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SWR WM12 question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by haastalavista, Jan 27, 2001.

  1. haastalavista


    Jan 19, 2001
    I have a Workingman 12 from SWR that just doesn't seem to have the volume that it should. The limiter kicks in at just above 1/4 volume, if not less, and it is distorting way too easy. Anyone with a bit more experience with these have any idea on what is going on? I don't know if I am doing something wrong or if these things are just weaker than I thought. Thanks.
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Welcome to TalkBass! I had a WM-12 for about 6 months--it was excellent for low-volume situations without a drumkit, but I sold it because it didn't quite have enough oomph. Whether you plug into the Active or Passive input, be sure that you set the input gain control so that the clip indicator only lights if you hit the strings really hard. This is important, because the limiter is more likely to kick in when the preamp is clipping, in order to protect the speaker. The limiter can also be defeated by pulling out the fx level knob, but I wouldn't recommend this if you're hearing distortion. Also be aware that with the input gain set properly and the master set to the point where the limiter comes on continuously is basically the upper volume threshold of the amp. There's only so much volume you can get out of 100 watts driving a 12" speaker in a small rear-ported cabinet.
    I played through my WM-12 with a MusicMan StingRay, which is an active EQ bass with a high output, and the only time I heard distortion was when I had the input gain past 6, and the master past 5 and was working the speaker really hard. If you're getting distortion at a much lower level something may be wrong with your amp that should be checked out.
    The WM-12 has excellent sound and features for a small amp and it really comes alive when you add an 8-ohm extension speaker-I used a Carvin 15" in a front ported cabinet. This setup was able to keep up with a drummer and a pretty loud guitarist but I got a larger rig so I didn't need it anymore. Good luck!
  3. That's right. Either you're setting it up wrong, or you've got a fault in the system somewhere, or if you've got an active bass try a new battery, distortion is often the symptom of a dud battery. I had a WM12 which would handle a band rehearsal on it's own and would handle gigs with an 8ohm extension cab.
  4. haastalavista


    Jan 19, 2001
    Thanks for your input on this. Maybe I just expected it to put out more volume than is really possible from that small of a combo. I do like it and it works fine playing alone and with a couple other guys (if they would just stop complaining that I am too punchy - they're just wimps) but I have yet to try it with drums, which is my main concern.
  5. ive stood in on my friends band and he hates carrying around equiptment, on the other hand i need a roadie for my rig, he uses a wm 12 and it kicks, i cant believe how good it sounded and im not a big swr fan of the workingmans series. by the way i owned a wm 15 for one year and liked his 12 better, i use it frequently out on small venues blues type gigs. i did have a sm 400 and that i do miss,.. a very versatile and capable amp, although the newer models run a cooling fan which is great cause the early one could double as a hotplate at 4 Ohms. but great tone!...my 2 cents

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