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SWR Baby Blue question...help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by eb3, May 17, 2011.

  1. eb3


    Sep 8, 2006
    I know of an original baby blue combo with the dual 8s and the 5" tweeter. I believe it has the Bag End/Celestion drivers.

    A friend said I should play a baby blue 2 with better vents and power before deciding.

    Can you guys help me. How do they compare? Was there any problem with the speakers in the original model? Any heat issues?

    Which do you prefer and why?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. I have one also and the only problem I have are the foam surrounds on the 8 inchers.. I have been told here that Don from Low Down Sound can provide you with some killer replacement speakers, which are built to last. Besides that it sounded like heaven before that happened.

    I can't speak for the Low Down Sound upgrade, someone else will have to pick up from me from here, as I still have yet to do anything more than give Don a 'kick the tires' email. I need some cheddar!
  3. Follow up: I should add, I ripped ONE of the speaker's surrounds when I was jamming with a drummer and guitarist playing through a Fender silverface combo... simply pushed too much gain through it I think. The rip is not too catastrophic, only about 1/8th of the perimeter of the speaker.

    and it's the first BB I haave, not the BB2. Hope someone else chimes in, it's always nice to learn a little more about this great amp!
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Baby Blue came only with Bag End drivers (with the surround issues)

    Baby Blue II came with Celestions

    Baby Blue II reissue came with Eminence drivers similar to the original Bag Ends but with a more robust surround

    As far as I know, none of the drivers can be serviced (reconed) any more. Bag End even stopped making the 5" midrange driver (and cannot recone them) but has a similar sized replacement driver with extended high frequencies.
  5. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    You might find someone that does HiFi speaker foam surround replacement to give a go at your Bag End drivers. That would give you back the sound you know and enjoy.

    That said, the BBII I purchased had all non-stock drivers and I soon replaced the woofers with long throw 8s from Don at Low Down Sound. They sound good and handle more power too, their physical weight is quite heavy. Thought I heard he had some neo versions of the 8s that sounded good too, might be worth looking into.

  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a newer, chrome grilled BBII.
    I replaced whatever the stock drivers were with LDS long throws.
    As noted, weight went up, but, so did DB's and I didn't have to worry about dorking the stock speakers.
    I eventually sold the rig with stock drivers, and had LDS build me two dedicated 2x8 boxes, one with a mid driver, and one with a horn.

    And yes, Don does have neo long throw 8's now, from what I hear.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Lastly, none of these "are very loud," and none of them have very modern treble response.
    However, they sound beautiful, and the preamp is an awesome studio tool.

    If you just want moderate volume and, lucious killin' tone, it's a great amp.
    I used mine nearly exclusively for upright.
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I had an earlier Baby Blue (with Celestions) and I still have a Baby Blue II. Both were great. I slightly preferred the tone of the BBII (slightly more open and more dynamic, as I recall; it's been a while though). They were pretty close, though. If you found a BB for a decent price, and don't have the option of getting a BBII in similar condition for the same or similar price, then I'd see nothing wrong with jumping on that BB.

    FWIW, I still play my BBII on a regular basis, as it is my gold standard for comparison when reviewing various combos.
  9. anonymous122511

    anonymous122511 Guest

    Dec 28, 2010
    I've owned all three gens and preferred the original Bag Ends by a long way. Definitely the most collectible too. It's a matter of personal preference though and if you have the option to compare you should. I never had issues with any of them but never pushed them past where they wanted to go. Not the right tool for anything louder than a restaurant gig. A hitting drummer will bury you.
  10. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    Any BB that is in fine working order is going to make you happy, it is a great overall design. I have a chrome BBII with Eminence that I picked up locally, but I'd have been happy with any vintage. All my basses sound fantastic through this thing up to its moderate volume limit (actually louder than I expected).
  11. B.Anderson

    B.Anderson Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    Salt Lake City
    I have a BBII and replaced my Celestions with long throws from Don, I think they sound great and are not as hi-fi sounding as the Celestions can be depending on how you eq your rig. This has been my main upright setup.

    I have never had any real heat issues with the amp, but then again mine is BBII.

    I've owned mine since 1994 and played hundreds & hundreds of gigs with it.

  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    "heat issues"

    non of them have fans, that I know of. Mine ran fairly warm when pushed hard...warm enough that tho the manual indicated it was 2 ohm safe, I never ever used it that way; or, with any extension cab.
  13. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    I have the original Baby Blue, and replaced Bag end speakers with Don's long throw ceramic woofers. Yes, heavier, but better low end response. I would have purchased neo's had they been available a few years back

    This is one amp I will never sell, my go to bluegrass and folk setup
  14. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    "A friend said I should play a baby blue 2 with better vents and power before deciding."

    The output section of the amp was never changed. Supposedly, they added a vent or a heat sink somewhere and changed the speakers to 4ohm (from 8ohm) with the introduction of the BBII. This bumped the est. output from 120 to 160.
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I believe that's correct. At least, mine was 160
    (and 180 at 2 ohms?...don't remember that last bit clearly).
  16. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Yup. 180 @ 2ohms.
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I think they did some power limiting to keep temps down at 2 ohms.
    A fan would have been better.
  18. I installed a pair of small silent fans in my BBB II with single 10" PAS driver to blow over the heat sink and out the vent on top of the combo. I run it hard at 4 ohms and noticed I get more audible headroom and a much cooler chassis. Heat is a transistors enemy and the less you expose them to, the better and longer they perform.
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    That's what I thought, too, about my BB II, until I compared it to my Markbass Minimark. ;) :) :D
  20. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Does anyone know how the newer Baby Baby Blue's (110 with a tweeter) stack up to the older models?

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