SWR vs. Ampeg: Is SWR Much Louder?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by EString, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Specs are a tricky thing, that's for sure, but SWR's Pro Series cabs are generally rated as higher powered and more sensitive than Ampeg's Classic Series. Does this mean that if both powered by the same amp, the SWRs would tend to beat out the Ampegs in terms of volume levels?
  2. I wondered the same thing until the other day. The Goliath III is spec'd at 105dB 1W/1M and the SVT 410 HLF is spec'd at 96. That's 9 dB, quite a lot. Well, my buddy owns an HLF and I own a Goliath III. We've swapped boxes because I wanted to check out the Ampeg and he wanted to check out the SWR. We had both cabs in my basement and decided to A-B them. We used my '76 SVT and my MIA Jazz. We both expected a large difference in level between them. In fact, the Ampeg did not sound quieter than the SWR at all. Now the Ampeg was 4 ohms and the Goliath 8, but with the tube amp there's not a large power difference (because of how tube output stages work). Even if there was say double the power it wouldn't compensate for 9 dB. So I'm guessing it's a combination of a couple of factors: primarily differences in measurement criteria (or fudging of results) and the different tonal responses of the two boxes. The Ampeg definately had more midrange happening and actually had considerably more bottom end. The SWR was tight and hifi and the Ampeg wasn't as refined. I must say I was quite surprised. Stay tuned, myself and a couple of buddies are going to do a detailed comparo of three cabs in the near future. The two I just mentioned and a D410 XLT, with and Eden an SWR and the SVT heads. Coming soon....
  3. if 50 watts make much of a difference than i can attest to the fact that swr is louder than ampeg. it beat out an svt. i bought the workingman.
  4. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Wow, the SWR cabinet guys must be some serious cheaters! +9 dB is supposed to be what, almost twice as loud?
  5. Well...
    My Henry 8x8 spec's at 96dB @1/1 and it's quite loud. I really don't know, how, why, or what the deal is with SPL ratings. What I do know is what I hear. I go for TONE not the SPL rating.
  6. I sincerely doubt a Workingman's anything would be louder than an all tube SVT. I've yet to hear a solid state bass amp (integrated, not preamp with seperate power amp) that could match an old SVT through comparable cabs in terms of what we hear as volume.

    Donne: Agreed, I generally think that SPL specs are not the criteria to use when selecting cabinets. First, they're sketchy at best and I don't think any two companies do exactly the same procedure. Second, the ears have it. Who cares if cab A is "louder" than cab B if you don't dig the sound. dig? :D
  7. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Those SWR bastard cabinet guys also screwed us all over on the SPL rating of the Big Ben. It says something like 100 2w/1m. Let me point out 2w as opposed to 1w/1m like other companies normally put out. Those f***in bastards!!!! Lemme at 'em, lemme at 'em!!! :mad:

    (I'm not really that pist, but that little booger did put a hamper on my image of SWR)
  8. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I own SWR SOB 1x15 (rated at 102 dB 45-15kHz) and Goliath JR. III 2x10 (rated 105 dB) cabs. In each and every situation where I have played with both 8 ohm cabinets, the SOB 1x15 with the lower dB rating has been noticeably louder at all frequencies.

    Lab ratings conducted at 1watt/1 meter/1 kHz don't provide an accurate representation of how a bass signal fed through 300 tube watts sounds to an audience 25 feet away in a bar. The 1x15 definitely throws the low notes further than the 2x10 and gives a fatter sound(IMHO)-something that's not shown in the specs, but an important factor when you've got to fill the room with your rig. Cabinet design definitely affects performance at loud volumes/long distances but that's not something that manufacturers measure. A "200 watt/20x40 foot room/full bass-range signal" figure would be much more useful!
  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Well, louder or not, I chose Ampeg over SWR. And I tried both in a gig situation. (2 night gig near the cities, tried SWR SM-900 through a Goliath III the first night, took them back the next day and got the Ampeg SVT4Pro and a SVT410HLN) I kept the Ampeg. The SWR to me was not noticeably louder, sounded to sterile, didn't cut through like the SVT, and had considerably less lows. Sure, I read all the specs, and that is why I bought the SWR first (and it sounded pretty good in the store). But what it boiled down to is how is sounded to me in a real gig situation. That is why I still have the Ampeg.

    So, to answer your question, I don't think the SWR is any louder than the Ampeg.