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SWR 750x or SM-500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lockout, Jan 13, 2003.


  1. 750x

    32 vote(s)
    58.2%
  2. SM-500

    23 vote(s)
    41.8%
  1. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    I've been comparing the two heads recently, and I just wanted to get the general idea of what you guys would pick if you had the choice. I'll be most likely using one of these to power a goliath senior.

    I like the fact that the SM-500 has a more detailed EQ, and can work in a stereo setup, however the 750x is more powerful, although the difference is probably not enough to notice...What do you think?
     
  2. dprives

    dprives

    Apr 22, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    I just went through the same choice. I bought the SM-500. I like the stereo capability of the SM-500. It gives a lot of flexibility for cab combinations. I think the SM-500 sounds better too. It’s seems warmer and fatter to me. I wonder if anyone else feels this way? I was looking at the 750x because it has distortion. But after trying it, I found the distortion very unpleasant. It’s very over the top, buzz-saw distortion, not like a nice warm fuzz. The more detailed EQ on the SM-500 is nice but it’s almost too much. There are so many combinations; it took me a while to find my sound. If you get the 500, try some of the recommended settings and then start adjusting from there.

    I am very happy with the SM-500. I’ve had it for about 4 months.

    Dave
     
  3. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My recent experience: Bought a Super Redhead (EQ section looks to be the same as the 750x). 400 watts with an extension cab - I thought that would be plenty, but it wasn't always. Playing with two guitars, a LOUD drummer, percussionist and sax, I was pushing to clipping more often than not.

    When I had the opportunity to trade out of the Super Redhead, I debated between the SM-900 (EQ and configuration similar to SM-500, but 900 watts as you probably know) and the 750x. I figured it would always be better to have more power than I needed than not enough (don't underestimate the 250 watt difference between your prospective choices), having been on that side of the fence long enough, and took home the SM-900. Plenty of power, but if there's a down side, it's this: So many knobs. Yeah you can dial in any sound you want, but drpives is right - you've got a real project on your hands with all that EQ. I predict that I'll be fiddling with the knobs for a few months before I settle in and learn what frequencies I want to tweak when I set up in a room with odd acoustics. In contrast, the Super Redhead sounded good with just a few knobs - and I didn't have to think too hard about what frequency to tweak! I imagine that I will wind up with a sound better than what I would have had with the 750x, but it will take considerable time and distraction to reach a point where I can stop twisting knobs and start focusing on my playing again. YMMV, of course.

    Good luck, whichever you choose.
     
  4. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    If I may compare the SM400 to the 750 for you as the 500 and 400 are very similar. I had two SM400s for years great amp but the clarity from the extra head room is enormous in the 750. Even the 350 has the same slight dirt when it's running out of headroom. I like big clear "any tone you want" tone then add distortion if you want it. The 900 or the 750 is my suggestion.
     
  5. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    ...So you're saying it'd be worth it to spend the extra $550 or whatever it is on the sm-900?

    This is getting expensive :(
     
  6. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    You could probably find a used SM-900 for $900 or so. . .
     
  7. dprives

    dprives

    Apr 22, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    What kind of music do you play and where will you be playing it? How much louder do you want to be than your Kickback 12? Do you need all your power from your amp or will you go through a PA for power? That stuff will determine how much power you need.

    D
     
  8. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Our band plays mostly metal, but when I'm at home I like to play all kinds of music...

    I want an amp much louder than my Kickback, it gets completely lost in the mix of everything when we play, the only way I can hear myself is if I put my ear right next to the amp, which is probably not a good idea, heh...

    Our guitarist and drummer like to play very loud, even when we're practicing, so I need something that's plenty loud without PA support.

    I hope that helps...
     
  9. I've had an SM400 and SM400s. To be honest, I was never that crazy about the slider arrangement for the EQ, and 4 parametric bands was really overkill. Also, I never ran the thing in stereo, just bridged mono into a single cab. So, the 750x would be much more in line with how I usually run my bass amps. Unless you're really into the idea of biamping (I never got results that I liked), I'd say go with simpler mono head and more power.

    Mike
     
  10. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Definitely the 750x for your application. If you decide that you really must have the extra EQ flexibility (and remember it's a curse as well as a blessing), jump into the SM-900.

    Just played my first gig with my new SM-900. Pushing 650 watts into a single Goliath III cab (amp bridged at 8 ohms), I managed to clip the power amp here and there. Lesson: Just when you THINK you've got more wattage than you could ever use, think again. Especially if you play with guys who LIKE it loud! :)
     
  11. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    ...And the 750x takes the lead! :)

    Guess it's a choice between the 750x and SM-900 now, I'll have to try 'em both out and see how I like them...

    Any other comments or suggestions towards improving my future rig?
     
  12. dprives

    dprives

    Apr 22, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Since you play metal, go for the 750x. With that distortion you can rip out some wicked Cliff Burton-esque bass solos.:D

    D
     
  13. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    To tell you the truth, I don't think I'd ever use the distortion. It's just not really my thing :)

    On the other hand, I've always been very specific (bordering on paranoid :D) about my tone, and I like being able to control that in detail.

    I'm leaning towards the 900, but if I do decide on it, I'll be saving for quite a while (gotta love making minimum wage ;))
     
  14. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    You should check out the new Gallien Krueger 1001RB.It puts out 700 watts into 4 ohms and weighs only 18 lbs.It is also alot cheaper than the SM-500 or 750X.Should be about $650 from Riksmusic.Com which GC will price match.
     
  15. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    If you want distortion, I would look at an SWR Interstellar Overdrive and a separate power amp. If you want to incorporate overdrive/distortion into your sound, I would think the IOD would give you much more flexibility, in terms of how much overdrive you want, blending clean and dirty signals, etc. IODs go for around 300-350 used, and you can pick up a poweramp with the power of an SM-900 for probably less than 500. The IOD does not have the EQ flexibility of the SM-900. In fact, it has less EQ than the 750x since the IODs midrange is not sweepable. However, the IOD will give you a range of tones from clean to overdriven that neither the 750x or SM-900 can deliver.

    [edit] And then I saw you said you wouldn't use distortion, so. . . for the most part, never mind. On the other hand, where the SM-900 will give you the flexibility in terms of EQ, the IOD gives you the flexibility in terms of different tones of different thickness.
     
  16. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Ok since this post just got bumped back to the top, I figure I may as well ask a question...

    In stereo mode, how does the impedance work exactly? Are the two channels independant or no?

    For example, with a 4 ohm cab on each channel, would the impedence be considered 4ohms or 2ohms? I noticed that the SM-900 is stable down to 2 ohms in stereo, and was wondering what exactly that would mean...
     
  17. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    When I look at the SWR site for specs on the SM-900, it looks to me like you can run 2 ohms PER SIDE. I'm not sure I would recommend that though. I don't think I would go lower than 4 ohms per side.

    A 4-ohm cab on each side, in stereo, means you're running a 4-ohm load on each side. Since each channel is separate, you don't need to combine the two sides to get some overall rating.
     
  18. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    2 ohms in stereo, 4 ohms in bridged mono are the minimums...

    In stereo mode, each side is separate, so the two cabinets don't conspire to lower your impedence, as Monk points out.

    You could not run two 4 ohm cabs in bridged mono mode, because that would take you down to 2 ohms. With two 4 ohm cabs, you've got a good setup for running stereo with the SM-900.

    I would trust SWR that 2 ohms is safe in stereo mode. Seems like if they wanted to get overly-aggressive in ratings, they'd approve bridged mono mode for a 2 ohm load, thereby upping max wattage rating and letting them enjoy the accompanying marketability/bragging rights.

    With a 4 ohm load per side, you've got a good but conservative load on the amp. For me, going 4 ohms in bridged mono is the ideal way to go, since I'm not interested in stereo and I want to milk all possible watts out of the thing. That setup will kick some pretty serious butt too, though
     
  19. Lockout,

    If you're in the Milwaukee area, call John Blick. He's the Gold rated SWR repairman in the area. Ask him about SWR stuff, specifically
    impedance issues. Check out his number on the SWR webpage.
     
  20. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Go with the sm900, the extra headroom will help alot(asuming the use of a Goliath 6x10). I dont know about the 750, but I would run out of headroom and overheat my sm500 on a hot day(I live in AZ). where as the 900 wouldnt stop. My svt 4 mono bridged was even better.:D