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SWR Workingman's 12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by troubdrgrl, May 13, 2010.

  1. Tube amps, only way to go

    1 vote(s)
  2. Solid state OK for a particular amp

    4 vote(s)
  3. How many watts for small clubs and practice size

    1 vote(s)
  4. Alternative amps to SWR Working Man's 12 (suggest)

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. troubdrgrl


    May 13, 2010
    I've been playing all my life but am new to bass. Just got a vintage Mustang and a friend I trust (Bass player) says this amp would work great for me. I notice they've discontinued this model but I'd love a used one. Alternatively any thoughts on the "Working Pro" they've replaced it with (was hoping not to spend that much since I'm just getting started on bass for a certain project). Thanks
  2. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    Nice practice amp, but....not enough power for gigging. I used mine for a monitor and went through the PA at church but no way that is going to be loud enough if you rock.

    Just my $0.000000002

    Dan K.
  3. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Roland CB100 if you can't find the SWR. Same power. Can be used for small gigs. A ton of features. Versatile and rugged.

    Good luck
  4. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    They were great sounding amps and are available used often enough. The Workingman 15 is 160w (I think), louder than the 12, which I think was 100w. These combos have always been on my "someday' list.
  5. bobwhite


    Mar 11, 2010
    I play on a borrowed SWR Working Man's 12 at church. Our music at church is quiet (we have no drums--just baby grand piano and a few acoustic-electric guitars through a PA, plus the bass), and the building is small (usually about 150 people), so it is fine. A nice size and has good tone.

    If you are playing to a big venue or trying to clear kit drums it may be inadequate.

    Of course, you can get a small Markbass rig that has much more "oomph" and is also easy to tote (but more money). An LMII or LMIII with the Markbass 115 cabinet or 410 cab would be much more giggable and still very portable.

    As far as tube or transistor, I go with the latter. Modern filters like Markbass makes can get you close to tube tone and the small size and light weight clinches the deal for me.
  6. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    +1 to the above comments. The WM12 will get you by in church or moderate volume coffee house gigs. It can get loud with an 8-ohm extension speaker, but not up to rock gig volume. The WorkingPro model does not have an extension speaker jack, so it's much less versatile.
  7. Lemoore-on


    May 11, 2008
    I have a Workingman's 15. 160w. I used it a few times to gig with, the 1st time as a stand alone and it was not loud enough. After that I used it as a monitor and ran the XLR to the pa and that worked out better. It has been my practice amp for quite a few years now.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the original WM 12 was a great amp. can't run an extension cab IIRC, which is a drag. has a volume ceiling but great tone.

    The original WM 15 has a different tone but also a great combo, can run an extension cab, but solo can do a lot of gigs. ranks right up there with the old peavy TNT BW combo in terms of a workhorse IMO
  9. I gigged with a WM15 in college and it was barely enough to keep up with loudish drums and a guitar and would fart out above 7. With that in mind, I'd say a WM12 won't be enough. I'd say your best bet with a single 15" is 300W or so. If you can swing a 2x15 or 4x10 you can do it with 200W.
  10. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I owned a pre Fender Workingman's 12 for many years and it was a perfect amp at home but I was sorely disappointed trying to use it at a coffee house gig. It got very boxy sounding when pushed too hard. it sounded fantastic as a practice amp or for very intimate acoustic type work but was limited in volume for sure. Mine was able to run an extension cab no problem and it was much louder of course with a 115 added but there was not much power there to provide a quality tone at any real volume.
  11. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass troubdrgrl.

    Not to disagree with above posters, but I have gigged with the "little bro", the WM10. Loudish rock, but in a small bar. So I would guess that the WM12 will do nicely as well.

    You'll need a tilt back stand in any case with a small combo though, if You want to hear yourself well.

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have an older WM 12. It's good for practice and small (coffee house) gigs, but I find it needs a SABDDI or similar preamp with EQ in front of it to get a decent, full-sounding bass tone.
  13. troubdrgrl


    May 13, 2010
    I found a good deal on an SWR workingman's 12 and it's being shipped, so I'll let you know how it works out. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions. For now it's for practice and acoustic gigs. Rock on

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