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SWR all tube head !?!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Terrorstorm, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. hi..
    i've heard SWR have made an all tube amp, that is as strong as the mesa 400+, also 500 watts all tube.
    but I've never seen one of them.
    are there any pictures or infomations about this amp, is it still available? i don't think so..

    hmm. let`s see, maybe you know something .
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    SWR has never made an all tube amp, period.
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Not entirely true. The Interstellar Overdrive has a 7-watt EL84 powered tube poweramp in it. :smug:
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    By the way, the Mesa 400+ isn't 500 watts RMS, that's peak power, which is meaningless.
  5. :eek: is all of mesa's stuff rated peak power? i cant imagine such a high end manufacturer trying to pull that peak power BS

    if thats true though it means the 400+ is only somewhere arownd 250-300 watts RMS... so why do they need 12 6L6's to support it? the SVT only needs 6 for its 300 watt power amp. and the traynor only needs 4 for its 200 watt power amp... strange
  6. Other people know more than I, but here is what I do know:

    Not all of Mesa's amps are rated at peak. The 400+ is the only one and is labeled as such in their catalogue (they do not try to hide it). Most everyone that has played one will tell you to ignore the rating and just accept the fact that it is ridiculously loud.

  7. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    i think mesas site even says 500 peak watts... and its actually 250 - 300 rms like you say. the svt and traynor amps use 6550s not 6L6 like the 400+. thats why there are a different number of tubes for their respective power ratings. 6L6 are good for about 25 watts each while 6550s are good for about 50 watts according to what ive read.
  8. On side note, I think it would be an interesting option for Fender to consider making an all tube head under the SWR nameplate. With Fender's recent revival of their bass amp line, it might seem that it would canniblize sales of the Bassman 300....but I wonder if there's room for another all-tube head in the company?

    It might serve them well to continue to expand SWR's line. They purchased what was once viewed as the premier bass amp company and an addition like that would go a long way to resolidify that reputation. Perhaps a 100 watt "studio" type amp would be the way to go? Just typing out loud......

  9. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    The Mesa uses 12 6l6 tubes, while most tube amps use 6 6550s to make the same number of watts. Not all of Mesa's gear is rated at peak power; only the 400+, and I think its because 300 watts seems a bit small even though it sounds huge (in volume), as it is all tube. I think if SWR would make an all tube, it may sound similar to a Trace tube head: hi-fi for a tube, but also can get some awesome grit.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I concur about the 400+. And I agree that maybe it's because 300W sounds small if you're listing off the specs, not listening to it. I used my 400+ for the first time last night in a band setting and while it's 50w less powerful than the 350w SS amp I had before, it's MUCH louder...and the sound is a lot fuller than the SS. To my ears, it's like the difference between CD quality sound and low-sample-rate MP3's. I ended up rolling off the lows and boosting the mids a touch... Boy, talk about Junk-in-the-trunk.
  11. DOH! i had a brain fart i knew the traynor and ampeg used 6550's. oh well.

    im not saying that 300 watts is small at aaalllll. ive never actually played a 400+, but i think its kind of dumb for someone to name thier amp after a peak power rating. especially someone like mesa. thier website just says 500 wats all tube

    Burning skies, its not suprising that 300 watts tube sounds much louder than 350 watts SS. watts on SS are the most irrelivant things in the world IMO.

    i know PJB makes a 650watt(i think) all tube bass amp that only uses a few power tubes. custom designed ones that are like 6 times the size of a 6l6.

    i want to play a 400+, but im afriad ill love it and end up buying one and blowing all of my money, and then having to save up more money for every $300000 tube change
  12. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I've played (and owned for a short while) a 400+, and while it was a great amp and all, it wasn't my cup of tea. I currently have a Trace V4 and am hopefully closing a deal on an Eden 300 watt tube amp. The reason for the Eden is that, while it has more watts than the V4, is lighter. I don't think that it will sound better, though. I would love to get a vintage SVT, but holy **** they cost a ton. :crying:
    Anyhew... Look used for a 400+, but try it out first. On the bay these things go for about $850. Tube changes may be expensive, but with the power spread over so many tubes, I'm not sure if it'll need retubing as often as other amps.
  13. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    My tube head is one of the larger ones... it takes 8x 6550/KT88 power tube, 5x 12AX7 and a 12AT7. I bought it empty because the seller was keeping the tubes for his other amp. It cost me ~$240 to completely tube the head. With proper use and set up... I expect 8 to 10 years from them.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'v only been playing mine for 4 days...and I'm competely in love with it's tone. I sucked it up and blew all my cash ASAP...I found a TB'er who wanted to sell w/shockmount case, extra power & 2 x preamp tubes. Sunday I played it for 4 or 5 hours non stop, last night 3 hours and tonight only 2.

    I can understand it not working for everyone, but it's just what the doctor ordered for me to hear myself on stage without blasting and blowing out my hands. Copious amounts of booty for my reggae gig.
  15. really?... but this isn't the intersteller OD they sell now or is it?
    but so far I know this is only an all tube PRE amp.
  16. The IOD has a tube power amp intended only to power a small cab for practice. It puts out about 4 watts (the manual states 5 watts). This feature has always been there.

    So technically, they do still produce an all-tube amplifier.
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    IOD aside, swr never made an all tube amp (maybe the IOD would get you thru a coffee house gig)

    swr's whole deal was transparent sound, so i think the idea of an amp with a tube power section never entertained. the company admitted that the IOD was a radical departure for them from the usual swr sound (and no, i'm not "dissing" the IOD, i think it's a great unit - :) )

    overall IMO swr has gone way downhill since being bought by fender, and this pains me to say as i really like swr. i can't see fender making a good swr all tube amp.

    however, a couple of years ago i had the opportunity to plug an swr grand prix preamp into the "poweramp in" jack of an ampeg svt 2 pro. aside from liking the sound of the swr/ampeg tube combo better than the sound of the ampeg svt 2 (ampeg pre plus ampeg tube power amp), i founf that i really dug the sound of the swr pre into a tube power section. you got all the clarity and cut of the swr pre, but with nice tube goo. :p
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
  19. i know brian, it got covered :p

    james, your peavy looks killer... ive been in love with tube amps ever since i played my B-15N(my theory teacher is convinced that tube bass amps are the "old sound", and that in order to sound good you have to play somethign hi-fi like an Eden). it still has the origional tubes in it, Mullard 5AR4 rectifier, GE 6L6 power tubes, and Sylvania 6SL7's in the preamp. the origional owner hurt his hand and had to put it in storage so they were still good when i picked it up. ill probably change them soon, and save them for recording

    ill probably play a 400+ when i go amp hunting next weekend. if it sounds THAT good we'll see. Plain Old Me, hows the V4 and the Eden sound? ive heard a lot about the eden but not much about the actual sound of it because no seems to have played one. i guess they arent all that popular

    Back on the SWR thing, all the SWR SS amps ive played i havent liked at all. i found them extremely tough to dial in. Pair that up with the few fender vintage bass tube amps i have played and i thought they sounded like they were meant for guitar(lol, thats why so many guitar players use them) and i could imagine that an all tube SWR would not sound good at all, but some people swear by SWR in general
  20. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The SVT & YBA200 use 6550s, not 6L6s, which put out about twice as much power.