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SWR SM400S Users - Warm/Old School Settings?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by stevekim, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. stevekim


    Feb 11, 2000
    los angeles, ca
    I am looking for a warm, old school tone. can anyone suggest some settings? None of the ones on the swr site really do it for me. I am using a passive jazz bass into a sunn 2x15. I don't slap and I use a pick 50% of the time. Thanks all.
  2. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    You could get a much warmer tone overall if you changed the preamp tube. If you don't want to do that, try turning down the transparency and boosting the low mids.
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    buy a different amp/preamp?
    alembic sounds nifty going into an swr preamp section
    (but using a soviet tube would fatten it up good)
  4. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Ditto - lay off the transparency setting, for sure.

    I'm getting a nice oldschool sound, to my ears anyways, from my SM400S using the "studio" settings (more or less) as shown on the SWR site for the SM500 unit.

    As well, I'm setting the 3-band EQ on my Stringray as follows: hi - rolled off *just* past the detent, mids - 3/4 boost, low - full boost;

    I'm getting a great mid-rangey honky, farty tone with a lot of meat and I LOVE it!!!

    There seems to be some merit in switching the 12AX7 tube for a NOS 5751 (GE or Sylvania). check out this website:

    Joe's Tubes

    and review this TB thread:

    SWR and tube swapping

    I'm happy with the existing 12AX7 that I have, but if I do get my hands on a reasonably priced 5751, I'll try it out.

  5. stevekim


    Feb 11, 2000
    los angeles, ca
    thanks for the tip guys. i'm using an rca 7025 right now (recommended for swr amps by a lot of tube guys) and it sounds very nice. i was just wondering what eq settings would give me an even warmer sound. i've found turning the gain up to around 2 or 3 o'clock helps.
  6. the $89 fix to your problem:


    No joke, this thing works great for getting a thicker, more vintage tone. It also adds modern chunk if you so desire.
  7. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Besides rolling off the high end, have you looked into flat wound strings? That will really take away the "modern" tone.
  8. I own a SM 400-S.

    Turn off the Horn/Tweeter on your cabinets.

    Turn Transparency completely couterclockwise.

    Leave Treble flat (12:00)

    Gain at 2:00

    Limiter at 1:30

    Leave mid's flat. (maybe cut @ 800 Hz)

    Bass to taste.

    A 5751 tube or a compressor in the effects loop helps alot.
  9. stevekim


    Feb 11, 2000
    los angeles, ca
    thanks, donne. i look forward to trying out your settings. the more i read about 5751's the more i want to try them.
  10. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I agree with Donne.A good compressor will do wonders for the SM400S.As far as tubes, I use a Sovtek 12AX7 and it sounds fine to me.
  11. I'm going to be the naysayer here. I've had two of those heads, and I spent all night at gigs tweaking them, trying to get a warm sound. Took all the enjoyment out of the gigs. So I switched to GK, one quick setup at the start of the night and that was it. And the rest of the band were like "good move dude".
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I just got some GE 5 star 5751's off of Ebay for my SM500 (3 for 18.00). I'm interested to see how this affects my tone. I'll probably post on it before long.

    brad cook
  13. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I too have switched to GK heads and cabs and am much happier.My 400S is now a backup until I can find a buyer for it.
  14. I have the older model (no transparency control) and a passive Jazz bass. My settings are pretty close to Donne D's...
    gain 1:00/2:00
    bass 2:00/3:00
    eq a little boost at @100-120Hz
    a little cut at @900-1000Hz
    treble flat
    Horn in the cab (almost) off.

    The biggest help I've found for a warmer/old school tone is to turn the aural enhancer all the way down. That really softens the tone in all the right ways and for me, makes it sit right in the mix just a little better.

    Good luck with finding the settings that work for you.

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