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SWR workingman's 10

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by zzzzzze, May 7, 2002.

  1. zzzzzze


    Mar 16, 2002
    Hi there!

    Has anyone out there ever played with the SWR workingman's 10, and if so what did you do to get the best sound out of it?

    I've been tweaking and tweaking!!


  2. Yes - I have one, and it has a huge sound which belies its tiny size. From what I remember, it sounds best with the "Aural Enhancer" engaged, I haven't used it for a while, but it's so light that if I'm playing at a gig which needs a little bit of amp, but not too much, then I use it with My Double-Bass, instead of the Acoustic Image. The SWR 10 also has a wicked cool blue "on" lamp.

    - Wil
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The SWR amps have two EQs. One is the usual bass, mid and treble type and the other is the one knob "Aural Enhancer".

    The enhancer is actually a clever circuit that works a lot like the EQ on old Fender tube amps. Those had very interactive bass and treble controls; when you jacked up either one, the mids would be reduced as well. The SWR enhancer acts like a bass boost, treble boost and mid cut all on one knob.

    The best way to EQ the amp is to set all the EQ knobs to 12:00 and then start turning up the enhancer looking for a "sweet spot". Once you have found that (keep in mind it MIGHT be all the way OFF!!!), then use the bass, mid and treble controls for fine tuning.

    As far as the "best sound" since I have no idea what you consider a good sound, I can't really give you any more specifics.
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I purchased the workingmans 10, thinking I could
    use it for jazz and small electric gigs. For its size
    this amp rocks for electric, BUT SUCKS for upright!
    I've turned the horn off and on. I've used the tone
    flat or lots of eq. For upright.... IT SUCKS!!!!!
    I finally took my Raven Labs blender, and pluged it
    into the effects return jack and put the effects
    blend knob to the right so I go directly to the power
    amp. Much better, just a little more hassle.
  5. I've been able to get a good sound with my upright and my WM 10. The Aural Enhancer is not as effective with the upright. The manual likens the aural enhancer to giving a passive bass a more "active" sound. Also since the tone controls are boost-cut instead of just cut your better bet would be to set the tone flat and cut the frequency you don't want rather than boost the ones you do. (This refers pretty much exclusively to DB, BG is wide open).

  6. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I've used one for many gigs. I agree with brianrost--the enhance knob is really useful. I usually do pretty much as he suggested--controls flat, twiddle the enhance till it sounds bets, then mess with the three eq knobs. I turn the horn off. It's portable, loud, and durable. I wouldn't say it "sucks," by any means, but also don't feel like it's the amp of my dreams

    Only two big drawbacks as I see it

    one: it has something of a dry, tight, cold sound to me. All SWR amps have this sound, I think. It's "the SWR sound" I often run a sans amp bassdriver DI in front of it to warm it up

    two: It has these little plastic plugs that go in the empty jack holes, and if you lose these, it whistles at higher volumes
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Were you using a preamp in between the bass and the amp? The SWR amps don't have the very high input impedance needed for DB piezo pickups.

    You can't really correct for this with EQ in my experience.

    The Raven Blender of course DOES have the proper high input impedance.
    Dave Neal likes this.
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Brianrost: Good point! Yes I've been using a
    10meg ohm buffer. I find the sound sort of
    cold and thin on the upper end. But again, this
    amp is really made for electric bass, and for
    the size it kills. There's a reason that the "Blond"
    series sounds so much better for acoustic instruments. Different speakers, different eq.
  9. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I use a pre amp before the wm10 and that makes the ohm problem better. sounds great for size have used it for a light rock show. I sat it on a chair and used a sans amp.
  10. Hi.

    :D, a blast from the past.

    A 10 year bump,
    You don't see that every day.

    It's also nice to see how the aural enhancers perception has changed over the years.
    In the "beginning" everyone was super exited about it, now people can't (get it) bypass(ed) it fast enough.

    I've used mine as-is, but the aural enhancer by-pass mod has crossed my mind, if not for anything else, for having more tonal variables. I do admit that I use it when rehearsing.

    For my home-made piezo PU, the sound of the standard amp is decent, but there's word all over the 'net (or in TB anyway ;)), that the Eminence Deltalite II is a vast improvement on both tone and weight. The amps voicing obviously doesn't change, but people who have made the swap, swear by it. I have yet to try it.

    The earlier units (like mine) had their teething problems, but fortunately the fix is easy and the parts required are cheap. Non-working units are also very cheap considering the less than $20 in parts needed to get that baby rocking again.
    Unfortunately, the reason for both the problems and the easy fix is that WM10 doesn't quite share the discretes power amp that all the other SWR amps are known and praised for, but a hybrid chip amp.

  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    I figure I should amend my last post here.
    Not too long after this posting I started using the Sansamp Acoustic DI and later the Paradriver pre with my WM10. I still bypass the SWR preamp and go straight into the power section.
    Even after all these years and all the little combos I've owned or own now, this little SWR combo is still a favorite. Especially with electric bass.

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