SWR = Fender

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lonote49, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Fender just bought SWR including exising inventory, intellectual property. Wow, Fender has been on a real buying spree lately...Jackson, Gretsch and now SWR!
  2. DAMN!

    Straight off of HC-

    Fender Acquires SWR

    June 3, 2003
    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced that it has signed a deal to purchase specific assets of SWR Sound Corporation. The acquisition, effective as of June 2, 2003, will include all existing inventory of products , as well as all accounts receivable, intellectual properties and trademarks relating to SWR products.

    Says Bill Schultz, Chairman and CEO of FMIC, "We have always sought to offer a wide variety of quality products to meet the needs of all musicians, and the SWR brand name will help us do just that. The SWR bass amplification products and the artists who use them are known and respected throughout the world, and they will add diversity to what we are able to offer."

    FMIC will immediately begin to produce SWR bass amplification products at both of the company's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Corona, California, and Ensenada, Mexico. The SWR brand name will then be sold and distributed through the recently created Fender Specialty Sales department.

    SWR's existing retailers will still be able to carry the products and will be contacted directly by FMIC to ensure a trouble-free change over. (Retailer's questions should be directed to Fender Specialty Sales at (480) 596-9690.)

    The new Fender Bass Amplification Division, which includes a team dedicated solely to the development of new bass amp technology and marketing, marked FMIC's most progressive move to date and reinforces the company's dedication to creating a full line of bass products under the Fender brand name. Now, with the addition of SWR, FMIC is poised to develop, produce and market products under two distinct brand names.

    For more information, visit their web site at www.swrsound.com.
  3. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    A sad day indeed...my next amp won't be SWR if they start mucking with the specs...
  4. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Well, my feeling on the Fender purchase is, simply, don't holler before you're hurt. ("You" being the generic "you.") Why not see what happens before assuming that everything is going to the dogs? I mean, let's not act like a buncha guitarists and assume every ownership change has to affect quality for the worse ....;)
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Pre-CBS Fenders are worth more- maybe the Pre-Fender SWRs will be collector's items.
  6. Fender has a golden opportunity now to gain some respectability as a bass amp maker. The company, who pretty much invented the Electric Bass Amp ( to amplify their bass guitar which they also invented ), never really seemed to "GET IT" when it came to bass amps. I think their R&D department was made up of guitar players who just didn't understand the needs of the bass player. That isn't the case now. They have a first class operation in SWR. Given the muscle Fender has they should be able to put out some great SWR/Fender bass products. Let's hope so.
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Yeah, and now so are the '70s Fenders that everybody swore were crap not so long ago. Sometimes I think much of the vintage market is like having beer goggles permanently glued to your face, with the prescription getting stronger as the gear gets older. Gee, that dog of a '78 Strat sure looks pretty now ....

    But yeah, actually I'm sure there will be a presumption that pre-Fender SWRs will come to be seen as more valuable, even before people try the new ones and even if quality doesn't change at all or gets better. I'm not saying you or anybody else I know would ... just that I see it coming.
  8. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    As a Canadian bassist, I think that the Fender aquisition of SWR will be a major benefit to Canadian buyers, at the very least. US Music's recent aquisition of Eden meant lower prices for Canadian dealers AND consumers, sometimes as much as 25% less than "pre-US Music" pricing, and that is a win/win situation for the working bassist no matter what. The Fender purchase of Jackson Guitars last year had almost exactly the same effect on pricing here in Canada,street prices dropped considerably and from the dealers I have spoken to, the quality of the Jackson product coming from Fender is at least as good as it ever was in the "Pre-Fender" days. I think that this may put SWR into the hands of younger bassists who may have never been able to afford it before, and that is nothing but a positive change IMHO.
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Excellent point HarderMan, and Richard makes good points as well. I just know that I'm not a fan of the current Fender bass amps, and if they change the SWR stuff to sound similar, or use their current design team to do SWR, I'm not sure I'd like the results...but a co-worker also remarked that we'd get a faster delivery time, and that with better pricing makes it worth it!

  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    You know what? I want to know if any bigger company has brought out a smaller one, and started making the products BETTER. It's all about PRE-CBS fenders, and everyone was saying the new eden cabs would suck because of this and that.

    What if fender "mucked with the specs" and made them even better?

    Right, and i'm a nice guy.
  11. how many engineers did SWR before fender bought them? (i'll give you a hint, it rhymes with "nero".)

    this is a win-win for steve rabe and SWR -- they'll actually be able to develop new products instead of repackaging all their old stuff, and steve can go off and do his raven labs thing.

    eventually they were going to run out of steam. i know they weren't able to offer much money for a new engineer to become their designer, which is why they had zero to begin with. so now they'll actually have the resources to develop new designs.

  12. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    As a huge SWR fan (and user), I can say I'm glad I got my SWR stuff before the Fender takeover. I don't know why, but the Fender buyout just makes me nervous.

    Another problem arises with this takeover as well: with this trend continuing, it's going to be harder and harder to support the little guys (I know, i know... SWR wasn't a 'little guy', but compared to Fender they were). Another thing I'm worried about is quality control in those Fender factories. The MIM Jazz Bass I had a few years back was very decent, but I've heard horror stories about MIM and MIA Fender products. I hope it doesn't carry over to the SWR line as well.

    Positive note: They will most likely manufacture the Workingman's product line in Mexico, so I'm willing to bet the prices on them will fall.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    What the press release DOES say:

    All production to be in Fender facilities NOT in the SWR facilities which were NOT sold to Fender. This means some amps will be made in Mexico, not the US.

    There is NO mention of acquiring SWR's R&D team, so while Fender may continue to build current SWR products any future SWR gear will be stuff designed by Fender. Based on Fender's past history with bass gear this is NOT a good sign, people :(

    By the way, Steve Rabe bailed out of SWR years ago.

    Companies that did get better (or at least not worse) after buyouts: Music Man, G&L. Too bad the list of those that went downhill is a lot longer :rolleyes:
  14. Although everyone will have their opinion, it isn't as melodramatic as you are making it sound. For most of us at SWR, it is not a sad day at all. We consider this a new beginning, a chance to improve all aspects of SWR. Everyone here is excited to have joined forces with a true industry giant. The move is expected to reinforce the quality for which SWR is known and improve the availability of SWR products all over the world. Extended research and development budgets will allow us to continue with the innovative design concepts that have made SWR the leader in bass and acoustic amplification. Key members of the SWR staff will remain in place, including SWR founder Steve Rabe as primary consultant. We are still just as dedicated to building the Finest Bass Amplification Systems in The World as we ever have been. With the power of FMIC behind us, I think you will only see improvement in all things SWR.

    Best regards,
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    If ya can't beatem, buyem
  16. there was no mention of SWR's R&D team, because it didn't exist. that's what i was saying. there were a few techs repackaging circuits that already existed, but there was no active or new R&D happening there. that is one reason why SWR is happy to be bought.

    why do you think that fender started a new bass amplification design division? am i the only person who has connected those dots?

    well, he certainly stopped designing for them years ago, but he was still around. and he remains around, though raven labs is his primary concern. it's a really sweet deal for him.

  17. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    My gu*tar player bought the Fender CyberTwin, and really dug the sounds and versatility...then the problems began. After many trips to various repair folks and numerous calls to Fender Customer Disservice, he's about to give up. The last rudely dispersed advice from Fender was "sell it...then it'll be somebody else's problem." No lie...verbatim.

    RIP SWR.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Fender went both ways: down under CBS, but back up after purchase by Bill Schultz.
  19. From my point of view, it is GREAT news..
    Commonly you don't see too many SWR products here in Mexico, and I'm pretty sure they will now be much more accesible and affordable 'round here..

  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    FYI, here's a post from Fender's Morgan Ringwald, from a thread over in the Fender Discussion Page bass forum: