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SWR. Hate 'em? Love 'em?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adept_inept, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    I figured i'd start a nice and argumentative thread about SWR amps, mainly, but cabs as well. I love my WokringPro 400. The only thing I don't like is its weight, and lack of "front-to-back" ventiliation.

    I'm talking "bang for your buck" here, not comparing them to Thunderfunk, Mesa, etc.

    How do you guys feel about your stuff/stuff you've tried?

  2. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    My 350x can't keep up volume-wise, but sounds good. Well, it did until it developed a short.

    I really dig my Goliath III. Doesn't do a B-string really well, but everything else is great.

    My LA12 combo is noisy, quiet, and crappy. But it was cheap.

    Redhead combos were always nice, if a little noisy.
  3. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    I love my baby baby blue, which replaced my old workingmans 10 for home practice both are good amps in my opinion.
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I hated my LA-15.

    Every other SWR amp i've tried with an SWR cab with 10" speakers was wayy to clanky.

    I like their 15" & 18" speakers though.
  5. CLJMB

    CLJMB Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    North Alabama
    I used to have a first generation (very pre-Fender) SWR SM-900 and 2 Goliath II 4x10 cabs. Sounded great by themselves. Got completely buried with the band, even at moderate volumes. Sold them and never looked back.
  6. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    i also don't like the swr speakers at all.

    thats why i use avatar 10s.

    that combo is great. however, swr + swr cabs is awful, IMO.
  7. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I love SWR cabs. I hate SWR heads. They seem underpowered to me. However, I like their preamps. The WorkingMan(Pro) stuff seems overpriced to me.
  8. the_home

    the_home Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    My first bass amp was a SWR Bassic Black. Very nice tone, and fairly versatile, but not very loud. Still have it although it gets very little use these days. Can't comment on whether today's SWR (part of Fender) is better or worse than the original which produced my amp.
  9. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I've owned three SWR-based amps: An Interstellar Overdrive with a QSC PLX 1602 for power, an Electric Blue, and an SM-900 (my current head).

    I loved all of them. I got into SWR after years of drumming with various bass players who were using SM-900s, and they've always seemed like they have a great sound over the racket that I and the guitarists were making. I tried using other things to get 'the sound in my head' and SWR is always what did it for me over the others.

    I'd say that out of the three, my favorite was the IOD+QSC combo. I sold it when I was doing only drumming stuff for a while. I would have bought another one but I got leery of separates after a thread where QSC's Bob Lee warned that turning the volume knob to half won't keep a 1600 watt amp from blowing a 1000 watt cab. The SM-900 has been a great alternative since I don't need the overdriven sound.

    My only gripes with any of the SWR stuff I've had have been because I bought it used and had to replace tubes and so on.

    As a side note: I think SWR gets a bad rap because they have put a lot of their design work into their pro line gear and their Workingman/LA stuff is junk. I've never heard any of either line that I'd be willing to pay money for.
  10. snappytom


    Aug 17, 2005
    I have a WM 10 that I use for practice at home. For all of the small 10" combos I tried in the price range I wanted to spend it had the fullest sound.
    Can't say I really love it, but don't hate it either. Recently acquired a used Genz Benz GB12T cabinet and put it under the WM10. This has really improved the sound and makes it a nice rig for small venues.
    Overall, I don't think I would ever consider buying SWR again.
  11. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    well, hate it is the popular choice here.

    so maybe i made the wrong choice getting the $550 dollar working pro 400. hmmm...

    but what else is there in that price range thats any good?
  12. I'm a very happy owner of a Goliath Jr. II cab. It fills the mid high/high void that my Avatar B212 Neo lacks with much presence. I'm starting to fiend for some of their other 90's gems such as the Henry Jr 4x8 & the Bigfoot 212. Not much experience with the heads, though. I did play through an SM900 a couple of times and remember being really impressed, but that was a few years ago.
  13. I'm the happy owner of a Basic Black and the matching extension cabinet. Why would you read other's opinions and start looking for something else? If you liked it when you bought it, screw everyone else.

  14. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    SWR heads and cabs are quite well-made and rightfully respected, but I just do not like the tone of the heads. I'm an Eden and GK guy and the relative tones of those two brands are markedly different (and, IMHO, opposite) from SWR, which is why I like them.

    I used to own a Henry 8x8 cab, which was fine, so I don't have a problem with their cabs.
  15. Helstar


    Nov 26, 2005
    they suck
  16. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have had 2 WM-12s (still have one) and an SOB 1x15 and Goliath III Jr 2x10. I feel the WM-12 is one of the best small/light/inexpensive combos that sounds great with both BG and upright. I play through a WM10 for university jazz combo rehearsals and it puts out nice sound for a 30# box.

    I loved the sound of the 15 in the SOB--quick, clear, deep, and punchy without the typical SWR mid-scoop. Goliath III Jr. was OK but the mids were very scooped. I absolutely hate the metal horns SWR uses in their cabs--harsh and unnatural--I actually prefer the sound of the piezos in their cheaper cabs!

    I wouldn't mind picking up a pre-Fender Bass 350 head someday for backup/small gigs/rehearsals. I can't count how many times I've seen big stacks of expensive SWR heads/cabs in bars and clubs. They look impressive, and all the clip/limit lights are flashing in time to the music--but I can barely hear the bass!
  17. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I had an SM-900 head and a Goliath III cab for awhile. I couldn't seem to get any of the sounds I wanted out of it for what I was doing, so I took the rig back and walked out with my current Ampeg rig (SVT4 Pro/SVT410HLF). The SWR rig was just too sterile sounding for me, at the time.

    Nothing against SWR or their users, just not for me.
  18. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have a Bass 750, an older Workingmans 4004 head and a workingmans tower 8X10. I love the 750 with the 8X10. That cab sounds nice and is only 110lbs. I have been hanging onto the 4004 because it makes a great backup amp.
    I recently played through an LA 12 and thought it was crap.
  19. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I've always liked my WM 1x15T cabinet, so much that two years after I sold it to my guitarist and he sold it to a store, I bought it back! Great sound, good low mids ... won't make the mistake of selling a 45 pound, loud cabinet again.
  20. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    well, part of this is that SWR is designed to provide more of the sound of the bass and not to color the sound as much. so, basically, i think a more authentic sound of the bass is produced. so if ur bass sounds sterile, it will be produced by the SWR. however, if ur bass sounds great on its own, the SWR wil just help it out. thats my take, at least. good guitars sound better, cheaper ones sound worse.