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SWR SM-400 with a musicman

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cdub, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Cdub


    Jan 4, 2013
    I have an SWR SM400 with a Goliath ll 4x10. I am playin a musicman stingray. Anyone have some thoughts on the parametric eq settings? I get a great low volume tone but it breaks up when it is turned up. Not clipping when I play and the bass and treble are neutral on the amp. Not pushing the tone on the bass either.

  2. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    Try turning down all EQ's to about half way; then, work from there. Some may need to go below half way and some a little higher. I play through an SM-400 and have been for a long time. When I first got the amp I had a similar problem that was fixed when I back down on all the EQ's. Just remember not OVER EQ!
  3. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    My MusicMan basses are fretless, but I ran my SM400 flat with a dose of aural enhancer. I do not, however, recommend that with a fretted instrument.
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Pre up til flash reduce a hair
    Master where ever you need
    No limiter
    No graphic
    It locks in whatever tone you set, limiting hand and bass knob eq changes
    Reduce treble a hair
    Aural on no more than 11:00
  5. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have a SM400 and have had Musicman Stingrays
    The SWR puts out a ton of sub-sonic low end, which can kill speakers and waste usable power
    Best bet is to use a fDeck HPF or:
    Use the graphic to kill all the 30 hz
    Set the bass knob as low as possible (maybe 9:00)
    Use the 2nd band of graphic to boost somewhere between 100 - 180Hz.

    Try this test:
    At a flat EQ and a normal stage volume, push the strings at the pups downward
    The drivers will move a tremendous distance in a slow fashion; never seen another amp do this as dramatically; The Stingray's extended low end (when the bass is up full) only compounds the problem
  6. Cdub


    Jan 4, 2013
    Thanks everyone! Gonna give the thoughts a go and will let ya know. Got a gig tonight...
  7. 3mrhythm


    Oct 29, 2009
    Rochester, NH

    i decided to try the settings on this site the other day and love them..

    using a washburn 5 string with active pickups.

    i was getting the same problem. You might want to cut some of the low too i guess the swr does too good of a job producing low end and some speakers have issues with it.
  8. 3mrhythm


    Oct 29, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    its a little bit down the page
  9. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    If using a Music Man turn the volume knob down on the bass just a littel and it helps tame everything. I have found this to be one of the best tricks for that bass and getting a good tone.
  10. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Glad this worked for this guy but would never work for me:

    "I was very consistent in my use of the SM-400's tone controls. From 1-10: Gain at 4, Limiter at minimum, Aural Enhancer at 6. Bass (clock face): 2:00 PM. Treble: 1:00 PM. Graphic EQ Sliders: #1 at +3 lines, #2 at +4 lines, #3 at center (or zero), #4 at +2 lines. Rotary Frequency Selectors for the Graphic EQ section: #1 at 11:00 AM, #2 at 12:00 PM, #3 at 12:00 PM (irrelevant anyway because the level was set at zero), #4 at 3:30 PM. I added the transparency control as a mod in 1998 and usually set it at 1:30 PM. I also eventually added the XLR variable pad and ground lift mod, as well as the separate pre-master effects loop."

    In addition to my earlier recomendations I set the input gain until the light doesn't flash, set the limiter so that it flashes regularly on peaks, and the AE at 12:00.
    IMO/IME the bass at 2:00 would kill speaker with extreme lows and the treble at 1:00 would cut glass; at least with modern cabinets.
  11. Cdub


    Jan 4, 2013
    That didn't work for my musicman either Jim. It seemed fine with my jazz bass and the passive pickups but the stingray is way to hot for that set up in my opinion...
  12. Cdub


    Jan 4, 2013
    I have been playing around with the volume on the bass to clean it up... good tip..
  13. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Lowest slider flat or small cut at lowest freq, 2nd slider substantial boost at 200, 3rd slider small cut at I think 1000 or 1.5, 4th slider flat, aural enhancer off, bass and treble flat, push gain up until clip light flashes on your hardest plucked notes. Great sounding head when EQd that way.
  14. odineye


    Dec 29, 2011
    Bear DE
    One question I have is; What do you mean by turned up? Are we talking about, in a band setting? And if so, How many insturments? Looking at your setup, the sm-400 into a single goliath II is only going to be running 200 watts. In a medium to loud band setting your going to have to push the amp pretty hard to get that same presence and feel that you get at home, which I could see causing the amp to break up. If that is the case, it might be worth considering adding another cabinet, replaceing the one you have with a 4 ohm 4x10 or rewireing the one you have to run at 4 ohms. Just another idea to consider while your chaseing EQ settings around. I'll second Jim C, and say that a good high pass filter would go a long way to helping your power amp section work more efficienly and tighten up the low end response of your cabinet.

    On a side note... I'm gonna go against what seems to be a general consensus in the TB community here and say; Don't be afraid to use that aural enhancer. For the 24 years that I've been useing my sm-400; I've always run the AE between 2 and 3 oclock. I still get a great "in your face" sound that has NEVER been lost in the mix and I constantly get compliments for great tone. Just my humble opinion.
  15. odineye


    Dec 29, 2011
    Bear DE
  16. 3mrhythm


    Oct 29, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i was searching on the forum and found there isnt a settings thread for the sm-400.. i think i'll start one.. would be interesting to see what everyone uses for settings.

    I havent bothered to replace my strings in a good while.. i ordered some cobalts the other day and hope to have them soon. I'll probably have to redo my settings again once i have something on there that sounds bright again lol.
  17. odineye


    Dec 29, 2011
    Bear DE
    It just occured to me. And it should have been one of the first questions. Which input are you using? High gain or Low gain? If you're using the low, than I would suggest trying out the high gain before you go too much further. Trust me, it'll be like shifting that amp into a whole other gear.

    FWIW, I have always used the high gain, even with my active basses.
  18. Just to clarify, the SM-400 is 200w, per side, at 4ohms. You can run it bridged, 400w at 8ohms. If it's the "S" model, it's 500 watts at 8ohms bridged. 400w anna good 410, wit some gentle eq manipulation, (I cut at 30hz, boost at 120, cut at 600hz, cut at 3.6khz), should run ANY show, but rehearsal halls seem ta need more volume. Manipulatin bass volumes does help, especially wit passive based basses. The EBs have powerful eq, but still a passive pickup in there. Try runnin the 400 flat, gain at 11 o'clock (unity gain accordin to my manual), aural at 930 or so. Then just play. See if yer hands won't bring out the tones ya want. They'll learn. Then try cuttin lows. These amps are full range, no doubt, but I've personally never had issue wit that. Mike one of these into a big PA system? Big, phat tone.
  19. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Oh yes bridge that thing. If you need assistance ask. Use a good cable. (Good not expensive!) Flick that switch with the amp off.

    I so recommend running it flat with minor tweaks. Then as said above your hands can do anything.
  20. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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