SWR Dilemma

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DougP, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Here is the deal: i have been saving to get some Aggie 112's for my new rig. But now i have an opportunity to buy a SWR Super Redhead for $650. its about 3 years old, the tubes and the speakers have been replaced in it very recently. the seller is a friend of mine and i trust him. After reading posts here and at harmony central, it seems that people really like these amps.

    i am seriously considering this because it seems like a great deal. Is that a good price considering the age? Would anyone else jump on this or would you just take a pass, go ahead and pick up the Aggies and complete the rig?

    the only real downer i see about the SWR is that there is no power amp-in connection, so i cant connect a different preamp into the power section. or am i reading the specs wrong?

  2. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    you should find out why the speakers had to be replaced and what kind of speakers are in there. Also - i think there's only 1 tube in there which only costs apprx $10. so that's not a huge plus.

    there could be some underlying issues with this amp.

    that said, the SWR is a great amp for a lot of purposes. i used to have a redhead in a loud rock band, it was not loud enough. but for all the bands i play in now it would be pllllenty. i kinda wish i still had it, but i don't miss lugging it around.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You can use the effects loop to hook up an outboard preamp. In that case the only controls active on the front are the effects blend (set fully CW) and the master volume.

    $650 is a very good price (most people ask about $2-300 more).
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a super redhead. I like it lots. I play a fender jazz5 thru it, and the two 10 setup deos very well with the b string. If I need mo power, I just bring a 1x15 extension cab. I recommend it. I can't imagine what you'd have to do to blow the speakers out of it...It's not as heavy as my previous peavey combo, and it's got wheels, and good handles. The front coverf plate also doubles as a stand to tilt the amp up a little, and point it more at you.
  5. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    the speakers were replaced becuase of a rattle. a qualified SWR tech recommended replacing them. They are direct replacements from SWR, and have been in use for about a month with no issues. the tube was replaced with a groove tube.

    i'll get a chance to play on it tonight though. i like SWRs tone, but have never played through a redhead.

    So if i put a preamp through the FX loop, i wont have any of the coloration from the SWR pre?
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's right, it bypasses the tube gain stage, EQ, enhancer, etc.
  7. I would say get the Aggies. I see that you have a QSC RMX1450 and an Ampeg SVP-CL preamp. Im sure this set up sounds pretty good. You've been saving to get the Aggies for how long, anyways. You might as well get what you wanted instead of some used combo that might crap out on you. Even if its from a friend, think of how happy you'll be when the delivery guy comes to your door with 2 brand new Aguilar cabs. :smug:
  8. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Cool info brianrost. thanks for that.

    Pete, now you are adding to my quandry LOL

    The reason i am leanin towards the SWR, is because i will always be able to get the Aggies later. i wont always be able to get this combo at this price. might be a chance i dont want to pass up.

    But i do agree...i havent had much of a chance to play through the SVP-CL yet and would love to hear it through some brand new Aguilars.
  9. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've encountered no less than three 10" PAS drivers in SWR equip that buzzed/rattled. No cone creasing or evidence of blown voice coil, either. Two of these were in a Super Redhead I owned briefly. The other one was in a used Goliath III that I now gig regularly with, after replacing the suspect driver. FWIW I ditched the Redhead for an SWR SM-900. Needed the power.

    Would I say that's a good deal on the Redhead? Yes.
    Would I say that the Super Redhead is a sweet little amp? Yes
    Would I say that all SWR 10" drivers are time bombs waiting to crap out? Of course not.
    Would I say that the PAS speaker issue is a minor but real concern? Yes.

    Well, I hope I answered all of my own questions there, and maybe some of yours! ;)
  10. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    well in all honesty, if you're not in a super hurry (going on world tour or something ;) ), i'd say get the redhead. $650 is a pretty good deal used (the cheapest i see them for on the bay is $800), and if you don't like it, i'm sure you could sell it and at least get your $650 back (the beauty of used gear). plus then you'd have the chance to real world test it and see if it fits your needs. there'll always be aggie 112's out there...
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Then there's this to think about: I paid $1000 for my super, new, from Steve's Music in NYC. That included shipping, and it came with a pretty decent warranty. Having said that, I don't really know anyone who's had breakage with swr stuff...
  12. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    well since i am so on the fence with this i will bass (ha) my decision on sound. i get to play it tonight, then saturday i will go to the store and play through the 112s again and see what i think then.
  13. A verrry good point. If you can wait to get the Aggies, i'd say get the Redhead. :bassist:
  14. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Bought the SWR. couldnt pass up a good deal. amp works perfectly and sounds great.
  15. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    You have chosen wisely.
  16. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I'm not sure either, but a lot of people seem to claim to have done it, likewise the 15" in the "Black Beauty," with the claim on SWR's own forum that FMIC won't make good on warranty replacement.

    On a.g.b I seem to recall the claim that the speakers were downgraded when Fender bought SWR, but I have no idea if this is true or not. Having just bought a new "Black Beauty," I hope not.
  17. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    well, i ain't gonna' say i told you so, but... ;) seriously, i hope it works out good for you.
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Which gives you your sound?
    That charge you get when Fedex or UPS pulls up will do nothing for your musical expression.
    Play them and find out which one will meet your long term goals. As in be the most useful in a variety of settings.
    12s sound different then 10s, what gives you your sound?
    Ag 12s IMHO have a particular sound that is not effective in every application where the Redhead is quite flexible stage to studio.
    Some people say AGs get lost in the mix. SWRs sound even better when the band is playing. IMHO
    What gives you your sound?
  19. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i dont really have a "sound". even with one amp, i am constantly changing the knobs to suit what i feel like hearing at that time. which is why flexibility is key for me. Once i saw just how flexible this amp was i knew i had to get it. everypiece of it can be taken out. i.e, i can utilize a different set of speakers (Aggies when i get them, for example), i can use a different preamp, i can use JUST the speakers, etc...its a great little amp.

    my only complaint is that the handles should have been mounted a little closer to the front, it doesnt balance when two people carry it.

    as far as Fed Ex shipments go, i live close enough to a great music store, so all i would be paying for is gas.

    When did Fender buy out SWR? how do i determine if this one was made before the buy out? it doesnt have the chrome grill like is shown on the website and its about 3.5 years old.
  20. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    That's a good score. Talk about value.

    My only concern would be the bulk/weight, but an inexpensive dolly would probably clear that right up.