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SWR Mo' Bass: any "long-term" reviews?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ionic Eye, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. Ionic Eye

    Ionic Eye

    May 13, 2002
    Columbus, OH
    I own an SWR Mo' Bass and love it, but must include a footnote: I've only played it through headphones and recorded with it, and never travelled with it, so it's taken zero abuse and never had to strain.

    I know a lot of concerns were raised about reliability with the Mo' Bass when it first came out, so has anyone used one for at least six months, gigged with it, pushed it pretty hard? Has anyone had any problems with one, such as over-heating, knobs breaking, effects failing, etc.?

    Just thought it would be interesting to hear from some real-world users...

    p.s. I bought mine because I knew I'd use the effects at times (I think they sound simply awesome; analog rules?!?), I liked the power, and I LOVED that it was all contained in one small, 29 lb, easily transportable (I WILL be gigging with it one day soon, just wait!) package; true simplification; just thought I'd share! :) Matt
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Wow. You own a $1400 head and don't have a cabinet? Very unusual.
  3. I bought my mo' bass 3 months ago and I've been using it on a regular basis on the road, at rehearsels and at home. I mounted it in a professional rack system, made to my specifications. I included a board at the bottom of the amp, to give some extra protection to it. There is enough free space on the top to control the heat. All the units of my rack are mounted a little bit more inside than usual, so the knobs are safe and in good condition. I haven't been pushing it very hard : Master volume not above 6. Usually I connect 2 (or 1) Goliath III cabinets to it, always in bridged mode. 1 cabinet : 650W at 8 ohm, 2 cabinets : 900W at 4 ohm. I don't really need the stereo mode. I love the sound and power. So far, no problem at all. The only minor issue is the subwave (octaver). I have to be carefull how I use this one. On short notes, no poblem. But it doesn't seem to track long notes very good. I really don't think that I can blame the sustain on my two Signature Alembics for this. Anyone else dealing with this problem ?

  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's perfectly normal for an (analog) octaver.
  5. Ionic Eye

    Ionic Eye

    May 13, 2002
    Columbus, OH
    Embellisher: Yes, I try to be as unusual as possible:) . I have a Hartke B-60 to play through, and am slowly acquiring my "good stuff", as money allows. I started with the Mo' Bass 'cause it seemed to be just what I wanted, at a price I felt I just couldn't pass up (with free foot controller; actually turned out to be the "standard deal"; oh well); even though I've heard a lot of less-than-enthusiastic opinions on it here at TB, I'm still enthusiastic about it. The next piece of the puzzle will be a couple Bag End 15's, or the SWR 2x12's, or Nemesis cabs, and THEN a new bass (I currently have a Dean Edge 5-string, which I think is just awful; I'm starting to lean toward Fender, although Peavey and Reverend are still strong contenders; I need to decide on the 34" vs 35" issue; 35" does seem a bit of a strain on my fingers, though that might just be in my head, and I don't mean my Mo' Bass, either.) Just thought I'd respond...;)

    Bassmanjr: thanks for responding; good to hear good things from an actual user. Are you happy with the volume you're getting out of your set-up? Are you plenty loud for gigs (I'd hope you would be!)? That was another "problem" people had with this head, that it wasn't as loud as it seemed it should have been, or something...

    Peace... Matt
  6. so this is relatively off-topic from the actual mo bass subject at hand...but i just have a question regarding the mo bass' effects that is totally out of complete curiosity.

    i have an electro-harmonix bass micro-synth that has not all, but most of the effects that the mo bass head contains, and as everyone knows, E-H only does analog. anybody have thoughts on how the E-H analog pedal effects compare with mo' bass' analog effects? i'm really just curious about this, because i think the idea of the mo' bass head with all of its analog effects is intriguing. it's not like i'm gonna go buy the mo' bass head just for the effects if someone says it's better, hell, i dont even have nearly that much money (the difference is at least over 1,000). i'm really just curious...

  7. PJR


    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA
    I've owned a Mo-Bass for about 18 months now.

    I gig regularly with it....powering a Goliath sr. in Bridged mono mode.........

    I did have an incident once where it shut down (thermal protect )......but that was due to faulty electric at the wall in the club.......

    I have never had any problems whatsoever since.

    PM me if you need/want more details.... :)

  8. Hi Matt

    The volume is really more than enough for me. Of course there are a lot of stages in the amp that influence the master volume. If each stage (bass output, mo bass input, eq, limiter, each effect, mobass eq, master) is set to it's optimal volume, you really have plenty of power. I can't imagine someone saying : 900W with two goliaths is not enough for me, unless you are playing opendoor in very big arenas ...

    Joel, I really have no idea how it compares to your electro harmonix. Maybe the samples on http://www.swrsound.com/pages/products/proseries/moaudio.html can help you ? Maybe you can find a store where you can test the MoBass.

    Should you visit Belgium, you can always test mine ;)

  9. I've had the Mo' for 17 months,It's been cranked every saturday since I got it through two 4x10 warwick cabs.

    My band uses a 5000 watt PA and won't let me go through it because I'm too loud.All our gigs have been in fairly large halls and I never have any problem with volume.I've never had reliability problems.

    Now I use the Mo' for lows and a Mesa 400+ for mids/crunch,and the band hates me now.:D
  10. Anthony Z

    Anthony Z

    Feb 28, 2018
    Holy Cow, it's 2018 and nobody has posted in a Loooooong time! I've got the full rig: Mo'bass head and Mo'control pedalboard, and I absolutely love it. I've never had an issue with either of the components in nearly 10 years of ownership and I frequently put it through its paces, trying out different effects settings and cabinet choices. I've got mine running in bridged at the moment, through a Peavy 118 and Bugera 410. I have to say though that my favorite is splitting them in stereo, with the cabs ~ 20 ft apart, to the right and left of me. So, is anyone still out there, or am I the last of a dying breed?
    Clark Dark and patrickj like this.
  11. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    I remember these amps and thinking how cool they were at the time. I come across a used one, more often the Mini Mo' pre, every once in a while. I dig the aesthetics and also the convenience of have all one's controls at amp level.

    Tonewise, my take on units like this, and I'll lump the Tech21 Bass Fly Rig in there with it, is that you get what you get, meaning, to get the most out of it you have to like whatever sounds you can get with each component of the amp. If your tastes change (as mine do), and suddenly you don't like the chorus or the octave, you're stuck bringing stompboxes along with the amp and the effects you aren't using.

    That may not be a big deal to some, but it is to me and my OCD. I definitely prefer the modularity of stompboxes. I seek out an amp for the tone it produces, perhaps EQ and form factor as well. And sometimes I look forward to gigs where I don't deal with any effects at all.

    The Mo' Bass is a unique amp for sure, and the niche following it maintains is well deserved. Much respect!
  12. brstma

    brstma my dog is an awesome dog Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    I picked a Mo Bass up here back in February and I'm really liking it too. It took some tweaking to get used to the EQ & preamp response, but now I have it locked in to my sound. I didn't like how it sounds at first while playing alone but then I heard it in the mix and OMG!

    I run mine in stereo mode through 2 Ampeg BXT 210M cabs and it's crazy loud if needed. I can nearly crank both amps to max and the speakers barely move. With my last amp (Peavey BAM) through the same 2 cabs the speakers would "fart" and flap wildly before the amp was half way up. I guess that tells you something about amp's performance :bassist:

    I found myself wishing the Mo Bass has a tone control for overdrive and an blend for the chorus - then I saw the Mini Mo and it has them added! I guess they got the same feedback back then. If I ever see one cheap enough I might have to switch
    Clark Dark likes this.
  13. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    I have one, bought new in 2002 worked with it in secular bands for 6 years and with a praise and worship team from 2008 to 2014. Pushed two 4x10 cabs without any problems. That chorus would sound rich and enormous in the 60' high ceiling church I was based at.
  14. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Anyone else having a problem setting the overdrive to unity gain ?

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