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SWR or Mesa Boogie? More Dumb, Needy Cab Comparison Naggings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Count Bassie, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Yeah. But if you had an SWR SM400s and needed a monster cab for your fledgeling rock/pop/noise project, which would you go for?

    SWR 12-Stack (412 cab, said to be a Leviathan of big bass boxes)... or

    Mesa Boogie Diesel 410 (a known club and stage killer for tone and volume, not low bass but good grind)

    No conscience-guided propriety or holding back please, let it rip, whatever you have to offer. Sarcasm and ruthlessness encouraged... I have spoken.

  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    I had a 12 Stack back in the day and was never all that impressed with it.
  3. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Those are your only choices?

    Either way bridge that mug. Use good cable. Crank that pre AE below 11:00, try to leave flat. Tung Sol ri 12ax7.
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Mesa, but the 610.
  5. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I haven't seen a Mesa diesel 610 for sale in eons.
    I'm going to tell you SWR so there will be less people sniping the mesa's.
    Or get the Diesel's with the SWR speakers in them. I don't want those either:)
  6. Very nice... thank you!

    Thanks all. I'm leaning toward the Mesa at any rate, up to this point. Yeah I'd love 6 10s, but I've played the 410 and the sound is pretty dang stellar.

    While we're at it, what about the Mesa 1516?...
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I think the 1516 fairs better than the Powerhouse 1000/1200 series (terrible), but I think you'd be better to stick with all the same size speakers.
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Eden 410XLT 4 ohm is the ultimate with that head.
  9. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    What style are you playing Count? Have you heard your SWR through that 410 Diesel? Or was that another amp? Diesels are a little bit in between the Hi-Fi world and 70's funk. The Eden mentioned above probably goes deeper. Might be a bad pairing if the SM-400 has a healthy midrange voice already. I have also heard 5-stringers should look elsewhere. But for the stuff I do I have found them perfect.
  10. Thing is I do a pretty good variety of gigs... there's a reggae band, a Portuguese trad/pop/dance band, a greasy jazz/soul/funky combo, some rock gigs.

    That's a good question though, concerning style. I do like the dub sound, but I have a Bag End S-18 loaded with a JBL E-155 for that, and it really handles that gig. But I'm looking at this cab not only for rock type gigs, but an original project I'm embarking on. I tend to prefer a tone with some 'rip' in it, a mid quality that has some throaty snarl.

    The SM400 tends to have a pronounced mid-cut with low and high boost as a pre-shape. You have to work at getting a strong midrange- I played the SM 400s through the Mesa and was getting it pretty nailed down. I was digging it.
  11. That one's tough to find used, folks mostly seem to hang onto them. I'd love to try one though.
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Those old diesel 410s are not very popular ... When they did the "deep" version then the powerhouse is when mesa 10s really hit stride. Before then it was all about the 15s. The diesel may lack oomph for you at volume.

    Eden 410s are everywhere, aguilars are great too and both sound great with the SWR top.
  13. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    You should be good then. Probably be good anyway but y'know, details... I have a 410 'Deep' version. Look for shiny coned EV's, round tweeter, circular rear ported, etched Mesa logo. Not the screen printed badge style. 90's not 80's. I am looking for another at the moment as well. They seem to be elusive.
  14. Hmm. I kind of would like to try an Eden. Truth said I haven't looked that hard. I'm actually doing this as a trade though, and have run into some stuff locallt: The Mesa, SWR 12-Stack, and Mesa 1516...

    This one has the square tweet and I don't know how shiny these cones are- I'm betting this isn't that. And it's a badge- 3-D letters "Mesa Boogie" with silver-ish screen printing.
  15. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Not 'deep' but who cares? If it rocks get it. If I was faced with similar I probably would not care. The drivers have a similar signature. Only real difference is an extra 1-2" in cab depth. I'd go 410 over 1516 if my only cab and had no motivation for an Eden shopping trip. Found this:
  16. Saw the thread and the guy's review of the Mesa. The thinness he mentions probably does cut through nicely, but it also is kind of a lot of box, which maybe I don't need so much. And the tone of the 410 is quite nice. I can add the 18 cab I have here if I need mo'... bi-amping can happen, I'll probably end up with a second SWR head in a few days here and can rig them for a nice little system with the cabs.

    Thanks for the link, catgut.
  17. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Another idea - ampeg svt810e - they kill with an SWR head. Theres some cheap ones in maryland on the classifieds right now.
  18. Ha. Do they? There are several in the neighborhood here right now. Pretty radical...
  19. hobbes1


    Nov 3, 2006
    I used to have a Mesa 1516. Most wonderful cab I've played but it was about 140lb. Seriously high quality sound from that cab....blew away everything else I've played before or since. Just too heavy for me.
  20. Douvi


    Mar 10, 2012
    I have an SWR SM-900 from the 90s, but usually only run 1 channel so I get about 350 watts into 4 ohms. I currently have a Mesa 1x15 and a 2x10 (I used to have a 2x15 but didn't really know how to tweak it back then and it was too much because I ran at the 800 watt setting). I use each cab on its own and frequently together which works for me but I have heard the issues it can cause (not to start a side discussion on that). These cabs are great for me to cover a lot of rock/country/altrock range with growl and presence. I usually play a G&L L1000 thru this set up which has lots of bottom and its fair share of mids. I frequently cut at 500hz as I turn up to clean things up and even roll a hair off the lows. I have been leaving the AEnhancer off completely. I don't use the tweeter on the 2x10, I think it's blown.

    With a Fender Jazz I have noticed a lack of cut in some loud bands, but good when players leave some space. I usually quickly go back to the G&L at that point.

    At this point I am also thinking about looking for a Mesa 4x10.

    Hope that helps.