SWR wattage overrating...does it apply to cabs also?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FireBug, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. FireBug


    Sep 18, 2005
    I know that a lot of us believe SWR to overrate the wattage of their amps and being an owner of several of their amps in the past I have to say that this is true (made the switch to M-pulse and never looked back).

    Unfortunately, I have never pushed my Goliath III to it's limits (the limit being 700 watts) and was wondering if anyone feels that SWR overrates the wattage of their cabinets also.

    What does everyone think?
  2. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit
    I too am interested in this subject. I have never pushed any of my cabinets but have considered many times getting an amp that drives my Goliath III at 700 watt rating.

  3. afinalfantasy

    afinalfantasy Banned

    Jan 11, 2006
    I think they may overrate them sometimes, but some may be true. I'm nto so sure about my LA 100 combo, never pushed it to max
  4. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I don't think that they have overated the wattage of thier cabinets is overated however I do think that the tone of thier cabinets have a harsher sound than the previous Goliath II cabinets
  5. I have the SWR Mo-Bass (900W), and when I used it in substitution for my normal rig (1500W) when my preamp was in the shop, I didn't notice much difference.

    The SWR WAS a little light on gain, i had to crank it way up to get full output. But it seemed to put out plenty of power. Maybe the fact you need to have the volume cranked so much higher tricks you into thinking it is not putting out the power? Just wondering. Just because you have to set the volume at 9 on the SWR to get 900W, and only at 5 on another amp to get 900W doesn't mean the SWR has less power. Only less gain.

  6. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    I don't know that SWR overrates their wattage. My perception is the SWR "sound" eats watts quickly. SWR seems to be just about the most scooped sounding brand out there, and as we all know, a ton of bottom end takes up a ton of watts.

    For example, a 500 watt amp, voiced heavy in the mids, is going to sound louder than a 500 watt amp voiced to sound scooped, because of the wattage required to push the low frequencys.

    Of course, this could be completely wrong, but it is just my perception.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I used a G3 4x10 for a while. Personally, I think the 700 watt rating is bunk, at least in practice. If you are playing rock/metal it just wont put out the lows/balls for a beefy sound.

    I ran it with my Mesa Bass 400 (pushing 180 watts and closer to 300 later on) and it would fart out at shows, even when paired up with another 4x10 cabinet.
  8. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Interesting to see the comment from Chaos - my experience was quite the opposite. For years I used a G3 with my Ampeg SVT2 with no problems at all. I could run the amp on five to six quite happily and it put out a ton of grunt, to the extent that I was quite content using it at smaller venues instead of the Ampeg 810 cab I also had. Don't know how it would go if pushed with a low B though - I am strictly 4 strings(the KISS philosophy). I currently use two G3s with my Mesa 400+ and they seem to handle it fine at high volumes outdoors. As usual, as I tell my students - use your ears. If it is farting either turn down or cut the lower frequencies, which don't help a lot on stage anyway. In the end one man's meat is often another man's poison I suppose.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I guess I should add that I use a 5-string and play pretty aggressively (alternative rock and progressive metal) in the lower register when need be.
  10. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Exactly who is it that thinks SWR overrates their amps? Talk to any owner of a Power 750 and we'll all tell you that we think SWR *underrates* them.
  11. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    keep in mind that wattage for cabs means diddly. wattage for speakers is a thermal rating. it is not a "this is how much power you can put into me before i start farting" rating. That is entirely determined by xmax and xmech, cone area/cabinet size ratio and tuning frequency.

    chaosmk is almost certainly farting out the swr 410's because his five string's b string is tuned lower than the swr 410's tuning frequency. that combined with the shortish xmax on the swr 10's means farting.

    To sum up: don't look for wattage to tell you when something is going to fart. wattage will only tell you how much power you can put into the cab before thermal compression starts and or the voice coils start melting.
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Given the older Sylmar 900 I still own and the later model, pre-sellout 750 I used to own, I would opine that SWR wattage ratings are not over-stated at all. ;)
  13. soholounge


    Aug 11, 2004
    i agree, my SM500 doesn't seem overrated,
    although i've yet to push it really hard, it's plenty loud compared to other amps i've owned.

    i think cheesewiz and others are right about PERCEIVED loudness, depending on type of sound.
    SWR might seem underpowered or not as loud in a metal band.

    fortunately for me, i don't play metal. :smug:
  14. Totally +1... the voicing of those amps does make them seem 'soft' compared to other amps.... lot's of 'low lows' that eat up watts.
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Yah, you gotta EQ whatever amp you're comparing to similarly if you want a fair comparison. FWIW, I've bench tested a few SWR amps and found every one to meet specs easily. But only a few bass amps I've tested have failed to do that, and those results might surprise you. :cool:
  16. DerekP


    Jul 24, 2005
    Toronto, On
    i have put 1200 watts into my goliath 3 without any distortion or breakup ( with a 5 string warwick thumb), it gets extremely loud.... ive NEVER had to play that loud at any of my gigs, which have ranged from 30 people to 2000.... and my tone is very "low" and deep so i cant say i agree with the goliath 3 being over-rated watt wise.
  17. I don't think that they are heavily overated, if they even are...

    My workingman 15 amp has a surprising amount of power, their speakers on the other hand (or at least the workingman series) are seriously overated in my opinion. The pro stuff is definitely better!
  18. jz0h4d


    Apr 26, 2005
    I've measured the output of several SWR amps i've owned. They have all met or exceeded their published specs.