SWR SM-400 amp w/ Acme B2 cab +/-

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by M5Yates, May 2, 2005.

  1. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I went to look at a used Acme B2 cabinet and was offered a SWR SM-400 head to go with it for a total price of $700. The combination sounded very good in the small practice room. Is there any reason that this rig wouldn’t work with a P-Bass for small R&R gigs? Is there a better amplifier option for under $400.

  2. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    My only advice is that SWR is traditionally know for its "clean" and "punchy" tone, and that a R&R gig might call for something with a little more "grit" to the sound (think traditional Ampeg). That, and the 400 is best used bridged, but if you're only using one cab you're set up for it.

    Then again, I love SWR because of its "punch" and that I can be heard in whatever situation. So it's mainly up to how you feel the tone will fit, which you can't truly predict until you gig. I'd say go with the SWR and if you find yourself needing a bit of "dirt", pick up a Sansamp or other quality overdrive/distortion pedal. It's easier to add "dirt" to clean that the reverse and will give you future options.

    Note: all adjectives are subject to the reader's interpretations. At least I didn't use "crunchy" or "grind".
  3. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like a good deal to me. I've often used SWR amps into an Acme box, and they're a great match for each other.
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I have an Sm500 that I use with a B2....

    For light back ground jazzbo stuff.....for acoustic work.....for small, small stuff and it's fine. Excellent really.

    I wouldn't even think about rocking with it though.

    My B4 with the SM500 will just barely keep up with a drummer in a bar context for the first two sets...
  5. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    An SM400 needs an efficient 410 cab to keep up in a rock band, and then it just barely does so. But at lower volumes with a B2 it'll probably sound great.
  6. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I should add that this is an 8-Ohm B2. (I wanted to have the option to add more cabs later.)

    Other suggested amps to power the B2? I'd prefer lighter (under 30 lbs) and under $500 used. Can I get into a Stewart World for that price?

    Is it better to have more Watts or better quality for a given price?


    PS The guy selling the SM-400 is replacing it with a Mo'Bass to drive one B2 and a McCauley 6174 (18" sub).
  7. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    It'll sound great, it just won't go terribly loud.

    Light amps under $500 with sufficient power? QSC PLX 1602. Bridge it into the Acme for some serious volume. Keep the lowcut filters (50Hz will let you go louder) engaged and clip limiter switched on. 1600W @ 21lbs. Add a lightweight rack case (the Gator shallow racks are a great fit) or rack bag, plus SWR GP or similar preamp and you should be sorted.

  8. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I rock hard with my SM-500! :)

    Also, you should be ok with that rig for R&B. What I mean by that is, you won't have trouble being heard. It's all up to you weather or not you like the sound.
  9. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Follow-up. I ended up trading my Schecter CS Jazz bass for the SWR & Acme. The amp and cab really do sound very good together. I'll worry about volume when the time comes. I found a great reference for setting up a SM-400: http://www.bryanbeller.com/music/ampsandspeakercabs.html#5

    These came out of a small studio here in Austin. I brought the Schecter along a whim and they loved it! You should have heard it through their '66 Ampeg B15.

    Thanks for your help.
  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Yeah but....you ain't trying to rock hard with an Acme cabinet.

    My SM-500 will flat out roar if it's sitting on top of my Epifani 2x12 cab.

    The comparison of the two cabinets is a real lesson in the value of speaker efficiency.
  11. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Epifani 212
    Sensitivity: 103 db SPL @1W 1M

    Acme B2
    Sensitivity: 93 db SPL @1W 1M

    From my limited experience, most bass cabs are 95-97 db.
  12. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    I have an SWR 550x and it is a bellowing monster thru a JBL 18 and a Pair of Webervst 12's...Who says it ain't loud???
    Stand in front of my rig ... that's it... Wait!! Why are you on the floor on the other side of the room???
    Just don't set it up like SWR says and you will be fine.