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SWR Mini Mo with SM-500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Music Attorney, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    For various reasons, I’ve decided to buy the SWR Mini Mo. Obviously, I need a power amp. I’m wondering if I can use the SWR SM-500 with the Mini Mo. I would love it if I had the option to bring just the SM-500 or add the Mo to the mix as opposed to having to buy the SM-500 and a separate power amp for the Mo. If it does work, any thoughts on that combination?

    Also, if you had a connection at a store, say, Sam Ash, and that connection would give you Sam’s absolute best deal, would you buy the amp new or try to find it used?

  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    The Mini Mo should work as a pre going into the power section of the SM500. Use the mono effects return on the 500 to bypass the its pre.
  3. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Patching into the SM-500 should be easy enough...provided you think you might gain enough from adding the Mini Mo. Is racking/unracking something you'd have to deal with?

    Also, if you're concerned about price, you might also look for a used SM-400S...they usually under $400.
  4. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Ihixulu, thanks for the response and suggestion.

    tornadobass, thanks for the response. For what I want, the Mo definitely has enough additional features. Also, I’m not sure exactly what you are asking when you say “Is racking/unracking something you'd have to deal with?” I want the Mo and need some power for it. I also want a reasonably small/light SWR pre/power amp combo. The SM-500 seems to fill both those needs.

    Finally, I asked about buying new/used because there are some items I would buy used and some I would not. I’ve read on these boards where people have had some problems with the SWR heads and it might be worthwhile to buy one through a store if I’m going to want someone to stand behind my purchase. If most people think an SM-500 is well built and I can find one that hasn’t been abused, then it might be worthwhile to take the risk and save some cash.
  5. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I mentioned the racking part because the SM-500 is meant to be racked. Using it with a preamp would mean hauling the preamp around all the time (whether using it or not) or unracking it to use alone.

    About SWR quality control problems...haven't heard of any...and suggested the SM-400s as essentially the same road warrior that costs less and has the same long term reliability.

    In any case, you've come up with a good idea for some quality gear. If you can find the bucks, you might want to put a power amp in a rack with the preamp and put the SM-500 in a 3 space rack that's easier to haul around.
  6. I've had QC "issues" with my Bass 750 and SM-900, although they're not an SM-500. I've learned my lesson and will NEVER buy another SWR head. (love the cabs though!)

    If you do get an SWR head make sure it's more than adequately ventilated, much more than adequately, an extra fan would be a good idea.
  7. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    tornadobass: Thanks for the heads up on the SM-500 being meant to be rack mounted. I took SWR at their (promotional) word that the unit was “rack mountable.” Meaning I thought I had the choice. The unit has “rubber feet” which I assumed meant the unit could sit on a speaker cab or other flat surface. However, I checked the SM-500 owner’s manual at SWR site’s and it says that SWR “recommends” that it be rack mounted and done in such a way as to minimize “flexing.” Of course, that could just be “CYA” language suggested by some lawyer ;-) Nonetheless, it’ll be something to confirm one way or another. Also, even if I rack the SM-500, it will be racked separate from the Mo both because the SWR units seem to run warm/hot and so I don’t have to carry both unless I want to.

    Thanks again for all you input.

    Golden Boy: Thanks for the response. I will try to not let my amp lose its “cool.”
  8. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    You don't need to rack it, but considering the cost of the amp and all those knobs sticking out from the front, you'll want to rack it after moving the amp around a few times, wondering what might bang into it.

    I'd suggest one rack space open above the amp, plus some wood blocks, if needed, to keep the amp from flexing downward in the rack. If the SM-500 is as deep as the SM-400s, you'll need at least 14" of depth for mounting.

    BTW, I have my SWR amps in 4 space roto racks and they're much bigger to haul around than my GK amp in a 2 space shallow x-rack. You might keep that in mind as you're putting the rig together.
  9. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    Thanks, tornadobass. Your input is much appreciated.
  10. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I just want to chime in here and let you know that the SM-500 is an excellent head. I've had mine for about a year and a half now, and I've never had any problems with it, and it sounds great.

    As far as ventilation goes, I have mine housed in a 2-space rack. When I push it, it gets very warm, but it's never had to shut itself down, although if I had the money I'd definatly buy a bigger rack to put it in, just in case.

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