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SWR Studio 220 treble

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Captain Jeff, May 13, 2018.


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  1. Captain Jeff

    Captain Jeff

    May 6, 2018
    Hello there! I didn't have the pleasure to try that amp out yet, but I want to ask what does "Pull transparency" stand for in the treble section of the amp?

    Also, what are the main differences between Studio 220 and SM-400?
     
  2. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    180.
     
    basscapes, rufus.K, ahc and 12 others like this.
  3. mbelue

    mbelue

    Dec 11, 2010
    I believe this is the first joke I've seen you post .
     
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Most of my humor is either buried between the lines or in the GOF thread ;)
     
  5. Captain Jeff

    Captain Jeff

    May 6, 2018
    That's what I thought. :D Just one unfortunate thing about SM-400 Is that it doesn't have a preamp output, so I believe you would have to use effect send. Correct me if I'm mistaken, please.
     
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  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Correct from what I remember.
     
  7. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    The tansparency is similar to a bright switch
    When engaged it adds higher frequencies than normal; I would guess in the 4K-8K range.
    Sparkle and air
    The very first SM400's did not have this feature althoug SWR added it to mine for free; even paid for the return shipping.
    By the time the 220 came out, the 400's had that as standard equipment.
    I don't remember the 220 have the stereo outputs or the electronic crossover that the SM400 did.
     
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  8. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I have both and the answer is “about 6 pounds”. Ha. I bought my 220 back in 1991 and it’s just barely loud enough for a very loud rock band. The 400 is somewhat louder and gets insanely hot during long gigs- my 220 has always heated up a bit but never anything like my 400 does. Apparently this is normal behavior for the amp when driven hard or for a long time. An external clip on type fan is a really good idea for this unit. They both sound stunning, and identical, the preamp is the same with one rather major exception; the 220 has no effects loop, the 400 does and it’s stereo. And you can run the power section in stereo as well. Or bridged, if you need the minimal improvement in headroom that brings.

    The pull bright is not something I ever used, just seemed to add hiss. With the matching cab, the rig is more than bright enough.

    The 220 has a preamp out/power amp in. Preamp out is not tied to the master. The 400 doesn’t have this. They both have hi/low biamp outputs. They both have xlr direct outs with ground lift and pretty sure they are post preamp.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Ah, so the 220 and 400 refer to thermal watts (heat), like the settings on my space heater. :laugh:
     
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  10. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Precisely.

    I should probably say this: back in the day, a lot of the 400s caught on fire. Both my friends who had them experienced them failing with smoke. I believe it. Mine gets hot enough that if you took it out of the rack during a four hour gig and touched it, you’d burn yourself.
     
  11. iammr2

    iammr2

    Jun 10, 2002
    Tejas
    I've had my SM400 since '88. The case is the heatsink for the amps and that is why it gets hot when you push it. If you're not pushing too hard, it's not that bad, at least on mine.

    This is the first I've heard of any catching fire.
     
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  12. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have one of the first built in 1985 and it had a bad bridge rectifier within the first 30 days (fixed immediately under warranty) and have never had another problem.
    My buddy was a dealer for SWR and had just a very few come back under warranty.
    The idea that they were unrealiable or caught on fire is untrue.
    The aluminum chaisis is the heat sink and it disapates heat nicely although it does get very hot.
     
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  13. I have the Super Redhead. It may be similar. This is from the manual:
    "PULL TRANSPARENCY FUNCTION
    In the normal (in) position, the shelving point of the Treble control is approximately 2kHz. By pulling
    the control to the “out” position, the shelving point is changed to 4kHz, which essentially allows you
    to control the output of the tweeter (as the Super Redhead’s internal speaker complement is crossed
    over at 4kHz). The end result should be a clearer, more “transparent” sound."
     
    john m likes this.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Note that there are several versions of the SM-400, the latest one by Fender addressed specifically the reliability issues with the earlier cooling challenges and was a significant improvement (both of the SM models)
     
  15. Captain Jeff

    Captain Jeff

    May 6, 2018
    If I'm not mistaken there was no SM-400 Fender reissue. It was a model produced from 1987-1993, the transparency knob was added in 1993. Alluminium works like a heat sink, 100% right, you shouldn't need to use a fan if you did as in manual (put it in the lowest space in 3U rack)
    I got to manual of that thing (transparency) and it boosts up to 12 dB of your frequencies over 5kHz.
    And studio had an effects loop.
     
  16. Captain Jeff

    Captain Jeff

    May 6, 2018
    Oh and I forgot, in 1993 beside an added transparency switch, there was a cooling fan added too.
     
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Kinda-sorta. There was a 2000 power amp module with revision date of 2002 that was a last attempt by SWR to address this issue, then there was a 2005 version by Fender that was a MUCH more significant update. The 2000 module looks like it was used in the last of the SM-400 production but by then there were so much challenge that it became the SM-500 but was essentially the same amp. I believe the 2000 module was used as a factory service part for repairing 400's covered under warranty.

    The fan cooling was in fact absolutely necessary, the amp couldn't pass the new safety certification standards that came into effect without it. It also greatly improved the reliability. The 900's (and later 1000's) were always fan cooled.

    Fender was responsible for the new modules being fully complimentary, a big improvement in performance and stability over the original all NPN output design IMO.

    When buying these amps used, note that the Fender versions were the most reliable of them all, and carried a US safety certification. Some parts are no longer available, even for the Fender versions as the semiconductor manufacturer has discontinued (end of lifed) some of the essential parts. Be sure they work properly and that they haven't been jacked up from hack repair attempts.
     
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  18. Captain Jeff

    Captain Jeff

    May 6, 2018
    Thanks, that really is a supportive info. I will probably ask for inside pictures of the amp. I'm not really sure if I need more power, though, because it's a bit more expensive. And I just really wanted to know the differences, but there aren't many.
     
  19. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    USA
    I just want to know when the Mesa Boogie 400+ is coming back. That combined with the Mesa 2x15 road ready cab kicked balls.
     
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  20. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    It's not. How is that relevant to this thread?
     
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