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SWR - Opinions on cabinet quality?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hey guys,

    So I recently got to use my buddy's bass rig on a gig we were co-billing, and all I can say is DAAAAYUUUUM! He runs a SWR Big Ben 18in and one of their 2x10s (I think it's a Golight) with an older model Genz Benz head and it sounds amazing. The cabs were incredibly punchy and you could literally feel the bass shake the stage in a commanding way. Not only that, but the tone was to die for. Each note was full-bodied, warm, but buttery in just the right ways. It was also fairly easy to hear oneself in a loud mix.

    Now this is the second time I've used SWR cabs. The time before this I was jamming with some friends at a drummer's house (a guy I didn't know beforehand), and the drummer let me use his bass rig. It was a Markbass LM800 Tube being played through two SWR 2x10s (I think these were Golights, too), and the tone was once again incredible and punchy as could be.

    This has gotten me to consider SWR cabs for my own rig as they seem to be the only cabs I have ever come across that literally punch the air in front of them with each note. It just feels so commanding, and the fact that their tone is fat and warm, but with some excellent horn/tweeter crispness, is just gravy. My only question is what is their reliability like? Can these cabs and their speakers really handle this kind of output, or has every setup I've played been pushing these cabs too hard (without farting out, mind you)?

    So yeah! Opinions welcomed! Right now I'm considering copying my friend's rig (18in Big Ben and a 2x10 Golight - wish me luck on the hunt for a Big Ben!).
  2. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
  3. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    My Goliath II is 20 years old and sold as a rock.
  4. emdsd

    emdsd Mongo only pawn in game of music!

    Feb 25, 2010
    Boyne City, Michigan
    I've been using an SWR Big Bertha 2-15 for about a year now powered by a GB GBE500H. I love the clarity and punch it produces, as you described, and have no problem keeping up with 2 guitars and drums in my classic rock band.
  5. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I had a Triad. I bought it used from a local bassist in Reno that played very reasonable levels- jazz player. I used it often, and then after a few years it began to loosen up, a lot. All of the panels and braces had to be screwed with drywall screws to stop it. when I finally sold it after putting it in storage- it had more sheet rock screws holding it together than a condo.
    ALL my SWR gear has been sold, because, as cool as it once was, in my opinion, it is overpriced, underbuilt, and is a bit dated now, by superior gear. I also had a Goliath 1, 4-10 that I sold, because it ultimately was a 95 pound box that didn't sound as good as my 60 pound Avatar Neo. Had an SWR Bass 350, nice- but short on real bass power. I also owned a Workingman's 12 combo that I dug, until it, too, developed problems- and it was new amp... volume pot went bad, and the led light, too. The best piece of SWR gear I ever owned was a Grand Prix pre-amp.
    This, once again is my experience based opinion, I know a lot of players that love SWR gear. To each his/her own.
  6. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I love my swr goliath iv that i picked up used for $400. Its been a solid workhorse and is a great sounding cab. My favorite 410 that i have tried so far.
  7. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Ive had an SWR Redhead for years, old faithfull and sounds good.
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Good to hear!

    Anymore opinions on these cabs? Anyone have experience with the Golights? Also, does anyone know if you can biamp with them? It's something new that I've been wanting to try with my rig.
  9. LowHz


    Mar 13, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    Mo' Bass Club #38, SWR Fan Club #154
    I have no experience with the GoLight cabs (although I should probably consider getting some!), but if the other SWR cabs I have are any indication, I doubt they'd suffer in build quality. I gig quite a bit, and have become an SWR gear slut. Besides my SWR heads, here's what I have in terms of their cabs: 3-Goliath IIIs, 2-Big Bens, a Triad, a Son of Bertha, a Big Bertha, a Goliath Sr., a Henry the 8x8, and a Goliath Jr. NONE of these cabs have ever had any problems (many of them are sitting at various rehearsal sites and/or in band trucks so I don't have to carry them around). Very happy with them.
  10. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Edmonton canada
    I have an old Baby Blue combo that works great. Use it for electric and upright.
  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I gave a Golith 4x10 a nice long test drive in store once and A/B'd it with a lot of other cabs (and have owned 4 SWR cabs previously). I think it's their best cab for metal. Mad punch and the right kind of mids, more low mids than GIII.

    The general weakness of SWR 10's that I have found is that they arent designed to take ultra thick low mids. My Megoliath could produce arena-sized low end (I can't overemphasize the low end on that thing!) without a glitch at ANY volume, but if I boosted low mids on my Mesa head to get "my" tone it would sort of break up once I got into drummer zone volumewise. I noticed the same thing on my GIII that I owned for a while, with the amount of low mids I use it looked like the speakers were going to jump out of their sockets... yet it could handle deep lows fine at volume. They are designed to match SWR's low mid-cut voiced heads (eg the SWR sound IMO... a little more clarity due to less low mids).
  12. I just picked up a golight 410. 4 words: I am in love.

    It pushes tons of air, can handle 800w, and won't break your back. Honestly the only thing I'm disappointed about is that I didn't buy a second one.
  13. Jheake


    Jan 21, 2010
    Gilbert az
    I also have a golight 410 4 ohm. One of the best cabs I have owned in a while. It reminds me of the old Ampeg BXT 410s that were designed by Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey in the 90s, except that it feels about 100 lbs lighter and doesn't have the cool red carpet on the baffle.

    To date I think those BXT410s were some of my favorite cabs.

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