SWR 4004 plus Avatar 210

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bubbabass, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Bubbabass


    May 5, 2004
    I bought these for my son to play rock and not blow up my Polytone Mini Brute (20 years of gigging with it, and I didn't need to know jack about watts, ohms, or clipping).

    Ordered the 210 as an 8 ohm, so we could put a 115 at 8 ohms under it later. With the 210 handling 700W, I figured how could this head blow it? Duh! After learning about clipping, I called Dave at Avatar, and ordered two new 8 ohm drivers to make it a 4 ohm cab, and get the head's full 400W. He thought that would be a viable solution. For five minutes it was, but quickly turned to mush.

    We tried different basses, cords, speaker cords, all with the same result.

    The 4004 head sounds fine w/a 350 watt 4 ohm cab at the local store, or with a 260W 8 ohm stereo speaker, so I guess it isn't fried. When hooked up to the 210, and gain at 3 o'clock (just short of pre amp clip) I get distortion with the master as low as eight o'clock.

    The 210 in its 8 ohm version with a home built 115 underneath , (300W, 8 ohms, built to Avatar's measurements) sound great with the Ampeg SVT 4 Pro, so ultimately that's what we will get.

    My questions are:
    1. Have any of you experienced this problem with these brands and/or models? (I'm having trouble accepting that this is happening)
    2. What other powerful heads would you suggest? Carvin R1000, Carvin 1500 mono block?
    3. What about using the 4004 as a preamp running from the effects send to an Ampeg SVP 1600 power amp while getting the bread together for a nice preamp?
    4. What about replacing the drivers yet again to have a cab that matches the output and impedence of the head?

    These seem to be workable solutions in descending order of cost. Wish I had known about talkbass (and all about ohms) before starting this. Thanks for your input.
  2. basmeisje


    Jun 7, 2004

    I'm not to familiar with this stuff (problem), but I do think you should dial your amp settings the other way around. Open up the volume level and close the gain. Put the master at 3 or 4 o clock, so almost fully open and then look how far the gain can go while still sounding okay. Ik think the master open creates the most headroom. If your preamp goes clippng (or just sounding nasty) no master setting can help you out so even at 8 o clock it will destroy or at least sound bad. My experience is almost like it is that as further the power amp is opened the further the preamp can go aswell. Also check on the EQ because every plus on an EQ level is more gain aswell.
    As far as I know the problems you are having are not really normal, but maybe I'm wrong.

  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    you sound like you're having a very odd problem. I'm wondering if the bass knob wasn't turned all the way up?
    Assuming that the swr puts about 250 watts into 8 ohms at clipping it still would only be putting out about 500 watts or so into the 210 at 8 ohms. You really shouldnt have had this cabinet blown twice in such a short time. I wonder what your son does when you're not around?

    For more ohms info click here
  4. Bubbabass


    May 5, 2004
    He likes thick tone, I test it flat. At first we used it as I remembered from the 70s--that is master nearly wide open, then using the gain to regulate volume, like Yvette says. I then went back to the SWR manual and they say to set the gain just short of the clipping light, then use the master for volume. I know he was cranking it all nearly wide open to compete with a Marshall stack.

    If speakers are blown, will they sound nasty on every note at all volume levels? I ask this because some very brief moments of clarity sneak in, but it still happens with each bass, and each cord, all of which sound clean with the Polytone.

    Thanks again.
  5. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Admittedly I'm reaching here.... but is there any chance that, when you swapped the 16-ohm drivers for the 8-ohm ones, they were inadvertently reconnected out-of-phase?

    That can make a good cab sound awfully bad, particularly when you crank the volume.... :meh:
  6. Bubbabass


    May 5, 2004
    We were careful to match the colors per the original placement. Hmm, wonder if that was wrong from the get-go? Would out of phase produce distortion, or simply quiet?
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've got an Avatar 210 8ohm that I power with a 300w amp and a 500w amp and have had no such problem. My amps don't have a gain AND a master either, just one volume knob. I really don't like those gain/master configs anyways.
  8. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    OOP would produce a weak, quiet tone due to the cancellation; the woofers move in opposite directions, essentially fighting each other.

    However, if this is the case, it's easy to turn the amp up to try to compensate for the weak sound.... hello distortion.

    If you think this might be a possibility, the test is easy - reverse the wires on one woofer only, and see if it sounds better.
  9. ... or do the 'battery' test. Plug a speaker cable into the cab, touch a 9v battery to the cable (+ to + and - to -), while observing the cones. If one cone goes in and one goes out, you need to reverse the polarity of the cone that went in.
  10. It does sound like the 2 tens are out of phase. I also would recommend the simple and easy battery test.

    Please lets us know.
  11. Bubbabass


    May 5, 2004
    Went to Guitar Center in Rockville, MD today. The SWR 4004 sounded fine with the manufacturer's recomended cabs, so it wasn't fried. The Avatar 210(they were in phase) and the Homebrew 115 sounded fine and much louder with the SVT 4. Traded in the SWR on the Ampeg, no more problem. Still don't understand why the SWR/Avatar combination was so bad other than being underpowered, but that seems to be the answer.

    Thanks for all your suggestions--now it's time to save the bread for that refrigerator 8x10 Ampeg. I may have gotten a case of G.A.S. (wife has said that for a long time).