SWR Silverado Special 212 Combo review...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by armybass, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I basically have had to admit to myself that I have become an unwilling collector of all things (pre Fender) SWR. I have multiple cabs and heads and preamps now and use them weekly to gig with but I started my love affair with SWR with the Redhead decades ago. I have never owned one but always wanted one. I used them in the US Army for years as I used to be a combo guy through and through, before my gut expanded and my back deteriorated. Anyway, years ago I had the original Silverado and I loved it but let it get away from me and have wanted another. I recently found an updated circa 2000 Silverado Special with 212's on my local CL and got it for a great deal.....

    Cons..... way too heavy and top heavy at that for regular one man load ins and outs. It would be nearly impossible for me to take out of my house down my front steps with out help. I could get it in the vehicle alone...but not without my back knowing. Even with two people carrying it, it still wants to flip over because it is so top heavy.

    Pros.... sounds fantastic. Setting mostly everything flat I barely had to dial in any of the three basses I tried. Although the active Alembic bass needed me to add a bit of bass to get the bottom I was looking for, the passive Rickenbacker and Jazz sounded spot on with out me touching a thing. The 12's give a great low mid to low full spectrum sound and the high's are there just like in any other SWR product I have tried.

    All in all, this is a great combo that will sit in my living room and be a monster practice amp but one that I wont be gigging just because of the weight and awkwardness of moving it. If I get the chance....I would certainly like to try it for a small jazz combo gig because it just sounds too good. If I were a younger man in better shape....I could probably gig this amp with out many problems.
    ADHD likes this.
  2. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    In response to your collection affliction. I just love my Pre Fender BBII. Didn't we used to say pre CBS about Fender? :):)
  3. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    I understand Your addiction to Pre Fender SWR. From 1988 on I had one of the very first SWR Redheads, and I giged it until the powersection fadet away in 2006. Unfortunately it was impossible to get the spare parts. So I decidet to get the powerhouse out and use it as a pre. This works after some minor work by my tech.

    After using my backup amp (Ppeavey TMax) for some times I changed to GenzBenz (GBE 1200) because I did not find any new SWR head or combo that did fit my needs.

    I noticed the tend to flip over when carrying because of top heavynes on my Redhead, too (about 80 lbs). It was more comfortable to take it alone and raise it to my chest than holding it with another man and stop it from flipping over. The place for the handle bar is not choosen well.

    I still use a SWR Workingman 212-cab. This cab only has a weight of 55 lbs. I replaced the speakers with some Beyma Neo-replacement - speakers and lost another some pounds. The new speakers now make600 Watt @ 4 Ohms. Original there are 300 Watt @ 8 Ohm.

    Hey, if there was a vintage Redface, this would be the stack for you! The about 50 lbs SWR Workingman 2x12, and the 16 lbs Redface, ok, you have to walk two times. But this is way better than breaking the neck with a 93 lbs silverado!

    Cheers - Uwe
  4. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I used to own this exact combo. I loved the crome grill, and sounded nice.

    I got rid of it for the weight and awkward load in/out. I had to replace the original wheels on it as they basically disintegrated over time.
  5. I used one for about six years, excellent amp. I sold mine only because of the weight, and had no trouble getting my money back out of it. The gentleman who purchased it loved the sound and was young enough that the weight didn't bother him.
  6. I am a lifelong, "pre Fender" swr user/collector myself, havin owned and used every piece of gear they released up to an includin the X series amps. Currently I'm usin an 89 Redhead, addin a Goliath Jr fer bigger things, or I bring a 92 SM-900 and the aforementioned Workingman's 212 cab. Gigs I'm doin out here in Utah slightly different than those I've done in the East last several years. I'd been thinkin on gettin a Silverado Special combo, it about the only SWR piece I haven't used, an thought it might replace my 900/212 rig as a single.load in trip, savin some space in my band's van, yet givin me the tone I'm after. Weight isn't an issue, I use hand carts fer my Redhead when I bring it, but Red just a hair small fer some things I do. Is the weight of the Silverado that much more? Also, my Workinman's 212 cab is a bit different than one mentioned above. It's stock, wit two 200w Celestions, 400w at 8ohms, and is made of plywood, most WM cabs i've seen made of mdf. It weighs less than 50lbs, and handles my 900 bridged easily and puts out the sound. Used a Bigfoot back in day. This WM version supposed ta be the "under" version. I think it sounds better, is at least 15-20 lbs lighter, 8ohm so I can run my Goliath Jr wit it, and is probably the biggest surprise in a piece of gear I've used in 30 odd years of giggin. It was $200 shipped halfway cross the country, best deal ever. I haven't seen another like it til this thread, but seems one mentioned here handled only 300w, an on SWR's site, the WM 212 listed at 250w handlin, suggesting 125w drivers. My cab has Celestions, marked "custom made for SWR engineering, Sylmar, CA", 200w, 16ohm. The cab I have I would recommend to anyone. It is light, powerful and sends full tone ta back of room. I'd love ta hear more bout these cabs, if anyone has experience.
    MSIMSBASS likes this.
  7. My silverado weighs 97lbs. I use that with a Bigfoot. So I run the 4 12s. I have never had an issue with volume and the tone is fantastic. The silverado's weight and balance are as bad as everyone says. If you pick it up at the handles it leans backward badly. I will never get rid of mine, but as stated load in can be awful.

    I know of a 2x8 silverado for sale that I am dying to jump on for my bass vi. I have no idea how the 8s sound, but I want it just because I love the Special II.
  8. That would be a smokin rig. Silverado an Bigfoot. But 97 lbs is a ton. An if awkward? Well, maybe i'll just keep my 900 an 212. Two light trips pretty easy. My old Redhead 80, not horrible fer short lifts, an sounds great.
    I had a Henry Jr 4x8 cab for a bit. Powered wit all sorts of heads, but mainly an SM-220. I bet for your application, it would kill. I was young when used that rig. Didn't know my gear so well. Wanted bigger. Today? It'd be a great little rig. The Silverado combo would be sweet. I like the simpler, Basic preamp. My 900 is powerful, versatile and sounds great but my Redhead's tone is maybe my fave of all time.
  9. Yeah if I remember what the old SWR owners manual said the Silverado was 97 and the Bigfoot was 67. Something like that. It is brutal at the end of the night. That amp and those 12s are just fantastic.

    I just bought a tc micro amp and a neo cabinet for practice, but the mighty rig still comes out when it counts.

    To be fair though...I have had two spine surgeries and have screws and a metal plate in my neck...so it is possible. Dollies are your friend.