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SWR and my inability to change. Help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by EricTheEZ1, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Here we go:

    I have a Workingman's "Tower of Power" 8004 head that I got off Ebay for $400. A steal considering the features and power (750Watts, I believe). I also got a used Goliath III cab (also 750Watts, I believe) off of Ebay for about $480. I've always like the sound pretty well, but my tastes have run into more smooth, less "active bass" quality.

    My problem:

    There's not enough smoothness in my bass and I plan to add a 5-string to my collection so I'm going to need/want a 15" cab. I believe my amp is feeding a gigantic cab only 350 watts at 8ohms right now and if I got, say, a Son of Bertha it would kick out the full amount.

    2 questions:
    I've heard a LOT of talk about the Son of Bertha cab being too midrangy and not able to handle the low end all that well (given the price).
    1) Should I stick to SWR due to the "continuity factor" or what are my choices to similarly powered 15" cabs that would go well with my current setup and deliver what I need?
    2)Also, anybody see any potential problems with my current setup? It's a discontinued WorkingMan's head through a Professional Series cab and I've never been good with impedance/wattage vs. tone/output. Any problems?


    EDIT: If it helps (and I feel horrible for admitting this), the best sounding rig I've heard so far was a Gallien-Kreuger1001 head through a 15" GK Cab of some sort. I played my exact bass through it at Guitar Center (minus the upgraded pickups) and wanted to shoot myself for not having gone with GK way back when.
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well, first off, dont try to generalize about speaker diameters. there are many cabs with 10 and 12 inch speakers that handle a five string and sound "smooth" (yacht rock anyone?).

    The best advice i can give you is a pita, but worth it. Bring your bass, head and cab out to as many stores as you can and try out as many different cabs as you can using your head and bass. Do direct comparisons between the way your existing cab sounds vs how the cabs being tested sound. Don't think that you will be able to just bring your head and bass out alone and find a cab that sounds better than your 410, because you wont be able to do a fair comparison.
  3. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Agreed with Mike.

    Apologies if this is obvious...Have you tried flatwound strings? Lightening your attack and playing closer to the neck?

  4. Your profile says you're playing a Schecter with EMGs - that could be a part of your problem, lol. That's not what I'd call a "smooth, less active" bass. Just a thought...
  5. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    Definately be careful if you mix and match your rig . Matching different company cabs is extremely difficult. Either make sure that your model head and-or cab are available in the store, or bring them in to do a complete test.
  6. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I realize that my bass is certainly not what anyone would consider "less-active" but it can certainly be smooth. Like I said before, I've played that bass stock at a Guitar Center through a GK rig and it sounded extremely smooth and professional.

    Part of the problem I'm finding with my current rig is the issue of power handling and cab matching. I believe I have the 8 Ohm version of the Goliath III. I've never understood why manufacturers as big as SWR don't allow you to do both 4 or 8 Ohms. Trying to figure out the math of, "What happens when I add a 4 Ohm 15" cab to my 8 Ohm 4x10" cab? Will 2.6 Ohm really kill my amp? The speakers? Will it work fine?" That's the kind of stuff that gets to me.

    I'm starting to think more and more that researching complete rigs that suit me might be the best bet and to sell my current rig on Ebay.


    P.S. - I also play an SX Jazz 4-string which is certainly not active and it has similar coloring characteristics which don't quite sound the way a passive Jazz is supposed to sound.
  7. With a SWR, hi-fi rig, your bass and playing is going to shine right through, and there is nothing much you can do about it. Your amp will not alter your sound a ton. You can try to achieve some smoothness through a compressor and some EQing, but ultimately your playing will dictate how smooth it is. +1 on the diameter thing. My Bergie 610 + 210 gets so much more low end than my 215 does... If you want your amp to make your tone smooth, I would not choose SWR. They are widely known for being some of the brightest amps out there. GKs are similar to SWR, but I find that it is a bit easier to dial in a smoother tone on em.
  8. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    you can get a 4ohm goliath cab,

    very few bass companies do 4ohm 15s
  9. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    If that's true than how would you link a 4x10 and 1x15 together. I thought it was supposed to be 8ohms if you're using one cab or 2 cabs at 4 ohms each. Is it the other way around? Are you supposed to have a 4 ohm cab when only using one and two 8 ohm cabs when using them both?

  10. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    Depends on your amp. Most will go down to 4 ohms, and that's where they're most efficient, but some go down to 2 ohms (More and more companies do this). When you connect your speakers in parallel, the impedance goes down (ie 2 cabinets with 8 ohms impedance becomes a 4 ohm resistance). In series, the impedance goes up, as the ohms are added together (ie 8 ohms + 4 ohms = 12 ohms). If you use more than 2 cabinets, or if you use a combination of series and parallel connections, then a mathematical calculation must be done.

    So, in a standard configuration, it could be best to use 1 X 4 ohm cab, or 2 X 8 ohms cab in parallel (giving you an actual resistance of 4).
  11. The 8004 can go as low as 2.67 ohms....at 850 watts. So, you could power your 8 ohm Goliath and a 4 ohm cab. However, you may want both cabs 8 ohms so that they don't overpower one another.

    I use to have that amp. I powered it with a SWR Goliath Jr. and a SOB...sometimes I brought along an additional Goliath Jr. The SOB has plenty of booty. I just tried this amp through a Big Bertha (2x15) last week...that really blew me away.
  12. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    You'd be my best resource then. How did the SOB change your sound with that 6x10? Also, was the 2x15 really that much better or was it just really loud?

  13. It was actually 4x10, not 6x10. I had (2) SWR 2x10's. The SOB added some roundness that the 10's didn't have. For the music I play, rock/classic rock/metal/new country, I prefer having a 15 in my setup...especially with a 5'er. The 15 also sounds smoother to me, although I'm starting to realize that maybe I prefer 15's over 10's.

    The 2x15 really is an awesome cab. It was actually very clear, with no mud. Yes, it is a loud cab, much louder then the 2x10/1x15 rig that I use now. Paired with the 8004, it was a pretty sweet rig. I have a chance to buy both, but I'm debating it...both the cab and head are heavier then I'd like.

    Back to the SOB, it gets alot of negative feedback on TB. But I think it's more then capable of producing low end. It's tight, punchy, without the mud and boominess. Don't go by the specs, try it for yourself. The SWR pro series cabs really project in a live environment. And that is what counts.

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