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SWR SM500 or Mesa Walkabout

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by alembicbassist, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. I can get either amp new for $800. I really like both of them. Obviously I like the portability of the Mesa better. My question is which is more durable? Which is louder with one Aguilar 12" cab? (and future cab extensions)

    I realize that some of you will say the choice depends on the sound I am looking for, and I agree. But I like both, and I do not have a well defined tone that I am looking for yet, but I do like variablity. So the question is more durability, reliability, volume.
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    My advice is to go for the Walkabout. It is very underrated power-wise, whereas I have heard that SWR heads in general are overrated power-wise. I use mine to drive an Epifani T-112 and T-110UL, and this combo can get very, very loud. I have also used the Walkabout to drive a 4x10 and 2x12, and it pushed them fine, too. With the T-112 alone, it would be plenty of volume for a loud practice session or smaller gig, but for a medium sized gig (or stupid loud jam session), I'd recommend getting two cabs, so that you can get full output @ 4 ohm from the Walkabout.

    I did get a chance to test the Epi cabs with an older SWR head (SM 400, I believe), and while it sounded pretty good, it didn't get anywhere near as loud as the Walkabout, nor did it have the tonal flexibility of the Walkabout.

    If you search the archives here, you will find many praises sung for the Walkabout. I totally love mine.

    Later, Tom.
  3. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    I agree with Tom.
  4. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    You can get a bag or a rack kit for the Walkabout.

    With the buyout of SWR, my next rig will be a Mesa, likely a Walkabout and a 4x10 cab, or an M-Pulse 600.

    And for the record, I found it a lot easier to find good tone with the M-Pulse series amps than with the SWR gear...SWR is...well was...awesome...but the Mesa stuff just blows me away!