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Question for SWR users.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by angrydad, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. angrydad


    Jul 31, 2004
    Hello fellow bassists. I own an SWR Studio 220 .I L-O-V-E the tone...AWESOME. One of my favorite features is the Transparency knob (pull out treble knob to activate). Playing a passive J-bass, this knob gives my instrument's high an end an "active" sheen. I use this function when the strings have a couple of gigs on them....NICE. I find, (unless I have brand new strings ), when I leave the Transparency off, the treble response is rather flat, even a little harsh...more of a high mid (1,2k) sound.
    I'm considering an SWR 350 ( the 220 is OLD and ready for retirement ). My question is : how is the high end response with a passive bass? I know the amp doesn't have the Transparency feature, I'm wondering if the high end is tuned high and bright, or, is it more of an upper mid sound ? I don't want to go the SM500,900 route, which I believe have the Transparency feature. I don't need that much power (weddings, corporate gigs), and I like to travel light.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I currently have two Studio 220s and I would hesitate to replace them, especially with a 350. I would recommend your old Studio 220 get a facelift (maybe a new preamp tube and a checkup by the local tech) and just invest in a new power amp if the power is not quite loud enough. I use one of mine as preamp into a QSC power amp and I love it. That little 220 is a gem that is hard to replace.
  3. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    i play thru a bass 750 and the highs are amazing. the 750 sounds very similar to a 350 except with more power to spare. ive never played thru a 220 but ive never heard a bad thing about em. wouldnt hurt to have it checked out like folmeister suggested.
  4. angrydad


    Jul 31, 2004
    Thanks for the input guys. I'd definitely never part with the 220 ! It actually did have a facelift and sounds great ! I would just like to leave it home for my own personal playing, and get something with the same tone for the job, just a little more power. Folmiester, do you feel that the 350's tone is lacking compared to the 220 ? If so, in what way ? I'm laid up for 2 weeks ( back injury) and I won't have a chance to demo one til then.
    The 750, I've heard, is amazing, just a little big for me (I'm a wimp)...actually I often play 2 jobs in one day,and the lower back has seen better days, so the lighter the better.
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    No, I would not go so far as to say that the 350 lacks anything. I have played the X series amps, but just did not think they were all that special. The overdrive and subwave stuff was not terribly useful or good sounding (If you go for that). Now, if you are interested, I have some SWR gear that I am putting on the "for sale" table. I have an SM-500 and a backup Studio 220 that I am parting with. Just PM me for details. Again, there is nothing wrong with the 350, it just is not the 220 that I love so much.
  6. I have an SWR 350x. It has an Aural Enhancer that is similar if not the same as the transparency. It is a very nice sounding amp with encredible high end. I agree the Subwave is not useful. I use it with an Avatar B115H cab and a 10 band graphics equalizer. I bought it used and replaced the 12AX7 tube due to a buzz on the horn..Problem solved with a Groove Tubes 12AX7R. This amp has plenty of power and clarity. When I opened the all steel chassis I was in awe to say the least. They used top quality components throughout. German "Wima" capacitors, Mercury Magnetics Transformer, very nicely wired, heavy duty circuit board construction, all IC's are in sockets for easy replacement, the 12AX7 preamp socket is top quality..it did not want to give up the tube easily..which is very good to guard against vibration problems.
    The first time I fired this amp up with my new Avatar cab..I had the gain at 1/2 and the Master volume at 2/3 and it literally shook stuff off the shelf of my closet. Luckily their were boxes to catch the stuff. This is the first time my son has said my sound if very good..He usually does not even comment.
  7. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Your best bet is to seek out another 220 -OR- try to get a 400-s. They are always popping up on ebay for a reasonable price and you won't have to sacrifice anything in terms of your tone. If you are worried about overpowering a room, just run off one side of it. There is a 6 pound difference in weight though which may or may not kill the deal for you.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the original series of swr engineering amps (studio 220, sm-400 sm-900, bass 350, baby blue, redhead, and grand prix preamp) all sounded the same. the trasparency control changed the shelving point of the treble control and was not liek the aural enhancer. If you like the layout of the 220 i would suggest getting a used sm-400 or sm-900. The volume increase will be more dramatic than going to the 350, and you will have more eq flexibility. Mot that there is anything wrong with the 350, i woulc challenge anyone to take the original series of amp heads and tell me which one they were playing through while blindfolded.
  9. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    i've got a 350 and a sm500. the SLIGHT difference i've noticed is in the mids, more than the highs (of course, i'm not a highs kinda' guy, so i haven't messed with the transparency knob). flat, they sound simliar (not exact). and there's not that much of a weight difference between the 2- less than 10 pounds. i agree with the posters who suggest the sm400 (or 400s)- you can get a good deal on a used one on the bay (or on here) and it has the same preamp section, and they're supposed to be reliable... :bassist: