swr swallowed by the budwieser of bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by seansbrew, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Does anyone know what has happened to the once great SWR corp? From what I have experienced and heard,nothing good.I recently needed some tech support for an older swr product, I was refered to Fender for tech support and was helped(not by anyone who actually builds amps) by someone who did not have a clue as to what they were talking about, infact this person niether played bass or had ever seen an sm-400.With the factory moving to another location and the products being built by new staff using different components, and lets not forget the working mans series moving to Mexico,I think that SWR will never be the as good as it was. Of course, this is only my opinion and having not yet had a chance to play a Fender built, I could be wrong, but just incase, I am holding on to my old sm 500 and 400 heads.
  2. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    well you know what they say between mim basses and mia basses...ones made in mexico by mexicans..and the other is built in the us by mexicans....

    really i think it may be alright....
    when they hire new people its the same thing, just on a bigger scale...

    and atleast gibson didn't buy them....if they did there wouldn't be an swr at all..

  3. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Ummm.... ever hear of Sunn? sad sad story:bawl:
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Don't forget D'Armond guitars. They disappeared as soon as Fender boughte em out.
  5. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    ? I cant say that I have heard that nor do I agree whatsoever. The craftmenship and parts used to make theese basses are different(not the exact same parts,as I have heard poeple say). If you understand how big business works ( and I understand very little) you would understand the very simple scope of what happens next when a company that knows how to make money capitalizes on anothers reputation.
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    When Steve Rabe sold off controlling interest of SWR Engineering thereby creating SWR Sound, a lot of people started kvetching about the decline in quality, service, mojo, vibe, etc... I own a SWR Engineering era SM400 and a SWR Sound era SM900. Build quality on both is about the same, with a slight advantage to the 900 for cleaner solder work. Both perform as well as they should although the 400 did blow a biasing transistor once. Rehan was the bomb as far as service went see below for my recent experince with Fender/SWR service. In short, I still don't see what the angst was about.

    Likewise, until Fender really starts messing up en masse (and I feel for the original poster's poor support experience, but it is just one data point) I think it is too early to judge their handling of SWR. FWIW, I lost one of the EQ slider knobs off my SM400 at a gig, emailed Fender/SWR and got a part number for the knobs in about 3 days.

    Regarding Sunn, I remember Fender getting full page ads in Bass Player and other publications to push the new Sunn line of amps. I think the problem is that by the time the name had been dragged out of the coffin, cleaned up, and made to look pretty no one cared about it. Even now, when people discuss tube amps it comes down to the SVT, 400+ and perhaps Aguilar even though the Sunn (now Fender) 300 was/is a viable option. Even while Fender/Sunn was around it was an overlooked brand. The market spoke and Fender let the name die.

    Yeah it's fun to pick on the big corporate satan but if so many people were digging Sunn that much, how come their sales were so poor?
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Fender bought out Gretsch too. Greedy monkeys. I like gretsch... but i liked them more when they were gretsch.
  8. i have to say that fender has bought a lot of companies and turned the products to crap. About all they do is stick there name on existing designs.
    Sunn is the pefect example. If it wasnt selling fender would not have bought a sinking ship
    Now they just sell it like its thiers
    they have bought a dozen companies like this and where are they now
    In the warehouse being restamped Fender
    Rather then doing research and devolpment they let other people do it fo them, then buy a reputable name that is no FENDER then stick their name on it and pass it off like they did something
  9. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i do kow all of this i jst like to start up a convo.

    well sunn is kind of around...just under the fender name..
    and i do know the quality differnece between a MIM and a MIA. just something to think aobut when it comes to certain parts/products.

    and i know that they bought them just for the name....this is just them trying to make more money..can we really blame them.

    if you were in there shoes you would do the same thing...to a certain point of course.
    yes they do have to fix there customer support, but you did say that they are moving right, so its hard to have someone that knows what they are talking about if they haven't been in the company at all...

    just give it time....only timne will tell how this one will go

  10. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Exactly, I agree 100%
  11. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Moma Jones wrote:

    Sunn wasn't just a sinking ship, it was a carcass sitting at the bottom of the ocean. Sunn didn't exist for years until Fender brought it back.
  12. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    And they also did justice to the Sunn line! Did ya ever try out a new 300T? Awesome amp! Fender did a fine job of making the 300 to the specs of yesteryear with a few modern updates. I tried one and loved it and if I had the extar 1000 bucks I woulda bought it.
    If I ever find a used one it's gonna be mine...:bassist:
  13. I agree that's one hell of an amp. The 1200s is pretty sweet too. I do know a place that has both of these amps n.o.s.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    As others have already said, Sunn had been out of business for a few years when Fender bought the name.:rolleyes:

    As far as rebranding the Sunn products with a Fender nameplate, Fender did that because they weren't selling. I for one am happy that the amps are still in production, even though the Sunn brand is once again dead.
  15. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Well..that's exactly what Microsoft and Cisco have been doing for years. I wouldn't blame any manufacturer for the fact that most buyers don't really know what they are buying. Dump enough slick marketing on them, and they'll buy just about anything.
  16. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Spoken like someone who doesn't really know what they are talking about.

    Factual inaccuracies aside, I'd just like to point out that when Fender decides to "sell something like it's thiers [sic]," it IS THEIRS because--guess what--THEY BOUGHT IT! If they want to paint them bright green with flourescent orange polka dots, and put tiny kittens on the knobs, they CAN.

    I love how people constantly knock Fender for both being stuck in the past by not making huge leaps in their instrument designs, and simultaneously knock them for trying to expand their market (ie a bass amp that will actually SELL).

    You don't like 'em? Don't buy 'em. Is that really that tough to grasp?

    Any giant buyout like Fender did with SWR is going to take time to sort out all of the logistics and details. Anyone with any grasp of business, or reality has to understand that. Everyone else simply expects the impossible.

    But, If you still want to rail against a giant evil music corp, might I suggest US Music Corp that bought out Eden. After all, they are the ones who have been fined millions for fraud...
  17. Well stated, hang on to the SM's.

    Hmmm... :meh: I don't think your blood determines your craftsmanship, so I don't get this comment - if that’s what you’re implying…??


    I gigged for many years with an old Sunn BetaBass combo (100w, 2ch, 15" speaker).

    The head finally died, but the 15" speaker (Sunn SPL series) was well-made, still sounds great to this day.

  18. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    And let's not forget... there's a reason why these companies were being sold in the first place...

  19. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Dont get me wrong,I am not out to bash Fender( hope to own a custom shop reissue some day), It could have been any company that aquired SWR. It just made me a little hesitant about buying a new SM 900 head. I have some time to sit back and see what happens with the products.
  20. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Oh baby I wish I had the extra dough I'd be all over the 300T:(