SWR SM-400 vs. Workingmans 4004

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by orange joe, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. orange joe

    orange joe I am serious and don't call me Shirley

    Sep 7, 2012
    Albany NY
    I have a SM-400 that i've been playing out with for most of the last year.I keep trying different tubes and tweaking the settings.I like it but it still leaves something to be desired.This is also my first half tube half solid state(i've noticed I'm a bit younger than the more informed gentlemen on this fine site so please bare with me i'm still learning).My drummer has a fender SWR Workingman 4004 that I have used a few times and I really liked the sound that came out of it.The eq was a bit easier to deal with too.It took me a while to figure out the SM but once I knew what I was doing it was much easier.I dont know if tubes simply are not for me or if I just need to try different tubes and broaden my knowledge on the subject.I know alot of this is perception and varies from person to person/playing style/room size.I play alot of slappy agressive funk and use the double thumb technique shown in the Vic Wooten bass workshop DVD and Primus covers or just finger style.I play pretty hard though not so hard that I break strings often.I usually play medium to small bars and clubs.I guess my question is should I just buy a 4004 or should I keep trying different things with the SM400?
  2. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    You can make the SM400 sound like the 4004 but not the other way around. I'd keep what you've got.
    Jim Carr and orange joe like this.
  3. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
  4. If you're having trouble getting a decent sound out of that amp I'd suggest trying out a different preamp pedal. The SM400 has a very linear audiophile grade poweramp in it. If you put any pedal into the effect return you'll get a whole different animal. Plus, you'll always be able to go back to the SM400 tube pre down the road.

    I would have thought the SM400 preamp would work great for the style of music you're playing though. What's your signal chain? You might really benefit from a compressor.
    Jim Carr and tobias3469 like this.
  5. orange joe

    orange joe I am serious and don't call me Shirley

    Sep 7, 2012
    Albany NY
    ^^^ Wow thank you that was incredibly helpful.It does do pretty well for the hole i'm digging and A compressor would probably make a huge difference.I have an old DOD basstec multi fx pedal that has a comp but its is really weird or i dont understand it(more likely)I think i will try throwing my fet pre amp into the effects loop and see what that does and get a decent compressor.Thanks again
  6. tobias3469

    tobias3469 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2013
    West Los Angeles
    SM400 over the 4004 any day..

    I found changing the pre-amp tube didn't effect the sound very much
    orange joe likes this.
  7. orange joe

    orange joe I am serious and don't call me Shirley

    Sep 7, 2012
    Albany NY
    That has been my experience.I have only tried a JJtesla, an Electro Harmonix ,and an RCA.Not a whole lot of difference in this head.Is this common among half tube heads or is the small difference in tubes exclusive to this one in particular? .I've heard good things about amperex and tube doctor but with the little difference ive had thus far i wonder how much trying out more tubes will do?
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I've had both in the past. SM-400 (s) hands down.

    It can take some knob-twisting/knowledge of eq to make it do what you want, but it's in there.

    Not to bash the Workingmans or anything. It's a good amp, and much more "user-friendly", but it's not an SM.
    10cc and orange joe like this.