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SWR IOD preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jock, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    How do you like this preamp?
    How does it hold up to other preamps on the market like Alembic, Demeter, Ampeg etc?
    All info about it is welcomed as I can get a great deal on a used one. I cant try before buying though. :(
  2. My IOD is what I opted for after selling my Alembic F-1X.

    I wanted active tone controls (cut and boost), where the F-1X was cut-only.

    In Dry mode, the IOD is a "clean" preamp. The overdrive function is VERY sensitive and changes significantly with slight changes in the balance between Wet and Dry signal. Twidding is involved to get it down.

    Be sure to get the foot switch for Overdrive. They also offer a pedal that takes the place of the Overdrive knob, but it is pricey, and probably a waste of money. I do not own it, nor do I feel a compelling need to own it. I down the foot switch for Overdrive, and that is 100% required.

    Output of the IOD isn't very high. You will need something in between to boost the output voltage high enough to drive a PLX to full power. The IOD only puts out 0.775v at wide open throttle. Spec came from SWR tech support, and practical use confirms this.

    Tone is typical SWR. Sharp, clean, maybe sterile is also appropriate. Not sloppy or muddy.

    The drive tubes will also drive an 8-ohm cabinet. If you have an efficient one (Eden XLT, JBLs, etc) you can make a lot of noise with just the IOD.
  3. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    You CAN try before you buy, if you click your way over to http://www.basstasters.com :) There you will find sound clips for all of the preamps you mentioned.

    I agree 100% with what bgavin said about the IOD. It is clean and warm, has a tubey sound, but can grow hair if you want it to. It's warmer than the Demeter, but not as mid-scooped as the Alembic or Ampegs. Kind of the best of all worlds.

  4. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks. I´ve read that it can be hard to get a sound that sounds good in a mix. It´s supposed to sound great alone but that´s not how I will use it. :meh:

    Like what? :confused:
  5. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    that spec is for the direct mode i believe, once you dial in the tube, i think someone measured the signal to be 1.2, but that is off the top of my head.

    personally i end up not opting for either the footswitch and pedal, because i dial in the tubes for warmth, and just tur nthe drive and blend to where i want them pretty quickly and accurately.

    its a great preamp, and i find it to sound pretty good in the mix without tons of eq work.
  6. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I had one for a while which I used with a PLX 1602. I wanted to get a preamp with more output than the Trace SMX I'd been using and I really dug the one I heard on Basstasters.

    It sounded pretty good, but it wasn't as good as the Basstasters one (mine was the blueface) and wasn't what I'd consider 'great'. For what I paid on ebay it was worth it but I am glad I didn't buy a new one. I ended up dumping it after a couple months for the following reasons:
    1) SWR recommends that you have space above and below it for cooling purposes. I had it in the top slot of a 4 space SKB with the PLX on the bottom, so I had 1U of space between them. My PLX wasn't modded to have the more sensitive input gain so I had to run it on full volume to get useful output from it. Even with the 1U space, it would still be extremely hot after a gig. I wasn't really comfortable with this and I didn't want to blow two spaces on a 1U preamp.

    2) According to SWR, plugging into a board with phantom power (via the XLR of course) fries these things. I wanted to get the tone through the PA so that meant micing my cab or hoping that the soundman would remember to not throw any phantom power at me.

    I did manage to get decent recorded tones out of it when I used the onboard power amp and a smaller bass cab, and I got surprisingly good acoustic guitar tones in either mode. It was great for piezo-equipped acoustics which needed something to offset the quacky sound. If I were going to get another one, it would stay in the studio.
  7. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I had one and sold it ..
    I grew tired of the pre/power config.
    It has the classic SWR sound.

    Just some clarification on the foot pedal..
    it allows you to pedal in the desired amount of overdrive and return to a clean setting...
    if you solo often this is a nice feature which I used.
    Its not for everyone.

    The footswitch allows you to turn on or off the OD circuit.
    I paid 350 for mine used... and sold it for the same amount....
  8. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    to comment on the heat issue, its pretty well known that SWR heads/units run hot, but they can take it for sure.
  9. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Well of course the thing it going to get hot! It's got two power tubes in it running hard enough to make them distort! Go feel your guitar players tube amp sometime and see how hot it is!
  10. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I am pretty sure the issue of SWR gear heating up is part of the design..the enclosure acts as a heat sink and pulls the heat away from the internal components in turn extending their life...
    I used an SM 400 for many years and the thing used to get very hot..but I never had a single service issue with it.
  11. The IOD gets hot by design. It is a tube amp.

    SWR says phantom power will destroy the DI circuit. Carry a Countryman DI in case your soundman does not have a DI box.

    I won't risk my IOD to careless application of phantom power, then the "I'm sorry" crap after it gets smoked.

    The biggest drawback to the IOD is the lack of sufficient output voltage to drive a non-modified PLX.