out for old SWR bargins but haven't scored any yet. Not as many available up here in Ontario Canada. I do have a Baby Blue 110 Combo, plus golliath jr and big ben cabs. It's pro level u.s. made gear at Behringer prices.
    lacepage likes this.
  3. ofthumper


    Sep 9, 2011
    I'm using a bass 350...and it fulfills my needs...as like you I use a di in front...but I'm not doing anything real loud...that's what we have front of house for...I use different cabs for different jobs...mine is the chrome and black...+1 on old swr
  4. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I gigged for years with a Studio 220. Great sounding little head, the power amp section was flat down to 10Hz, and it handled a B string better than any small head has a right to.

    I was astonished to see how prices have fallen on those things. The last time I saw one used, it went for $169 on eBay.

    Another example of FMC taking an established brand, and gutting it?
  5. I have one of the old SWR Basic 350's (with fan switch and brass jack nuts) I use at almost every gig...I picked it up at a yard sale about 10 years ago for, I think, $50. It wasn't working. I replaced one of the power amp transistors in it and it's been bangin' out root notes every since.
  6. Haha, I bought my studio 220 for around $100. Great for recording. Its strange. I actually have had more SWR fans say they always wanted a studio 220 more than the rest of them. I never got it. My studio 220 cranked sounds like my sm 900 cranked but not as loud. Its strange. They aren't true tube amps. So i never really got could logically figure out why. Or if its my mind playing tricks on me.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I have an old early '90s Workingman's 12 combo. Great-sounding little thing. I'm surprised now when I compare it to my Markbass 121H combo. The SWR is 1/3 the watts and weighs about 6 lbs. more, lol. Still, it's fun to mess with.
  8. Konigstiger22


    Mar 22, 2011
    Kenosha, WI
    SWR SM-400 with a super early serial number and a white face, as well as a Workingman's 160. Both run great and have a great sound. :bassist:
  9. I thought it was going to be a thread about their fans... which I found to be really loud. I nearly bought a 750 once but it sounded like it had a hairdrier taped to the back of it. Anyone ever thried to swap their fan out?

    My BB...

  10. I use a redface Bass 350. Absolutely love it. About 12 years ago I played a SM-400. It was my first introduction to SWR. Had two Goliath 4x10's as well. I sure do miss that rig.
  11. Sumtingwong


    Nov 25, 2011
    Central Pa
    I bought my Silverado Special in 2000, and it's been my only rig until my RH750 comes tomorrow. I was trying to calculate roughly how many times I've unloaded it, plugged in and barely had to adjust anything. Close to 700 gigs, as a conservative estimate.:eek: That's bomb-proof reliability.

    Up until last month, I always kept the limiter engaged, but alas- I was getting smothered on a really obnoxious wooden stage in a huge room in a new band where I HAD to hear exactly what I was doing-and disabled the limiter and dimed everything. The old girl may have blown a cone.

    I now have an Aguilar 4x12 to use with the RH750, but I am going to have the speakers replaced in the SWR, because it's perfect for small to medium gigs. I disengaged the connectors for the internal speakers and ran the Aggie off the head- She still had great tone.
  12. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005

    I also have a Workingman's 410T to go with it.
  13. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Count me in!
    I acquired a Studio220 last fall and paired with my Berg 1x12", it's my dream studio rig. I just acquired an SM400 to give me the headroom I want for my live looping gigs. It blows away my MB LMII for that situation.
  14. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    My first bass amp was an original Baby Blue. From there I played a SWR Basic 350 and two Goliath II Jr. for years. SWR was influential in me establishing "my" sound.

    Now I'm down to one of the above cabinets and a Baby Blue II. While I've embraced the micro amps, I keep thinking of picking up an SM-400 just for nostalgia.
  15. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Sounds like your BB/GolII rig is plenty micro already. I've got my 220 in a Gigskins rack and it's quite light, actually...and there's a nice pocket perfect for a micro for backup. :D
    I'm ordering another Gigskins bag for my 400. I'm really impressed with 'em. The 400 is a reasonable weight. I can throw it over my shoulder with the shoulder-strap, one hand for my Berg cab and the other for my bass guitar.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Should have kept my SM-500 for what I eventually sold it for. Not that I'd use it much nowadays, but they are available for dirt cheap now and mine lost an incredible amount of value, and it was even pre-Fender.
  17. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I had the Basic Black combo. The amp eventually developed some reliability issues but still one of my all time favorite combos.
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Had two newer 750s no noisy fan.
  19. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    It seems pretty pointless to have 3 or 4 of what is basically the same amp just in different wattages. I can understand having a higher powered one and a low/medium powered one as a backup or for smaller gigs, but anything beyond that is just excessive. Pick your 2 favorites and sell the rest off so someone can get some use out of them. I guarantee you probably barely touch most of them.

    Anyway, I've had an early Bass 350 for just about a year (1/2011) and like it a lot, although it's definitely got a "sound" (at least with my old Kramer aluminum neck bass which has it's own "sound"). For a while I was using it for home practicing with a borrowed GIII which was definitely a nice setup.

    I feel guilty enough keeping it since I just got a retarded deal on a Trace 1210 head which has some more watts and a lot more features. But my 350 was bought in REALLY nice shape, and it's a very early example (no fan switch, so I think that puts it in the first year they made them after changing the name from Basic 350) as well as being my first real bass head, so I plan to hold on to it at least for the foreseeable future. And it's also 2 ohm stable, which the Trace isn't (so I could run a retarded amount of speakers if I want, like 2 2x15s or 4 4x10s). But I can't imagine having 3 or 4 of them. That would just be a waste.
  20. I'm just now selling my Silverado Special. It did a great job for well over 1,000 gigs, I've just upgraded to some of the new lighter rigs.

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