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swr sm 400 compared to bass 750 tone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Aenema, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    i use to own a bass 750 and goliath III cab and was wondering how the old swr sm 400's compare tone wise to the bass 750 or 350? all the old swr gear seems to get killer reviews. my bass 750 was pre fender and at the time i didnt care for the finger tone. the slap was to die for but i believe the cab and bass were to blame for the thin finger tone and not the head. anyone have experience with these heads? do they sound like bass 750's or 350's? warmer? punchier? smoother? etc.
  2. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The SM-400 has a tone of it's own. The Bass 750, I had two of each, was more flat. It had so much more headroom than the 400 I never looked back. Both of them sound best set flat with slightly reduced treble, aural enhancer below 11:00 no limiter, then your true bass sound is revealed and you can control your tone with your fingers and bass's controls. If used with SWR cabs tweeter almost off. If you don't have the owners manual crank the pre til the led flashes dial down a hair and crank the master for whatever you need.
    With both use large guage speaker wire.
    All the above IMHO.
  3. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    how does the sm 400 have a tone of its own? the 750 definitely has more headroom but im just curious as to why the older swr gear is loved so much. how would you describe the sm 400 tone compared to the 750?
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The 750 is flat and hifi sounding. What you put in you get at it's price range. The 400 while very clear and wonderful has a color to it that is it's alone. I think with a Fender type bass the 400 can sound incredible and with a more modern 5+ active bass the 750 won't color it's pre. YMMV as we are discussing gear at a particular place in the market place. It is all great pro gear. The 750 could sound sterile to some and the 400 warm with texture. I found the 750 to be what I wanted after playing one or two 400s for 10 years. The 750, the pre section of the Redhead with big mono power. I used both the 400 and 750 flat with a little treble dropped down.
    It's hard to describe sound because of the way it smells.:rollno:
  5. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    After reading some thoughts on the SM-400, I compared mine to an Ampeg BSP preamp that I later added to my rack to see how the tones shaped up. I eq very little and ran my SWR exactly as described above - basically flat with some of the high end cut down.

    My comparison was interesting because as much as I really liked the SM-400 since the day I found it, I found something in the lows or low-mids that was a little overcooked in contrast to the solid tone from the clean channel of the BSP. Since I don't need a mind bending eq, I let the SWR go, kept the preamp, and got a good power amp to really broadcast that nice tone.

    I can't say anything bad about the SWR - I had great success with it - but I found my way to something that I think really fit the bill for my ears. The SM-400 can really deliver the scooped, slapper's tone and its eq is very well laid out, but when I cut my high end now, I feel like I have better access to a vintage vibe with the option to up the gain and get a little growl.
  6. Because the stuff made before 1997 is better than the current stuff, and better than the post 2001 stuff, and better than the post 2002 stuff.

    Take a look at the HC SM-900 reviews, notice that the people that have the old amps are happy with them. Notice the reviews of people complaining about the amps going into thermal shutdown and running hot, and how long they've had their amps or when their amps were made.

    I think if you like the SWR sound, you're cool with the sound, it's a matter of the reliability of the amp over the years.

    I really loved the sound of my 2000/2001 Bass 750. However it blew up in the first 3 hours of use, and after repair it kept blowing output fuses- using a Goliath II and/or a Triad cab. Respectable volume and not with the bass above 12:00.

    As I understand it, the Bass 750 was the last amp that Steve Rabe was involved with the design and quality control of. I've heard, on first hand account, that the quality of SWR gear severely slipped after SWR was sold to Daryl Jamison in 1997.

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