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replacement time - new amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KB, May 9, 2002.

  1. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    OK here is the situation. I am constantly having problems with my Carvin R600 III amp. I plan to call carvin today again to just see if they will send me a new replacement (fat chance), because they didn't fix my loose cap problem the last time they worked on it (just 3 weeks ago). If they are un-cooperative I plan to get rid of my Carvin stuff and get another better amp (I will post my whole Carvin saga after I talk to them today...it is a long story).

    If I decide to go with another amp
    (first a few requirements: need to handle 4ohms bridge/mono, needs to be 500W or greater at 4ohms, needs to be versatile enough to cover different styles of playing, needs nice tight punch and very articulate - not just tubey (I tend to like a more modern hybrid sound) as I play a lot of melody lines in my band so I need to not be mud or soft on the attack, needs to not blow my 2 Aguilar GS112 cabs (each rated at 300W) yet needs to match up with them, needs to not break the bank$$)

    I am considering the following options :

    Aguilar DB750 - probably the most expensive of the group (and the most heavy) - getting a quote from Gard as we speak

    SWR SM500 - on the low end power wise, but probably comparable to my Carvin (Carvin's power ratings can be questionable)

    SWR SM900 - also higher priced

    SWR Bass750 - not sure it would be versatile enough for me

    Eden WT600/WT800 - I am not a huge Eden fan and I wonder about if they can handle 4 ohms bridged

    That is really about it.
    I am not looking for a SWR vs. Eden vs. Aguilar war and I have no real interest in Peavey/Ampeg/Hartke/GK
    I just want experience with these amps unless there is a very strong argument towards something else

  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I was never happy with my amp until I went rack.
    You really should consider it too.
    It opens up a ton of options.
  3. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    OK, here is the deal. carvin is paying to ship my amp (R600) back to them then supposedly it will go to the head of the queue then they will 3-day air ship it back to me. At that point I think I am going to sell it as I am tired of dealing with Carvin and the hassles of shipping stuff across the country.

    I think, due to money constraints, I am probably going to go with a SWR SM500 as the edens don't bridge into 4 ohms and I have 2 8 ohm cabs so I need the 4 ohm load to get the max power output.

    So my question is about people's experience with the SM500. I plan to bridge it and take the speakon output into 1 of my cabs and the run the 1/4" cab input to the other 1/4" of the other cab so it will look like this:

    SM500 mono speakon---->speakon input of GS112--1/4 input of GS112 -------> 1/4 input of second GS112.

    This will give a 4 ohm load on the mono SM500 which should give me 500W.

    Do you see any problems with mixing the speakon and 1/4"? How would the SM500 compare to a Carvin R600 soundwise?

    Any help or opinions is appriciated

  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  5. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
  6. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Of course now I am considering the SWR SM500 vs. the SWR Bass 750. I don't plan on going bi-amp and these two amps are similar in price, but it seems like the SM500 may be more versatile in sound quality.
    Any opinions on these two amps as compared to each other?

  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    OK, here's my take:

    Aguilar goes for a very fat sound. An Aguilar was the first amp I ever tried where the bass EQ actually thickend up the G string! The EQ is "musical" to my ears but much more limited than what SWR provides. As long as you are happy with the basic tone, you will probably be OK with this head.

    As far as SWR, all their amps sound pretty much the same when the EQ is set flat. The SM heads give you more EQ bands (500: 7 with 4 sweepable, 900: 8 with 6 sweepable). The 750 of course is three bands total, one sweepable. Not sure how that ties into "versatility" but with a good bass and good cabs, I don't use much EQ anyway.

    That leaves the question of will you use the stereo feature of the 500 and 900; if not then do you need the footswitchable EQ of the 900 (cool if you use two basses, you can EQ each one the differently). If both answers are NO then the 750 is the SWR head to get.

    Between Ag and SWR in general, my take is Ag follows the current trend back to "old school" bass tones, fatter bottom, smoother less extreme highs. SWR is more of the classic "LA" bass sound, great for bright "piano string" tones.
  8. midlife


    Nov 21, 2001
    I agree, Go rack

    I am running a QSC PLX 1202 bridged mono which gives me 1200 watts into 4 ohms.

    I have an SWR Grand Prix preamp all into a Bergantino 310.

    GO WITH A SEPARATE POWER AMP/preamp. Great sound, more versatility.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    how much are you willing to spend? cause if you're willing to go $1000, then a nice rack setup would do a body good.

    most new preamps like SWR's Interstellar Overdrive go for maybe $500-600 as well and give you a ton of options. weighs about 6 lbs.

    a QSC PLX1202 bridges to 700 watts mono @ 8 ohms, or 1200 watts mono @ 4 ohms. new they're about $600. used, about half that. about 20 lbs.

    or a Stewart World 600 bridges to 600 watts @ 4 ohms. about the same pricing but a@ 11 lbs. you wont have much to complain about. i got mine as a floor model for $350.

    all in all, you can find a tonally kickbutt rig, that isnt too bad on the back either.
  10. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I would look around a bit before buying SWR! I still have my old SWR rig and it's great, but the more recent line seems to be lacking in quality IMHO!
  11. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    The reasons I am considering SWR are:
    -the cost (cheaper than Aguilar)
    -The sound - I play with a lot of articulation
    -And the fact that i used to have a SWR workingmans15 a few years back and I really liked it (it was just too underpowered for my band)

    I am still up in the air about the SM500, Bass 750 and 750x models. I don't really need the effects of the 750x though. I am also curious as to how the SWR amp would sound with my Aguilar cabs (maybe a mixture of Hi-Fi and flat response??)

    My Carvin amp goes out on Monday to carvin for repair again. It was OK when it worked properly, I am just tired of dealing with Carvin since they are across the country from me and this is the 3rd time I have had problems.

  12. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    KB, what kind of problems have you had with your Carvin.

  13. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i found a used sm400s for next to nuthin. older swr is definately the way to go. i almost went aggie/poweramp but the aggie pre i tried wasn't flexible enough. it sounded great but what if i wanted something different. so i went with swr. couldnt be happier. now if i could descide on my cabs.
  14. you could always pick up my amp bh420 for 300;)
  15. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Problems with my Carvin:

    -the first one they sent me wasn't grounded properly so it picked up radio louder than the bass sound.

    -The 2nd one has had a continual problem (manufacturing defect) of what i can diagnose as a loose capacitor on the power module. I moves and intermittently my tweeters buzz like crazy and the amp sounds like I am playing in a tin can or cardboard box. The first time (end of March 2002) I called them to talk about it they wanted me to pull out the power module to give them the number from the capacitor. when i did the large capacitors that connect the transformer to the power module popped and fried making the entire amp useless. I sent the amp to them (under warranty...though in the very last month of it) and after waiting 1 MONTH, they fixed the large caps, but did not fix the initial problem as it has just reoccurred again.
    Now supposedly they are paying for the shipment to them (ground) will put the amp first in their repair queue (otherwise it is a month wait) and then air freight the amp back to me (amp still gone about 2 weeks or so). The problem is that the looseness causing the buzzing problem is intermittent and therefore may not occur when they get the amp. Plus it took a lot of talking to get them to do the repair again (the amp is now out of warranty).
    I had this same problem about 6 months ago and at that point I thought it was my cabinet (not the amp) so I had carvin (I had carvin cabs at the time) send me a new crossover and tweeter, but the problem mysteriously went away so i never installed them.
    I am just tired of playing the shipping and waiting and phone begging game with carvin. That is why I believe that when the amp comes back I plan to get rid of it and bu something else. so far SWR is topping my list (probably the bass 750 or 750x) but I am not sure.
    i don't use the majority of the features on the carvin head so a simpler amp would be fine by me.

    I am still looking for opinions on the SWR 750, 750x and SM500 (my other main option though since i don't bi-amp (I used to but i found i like the sound of mono better) may not need the SM500 as i probably wouldn't use the majority of its features (even though the EQ is nice))

  16. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    find a used sm400s. you wont have to biamp...i dont

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