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SWR Post-Fender Buy-out

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rock-Bassman, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Rock-Bassman


    Dec 25, 2008
    How is the SWR quality after the fender buy-out? I've heard great things about the goliath II but now its the IV so i'm sure they're pretty different. Looking to maybe get the goliath SR IV but I'm not gonna if its more of a mid scooped cab (I have a feelin it is)
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Former WorkingPro 400 owner here... can't speak to the cabinets but as far as the new SWR heads, build quality and features are fine... but the sound sucks.

    And not nearly enough volume/headroom for the wattage. Hence being a "former" owner.
  3. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    I prefer pre fender SWR, but remain faithful to the brand
  4. Rock-Bassman


    Dec 25, 2008
    Got the picture... Fender basically killed SWR? Bummer, they have a cool name :p
  5. I'm not sure if Fender killed SWR but the innovation that the company was known for has been put in maintenance mode. They were years late with NEO Cabs and they are non-existent in the feather weight amp market. Their stuff hasn't really changed drastically in the past 10 years.
  6. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    A few major things influence quality after a company changes ownership.

    1. The new company often moves production to a different factory, to consolidate manufacturing. While the factory learns to build this "foreign" product, there are quality control problems. These get worked out after a few weeks or months of production---depends on the factory.

    2. The new company tries to cut costs by making quick changes to the product. Simple ones (e.g. cosmetics, sheet metal, etc) usually go well. A cost-cutting circuit change, however, is difficult. (They may switch to cheaper parts or even make minor design changes to cut circuitry.) They may not test well enough, so we see failures in the field. The change may alter the unit's performance and sound, so we see complaints from the field.

    3. The new company begins adding new items to the line. Some is rebadged stuff. (For example, if Loud were to rebadge a Crate design as an Ampeg.) The brand is hurt by items that really don't belong in the line. Some of this is caused by cost-cutting, as TAZ said: engineers are expensive.
  7. If anything Fender improved the quality control with SWR. It was close to a lost cause at that point, but they did make things better.

    The downhill slide began quite a few years earlier, when the company was sold the first time.
  8. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    I wouldnt say fender killed SWR. They still produce some of Steve's original designs. I still like the SM900 made today, as was yesteryear. It is the new stuff that I dont dig. I want to have had Steve Rabe design the product. stuff like the mo bass, and the marcus miller is not SWR in my mind. But the triad, 8x8, goliath, bertha and ben will always be synonymous with SWR!
  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The Fender made pro-level stuff is great and only very subtly different in tone from the older gear. The GIII and IV are front ported instead of rear ported, and they handle more power, so they end up sounding different. A little stiffer and drier, but overall pretty similar. That isn't a quality difference, it is really what the market was demanding from them. Its still a big full range tone, and the quality of all SWR gear I've had from any era has been exceptional. I also think it sound great, if not for everyone. If your bass sounds good and you've got good technique, then an SWR tends to work well. Both the SM500 and SM900 are awesome heads and the Goliath cabs sound great. IMHO.

    If you wanted the sound of the Goliath II, you could look around for the unfortunately discontinued Aguilar S410, which was rear ported and had that great squishy/juicy sound like the GII ... only it did a better job handling low B (the GII never liked B stings). Or find one of the old cabs. The old Eden 410T is awesome too.

    Mesa Boogie and Aguilar also make amps in this same tonal spectrum, both with a little more grunt and a little less sheen. Lots of options out there these days.
  10. Bass Club Mark

    Bass Club Mark

    Dec 21, 2005
    Bass Club Chicago
    SWR is still made in the same factory, by the same people today as before the Fender buyout, and I have been told that Fender made no changes after the buyout. Quality, in my experience, has been the same. I've heard people say "the products have gone down hill", but I've heard that about every company after a major change or buyout, and people still buy the gear. The new Marcus Miller preamp blows people away (those that play it), and sounds nothing like a traditional SWR amp. I'd recommend going to your local store and having a good old fasioned test drive with some other amps and see which you like.
  11. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    The SWR Goliath sr is my favorite cab of all, including my Bergantinos. I think (not sure) that the only difference between series III (I own) and series IV is they changed the speakers from PAS to Eminence. I am very happy with the PAS drivers, but Epifani changed from B&C drivers to Eminence, and even though B&C is a high quality driver, and the series I was praised by all, series II actually is said to be better.

    Don't let the PRE-Buyout be your main criteria when shopping SWR. I also see a lot of Series III on sale in classifieds, and even a few early series III (with black and chrome grill). You might find quite a deal somewhere there.

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