SWR Baby Blue II needs replacement speaker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eric Swaim, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I have an 8" speaker in my SWR Baby Blue II combo that is crapping out. Probably the original speaker. I was hoping some owners of this combo who have replaced speaker in it before could give me some advice on a replacement speaker.

    Needs to be 8" and an 8 ohm speaker. The amp is 160 watts at 4 ohms.

    Thank You ahead of time
    armybass likes this.
  2. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    I dunno what's a good fit, but if you replace one with an alternate part, better replace both :(
  3. Yup! ^ This...
    OEM is the best way to go for a replacement. Is that possible? IDK, but something to consider.
    You should get the T/S parameters of any speaker that you plan to use, that are not OEM.
    Then measure the internal volume of the cab. Note the number of ports if any plus diam & length.
    Then run it yourself, or get help running some modeling software to see how well the speakers will work, if at all, in that cab.
    fast slapper likes this.
  4. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    See if you can find one of the original Celestions or a speaker shop with a recone kit. They are out there. It may also be the same speaker SWR used in their Henry 8x8 speaker cab.
    MarshallAC50Stack and Mvilmany like this.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    IIRC, the slightly later BB II I had was 8Ω total for the internal speakers. Are you sure those are 8Ω drivers? Have you measured the good one?
  6. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    Others have had good results with the Beta 8 from Eminence as well as a driver from LDS. Another person got good results from a JBL woofer.

    To be honest, it sounds like almost any modern well designed driver is going to be an upgrade. Can't find anyone who prefers the original drivers over the replacements they've tried. If that was my combo, I would be tempted to throw in a B&C 8MBX51 or one of the many other high quality European drivers. Or a Beta 8...
    lowendrv likes this.
  7. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    SWR official archived web page had the Baby Blue II built 1993- at 4 Ohms. The pre 1993 Baby Blue was 8 ohms total and 120 watts. Now the little speaker is 8 ohms and the 8" speakers must be 16 ohms.
    8" speakers 16 ohms + 16 ohm =8 ohms then add the little 5" speaker at 8ohms
    8 ohms + 8 ohms = 4 ohms
  8. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    The 5" speaker is there in both versions and should only influence total impedance if its response reached very low. I think.

    The manual for the -II version is clear in stating that the 8-inchers are 8-ohm, the 5" also is 8-ohm, but the total impedance of the on-board driver complement is 4-ohm regardless of the fiver:
    ^ Page 3 (page 5 of pdf).

    The archived webpage in turn states that
    "When the original Baby Blue was upgraded to the Baby Blue II in 1993, the following changes were made: (...) cabinet impedance was changed to 4 ohms (from 8 ohms), Bagend 8" drivers were replaced by Celestion 8" drivers. (...) In 2001, the Celestion drivers were changed to Eminence drivers that more closely resembled the Bagend 8" drivers in the first Baby Blue."
    Vintage SWR Products
    So the original was 8-ohm, and the BagEnd foam surround drivers must have been 16-ohm in parallel, or 4- in series, assuming the 5" midhigh was irrelevant to the total nominal impedance as it appears to be in the revised version.

    HOWEVER, the plot thickens when said archived webpage describes the original extension, headless version, i.e. the Baby Blue Monitor, which is claimed to have
    " Impedance: 8 ohms "
    but also
    " Two 8" Bagend drivers "
    " One Bagend Cone Tweeter"
    Is the quoted impedance of individual BagEnd woofers an error (and should read 16 or 4), or did the cone tweeter's impedance in fact count in the first version?
    ^ EDIT - sorry, last part was poppycock: for some reasons all these years I kept reading 8" as 8Ω...
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    MarshallAC50Stack and Jim C like this.
  9. donk


    Nov 5, 2006
    I put 2 LDS long throw speakers in my BB2 and is sounds great, more bottom and punch. (I also swap out the amp for my Quilter BB800 sometimes and it becomes my loud amp). Quilter:BabyBlue copy.JPG Quilter:BabyBlue copy.JPG Quilter:BabyBlue copy.JPG
  10. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I replaced the 5" 4 months ago with an Eminence and it is 8 ohms. Today I am going to pull out the failing 8" speaker and see what ohms it is.

    I just need a recomendation on replacement speaker itself. SWR isually makes whatever speakers it power sound good.
  11. The LDS Long throw 8”s aren’t available.
    Love this amp! Gigged with it yesterday.
    There are 8”s out there. Be sure they are spec’d to go low enough. US Speaker Eminence Alpha 8A. All specs on page. Not a recommendation, haven’t tried.

    I had the Bag Ends. Surrounds went. Celestions were sweeter sounding. LDSs made it a very capable rig. I gig Ashborys and the fundamental is serious. I haven’t replaced a speaker in any other cab my whole gigging life. The healthy Celestion went into an SWR LA-8. That became a mini monster.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  12. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    Having to jog my memory a bit. On the BBII, the majority of the speakers were Celestion BG8-60's. Had to find recone kits to repair them in about 2006. They were wired in parallel to get a 160 watt/4 ohm rating. The original BB had Bag End 8's wired to a 120 watt/8 ohm rating. The difference between an original BB and a BB II was they added a vent to the top of the cabinet, changed the 8" speaker model and changed the wiring to get the 160 watts spec. Towards the end of the BB production, they switched to an Eminence speaker. I have no idea what model the Eminence were. You should be able to get a flashlight and see the label if they are the Celestions. It may have fallen off and be in the bottom of the cab.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  13. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    I've had good results contacting Eminence support directly for suggestions for good available replacement drivers for SWR cabs.
    MarshallAC50Stack likes this.
  14. FilTurd


    Dec 13, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    My suggestion is U.S.speaker. Those guys have most things documented OE and for one of my old SUNN cabs they a list of improved Speakers.
  15. Some amp manufacturers will spec a driver that is different from any of the non-OEM offerings from the speaker supplier. Without T/S info on both the OEM (may be hard to get) and the replacement, you may just have to go on the recommendations of the speaker manuf. for a replacement for that amp. Or someone who has tried this in the same amp and that can give you thumbs up/down on the results.
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I’m sorry Eric but this makes no sense to me. The smaller driver will be a high range unit isolated by some sort of crossover. The woofers need to be 8Ω to result in a 4Ω total load.

    If the total load was to be 8Ω then either two 4Ω drivers in series or two 16Ω drivers in parallel.
    BadExample likes this.
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Could you not get OEM specs and look for a speaker with the same characteristics.
    Or is the above assuming the speakers may not have been matched to the cab originally, or am i simply showing my total ignorance on the subject of speaker and cab matching?
  18. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I believe I am just going to get some sprakers with a larger voice coil and two speakers that match up with the power of the amp. I am sure there is a science behind the speaker and cab but more importantly to me is the speaker and the power source or bass head power rating to work well together
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  19. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    If the manual is accurate, there is a crossover as Paul said:
    "Passive Crossover Components
    Capacitors: polyester
    Coils: 1.7 milli-henry iron choke, low DCR, custom made"

    So you will want to get the same impedance speakers (the ohms). Probably marked on the back of the speakers.

    I think you have line two:
    Maximum Power at 1KHz Under Clipping
    120 Watts RMS @ 8 ohms (head only w/ 8 ohm speaker enclosure)
    160 Watts RMS @ 4 ohms (internal speaker complement)
    180 Watts RMS @ 2.6 ohms
    200 Watts RMS @ 2 ohms"

    which would be two 8 ohms in parallel. Again, this is if the manual matches what you have. To be sure:

    Inspect the wiring to see if it's parallel.

    Look at the label for ohm rating.

    If no ohm rating, on the good speaker, measure it with an ohm meter (multimeter) and post the results.
  20. The rubber surround in these speakers are known to deteriorate. I had one crap out so replaced both with the LDS long throws.

    I believe I might still have a decent original BB speaker if you want. Unfortunately I am in Australia ... and its an original speaker that's known to crumble (might not be worth it?). But if you want to pay shipping you're welcome to it.

    If LDS no longer make that driver ask Don if he knows a decent replacement. Great guy.
    wave rider likes this.