SWR studio 220

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jock, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Has anyone tried one of these old amps?
    Are they any good?
    They seem to have a lot of usable features like sweepable Eq, crossover, two Fx loops, tube pre etc.
    How do they sound? How far does 220 SWR Watts go?

    I was thinking of someday adding another poweramp for the lows and run the highs through the 220.
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I may be wrong, and others will certainly correct me if I am, but I believe the 220 is essentially the same to an SM-400, with a different power section. Should sound great, if you like the SWR tone, as subjective as it can be.

    Sounds like a good plan to me with the bi-amping thoughts you have.

    I'd say as long as you find one at a good price, go for it.
  3. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Its almost the same. I still have mine. I got mine in 1988, retired it in 1999, went to a hartke and then dumped the hartke for a SWR 350X. 220 watts doesn't go very far these days.I think the pre is better than what SWR is putting out now. Using the internal power for the highs and getting a power amp to get some real booty for the lows should be just fine. To sum it up, great amp,needs more power to cut a loud gig.
  4. I bought my SWR studio 220 new. I was around 1988. I did not have the money for the SM 400 but was way better than other amps at the time. I played it until 2001. It blew trying to keep up with a 100 watt Marshall. I loved the sounds especially with the fretless. The EQ was great with the string bass. I found that it needs to be run at 4 ohms for any volume. I now play a Sunn 300T and Traynor YBA-1. The 220 got 13 new transistors and Bias adjustment. I still use it for the string bass and practice. I used it with EV 115 and 112. The EQ is extremely versitle
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yeah what they said
    i wouldnt pay very much for one as it is limited volume/power wise
    i would find out the going rate for a used sm-400 and then maybe pay 2/3 of that at most
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I don't know if it was the 220 or the 160 but I remember reading reviews on Harmony-central.com about overheating, but good sound?!
  7. Great sounding (flat and clear with just a hint of tube warmth) little amp with a tremendously flexible EQ (high and low shelving, four band overlapping, sweepable EQ). It has the earlier model SWR soft limiter which works well without crapping on your sound. If you get one in good shape the XLR out is studio quality. If you need more power simply use it as a preamp and add a power amp.

    When racked, it needs 3 spaces to allow airflow. Let it breathe and it won't overheat. I've really abused mine, pushing it to power gigs I shouldn't have and it never complained.

    At the Atlanta TB dinner recently I got a lot of unbelieving stares when I mentioned I had played a lot of bar gigs with just a 150 watt (8 ohms) amp. The trick was that I was using it with a highly efficient 4 x 10. I roll off the lows a bit, bump the mids, set the limiter and boom. No problem, much louder than a high powered amp into a 2 X 10.

    I do recommend changing out the stock Groove Tube 12AX7 if you find the highs a bit too much. I use the current EH model, but there are plenty of NOS tubes that will work.
  8. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I now have two Studio 220s and I just love them to death. With a 4 ohm cabinet they are perfect for small gig setups. The first one I bought I got for $50 because the AC cord needed replacing and it looked like it had been chewed on by dinosaurs. But, the sound was sooooooooo tasty. So, I got another one, and I use it with my SWR Goliath Senior for garage rehearsals. I will use my 220s over my SM-500 most of the time. I say, GET ONE!
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi jock, I think your idea is a good one. I ran my practice rig that way for the better part of five years. The Studio 220 has the classic SWR preamp section (same as the SM400) with a smaller power amp. It also has the built-in crossover. I took the low frequency output and ran it through a kilowatt Carvin amp feeding an EVX-180A sub, and used the Studio 220's built-in amp for the high end. It's actually only 220 watts at 4 ohms, which is something to be aware of, at 8 ohms it's around 150 watts or so. But that should be perfectly adequate for most real world purposes, mainly it's the low frequencies (below 150 Hz) that need the juice (because of the increased absorption of most materials at low frequencies, and also because low frequencies tend to travel through the ground and disperse rapidly in air, and it takes a lot more power to get a 31 Hz signal from point A to point B than the equivalent signal at 310 Hz).

  10. Jock I have 1 SWR 220 and I use the line out for ALL my studio work. The Tube pre is to die for IMO.

    For live work I use my Ampeg SVT400T.

    ;) Treena
  11. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks for all the feedback!
    But now when I had made up my mind and was going to get the amp it had just been sold.:bawl:
    I´ll see if I can find another one around.
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