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SWR vs HiFi Stereo System

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bgavin, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Q: Have any of you SWR owners played your bass directly through your HiFi system?

    I'm very curious to see if the SWR (flat eq) is very close to the HiFi (flat eq). If this is the case, the SWR is probably reproducing a fairly accurate rendition of the bass' actual tone. To be fully accurate, the HiFi speakers would have to be used for both the bass amp and HiFi listening tests.

    Another thread mentions the big, fat, greasy Fender tone obtainable from a Kern preamp. Ditto for the Alembic F-1X, and others with passive tone controls. These passive tone circuits were designed back in the day when speakers had lousy low and high frequency response, and the tone circuits apparently compensate for this. Note the built-in Smiley Face EQ.

    LINK: Fender Tone Circuit Graphic

    I find that my subs plus the Alembic F-1X at flat (0-10-0) has all the bottom I ever need, but not enough mids. I cannot increase the mids, nor reduce the bottom using the Alembic controls, so I have to use an external EQ. This would be a problem for all passive tone controls, since all passives are Cut Only types. The SWR controls are active, and both Cut and Boost.

    The bottom line is I'm hunting for a HiFi preamp in flat EQ that reproduces exactly what the bass sends to it.
  2. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I've never played one but from what I've heard, Eden fits the bill. I've seen a lot of people post that they just run them flat. I'm very interested in the Eden myself and can't wait to try one (a tube model). I shouldn't be too anxious though because I can't afford one.
    Good luck and let us know what you find.
  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    the SABDDI with blend at zero has no colouring (AT ALL) but still the active tone controls and level control. Set flat and boosted with level then out to a poweramp will give you what you want, I think.
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Same with the SansAmp RBI...
  5. :) yep...

    i set my tones at 12:00 and just enjoy that yummy tube character .....

  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i don't know about a hi fi stereo system, but my swr IOD with the blend on direct and everything on flat sounds pretty much identical to when i plug my bass direct into the board. my warwick sounds exactly like my warwick, my musicman sounds just like my musicman...i would say it's transparent, but can be very imposing if need be.

  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You can't get more hifi than Glockenklang...

  8. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ !!!
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's the beauty of living in Germany :)
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Sounds like you're talking about the SWR preamplifiers specifically. I'd guess they can be pretty neutral on the right settings, but that's a guess. I'd say, however, chances are slim that their speakers are hi-fi.
  11. My interest in the IOD is two-fold.

    The HiFi portion because my Alembic F-1X has the designed-in smiley face EQ of the Fender Showman amps. I don't need that because my subs and highs are much more capable than anything was from that era. I'd like my preamp to give me dead flat when I want it, plus be able to both boost and cut as required. The Alembic is already maxed in the Mids, and I have no need of further bass/treble boost.

    The second portion of the IOD is the grind.
  12. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    I had a chance to use an Avalon 737 as my preamplifier and while this is not a bass specific preamp it did give me a new benchmark for "flat, uncolored, Hi-Fi." I've been told that the Glockenklang pre amp is as clean and bass orientated.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I once put my SWR Baby Blue on the bench and checked out the response of the preamp with a signal generator and oscilloscope.

    It was not truly flat, there was a slight boost starting at 2 Khz. I compared it to my AMP BH-420, an earlier Steve Rabe preamp design...it was flat but of course next to the SWR it sounded dull :rolleyes:

    Flat is not all it's cracked up to be ;)
  14. I've recorded with my bass directly into a board and with the xlr (switched to post preamp) out on my Studio 220. To my ears it sounded like what brianrost measured, just a little more sparkle to the preamp. Very clean and flat otherwise ('til you turn the enhance knob ;) ).
  15. Yeah, but one can deal with flat.

    The very 'best' I can get from the Alembic is an approximation of flat. From there up, it is the ever-increasing Smiley Face EQ pattern. Add this EQ pattern to true subs, and it is too much.

    I admit I'm also looking for the "grind" the IOD is reputed to have. Dunno if the Navigator has grind or not.
  16. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    bgavin, sounds like my situation - the realization that the tone section of my boogie 400+ is exactly that of a fender tone stack, and then realizing shortly after this is the reason it's always sounded 'all lows and highs'...

    luckily, there's also a graphic eq. :)
  17. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    dude, just get and IOD already!!!! if you don't find it has exactly what you want i will eat my pants!

    it has hi fi
    it has all-tube-amp warmth
    it has grind
    it has a footswitch and optional pedal so you can switch around all that stuff without touching the amp

    i just got my computer hooked up for recording, so i can finally record myself alone. you want me to make a few mp3's of the different tones available within the IOD?

  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I would. :)
  19. If you would make some MP3 of your IOD, and document what you did, bass, strings, etc etc etc, I will be happy to permanently host them on my site for the benefit of the bass community.

    I have a growing number of bass tones already, artists, etc etc. Always looking for more.

    As for the All Lows + All Highs, I have a Rane GE30 EQ that I use to tone it down, and boost the mids. The Alembic is acceptable this way, but I would like to have Grind On Demand. I also want the !@#$% XLR connector IN THE REAR, NOT THE FRONT, and want to go back to using my Rane EQ to balance the system, rather than compensating for an aged tone stack.
  20. In my experience it doesn't matter what preamp you use, they ALL color the sound to a certain degree. Case-in-point my Linn Intek HiFi amp preamp stage sounds nothing like other Linn preamps...

    Of course, some preamps are more neutral than others. Eden's preamp, while fairly neutral, isn't - it does not sound like direct-to-board (and pity you can't drive the tube in it).

    I agree with comparisions using HiFi speakers - that really is the only way - but you're only ever going to be able to compare at low volumes.

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