SWR vs. Ampeg, i need to make a desicion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jungle.Bird, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Jungle.Bird


    Nov 3, 2004
    Im a guitar player who is buying a bass rig to play for a band

    and i just dont know that much about the gear. Ive played

    ampeg stuff, been in bands with ampeg users and was not

    impressed at all with their cabs. The head I was looking to buy

    was the SWR SM500, or the the SVT-3. Ive played through the

    Goliath III, Mesa PH215, Ampeg 410HLF, 410HE, and 810E with

    the SM500 (havnt tried the SVT-3) and when i played it through

    the Ampeg cabs the sound was extremely dull, not nearly as fat

    and puncy as the SWR. Like i said i am a guitar player, but i still

    know a good bass tone when i hear one. I just want something

    thats in between the Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi sound. Actually im looking

    for the bass tone that sounds kind of pathetic by itself, but with

    a full band contrasts the music perfectly, here is a Link to the

    music if anyone is interested . Ill be playing a All

    parts J bass with duncan PU's through a BBE, MXR Phase 90

    (sometimes), and a Boss Bass OD. Another thing, I work at a

    guitar center so thats why I have chosen Ampeg/SWR, because

    thats mainly what we carry. Anyways any help or advice from

    people who actuallyknow the gear would be great. Also, besides

    power handling and price, what are the major differences

    between the Goliath II 4x10 and Goliath III?
  2. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    SM-500 would be my choice as I find it easier to get low fi with a Hi Fi than the other way round.
    Bottom line for me is greater flexibility in the SWR.
    I also like their clarity. SM-500 is the only amp in their line that still offers the old wide freq. range. (See their website.)

    SM-500 is a lovely preamp but to get the most from the power you must consider the impedance of the cabs when running stereo (4ohms per side) or run in bridged mono.

    As for those cabs I would just see if you can arrange to try them out. (Use your return priviledge.)
    Though I'm an EA user, I would choose the SWR Goliath or Eden cabs over the Ampeg cabs based on my trials.

    You'll also find SWR's (Fender) customer service is quite responsive.

    Good luck and have fun.
  3. kdsi44


    Oct 18, 2004
  4. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'd personally go with the SWR Goliath III and the SM500. The G3 is front ported which tends to emphasize the mids as I recall, I could be wrong, while the G2 was rear ported to focus more on the lows, hence it should be placed within 1-2 feet of a wall to take advantage of this feature. Your best bet is whichever you feel best suits you. Do you want to sit under the mix ala Ampeg and provide a nice foundation for everything to kind of float on top of or do you want to be more of a sit inside the mix type of player, if so you should go with the SWR (IN MY OPINION). I've owned Ampeg but not SWR but have always liked the SWR stuff I've played, especially the Goliath III cabs. Also, have you considered Gallien-Krueger? They sell stuff through GC and a lot of people find their gear to be outstanding, myself included.
  5. I think ^ is right. SWR and Ampeg are fundamentally very different types of sounds both good but for different people! and both are gonna suit your style of music... more rock bands are based on the Ampeg sound though and most hardcore bands have a pretty agressive cuting bass sound i think you could go either way. It's really about what you're gonna be happy with and by the sounds of it you don't like listening to yourself playing an Ampeg rig. You might re consider your options though because like I said these are for different people and maybe there are other options that would better suit you nearer to the SWR sound
  6. If at all possible, try each potential setup in the band setting you will use it in. I've bought stuff many times that sounded great in the store, but got lost in the mix in a band setting. Also question the store/seller about their return policy, in case you're a flaky return-a-holic like me. Lastly, as you've no doubt already heard, Ampeg & SWR are very different, tonally. I prefer Ampeg over SWR, but you'll know what works best for you.
  7. Eldermike


    Jul 27, 2004
    Years ago I settled on Ampeg amps and SWR cabs. I like ampeg stuff but I got really tired of picking up ampeg cabs, and the world is not flat enough to roll everywhere, so I went looking for the best tone/weight ratio in cabs. I am happy with my decision even after all these years.
  8. The big difference is the porting. The II is rear ported, and the III is ported at the front. Also the II has banana jack inputs and the III has Speakon.

    As far as speaker cabs go, think of what you're going for. Do you like the sound you get out of 10s? I like 15s, and it's actually easier for me to haul a 115 lb 2x15 than it is hiking up a 95 lb 4x10.

    You'll have to figure out what amp you actually like. You work at GC, you know what's crap and what's not. You work at GC, you can try all kinds of things out. Think power, weight and size and you'll probably make a good choice. Besides, are you going to accept "AND AMPEG BLOWS AWAY SWR" as truth from someone that can't figure out how to turn off the caps lock?
  9. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    While you're at it, don't rule out the Mesa Boogie heads and the constant flow of used gear that runs through there.

    Above all remember "_________________ RULES!!"
    (just insert your brand in blank space) ;)
  10. Yeah, try the Mesa M-pulse
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Like Ford and Chevy... each line has models and features that aim to copy what the other is best known for, but you're still going to have to decide whether you want a Ford or a Chevy. :)
  12. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    SWR SM 500.

    You can make a SWR sound like an Ampeg,
    but not vice versa.
  13. Hee hee hee.


    My vote is for SWR and cabinets with 10 inch speakers (two Goliath IIIs perhaps). I think you're going to need to "cut through" by listening to that track from the website.
  14. Although I'm currently an Ampeg user, based on what sound I think you're looking for I'd go with the SWR. The cabs have a bit more definition and a bit more punch. Plus, if memory serves correctly the SM-500 has more power than the SVT-3.
  15. I would recomend the SWR for your music over the Amepeg. It'll cut through cleaner and you can get that aggressive edge to it. I just switched from Ampeg to Mesa Boogie for the same reasons. was never really impresed with my SVT410HE. Love my Mesa Powerhouse 410 in comparision. Might want to consider that route too if you have any of the Mesa cabs coming through your store.
  16. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    Your a guitar player. Own a Marshall or ever dreamed of one? Bet so. Thats because Marshall set the "guitar standard."

    So now you want to be the ultimate. A bass player. Very little research will then inform you that to meet your goal, which I assume is the "bass standard", look to the 'Alpha' - Ampeg (bass players Marshall). Done deal..........! :D
  17. mesa>marshall/ampeg :D
  18. EBS! you get everything in one head. Many diffirent sounds, suited for every style, outstanding cabs (quite expensive), more than enough power (600 watt), and it looks very cool :bassist:
  19. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I rate them as far as preference, each for their own characteristics, as such:

    workingmans SWR
    regular ampegs
    good SWR (goliath etc)
    good ampeg (pro,bxt)

    So it's no wonder I run BXT cabs. This rig sounds HUGE, full, bright, punchy and thick lows all the way down...

    Unfortunately the pro and bxt cabs are pricy, heavy as hell, but damned if they don't blow away any swr cab.

    Oh, and I run it through an svp-bsp pre. If I didn't do power/pre, I'd probably use an svt-4. I just didn't like any of the SWR pres, too bland and twangy highs... It's probably the tube grit I like about the ampeg pre.

    Actually, if I didn't want to carry around these huge cabs, the goliaths might be my next choice down, that or some aggies ;)

  20. ostrzoskrzydly


    Jul 1, 2003
    That would be the exact definition of the Ampeg tone.