SWR Baby Blue?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Blackbird, Jul 15, 2001.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, people.

    I've been intrigued by SWR's Baby Blue combo. People say it's great and it's the closest thing to the actual bass sound, but has anyone here tried one? Can the head on the baby Blue run another speaker? Any comments on this amp would be appreciated.
  2. I used to own a baby blue. It was a nice little amp and I used it for double bass. For electric bass it was underpowered. It is true that it was a pretty neutral sounding amp and didn't colour the sound that much. I much prefer my EA vl208 over the Baby Blue. The EA is much better(its also more expensive) A friend of mine was looking for a new amp a while ago. He was interested in the Baby Blue. When he compared the SWR with an EA110 cab w/ Eden traveller head he bought the EA/Eden combination. Its true that this is about $600 more than the SWR, however, he got a rig that could be 1)used for both double bass and electric
    2)double the wattage
    3)a truer sounding speaker with wider freq.
    4)a more portable rig.
    BTW you can hook up an extension speaker to the Baby Blue.
  3. I had a Baby Blue combo. I used mine with an electric 5-string. I sold it because at the time I didn't have a need for a third amp. Big mistake!

    I really liked the tone. Very natural with the dedicated midrange driver. I used it in practice settings (with a band), small gig settings, as a monitor with PA support and recording. For those situations, it did very well. YMMV...

    When I needed another small combo, I was searching for another BB used. I ended up getting an SWR 12 because I got a great deal on a new one still in the box at GC. IMHO, it's not nearly as good of an amp as the Baby Blue.

  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You may want to try looking into the Acoustic Image Clarus which is reported to being very neutral sounding.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    SWR is discontinuing the Baby Blue, so you better hurry if you want a new one.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    It's a great amp, sounds like your bass. I wouldn't think about using it alone for rock or reggae. Where it shines is on stage where stage volume is low and your direct out is to the PA with you in the monitors. You hear yourself big! If you use a larger amp in a semi acoustic setting you lose your stage balance and it sounds unnatural. It has the equivalent of "more me" for studio use you pipe a line into the BBII from the board, disconnect the speaker, wear headphones and mix your own mix of bass and the others tracking with you. It's also a one hand carry if you're strong with your bass and cable bag in the other. In a semi acoustic setting, Acoustic guitars, hand drums or with a quiet drummer it's perfect. If the drummer is cooking I'll take a Goliath Jr. and SM-400 instead. It wouldn't cut it next to a Steinway 9ft. Grand. But the tone of the BBII is smooth with all instruments. You can get that real sound of your Acoustic bass guitar or that motown sound with that vintage P-bass. I don't want to sound like anyone else but Michael Manring said he would rather use two BBIIs then one of another amp. Hey it's all subjective. Go try one. Yes you can add one more speaker of 8ohms impedance. I'm sure that EA and a powerful head would be nice. You know how guitarists like the sound of a combo like a Vintage Fender Deluxe Reverb though Marshalls and Digital Modeling amps are out there, this is one of those special units.
  7. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I have Baby blue and it is a very nice amp, especially if you have small gig and it is very mobile. The sound is quite natural.
    Yesterday I received Clarus from A .I. and this thing is marvelous, I hooked up with Red Dead cabinet, Baby blue Cabinet [ I used the speakers only}, I hooked it up to Goliath 3 and Acme Low B 2 and it still works. I set every thing flat no boost it gives the most uncoloured tone. I tried awith acoustic guitar Ovation , it sounds very natural.
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I've seen Manring live twice and been to his studio twice. He does use it live (It's on the top of his rig) and he has one in his studio.
  10. I just reread my post and realized that my tone came off as slamming Michael Manring. This was not my intention as I have been a fan of his since his Windham Hill days. I was merely making an observation. It turns out that my observation was wrong as I haven't seen him play live :( I have only seen the ads. Thanks Big Wheel for the info. Once again my apologies.
  11. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I have, and use, a Baby Blue head. One of the original ones in the very small box (they called it the Electric Blue). It is a great little amp, with a VERY impressive tone. I run it into a Bag End 2x10, and it is just loud enough for jazz and blues.
    The tone is very true...a great studio amp, and the little "MoreMe" trick really works great when tracking.
    Of all the amps out there (outside of WW) it has the "truest" bass tone. The EQ is very flexible. They call it the "poor man's Walter Woods" and with good reason.
    They are discontinued, and if you find either a head only or the combo...snatch it up!
    The only downside is the 150w power section (which, when I spoke with Steve Rabe about this, is conservatively rated...it puts out abit more, closer to 175 @ 4 ohms). But, I like using it with bands just to remind folks to keep their stage vols down! And sound men love that!
    BTW..the DI on the BB is one of the best. It is switchable, and can function as a tube DI...and since the amp tone is so pure, that records like a dream.
    I love mine and would not part with it for the world.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I just wanted to say that while the BB is not a really loud amp, I do gigs all the time with one in an electric blues band with horn section and no PA support for the bass. I can fill small clubs from the stage with no problem, I've even been asked to turn it down :).

    It can certainly keep up with amps like the Ampeg B-100R, Hartke Kickback, the SWR Workingman's amps, etc. while being smaller than any of them.
  13. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Use an additional speaker cabinet? You can by the Baby blue heads.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Unlike many solid state amps, adding an extension cabinet does not boost the wattage much on a BB (only 20 watts!!!) so that any volume increase you get is due to the greater cone area or greater efficiency of the second cab.

    I actually own two BBs, one is the head/cab version and I use the combo plus cab on some gigs. I do it for coverage on stage than for the volume increase I get which is small.
  15. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    a local shop out here had one, i thought " oh wow, 2x8, what an amp" but still tried it. OMG, the thing was LOUD and punchy, i wanted it, bad. but didnt have the money. i say if you got the $$ for one, buy it, theyre great.
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Hi, I love these amps. Played one three times a week for three years mostly with a Guild Ashbory and finally trashed the speakers when we got up to funk volumes one night with a loud drummer. SWR sent me new speakers which were Celestions but differed in that the cone shape was more gradual and they sound better. I rarely play the Ashbory through it now as I know they put out way too much fundamental. This isn't an Ashbory thread but I have an original Guild Ashbory and an original with the upgraded pickup that puts out stadium funk bass as well as upright tone where the original has more of an upright timbre. Anyway a Ken Smith can sound like the any bass through a BBII. You get that sweet"almost heaven" fender with low end tube beauty that responds to your every subtle touch. Ok, are we talking about Amps here or what? Thanks.