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Tell me about the SWR Redhead.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by theroan, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Is it any good?
  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Depends on what you want to do.

    It is a 2x10 combo amp that is dandy for small gigs - sounds nice, has wheels and an open rack space for an fx unit...

    Not great for bigger gigs.... the original one were 240 watts (as I recall) which should be plenty, but SWR amps are notorious for being liberally rated. I tried mine with an external 2x10 cab and it was okay, but just wasn't very loud. But for small/medium gigs, it's fine.
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    They aren't liberally rated. They are voiced in a way that makes them sound quieter than other amps pushing the same wattage.
  4. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    I used to have a Super Redhead; nice amp but a tad bass shy.
  5. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Oh yeah, HEAVYYYYYYYYYYYYY! :eek:
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Mine was my primary amp for many years, and is still my go-to tone.

    Everything said here is true. The amp doesn't seem very loud compared to other amps of similar wattage. It is a tad bass-shy. It is not great for bigger gigs.


    It sounds great, and for me, with a 4 ohm Goliath Jr III, it was loud enough 99% of the time. The bass-shy tone is easily compensated for with a little boost of the bass knob, and the semi-parametric mids allow this amp to shine in almost any setting. It has a bit of that SWR harshness, but if you pull the treble knob, it shifts the frequency of that control and becomes nice and smooth with a little knob turning.

    Plus, mine has been extremely reliable. I did pop the drivers once, but SWR covered the repair; I just paid shipping.

    The icing on the cake? The DI is extraordinary, IMHO. I used it live set to post-eq, and my soundman loved it. (He's a pre-eq di guy, too!) I would even cart the amp into the studio and use its tube DI to record because I liked it so much. I've used other amps live lately, and I really have missed that DI.

    It is heavy, but I've never been in a band by myself, so that's never been an issue.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I really like it. It has kind of a "hi-fi" tone but you can warm it up nicely. I'm not sure if you are talking about the head or the combo but I have the combo so I'll go with that. What I did was have a tech rewire it in parallel so that when a 4ohm cab is added it devides the wattage equally between the 2-10's on the combo and the ext. cab (225W to each). The way it's wired from the factory is to send 100W to the added cab. With this setup I added SWR Triad cab (15, 10 and horn) for a total of 3-10's, 1-15 and two horns. This rig carried many a club with no PA support. The combo by itself was great for small gigs, gigs with PA support, and rehearsals. As far as the head goes, lots of tone shaping options. The volume for the line out being on the front was nice. And the thing is built like a TANK. I did 5 years of playing at LEAST 4 shows a week with it. The only thing I had to do in that time was replace the preamp tube (just snap it in) and the cooling fan (remove a couple of screws and plug in the new one). I like my tone heavy on the low mids and this amp does that very well.

    Edit ti add: I agree totally with vwbass about the line out as well. Dead quiet and sounds awesome through the PA.
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    The redhead is a great amp! It's very versatile, flexible and great for live performance. I have many amps but this one is always a pleasure to use for everything. Great DI., a mute switch and great eq.

    It's a little bass shy, but if you add an extension cab it works great. I have a aguilar s210 which is similar to a Goliath Jr. II and with the combo, I can do most of my gigs with enough volume.

    It has wheels, so it's easy to move
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Where did you get this info? You could be correct, but I question it. I notice no difference in volume between my internal 210 and my external 210 -even when running only one or the other.

    I always though the Redhead had a 2-ohm minimum load, and the external speaker has a 4 ohm minimum. That would make the internal 210 a 4-ohm load.

    What exactly did your tech do to "wire it parallel?"

    I've always thought there was a missing detail in the manual. They state a four ohm minimum on the external speaker, and state a two ohm minimum load, but they also recomment an 8 ohm extension cabinet. I've never quite figured that out, unless they are just looking for a little less heat from the power amp section.
  10. I love my Redhead (08)!
    650w @ 2 ohms
    I throw a GK 410(4 ohm) underneath it and watch peoples drinks vibrate off their tables, It's great!
    I play loud obnoxious stoner rock with it and it sounds fabulous so don't let any one tell you otherwise. (like silly things such as, "you can't play Rock with them", NOT!)

    The only thing I might trade it for would be an SM-1500 and 2 bagend 4-10's.

    Is there a Redhead club? I'll join!

    pics in my profile.
  11. But as has been pointed out in earlier threads I've read you can't expect it to perform like an S.V.T. all by itself, it does need an additional cab(s).
  12. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Weighs a ton and isn't compellingly loud or great sounding, in my opinion. It sounds good but you can do a lot better. There's no excuse for 100lb 2x10 combos anymore. :)
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Back "in the day" it was one of the best sounding small combos. Not anymore. You can get get better tone, cheaper, and much lighter.

    I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a reasonably priced used one to keep around the house, but I sure wouldn't schlep it around or buy one new.
  14. TwoGearGeeks


    Sep 25, 2009
    I've owned both the Redhead and the Eden Metro over the years and have liked them both. I currently use the Metro, which weighs about 20 pounds less and (to me, at least) sounds warmer than the Redhead.

    The Redhead was more "crisp" but it cut through the mix. I find that I can use the Metro by itself or with other cabs, but the Redhead I used with either a 15" or the ol' Henry the 8x8 cab.

  15. I was looking at the redhead in the early 90's! but the weight changed my mind! I decided on the basic 350 and a goliath junior 2! It sounds just like the redhead but lighter! I still have this amp today! It still kicks butt and have had no problems with it !
  16. joemagar


    Nov 4, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I love my redhead. The comments above are pretty spot on, but even though it's not the loudest guy in it's class, it's certainly not a wimp. I've never run into a problem running an extension speaker and/or DI'ing to the house (as mentioned above, the DI is pretty nice). There are certain sounds I can dial in with my redhead I just have a hard time finding with other amps, hard to explain but a nice combination of depth and clarity. The only thing that keeps me from using it more these days is the weight. It's really heavy.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here's all you need to know.

  18. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    I had a Super RH for a couple years, nice tone if you don't need any real bottom end, heavy as hell, built well.

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