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SWR WorkingPro 700 Watt Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bannedwit, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Hey everyone, I just got an SWR WorkingPro 700 Bass amp head.
    Figured I would review it for you all.
    For starters, this amp runs $800 brand new. I lucked out by getting one on Ebay for $550 shipping included. It was played for around 5 hours and still had the plastic film over the SWR logo.
    The top was scratched but will be covered as soon as I get it in a rack. Got it in the mail, fired it up and..... NOTHING! After troubleshooting this problem, I found that there was NO FUSE or LID for it. I called the guy and he is shipping it to me... In the meantime, I installed a whole new 15 amp fuse container and now it works. I tried this amp out so far only with my Ibanez sr406 bass. Today I am trying my Fender MIM P-bass with Quarterpounder bassline pickups installed.
    I dialed in the EQ for SWR recommended "ROCK" sound. Man did it sound good through my Hartke 4x10 cabinet. Mind you, I am comparing this amp to solely my ears and my previous bass amp (Hartke 4000 which blew my 1x15 Hartke cab's voice coil.)
    At 8 ohms, this amp pushes over 450 watts. At 4 ohms it reaches 710 watts. I feared that my 8 ohm @ 300 watt cab wouldnt handle it but it did.
    PERFECT WELL ROUNDED SOUND. The factory rock settings are immaculate and I will not stray far from them when I start tweeking them. No need for outboard compression. This sounds just like the other SWR amps. I dont think that there is much of a difference if any.
    Unlike my Hartke, this amp pushed more out and sounded better without any cutting or peaking, plus I do not need a compressor to get everything in the same range. It wasn't until i cranked the amp to 1-2 o'clock that it started lighting the peak LED. This shoudln't happen once I repair my 15" cab and allow me to run the amp at 700 watts.
    With a band, I was able to cut above (and actually had to turn it down at times on my bass vol knob.) the Peavy 5150 head powering a full stack of speakers as well as a complete drum kit. I could hear every string of my bass over the band at all times.
    The nice thing on this amp is the "AURAL ENHANCER". the website for SWR will tell you more about this but in essence, one button will turn your 700 watt amp into sounding like a 1000 watt amp. You definately feel the difference between having it and not having it turned on.
    A footswitch (which it didnt come with due to it being on ebay i think) would really help for clicking the mute button (so I can tune) as well as give me the oppertunity to turn the enhancer on only when I need it instead of having to run over and turn it on.
    I will need to get new cabs in the near future but who cares. For an amp at this price. I was goingto go for an Ampeg SVT-3 or 4 or even an SWR 900 or 750x. Now i extra money from this deal so I can go spend it on more bass equipment. I tried the above out at stores and YES they are awesome, but for the price, I got exactly what I need (with more power than I can currently handle!!!).
    Let me know if there is more that you may want me to explain.. Thanks.
  2. dalley


    Jul 6, 2005
    you meant "Bass Intensifier" instead of "Aural Enhancer" correct?

    I picked up the 400 and posted a review a couple of weeks ago and pretty much had the same sentiments as you. You got a great deal IMHO ...

    I too upgraded from a Hartke and there is no comparison. The only diff between the 400 and 700 is the power but they are both excellent heads for the money. Having had a chance to tweak mine for a couple of weeks, I am suprised at how many tones I can acheive then I originally expected.

    in other words ... "every knob does something"

    thx for the review
  3. dalley


    Jul 6, 2005
    bannedwit, I meant to ask you ... where do you find the best gain setting for your playing style? 12 o'clock? 3 o'clock? fully cranked?
  4. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Hey, I just got into reading my old stuff and came across this question...

    Umm my gain is currently at 12 o' clock

    but i do up to 1 or 2 o' clock.

    Regarding the tweaking, SWR is one of those great companies that give suggested settings for their gear. Upon further inspection, I noticed that they stopped including it on their website... hum

    Good thing i printed mine out.

    Some sites may have suggested settings for it still.
  5. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Everything I've heard about the WorkingPro lines is that they're a significant step up in sound quality from the older Workingman's line. From recent thread it's clear that the classic SWR sound isn't one that's currently "hip", but for those of us that are fans this is certainly good news. Nice review!

    I'd really like to hear a side-by-side comparison of the new WorkingPro cabs to the Goliath/SOB professional level ones. If anything, the older cabs were the weakest link in the Workingman's line.

    Actually, both the WP400/700 have both the "Aural Enhancer" as well as "Bass Intensifer" circuits. It seem that from what I've read that the BI is almost the inverse of the classic AR circuit, and more useful for "rock" playing whereas the AE is a classic for slapping and "transparant" sound.

    SWR generally recommends that you set your gain/preamp volume as high as possible before clipping and control your overall volume from the Master Volume for optimum signal-to-noise ratio. I do so with my Mini Mo' and see no reason to deviate from that.

    I both agree that their "Suggested Settings" are a wonderful starting point for various sounds (especially when dealing with my 26-knob behemoth Mini Mo' face :D) as well as the opinion that their most recent website redesign has left out some important items such as discontinued models and the Suggested Settings - I'm a friend of their old webmaster and wish Fender had kept her on, but can understand that it's a legitimate cost-saving move as well as to have a "uniform design" though all Fender-owned sites by one webmaster. Still, the info could easily have been included in the redesign. :scowl:
  6. I had a look at the workingpro cabs instore the other day, and there is definitely a visual quality difference in the construction - the pro series cabs have much better finishing and aesthetic appeal.

    What the sound difference is however, I can't say...
  7. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I am getting ready to go out and replace my Hartke 4x10 Cabinet with somethin nice.

    It should be outlawed to play my WorkingPro 700 head through Hartkes so I am looking for an alternative...

    My 1x15 has an after market Eminence Kappa 350 watt speaker instead of the stock Hartke (ironically, my old Hartke head blew it up)

    I just can't get cash at this time for anything worth while.

    and thanks for the GAIN info, I will have to work with that up a bit more and goof around with it at practice because I am starting to clip... Ever since my guitarist got a Dual Rectifier head...
  8. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Do you by any chance still have the suggested settings for this amp? I lost my copy and you said in your review thread that you printed out a set before they removed it from their website.