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SWR Workingman 15 (as good as 10 or 12 ?)

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by crocau, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. Hi ! I was looking for a SWR Workingman to replace my Trace Elliot GP7SM combo, and I could have a good deal on a little used Workingman 15. I would pay it cheaper than a new workingman 10...

    I understand is it not as fun to carry around but, is the sound as good as the sound its two little brothers for the upright ?
    I play my upright with bass max and fishman preamp, and i sometimes take my fender p.

    I play in jazz trios (sometimes adding a drummer), a swing big band, and other stuff.
  2. The general notion is tha 15 inch speakers tend to be a bit too "boomy" and "bassy" for DB. You would probably have to cut a lot of bass freqs oute of the sound and it might still be abit muddy...

    I just got myself a GK MB150S and am very pleased!!
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    15" can work for bass, but in smaller, tighter cabinets, which offsets the sloppiness of the 15 a little bit. Is there any way you can try it out before you plunk down the cash?
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    I had a open jam this week and we were two bass players. The other bass player was using a tiny Roland 30 cube bass combo... I tried it with my bass and the sound was quite good. The speaker was really small, so I guess I'll go for the workingman 10. Smaller can be better ! I did the job well, even with a drummer, a piano, a trumpet and a guitar !

    The funny thing is this guy had a good sound out of an old fishman pickup !
  5. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Every bass amplifies differently. Some pickups sound
    perfect on one bass, but sound like puppy poop on the
    next bass. Unfortunately, all you can do is get opinions,
    information, and just experiment. I have a workingmans 10
    that sounds rotten for upright because of the upper mid
    dip and harsh horn. Everything up the g string is thin.
  6. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    IMO the workingman's series works best for upright if you have an outboard preamp (like your fishman) coming in thru the effects return instead of the regular input. If you do that and turn off the horn (there's a switch on the back) you can eliminate the "SWR sound" from the equation. If you double, you can use the regular input and SWR preamp for the slab. The effects blend knob is all you have to adjust to go from one to the other.
  7. D.W.

    D.W. Guest


    I'm using an Swr 12 and I'm pretty happy these days, although I'm saving for an acoustic image. Someone here uses an Swr 15 and it sounds great as well. As mentioned you will get more low end and you may have to remove some, but hey there's nothing wrong with low end.
    By the way do you live in Montreal or Quebec City?

  8. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    The Roland Cube amp has a 12" speaker ,not a 10. I have a Roland Supercube 60 and it sounds good with my upright. The old Roland Cube amps can be found pretty cheap and they are a good bargain for upright players IMHO. I have a Workingman's 12 too and I disagree with the suggestion about plugging the preamp into the amplifier's effects loop. I think it sounds better plugged in the regular way. I used to have an Underwood with a Fishman Pro EQ and now I just plug my Realist into either amplifier's passive input.

    - Steve

  9. DW I'm in Quebec City.

    Thanks for the replies. I agree with you Blimpdog, the Roland are great, but I haven't found any.
    I just exchanged my Trace Elliot for a workingman 10... Woa, what a difference ! I really dig this amp, but I have some doubts regarding the power it has. Drummers were not all created equal, you all know that... some are loud...

    But the sound is really great with this EQ : Bass +2, Mid 0, Treble -2, Aural weirdo thing 0. I never though the bassmax was so trebly, with this amp, i might have kept the Realist on my bass ! With the fishman preamp, I have more power, but I have to cut some treble to get a good sound, nothing I can't live with.

    I also don't agree with Joe Smithberger, using the preamp with the effect send/return doesn't work well for me.

    Today, i am happy with my sound. :hyper: (I never thought i'd say that.) In a few days, weeks, months, the next step of my obsession will surely be to get a mike. Anyone with experience of a K&K Trinity solo trough a workingman ? Or trinity+bassmax ?
  10. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Different strokes...glad you found your sound.

    If you have trouble with volume, just keep an eye out for a used workingman's 1x10 extension. They are around for pretty cheap ($150 or less) on ebay. It is the same size as the amp but lighter. Together they make for a very nice, compact rig with better bottom end than the amp alone.
  11. Hi Crocau - I use the workingman 12 with a Zeller Bass (carved sides, top and curved plywood back). Just last week I received from (Hail!) Bob Gollihur, the bass Max, Golden Trinity Mic and matching preamp.
    I play 2-5 piece Jazz gigs.

    Overnight I have gone from being a long-standing fishman sufferer, convinced the Zeller would have to go, to being a very happy guy. At last I'm getting a really good feedback-free volume level on stage (I had actually given up booking drummers!). Also, the BM & GT give me a clarity (and of course warmth) of tone I've never been anywhere close to experiencing on stage with the fishman set-up I was using.

    Anyway, enough ranting, I find the Golden Trinity really works for me - I did roll-off all the high inside the Pre-amp as the mic was feeding back with the preset EQ. At the moment I'm using a ratio setting of 5:3 in favour of the Bass Max, but the inclusion of the GT really does add a resonance to the overall sound. BTW, I have the SWR's horn switched off and am using the normal input not the effects receive on the back.

    Hope this helps - thanks Bob G and thanks talkbass.com I wouldn't have found out about the bass max (or a beautiful Modulus BG which I bought recently from another member) if it hadn't found this site. Must get my credit card out again and become a supporting member......!

  12. Hi ! Once again, thanks for the advises.

    I get a really different volumes out of the workingman 10, whether I plug in my upright or my fender p. Even if my electric bass is active, the difference is huge ! I feel like I could jam with any drummer on the P. bass, but not with the upright. I now put the eq with bass at 3 o'clock, mid at noon, and treble at 9'.

    There is a also a difference between the volume of my upright if I use the preamp of not. Of course, the sound is better with the preamp.

    Here is my question :
    Is the Fishman B2 a good preamp in terms of volume ?
    I read somwhere that with the K&K preamps, you can get up to 10 times more input. Could that be the solution ?
  13. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709

    I have one (the Fishman Pre Amp) and I really like it. I don't play really loud, but It really adds to the sound of my URB. i do not play with out it now.

    BTW I got mine from Bob G. He's a good guy to deal with.


    Walt MI/US
  14. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
  15. Hi ! I met Francois yesterday (yes, the dude who is so helpful with strings, he's a nice guy in person too ! ) and we did a few tests with both the Workingman 10 and 12, with my AUB and his EUB.

    -The WM10 is not as loud, yet not as heavy as the WM12, well, you must have all guessed that.

    -Both amps are VERY alike in terms of sound, same family !

    -The WM10 is more tight, focused, and fast to respond, but that is very subtle. The sound is a little bit more natural. Alas, it lacks some bass, but you can boost it with the EQ. I also had to cut some treble to get a good sound.

    -The WM12 has better natural bass, more balls. While it is a little (very subtle) less natural, I could leave the EQ flat... what helps keeping the sound more natural. Boosting the bass can be funky, but less natural. I had to cut less (or no)treble with it, than with its little brother. So the sound ended up being a little better.

    I beleive the EUB sounded better with the WM10 while the AUB was better with the WM12. Maybe because we expect a very focused but less natural sound from an EUB.

    Francois hits the strings with the side of his fingers, while I rather hit them with the tips of my fingers (electric bass antecedents, I guess). In the same setup, he could keep the treble at 0 or even boost it while I had to always cut some treble.

    So, both amps are great and very alike. The choice can be more a matter of weight and volume, because the sound is very alike. If you prefer the natural quality of a flat eq, the WM12 is better, as you might have to boost the bass on the WM10. But again, the WM10 responds better, and an extension cab can sound just as good but louder.

    I hope this will help someone and/or raise a debate !
  16. Hi Charles!
    It was nice to meet you too!
    The WM10 will be more helpful for me when I go out for rehearsals.
    Smaller and lighter to carry around, and I don't need the extra headroom of the WM12 for our drumless band.
    I can still take along the 1X10T extension cab to get more guts, if needed.
    Of course, my EA rig is my main setup! :)
  17. hofner


    Dec 7, 2003
    i used a swr workingman 15" for one year but never found the sound very ggod with an urb, even with pre-amp...(something between a muddy and too low sound)
    so i change for an ampeg ba210 and sound is far better...
  18. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I've tried about a jillion different cabs. In general, smaller speakers sound better. A 15" can sound good, but it's easier to dial in a nice sound with 8's or 10's. I use a Bergantino with one 12", but I like my 2-10's better.

    Someone out there (can't remeber who) is making cabs with a bunch of 4" speakers. Can't wait to hear it. I've also seen a lot of guys use Bose 802's which also have a bunch of small speakers. They sounded good.