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SWR Quality Control?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sippy, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    I'm looking into getting an amp for practice / small gigs. I found the SWR LA15 to be perfect! I love the sound I can get from it. I can feel the bass in my chest when i'm practicing, it's a really nice amp. Of course I jumped on the net and went to musicians friend to read the reviews.. it's got a 7.42 overall. The thing that worries me though is that mostly it either got a perfect 10 or a 1 or 2. The one I tried out was nice I liked it. The sub does bounce a lot but it's perfect for what I want to use it for right now (even though I know in about a year or 2 i'll need to upgrade) I'm getting it for $250 which I see is a good deal. The problem I have is; why are some people's failing after 1-6 months, and others getting the crap beat out of them and lasting forever and sounding great. I searched on here on the first page of results when I search LA15 there was just one bad thread and the rest were good. Are a lot of SWRs lemons? or what? Thanks in advance

  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Information you get from the internet is worth what you paid to get it.
  3. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    it's worth $60 a month?
  4. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I think the biggest issue is that you're looking at SWR's lowest-range series of amps, which means that people are going to look at them with unrealistic expectations. Are they their pro-level or even WorkingPro-series quality? No. Are they on par with other "starter" amps? Depends on who you ask, but I'd say so.

    As for SWR quality control in general, a lot of "people" predicted a huge drop when Fender bought the company... a lot of "people" were wrong. IMO it's been generally accepted that the quality of product has remained at the same level that it was as an independent company (comparing it to pre "SWR Sound" Steve Rabe ownership is another argument.) The worst I think could be said is that the integration of their Customer Service into Fender's was somewhat rocky, but even that has smoothed out over the past 6-12 months.

    Personally, I'd feel absolutely safe purchasing from SWR... in fact, I did much closer to the buyout when I special ordered my Mini Mo', which was an extremely large chunk of change to drop and which I wouldn't of done if I'd not been sure of the quality issues. And to boot, I'm an extremely satisfied customer who received great CS with my special order as well as prompt e-mail replies recently about a non-specific questions I had.

    The biggest issues I'd bring up is that the LA-15 is fairly low-budget, and you yourself state that you'll be upgrading in a year or two: is there any way that you can pull off upgrading to the Workingman's line of combos? There's a significant sonic improvement in the WM12/15 combos, and the WM 2x10c is a great "Redhead-lite" that at 8 ohms you'd be able to add an additional 8ohm cab for a nice, self-contained stack pushing 400 watts. That was one of the possibilities I considered in the early stages of the "reimagining" of my rig.
  5. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    I've never used the LA series, so take that into consideration with my thoughts.

    I've used a lot of SWR stuff over the years. The quality is solid. Never had a problem with reliability. It's a sound that some people love and some people hate. You wont find too many middle ground opinions on that. If you like the way it sounds, and like the price, I don't think you'll be disapointed by the quality... though you may decide down the road you like a different sound. I did.
  6. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    there is a 99.9999% chance I won't be gigging with this amp I'm sick of my wimpy 15w practice amp. I'm a backup bassist for a few bands and they have full rigs so I cheaped out and I just use theirs lol. I'm not expecting this to shake the walls of Madison square garden or cause small earthquakes in tibet. In fact i'll be honest.. 100W is kinda overkill lol. I just love the sound. But I don't want to have it for 6 months and then it fry. I use my practice amps a lot (probably 4-5 hours a day) so it doesn't have to be a monster.. but it has to be ready to be used.
  7. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    I would take a look at SWRs Workinmans combos. I believe they are a step up. Just something to consider if you are worried about upgrading anytime soon. Ive had SWR products for about six or seven years now and I have never had a problem. If you like the amp and like the price and are confident you wont want more soon; I say go for it.
  8. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    sweet yea the working man I want is $650.. but I'll get that for gigging I just want something to have in my home that I can jam with and practice with. Then I will get something for gigging. The gigging amp isn't an immediate necessary
  9. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    FYI - the support from SWR has improved greatly lately. Last few times I emailed them with a question, I've had a response in under 2 hours. I emailed them with something just this morning and I had a answer to my specific question in less than 15 minutes. I'd rate that as pretty good service!
  11. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I have had SWR since 1987. I started with an SS-180 moved up to a SM-400 and now I have a Bass750. I would not be without my SWR. A few years ago, I bought a Working Mans 115 combo. It was crap.. I blew it up in practice at practice volumes. I have had the LA110. Not very good at all.
    I have to say that while I would not part with my Pre-Fender Pro Series, the rest you can keep. Not good IMO.