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SWR Workingman's 2x12 vs Goliath Jr.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dBChad, Nov 7, 2018.


  1. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I'm wanting to add an extension cab to an SWR WorkingPro 2x10c I recently acquired as my portable rig (it's got wheels!). I bought the combo used because my lead sled multi-cab rig + bass was taking me 3 trips to load and unload, and while I love it for playing out, it is very cumbersome for practice and rehearsal.

    As a 5/6 string player, I have really come to enjoy the musicality of 12" drivers (I know, super subjective). I will mainly be searching used market for either a used Workingman's 2x12 (similar in design to Avatar and GK's 2x12 cabs) or a Goliath Jr. 2x10. While I know the Goliath's are technically "better" cabs, the Workingman's series really isn't too shabby. I've heard a few complaints about their factory tweeters vs the Goliath series, but high quality phenolic and titanium tweets aren't very expensive if I determine that to be a weak point.

    Is there a reason to look at one in exclusivity to the other? An additional 2x10 (per Goliath Jr.) would be a very respectable rig, but the appeal of some 12s backing up a B string isn't insignificant. Low B players experience especially appreciated.
     
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    IME, the goliath jr. III is not great for low B. I had one. The goliath 410 is fine with low B, but not the 210, IMHO.

    No experience with the WM 212. However, when I combined a WM 115 with a goliath jr. III, the result was poor. The two needed different EQ—I was likely suffering from extreme mid-range beaming. For whatever reason, it just never worked well.

    What cabs and head made up your old rig? Knowing might help others advise you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
    Al Kraft and dBChad like this.
  3. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Currently have a rack mount Carvin amp with a pair of Yamaha 12" PA speakers that sounds good and gets louder than I would ever need to be, but loading and unloading to the practice area sucks (never good parking, and my rack is HEAVY). This combo probably weighs a little less than my rack by itself, and has wheels which makes it a much better option for practice, but I probably would need more speaker to gig with it.
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Seems to me the WM 212 would sound better than the goliath jr. when paired with the WM c210. That said, Do you have one of these or something similar?

    handtruck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Also, how much does the rack weigh?
     
  6. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Rack tips the scale at 73Lbs. I guess it's not that bad considering power distribution, power amp, pre-amp, signal processor, and cabling is all included in that weight. I don't have a hand truck yet, but will probably head up to Harbor Freight soon.

    I think I would prefer to go with a WM2x12, but will probably have to be pretty patient waiting for one of those to turn up. May pick up a used Avatar or GK if I get tired of waiting, but would like to keep the whole rig SWR.
     
  7. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    So you want to add a 50 or 60 pound cab to a 60 or 70 pound combo to be more portable?

    Personally, if I had the WM combo and just wanted the "easiest" add on for it, I would just get the matching WM 2x10. I mean, you must've liked the combo's own sound enough to buy it. The WM 2x10 will just give you more of that. I don't think using the 2x12 or the G Jr will get you anything in return, and a WM 2x10 can surely be had cheaper than either of those by a lot. The doom and gloom naysayers against mixing cabs are severely overstated, BUT it still works best when there's an actual sound (as in solid) reason behind it (ie the old bassier but still full range 15 with a matching brighter 2x10 with a tweeter with the same impedance and similar power handling). My rule of thumb first is that if you're going to do that you should always skip a size. 10s and 12s or 15s and 12s or 10s and 8s won't really be that different to get you much gain from mixing. In that case a WM 15 might be a better bet. A bonus to going with either a WM 2x10 or 15 is that cosmetically everything will match as well.

    But if the WM combo is loud enough to gig with, why do you need more cab for practicing? Or are we talking about separate applications?
     
  8. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I really did like the WM combo's tone. As heavy as this combo is by today's standard, it is much easer to move than my current rig (The wheels help, but it's format is more ergonomic to move around. 2 10s on their own are plenty for practice, and it can go direct for larger venues with PA support, but some places without PA require a bit more push from the bass amp. Being an ERB player, I like 12s due to most of them having more depth than 10s and faster transients than 15s, but I see how a single 15 will be lighter and more different tonally than 12s compared to the onboard 10s. If the cab I get has caster sockets though, I'll just move the casters to the cab and wheel the whole amp in and out.
     
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I'm pretty well-known as a critic of combos. I've been playing bass since 1963, and have owned many combo amps and used a lot of others in professional situations. I won't bore you with my usual rant, but I will note that if you want portability/convenience, great sound quality, and plenty of volume, exactly how you define each of those three will determine if a combo is going to do it for you. It sounds to me as if on the "plenty of volume" issue, you are encountering the combo trap. To get louder, you have to now dramatically reduce portability. Somewhat self-defeating, IMHO.

    The way out of the trap is not so simple, but I recommend getting a cabinet that can do what you want without the help of the 210's in the combo. It might not be perfect with the c210, but would give you more volume when you need it.

    Then, down the road, perhaps get a light power amp (my Crest proLITE 3.0 non-dsp is 11 lbs), and rack it with a preamp in a 3U rack bag. That is likely to weigh ~24 lbs or less. You then have a great head, a great cab, and a combo you can use at rehearsals.

    IMHO, speaker diameter doesn't determine how a driver sounds, though it has been shown smaller eminence bass drivers often have a slightly higher resonance frequency, all of which is to say that one's preferences in speakers may be largely determined by the speakers we know well. That may or may not be a large sample.

    For extended range instruments, it seems to me a full range system would be preferable. Have you investigated some of the current cabs that are more like the PA cabs you have, but are more portable?

    In the case of my cabinets which are a fEARful full range cabinets, some have one 12, some two 12s, some one 15, and at times I use two 15s. They all sound exactly the same, because they are designed to sound that way.
     
  10. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    I didnt really register before about 5/6 string stuff. I still think if you're set on keeping the WM combo, then a WM 2x10 or 15 is the way to go. The WM stuff is probably not bad, by virtue of still being SWR, but I can't imagine it's that great either. Budget allowing, I might think about a whole new approach. It sounds like your current/previous "main rig" is kind of thrown together anyway. You might think about coming up with a holistic plan for starting from scratch and selling off everything.

    I guess you use rental practice space by the hour (rather than a spot where your gear stays set up all the time)? There's so much good light and portable stuff out there right now. Some of the old school stuff is super cool albeit heavy, but it doesn't really sound like you have the best of that stuff anyway. Think to yourself what you really love about that setup, other than that you already have it? And think about what you are looking for tonally and functionally.

    Presumably with a light rig for practice, your main heavy rig would just come out for gigs? And maybe not even then? But what if you had something that was portable and capable of holding down a gig? For instance the old Genz Benz stuff is not "cheap", but it's pretty ludicrous what it goes for considering how good it is. That goes for both amps and cabs. For instance, the STL 210T cabs weigh 37 pounds a piece and are rated at 375w. Those aren't super low end machines so I wouldn't want to gig with only one in a loud band if you were trying to get tons of lows. But 2 of them with a 500-800w amp would certainly hold down a typical top 40 cover band bar gig. Or the 2x12 cabs which are a little more stout. Oh, did I mention that GB also has 900w amps that weigh like 5 pounds and sound great?

    Anyway, those are just examples. Their stuff doesn't really speak to me, but there's loads of Markbass used stuff out there that is light and loud and not crazy expensive. GK has some great stuff, although I find their class D heads a bit boring (but a 700RB is only like 20 pounds). Pair a 700 with a 60 pound neo 410 and you're in business (and for barely more weight than your combo by itself). Or a pair of the neo 212s.

    I would reassess what you really want, and do whatever you need to to get there, even if it means selling everything and starting fresh but getting exactly what you need (or as close as possible in your budget). It doesn't sound like your current set of gear is really maximized for any particular thing. I mean stuff like this is out there...

    Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 and NEO X 212 | Rainman702

    600w of power, 600w of power handling for the 4ohm cab, high quality full range sound, good construction, tube preamp, and it comes with a bag for the head and the footswitch, and free shipping? And probably weighs in less than your WM combo and sounds better. And you're talking about hauling around a carvin power amp and yamaha PA speakers, including a 70+ pound rack. Not trying to "rig shame" you, I'm sure what you have is fine and you probably bought it for a reason, but in today's technological and economic climate, even on a shoe string budget I think you could do better.
     
  11. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I am considering building a Bill Fitzmaurice Omni Full Range. I currently use full range PA speakers, but BFMs 3 way Omni's have a wider frequency response and a very attractive flat curve. Arguments in my mind against it are time and unforeseen costs, although I could build and use that cab with the combo or my rack setup, which is already similar to the rack setup you suggested (just heavier).

    I may sell off current components as I figure out what gets me the most milage. I did throw something together based on what was available and affordable on short notice. It's true that better gear comes around at my college student budget with generous application of patience, but I was asked to start playing with about 2 weeks notice, so I took what I could get. In my defense, It sounds really good for a piecemeal rig.

    We get a 2 hour block for use of one of the multi-purpose rooms at school. I can't leave my gear there, so I'm setting up and tearing down just for practice.

    SWR's tone compliments my playing style. Other amps do too, but I'm less familiar with dialing them in. While I would have preferred a Redhead/Super Redhead, all the ones in my budget came with shipping charges that killed the deal. The WM combo was close enough to pick up in person, and it actually sounded great! I wasn't expecting it to because it was the budget line, but I set the knobs how I used to, started playing, made some minor adjustments, and had a mix-cutting groove tone in no time.

    Ideally, I plan on practicing with the combo and only gigging with my rack rig, but an extension cabinet opens more power and driver surface area, which leads me to believe that I could gig with it by adding a used or DIY cab. This time I can bargain hunt and play the waiting game as I have a very capable rig in the meantime.

    I'm not ashamed of my heavy rig. It works well and has an absurd amount of power. It will probably replace the bands PA if I can find the right cab for the combo. As cool as the new stuff is, I need to try before I buy and the music stores in my area have bass sections that seem more of an afterthought (i.e. none of the stuff that gets great reviews and recommendations on here). I can choose current production run Fender, Ampeg, TC, Hartke, or Markbass. None of those (at least that the stores stock) can get as loud as I play (with my amp master between 2-3) without distorting in a bad way, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth on class D. I'm sure Mesa, Genz Benz, Quilter, and others are probably much better, they just aren't available where I live.
     
  12. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Ok, now we are getting close to the info we need to actually help you.

    Whether an amp "distorts in a bad way" or not mainly depends on if you are using enough cab for how loud you are trying to be. Also, if you are young and inexperienced, you may not be using proper gain staging. That could take many forms, and often several at once. You might be plugging an higher output active bass into a non-padded input meant for lower output passive basses. You might be cranking the gain and leaving the master relatively low. You could be applying excessive EQ boosting, especially in the low end.

    These are all electrical/signal problems first. Once they hit the speakers, they can cause physical problems (ie over excursion, etc...). If the speakers look like they're trying to "escape" from abuse, you are pushing them too hard and need more cab. The head honestly has almost nothing to do with that at the level you're at (besides maybe the TC heads which all have inflated wattage specs by 2-3x). Any 200w head will get crazy loud with an average 4x10 or equivalent.

    I dont know about the omni, I'm sure it's a decent cab, but if you are a college student living presumably in a dorm or otherwise rental housing, where and how are you going to build it? Do you have any carpentry skills already? It would be easier and probably cheaper to just find a used great cab or pair of cabs. As far as buying on a budget, if you put away 3-5 bucks a day for 6 months or so, that should get you in the range you need to get something decent, especially if you sell off some of your current stuff as well. That's like 5 hours a week at a minimum wage job.

    For cheap heads, the current Acoustic class D stuff are not half bad considering how crazy cheap they are. 600w for like $250 or so used I think(maybe less, GC always has zillions of them on their site)? Built in compression and overdrive and flexible EQ. Use the savings to get better cabs. Those yamaha cabs, unless they're like 30 years old and weigh 100 pounds each are probably not good for bass. If they're something like the club series, I couldnt imagine using them as bass cabs other than in an emergency.

    But again, I'll reiterate, the cheapest/easiest option is to just go ahead and get the WM 2x10 cab to go with your combo. Then save up until you can get some better stuff. The GC used site has those all the time. You don't need to "try" before you buy, because you already have basically the same thing in your combo, plus they have a 45 day return policy.
     
  13. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I play only passive basses (less points of failure), so I never pad my input because I don't need to.

    I'm a college student, but late to the game. I was a structural ironworker for 6 years, pawn broker for a year, audio contractor for a year, Army Engineer Soldier for 6 years, and freelance photographer over the summer all before being able to go to school. I rent off campus but only practice with headphones at home. I have well above average wood and metal working skills and tools already. I'm not completely inexperienced, but it's fair to say I'm in unfamiliar territory. Before I joined the military, I used to play in bands as a guitarists, so most of my previous gear was guitar and PA related. Bass gear today is quite different from what it was last time I played in a band (2009-2010 or so). As an audio contractor, I used to be an authorized replacement component dealer for Peavey, JBL, Eminence, Celestion, B&C, Faital, and a few other less popular driver/crossover manufacturers. I have done repair work and one off custom sound reinforcement work, so I could work with a solid set of plans (per Bill Fitzmaurice), I just remember that Murphy is relentless in one-off projects and have a full enough schedule that there's a genuine risk of a half-finished project sitting around for months.

    The Yamaha cabs are less than ideal for bass, but better than one would expect. It took a little signal processing in front of the amp to make that happen, but I have what I need to make that happen. That said, an actual bass cab that could work with either the rack rig or the combo would be a noticeable step up. The Yamaha have much better tweeters than other cabs at their price point, but average woofers. They would make an excellent set of PA speakers as opposed to being overworked coupling my slap technique to the air.

    The virtues of the 2x10 cab and 1x15 cab are both shining through now (1x15 offering depth to low mid and the 2x10 giving me more of what I have). I appreciate the feedback and think I'm being steered to a good decision!
     
  14. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Another thought: since the used price on a WM 210 and a WM 410 is pretty insignificant, maybe a 410 cab would be a good choice too. It seems like 410s hold low Bs better than 115s and 210s.

    Last band I played it, the bassist had a GK 210 combo plugged into a 410 cab and ran it as a 610 bass stack. I remember it worked pretty well. This SWR is about the same wattage, and then I could use my PA gear as a PA instead of a bass rig!
     
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    You are still in the combo trap, IMHO. The WM c210 is dictating all your decisions.
     
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  16. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Perhaps, but it still makes my life easier.
     
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Understood. I just feel you should consider directing your next choice of cabinet toward building a portable full range rig that meets all of your tone and volume needs.

    You obviously know those cabinets (and heads) exist. Keep an eye on TB classified and save your shekels. Good luck. :thumbsup:
     
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  18. dBChad

    dBChad

    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Jim,

    That's a cool surfboard in your avatar! One of my other hobbies is surfing. Thanks again for your perspective, valuable in adding practicality to my application.
     
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Mitsubishi Diatone Speaker-63 in. 02.
     
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