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SWR Head question...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by noweapon, Nov 7, 2000.


  1. noweapon

    noweapon

    Feb 10, 2000
    I was just wondering who out there owns or have played through the higher end SWR heads such as the SM-900 or the new Mo'Bass. I'd really be interested in hearing about the Mo'Bass.....MegaAngus????. I'm pretty much sold on the Megoliath cab....Its a toss up for the Head though....
     
  2. There was a thread on this awhile back, I think it was titled "SWR SM-900 or Mo'Bass." The conclusion was that something must be lacking in the construction of the Mo'Bass, because it's packed with all these features, yet retails for $500 less than the SM-900. I have an SM-900 and I think it's great, plenty loud. It has 12 bands of EQ and that in itself is too much for me. If you really want a lot of effects, you might look into the Mo'Bass. I think an SM-900 through a Megoliath would be about the most smokin' rock 'n roll rig imaginable.
     
  3. noweapon

    noweapon

    Feb 10, 2000
    You know I never noticed that...I know the Mo'Bass dosen't have a crossover....I've played the SM-900 and Megoliath cab together and it sounded great..but is the head reliable over time?...thats my main concern.
     
  4. I've only had mine for about 6 months so I can't speak to that..
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It might be dangerous to extrapolate from another SWR product, but my Baby Blue has seen plenty of gig use over a period of 7 years and I've had zero problems. Still has the original preamp tube, in fact.
     
  6. mark

    mark

    Apr 7, 2000
    Canada
    I've used SWR gear for a while and I know other guys who have as well and neither of us has ever had a problem so I can't see the top of the line SM-900 giving you any problems. The SM-900 would be my choice for your application as well. To me the Mo' Bass is gimicky and unproven.
     
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Mo'Bass should be named Need'Mo'Bass. What a retarded amp. I played the one down at bass nw through a megoliath (i was played the maple Fodera), and christ, what a waste of money. Yes, its hard to play with a cast on, but i wanted to hear it. Badbadbad. It didnt have much bass, the tone wasnt too good, and the effects on it were balls.

    I ended up buying the Ampeg SVT-4 Pro. Same price as the Mo' Bass (less than SM-900), more power than the SM-900, and better tone. I say save some money and buy the Ampeg. Through the Megoliath that will just plain rule. Im getting bag end cabinets for myself, as i like them a bit better, but damn, i love the Ampeg head. AND it would be cheaper than the SM-900.

    What kind of tone are you going for? I bet i can direct you to the perfect setup if i know the type of tone you like. Ive tried damn near everything recently!

    Bottom line: Stay the hell away from the Mo'Bass!
     
  8. noweapon

    noweapon

    Feb 10, 2000
    Mega: I'm doing striaght ahead rock. You can listen to our songs at... http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/154/engines_of_creation.html

    Like I said, I'm sold on the cab. Man that SM-900 is so pricey!!! And then to add effects...ouch. Thats why the Mo'Bass is so appealing to me. Its got the exact effects I want..Octave, Chorus, Bass Synth....I know I could get these things in pedal (boss) form but that would be even more cash....I'm going to try a Mo'bass today at SWR HQ in Sun Valley.
     
  9. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Netherlands
    You lucky guys! At least you get to test the damn Mo' Bass. I'm stuck here in Holland waiting for it to arrive. Only a couple of weeks to go... I sure hope it sounds great when used clean (w/o fx) because that's how I will be playing it 90% of the time. (I will be playing it through 2 * Goliath III Jr and 1 * Son Of Bertha.) But the fx better be top of the line too. Damn!!! I WANT TO PLAY IT. Please let me know what you think of the Mo' bass.
     
  10. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Noweapon: Ampeg SVT-4 Pro!!! Same list price as the Mo'Bass, and usually is a bit cheaper in stores.

    Mo'Bass: Read my review above. Clean tone isnt all that great, especially for the price, and the effects sucked. FAR from top of the line. Sorry dude. You wasted your money, IMHO.
     
  11. jimbo-sl

    jimbo-sl

    Nov 8, 2000
    No offense to mega-angus, but I've found that SVT's all have that distinctive growl no matter what. That's not a bad thing, but I prefer my SWR, because it has much more tonal flexability. I've also found them to be bullet proof, much better than any ampeg I've ever owned. The extra money is worth it in my opinion.
     
  12. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Dont get me wrong, im not against the SM-900, its a GREAT amp, and was the next choice. But ive found that i love the SVT-4's sound (I hate every other Ampeg product, pretty much), so i went with it. Plus the extra power for bi-amping (and, well, mono) was great. If i were going to buy a less powerful amp, id surely get SWR, or maybe Ashdown (great heads!), and, of course, i love SWR cabs. So dont think im an anti-SWR ampeg enthusiast! Im the exact opposite! I just happen to love one Ampeg and not particularly like one SWR.
     
  13. jimbo-sl

    jimbo-sl

    Nov 8, 2000
    I'm sorry for the misconception. I do agree that the SVT is a great sounding head. I guess i'm just a SWR man. I will also agree that the MO'BASS head is a lowsy head. I couldn't believe that they put their name on this thing. Almost every other product SWR puts out sounds better (I haven't tried thier new LA series, so I can't comment on those). My recomendation is to go out and try as many different heads as you can, then pick the one that sounds good to you. It took me almost three months of looking before I decided.
     
  14. noweapon

    noweapon

    Feb 10, 2000
    All right, Check it out....I went to SWR on Wednesday afternoon and here is how it went. First let me say that everybody there is super cool...Everybody went out of there way to make me feel at home. The person who I was dealing with was Dale Rowley in the sales dept. What a cool cat this guy is...He took me back to the testing room where they have just about every SWR speaker(s)/anmp(s) combo setup you can think of. There is nothing special about the room itself...Its quite large in fact..like 40x30" w/ a 15" ceiling. I brought my trusty Ibanez SG406 and Plugged into a Mo'Bass Head powering a Megoliath 8x10. Ok here we go...

    Fisrt I asked him Why the MB is so much less than the SM-900. He Informed me that the MB has EXACTLY the same electronics as the SM-900 minus the crossover. Its basicly a 900 with different options, and a nose job. He said the reason they are charging less for this bass is because they are "taking a chance on the effects, something SWR has never done" He went on to say that no matter how good your effects are, all effects seem to hit or miss with buyers. So on that note he started walking me through them...

    1) PRE-AMP: This is basicly the same as the 900...Bass, mid, treble, mid level, limiter and Arual Enhancer(witch is basicly a pre-shaped eq level booster..its on all SWR's) I really cranked it here..I wanted to really test out the the clean tone. Very nice, well rounded and LOUD. Just to make sure I ran it up against the 900 and the same levels...pretty much the same tone and loudness..again, Its the same amp...so far.

    2) Overdrive: Nothing special here...It can get as nasty as every other OD i've heard. Its very sensitive..A big change in sound from the slightest touch.

    3) Subwave: Now this was pretty cool...but not how I expected. You see, I thought it would be cool to hit my low B and hear and octave under that...sadly though, all I heard was a soft sort of distortion that seemed to fade in and out. What was up? Well, to truly hear the octave of a low B at loud levels you would have to have a 20,000 watt amp with 10 30 inch speakers. So what you end up with on this amp is a true octave of open E and anything above. Anything below that it has trouble catching so it kind of sounds like a distortion that fades in and out, which is actually a cool sound when mixed in with the....

    4) Bass Synth: WOW! Now this is cool. You know that Synth on Rush's "Tom Sawyer"...It sounds like that. You can adjust the mix and resonace..plus you can round it out with the envelope and filter. This is the trickiest of all the effects because of its almost limitless sound shaping ability. adding in osme distortion and chorus really change the sound also..you could tweak for days....but speaking of chorus....

    5) Chorus: A good solid chorus..nothing to fancy. It really adds to the other effects. I imagine different basses will really be affected by this effect because your pickups will determine the overall sound....Oh, I almost forgot....

    6) Mo'EQ: This is what Dale called and "Extreme EQ" He was right....the bass knob is set at around 40hz. You can pump this up to about +6-8DB. Talk about BBBAAASSSSSSSS. I really felt it in my guts. Everything was rattling and shaking. I've never experienced that kind of low-end before. the B and E were incredible sounding....The mid was more or less an extra mid boost for really punchy mids...He said the treble was dialed in at around 16khz so it was a real sweet booster.

    I have to say I am pretty impressed by this head. Dynamic playing is key to how this amp sounds because it changes what you hear. Soft notes sound way different than hard ones and almost every effect.

    Once you spend the time dialing this baby in(and I think this can be frustrating to say the least) its worth it.You have to grow into it. I would be hard to just plug into this amp, punch some effects in and sound good...It takes time to get to know it. You can get some pretty crazy sounds out of mixing the effects. I liked the chorus and Synth together with the Mo'eq CRANKED. You can run it in stereo, with one side wet and the other dry ( the sound man is going to just love that) Dale said that, depending on sales, The price may go up a bit. Its a world class amp dispite the effects, and they could probably charge way more for it....

    Well thats what I think....


     
  15. 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
    noweapon -

    Thanks for your review. Very enlightening. On the octaver situation, most (if not all) octavers can't follow anything below the A string. Even if they could, the frequency of the lower octave of the B string would be about 15 hz. An elephant can hear that, but you can't. What you probably heard was the amp swearing under its breath.
     
  16. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Netherlands
    Thank you very much noweapon. Great and clear review. Now i've heard both sides of the story. Some here at tb love it and others hate it.

    When it gets in I'm going to compare it to an SM-500 (Mega: i haven't bought it yet). The SM-500 (and SM-900) have more parametric eq possibilities, that would be a reason to choose for the SM-500. OTOH if the clean sound (no eq) of the Mo' Bass is the same as the SM-500 and the effects are happening, it will definately be the Mo' Bass.
     
  17. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I know you havent gotten it. And dude, check out the Ampeg SVGT-4 Pro. About same price as the Mo'Bass or a little less, and has way more EQ possibilities, and sounds better.