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SWR Workingman's 15 / Tone shaping question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JimmyThunder, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. I'm in need of a bass amp, and I have the opportunity to get a really smokin' deal on a Workingman's 15 combo. I've read up on it and it seems, from a functional and features point of view, to be exactly what I need in a combo amp. My only concern is it's reputation for "sterile" tone. My last amp was an Ampeg BA115 and I really loved that way it sounded, but this SWR is being offered to me much cheaper than another Ampeg would be and it's available right now (both factors make a difference).

    If I try out this amp and it sounds good enough to me at the time, and then later on in a band context decide the tone isn't quite right...is there any relatively inexpensive option to help with "coloring" it a bit? Would a typical EQ pedal make enough of an impact? I'm not saying I need to make it sound like my old Ampeg, just not as "sterile" as it's reputation.
  2. my first real amp was a workingmans 15. It worked out for some time, but it definately had the classic SWR 'sterile' sound to it. I ended up getting rid of it because of that. I always found myself cranking the bass to try and get a warmer sound out of it. IMO If you like ampeg tone, i dont think SWR will do it for you.

    You could buy it and throw a Sansamp or somthing in front of it. You may even want to bypass the entire SWR preamp with the sansamp.
  3. Gus Autine

    Gus Autine

    Aug 25, 2000
    New York, NY
  4. Yeah, I've heard only great things about the SansAmp...but to buy one new costs almost as much as I'm paying for the amp!

    How about the ART Tube MP? While not an emulator, seems to me it would warm things up.

    Also considering the Behringer V-Tone BDI21. I'm kinda leery of Behringer products but for the money...

    Y'all think either of these would serve my purpose?
  5. I had an Art Tube MP. While it wasn't as fat as an ampeg, it was a pretty nice tool to get some warmth. I go for the Art over the Behringer.
  6. Nagan60


    Jan 15, 2005
    Roanoke, VA
    Well.....if you are looking at the new workingman or workmanpro 15's you won't have to worry about a sterile sound. They have a built in effect that actually deepens your bass so that you can achieve some good gut wrench low-end thump. Also, with it having the transparency knob built in, you can get some crystaline highs as well. I own the new WM12 and I'm very happy with it. I went with the 12 because it only weighs 30 something pounds. I had the chance to get the 15 or the 210, but I wanted something light and portable.....and with it push 200w I thought it was the perfect size......just wish that mine had the transparency knob though.
  7. I had the WM15 combo but blew the speaker, so now I use the amp separately as a head with external cabs... I agree, it is quite sterile by itself...

    If the sansamp BDDI is too expensive, check out the Hartke VX pedeal/preamp it is pretty similar sounding and a bit better than the behringer IMO
  8. are you talking about the SWR "Enhance" (a.k.a. tone suck) knob when you say "built in effect"? turn that back to zero and leave it alone.:p

    the BDDI is a great choice, but if the cost is a problem you could try something like this
    BBE makes a lot of great products, and you can usually find them used for a relatively good bargain.

    also the MXR M-80 is similar to the BDDI for a little bit cheaper.
  9. StringThing


    Dec 6, 2007
    San Diego
    Hey, check out my post... The only way I get a good sound out of mine is with a POD XT. But the Sterile sound allows me to project anysound through it. So it really becomes like the amp I am modeling. Be it an Ampeg (And I have a SVT III pro) acoustic or motown. But it comes at a cost of compexity, learning curve and setup. Plus is you always have a tuner, you can run the pod XT to crossover biamp, record direct, send an uneffected signal, etc... You can also make an amp sound like ass, and you will, in the quest for a better promised land. I learned allot about amps from the pod. Like someone who learns business in school, not the real thing, but you're smart ;) I would not play the amp without it. The amp can also run another speaker and boost to 160W. If it's used, try it and pass it on if not happy.
  10. I found my old SWR 350 to be pretty sterile, as mentioned, but the sansamp went pretty far into warming it up. IMHO, that's the sort of amp that the sansamp was designed for... something with very little coloration of it's own.

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