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SWR Triad? Suggestions on a Full Range Cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by camerondye, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. camerondye


    Nov 7, 2000
    Does anybody have any comments on the SWR Triad?

    Are there any other suggestions for a full range cabinet that is a reasonable size (no 8x10's)?

    Thanks for the help
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I saw a jazz guy playing a J-bass through a Walter Woods head into a Triad. It was outdoors in a small courtyard of a shopping center. It had a full, punchy tone and enough volume. I don't think it would hold up for more than about a 250-seat venue, though. I liked the sound. It was a little like my practice rig, shown below.
  3. I had a triad for a while, it was nice, but it didn't have "the" tone. I think maybe because I've never been used to the sound of 15's. Have you checked out the Avatar cabs? I really love my Avatar 212. It's great for low B's and it has a great tight punchy sound.
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ahh the triad
    that's a really great sounding cabinet. there are two drawbacks to that particular unit. first, it's rated at 400 watts. the 15 can handle 250 and the ten can handle 150 IIRC. problem was, you use a lot of watts to amplify bass frequencies and so cats were using 400 watt amps with it and a lot of those watts went right to the 15 and tended to blow it. not always, but i saw it happen more than a few times. a bigger problem with the triad is it tended not to cut thru as well in a rock setting as a 410 or a couple of 210s

    still thats one of my favorite cabinets. the bergantino 322 has kinda the same vibe, and mesa made a great cab with a 15, a 10, two sixes, and a tweeter. there are a lot of newer multi way cabs out now like acme, ea, and accugrove that might float your boat, and if you want to spend a ton, i hear the anthony jackson custom model of the epifani 212 with a six and a ribbon tweeter is quite the cabinet
  5. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    My .02 ..

    I had a Triad ... when I used this with my SM 400..it just did not do it for me..but when I used it with my old 300 watt Walter Wood head it sounded great - but lacked in the headroom / booty area...
    I never experienced any tech related issues with it..

    I used it often with the Goliath 4 x 10 and that was always a great combo....SWR Stereo 800 and Alembic FX-1 = sweet...

    If you are seriously looking at one make sure you try it with your bass and your amp .. you might be disapointed and go in a different direction..
  6. camerondye


    Nov 7, 2000
    I've seen stuff on the avatar speakers, but I've never seen anybody play through one to here them. Do they sound good?
  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    A while back, I looked seriously at this cab as it looked to offer a full sound. I discussed it with two former owners of these and both were disappointed by the sound. I can't tell you more than that. I don't have any details.
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Overall, I enjoyed my Triad. It's rather flat sounding in the manner of a studio monitor as opposed to a typical stage cab. I totally agree with my bro, IvanMike: a similar vibe to a Bergie 322. In fact, I sold mine and kept the 322! ;)

    I had good luck feeding the Triad a lotta watts. I remember it sounded particularly good driven by a mono-bridged Mackie 1400i.
  9. I have a Triad- I love it. I got it used around 96- I blew the 15, SWR reconed it- no problems with the 15 since. This really was the cabinet that made me realize 15's are my sound. Most gigs I use an SWR 2x15, but I'll still use the Triad for smaller shows.
  10. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    How about an Accugrove El Whappo?

    15",12", and 6" speakers plus 2 tweets. Sounds pretty full-range to me.
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I was disappointed with the Triad, it seemed like some frequencies where missing. I think these days there are way more options and better cabs out there....just my two pennies :cool:
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    For a single, flat-response, accurate, full-range cab, I'd be looking at any of the Accugroove cabs (pick the size that fits your needs/budget), the Berg HT322, or the EA NM-410 (or CX-310, if you can find one).
  13. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I bought a used Triad a couple years ago, and I really dug the sound that thing put out... very clean and deep. When I joined the band I'm in now, it became very apparent that one Triad wouldn't be enough, so I had a decision to make- sell the Triad and buy an 8x10 or buy another Triad and another amp. The 8x10 was cheaper, and so it won out. I would definitely love a rig like the dude from Judas Priest though- 4 Triad cabs & 2 SM-900s. Sweet. Anyway, if you need alot of volume, go with something bigger. If you're playing mellower music in a smaller area, you can't go wrong with this cab.
  14. Hey there

    I'm fascinated by the number of ex-Triad-owners here.

    I still have my Triad. I got it with the SWR Bass 350 head not long after getting my 5-string about 8 years ago as my Crate BXL-160 combo just wasn't cutting it with the low frequencies. The cabinet is not particularly loud, which seems to be a common complaint here, but it is very accurate and tonally neutral. I think was somewhat aimed at the studio market. If you're playing loud gigs you won't want this on it's own, although I was fascinated to read the post about the guy from Judas Priest - I wouldn't have picked the Triad as a cab for a metaller! Your speaker cabinets also provide the most colouration to your sound, so if you have a bass you love the sound of then this may be a great option. This was certainly the case with my Warwicks.

    I will admit that I also found I needed a bit more punch for bigger gigs, and so invested in a Goliath Jr III to use with it. This gave not only greater volume (amp delivers 450W into 2ohm load), but more punch which helps to cut through. I'm also 6'4", so having speakers up higher helped a lot with hearing myself accurately. What I've ended up with is almost a 1x15 + 4x10 rig that's incredibly versatile!
  15. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I had one and switched to an Eden 4X10, years ago. There almost Studio Monitor flat, but there inefficient like some studio monitors, the perceived loudness difference was huge when I switched. I agree with Munji there pretty limited in the size room you can play and as far as low end most 4 or 3 X 10's kill them.
  16. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    the thing most people miss about those things is that at the end of the day there's only 1- 15" speaker doing the hard work of moving air. They look at the size and all those speakers and think it ought to do a heck of a lot more than it should.

    They're flat and hi-fi just like an acme or other stuff built to that intent and if you think of it as a 1-15" cab, it's as good or better than any.

    Most 4x10" will kill them because there's like..... almost twice the speaker area.
  17. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I had two of those over a period of 7 years. Great sound, very full sounding. Not enough output, and fairly flat sounding compared to the punch of a 4-10. (My old goliath III and triad made a killer stack)

    Not enough in the end to justify the size and weight. Props to SWR for making a great cabinet though for so many years. Maybe with different drivers/higher power handling?
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Think of them as the best sounding mid-volume 1x15 around. The triad was part of one of my favorite rigs ever, Triad+Goliath II powered by an Ampeg SVP and an Eden WT-1000. I used that rig on stages of all sizes, and only on the really big ones did the bottom start to drop off as I got up to my mic. It always had amazing tone, and was very blalanced.
  19. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    When it comes to amps and cabinets, I am so pedestrian in my knowledge it's scary. It either sounds good or it doesn't. I can't really tell you why or why not.

    I have 2-Triads and a Goliath Junior and I usually us a combination of 2 cabinets whenever I play out. Since I switched from an SM-500 to a Crown Xs500 / Alembic F-1X setup, I have been very pleased with the sound of my rig, whether it's Triad + Triad or Triad + Goliath Jr.

    I tend to play in smaller venues, so Munji, NicJimBass, and Burk48237 may have a point.


  20. Hey, to heck with the rest - your ears are the things that matter!

    I'd thought about getting a 2nd Triad before, but settled on the Goliath Jr because of the portability factor for smaller gigs. How do you find the sound? Also, I forget if the SM-500 is bi-ampable. If so, do you biamp or just run stereo when pairing up the Triad and Goliath Jr?