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SWR Speakers Rough Sounding?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 0--+LoveBass, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. 0--+LoveBass


    May 11, 2007
    Ithaca Ny
    I am one of those beginners who is buying their first "real" amp. At first I was turned away from SWR because a fellow bassist said the speakers sounded Rough. My goal for an amp has been an amp that can do anything. All genres and such. I was looking at the super red head. Any info would be great appreciated.

    I was also wondering if swr can handle the upright sound. I also double on upright. And what is Rough Sounding?

    Thank You

    PS: any other ideas for bass amps around 1000$ (including stacks) would also be greatly appreciated.
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    An SWR super redhead is a fine amp--though an SWR 350 is a comparable head that would give you more flexibility in choosing speakers. I like the pre-Fender and pre-X designation silver or redface 350s the best.

    I have owned a WM-12, an WM-15, a pre-Fender 350 silverface (350 watts rms @ 4 ohms), a goliath III, Jr. 2x10 (8 ohms), a son-of-bertha 1x15 (8 ohms), and a goliath II 4x10 (8 ohms). While "roughness" as a psychoacoustical term is applied to degrees of dissonance between 2 tones, I suspect your friend meant he didn't like the SWR tweeters. He is not alone. They can be a bit harsh or clanky.

    I usually use my SWR cabs with the tweeter turned down pretty low or off, unless I want a very aggressive slap tone, which they are all pretty good at. With the tweeters down, I hear no harshness. My only real complaint is that the 2x10 is probably not the best for a 5-string, although it does work well enough. That's why I got the Epi.

    I never had any problems with my cabs (or head), and bought a lot of the cabs used. They were real bargins, IMHO. While my main 2x10 is now an Epifani NYC for electric and upright, my goliath II and son-of-bertha make a great "big rig," especially now that I have a CA-6. I can run each cab on it's own channel, and balance the amount of power each one gets.

    In any case, the super redhead is a nice amp, and quite good for upright, IMHO. I'm not sure what they go for used these days, but I'd play it first to see if I liked it. Remember to leave the enhance knob turned down all the way most of the time. It increases the mid-scoop of the pre-amp. For upright, you might want an additional pre-amp that is a little more high-impedence friendly, like a Tech21 para-DI, if you are using a piezo pup like a Gage realist. I think you can pair a super redhead with a goliath Jr. or a son-of-bertha, if you need more speaker acreage on electric.

    A super redhead is not the most powerful thing in town, so maybe you could describe your needs a bit more. :bassist:
  3. I agree with Jim, the only roughness that could be attributed to the SWR sound would be from the tweeters, and you can turn them down or even off. SWR's woofers are articulate sounding, but quite smooth to my ears, as is the SWR sound overall.

    I'll also suggest the same two items, a used Super Redhead (if you are looking for a combo) and a used Bass 350 Redface (if you are looking for a head + speakers). If you go the 350 route, their Triad speakers are well liked (1x15 + 1x10 + tweeter), as is the Goliath III (4x10 + tweeter). You could also step outside of the SWR speaker brand and go another direction, or mix and match. I run my Bass 350 with a Hartke 4x10 and a SWR Big Ben 1x18. Sounds beautiful.

    Best of luck!
  4. 0--+LoveBass


    May 11, 2007
    Ithaca Ny
    I would be fine with stepping the boundary of brands. I really don't dig the high treble twang sound. So from what im hearing it doesn't sound like the right thing for me. I have only been playing a year and a half so my 15 watt behringer isn't doing the trick.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    ummm....Sorry if this was unclear. SOME people think the tweeters are harsh. I do turn the tweeters down except for slap. They are GREAT for that.

    However, the bottom end on my son-of-bertha and goliath II are very hefty. My main gig with this pair was a 10-piece soul/R&B band. I played my '71 P-bass for 95% of the tunes.

    Lots of punch, girth, and bottom, especially with a shade of compression. Lots of dark, but mix cutting tone. :cool:

    Although they are pretty much OK, I would avoid the working pro and workingman's series. The goliath Jr, goliath, goliath sr./mega and the various Berthas from the professional line are, IMHO, their best cabs. Look for used stuff. Evil-bay, craigslist, TB (look here first!).

    I got my goliath II used for about $230 (probably listed for over $1k).
    It is one of the punchiest blues/rock/funk cabs ever. Just go find some reviews. Try TB or BGRA.net---Good luck! :cool:

  6. Nice suggestion. I just listened to a great trio last night sounding a lot like Robben Ford and the Blue Line. The Bassist was using SWR gear: a SWR 350 amp through a Goliath II 2x10cab. It sounded good. BTW- He switched off to a 6 string bass and the cab handled it just fine. However, this guy knew how to use his gear, knew its abilities and limitations, no doubt about it.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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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