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The New SWR Red Head: why no rackmount version?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chef, Jul 16, 2008.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Anyone besides me wish they would offer a rackmountable version of the powerplant?

    I don't want a 90lb combo; but I do love the head, and would really like it as a standalone...

    Hey SWR...pretty please?

    thx-alan
     
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    In fact, here's a letter I sent off to SWR Customer Service...feel free to cut and paste, modify, whatever if you like...
    swrcustserve@fender.com

    Sirs;
    I've had both the first gen redhead, and the super redhead and sold them both. They were not loud enough for how big and heavy they were, and I had continual speaker problems. However, I loved the tone and it was a great studio rig.

    While I think it's great that you guys have finally made some improvements; I really wish the powerplant was available as a standalone, rackmountable unit. The combo still has lost no weight: I love the sound of the combo; I hate the weight and won't buy it.

    Any chance that's coming in the future?

    I do however, still use my 1999 swr bass 350 redface. I'd spend money for the new redhead powerplant...please, make it rackmountable for those of us who:
    1) don't need the speakers for studio use
    2) prefer to use it with lighter, more transportable cabs.

    thanks, alan
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've had a couple of pm's asking me "why would SWR do this, and compete against themselves, given the new Marcus Miller Sig Preamp?"

    My answer is severalfold:
    1) I think they can easily position the MM as a "premium product" with a slightly higher pricetag...
    2) They have slightly different feature sets, and (obviously?) the MM is preamp only, with no power...So, there's that
    2) The Red Head standalone would be 2RU, the MM would be a minimum of three, and more likely 4 with any traditional power amp...the Red Head would win there, for me...smaller, lighter, easier to carry...

    The street price of the Red Head combo would seem to indicate the could do a stand alone Red Head for ~$800; a price that seems to be competitive for other equally powered, equally featured amps out there on the market right now...
     
  4. Does the Redhead amp sound anything like a high-powered baby blue? I don't have much experience with SWR amps, but I really liked the tone of the baby blue.
     
  5. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    I've owned the Super Redhead Combo and the Baby Baby Blue (so your mileage may differ on the original Redhead and Baby Blue) but there's no question IMO that the BBB sounds better. To me the voicing on the BBB was set up differently, and I use the semi-parametric on the BBB significantly.

    I just hope Chef never sells his Mesa Walkabout since I essentially bought it based on reading his posts.
     
  6. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    Chef, I feel like I am missing somthing here.

    I have been under the impression that the redhead is just a bass 350 combo. I have played them side by side and they sounded close (both were pre fender, but diff years of production)


    Did they sound distinctly different to you? How so?
     
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    To me-and your ear may vary-the current 350 has more of the signature "swr scooped modern sound" than the Red Head does.
    The Red Head sounds warmer and rounder to me...
    The Red Head has more power as well.
    The Red Head has a host of features the 350 seems not to; but I haven't had a new one in hand for a long time.
    These would include treb/bass pull to shift, a better compressor, front panel mute, front panel DI.
    The 350 has that sub-bass feature that I don't care for the sound of...
     
  8. OK I'm holding out for the "Super Baby Blue"
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    They*kinda* have that in the new 2x8 combo, whatever they're calling that...
     
  10. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA

    Agreed. I was thinking of the bass 350, not the 350x. Put me down for an x hater. I have checked them out and they sound thin and brittle compared to the earlier bass 350.

    Just my opinion. I sold mine after a great run. Just using the walkabout now
     
  11. Yeah, I looked at that thing(the new 2x8 combo). I really just need a head to go with the 2x8 cab I already have and I think a 500 watt baby blue would be pretty cool. I can dream can't I....:D
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    OK...the MM2 preamp is selling for $899, so they oughta be able to do this for a little less...
     
  13. Nikoubis

    Nikoubis

    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    They could jump on the mini-head bandwagon releasing a head with the baby blue pre and specs to rival the Genz Benz-Markbass lightweight offerings. I cannot imagine such an amp not being an instant hit.

    On topic, a lighter redhead would be neat too. :)
     
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    As far as a reissued BBII head: I really like the BBII combo I have; but, the 160 watts would have to be seriously ramped up to meet my needs...

    I still want a rackmountable Red Head head;)
     
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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