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The SWR Enhancer

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by projectMalamute, Feb 26, 2008.


  1. So, for anyone who is interested I did a little bit of completely unscientific experimenting last night. In the interest of finding out exactly what it is the enhancer knob on an SWR amp does I set up the following signal chain:

    pink noise source from the computer -> SWR SM500 -> line out to mic pre -> back in to the computer.

    None of the soundcard, pink noise source and analysis software are calibrated professional equipment for doing this kind of thing, so I am drawing no conclusions regarding the absolute values of the frequency response plots. Seeing how things change as the knob is swept however is instructive, and not far from what I was expecting to see.

    The attachment has plots of the difference between the raw pink noise source and the result of running it out to the amp and back in. Using the high gain input and gain knob set so that the clip light is not coming on, all EQ flat. The amp is a pre-Fender SM500.

    First plot is with the enhancer all the way down. Again, it is hard to say how much of the frequency response plot is the amp and how much of it is the rest of the signal chain, although the dip in the lower mid range is consistent with what SWR stuff tends to sound like to me. As the knob is swept you see first an overall increase in gain and then an increasingly pronounced cut around 200 hz. By the time the thing is dimed it is actually a very pronounced scoop.

    So I'd say if you are in the habit of slotting yourself in to the mix with some lower midrange the enhancer is the last thing in the world you would want to turn up. Which is pretty much the conclusion most of us came to a while ago anyway I think. Anyway, now theres some pictures.

    Edit: hold on, the pdf is 470 some K, this thing won't let me upload more than 150. gotta figure something out here.

    edit again:

    alright, converted to jpeg and up on photobucket here:

    http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg3/projectMalamute/enhancer.jpg
     
  2. Interesting. Can't wait to see the chart.
     
  3. got the plots up ^^
     
  4. I can't really see which frequencies are being effected since you couldn't upload a bigger image, however it looks like the Aural Enhancer basically just cuts out the low mids. Is that right?
     
  5. The dip is centered just above 200 Hz, the line just to the right of it is labeled 220. Send me a PM with an email address and I'll shoot the pdf over to you.
     
  6. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    As the Enhance was explained to me (by Steve Rabe, when I bought my SM-400 back in '89), it was intended to produce a mild mid-boost up to 12:00, followed by a notch in the mids as you kept on increasing past that. Looks like that's exactly what your plots show; although to be honest, it wasn't clear to me that the boost as you move toward 12:00 seems to be primarily in the upper mids.

    At the time, SWR's competition (i.e., GK) featured a notch button; scooped bass EQ was the fashion. I thought the enhance sounded best at 12:00, and that's where I ran mine.

    /rick
     
  7. I've actually got a first generation SM400, I should repeat the test with that. I figured the newer one would be closer to what most people have today, and thus more useful.
     
  8. notch this filter that....

    i've found that at extreme volumes with my SWR IOD into Stewart 1.6 into an Ampeg SVT 412HE, turning the enhance knob seems to tighten up the bottom.

    does your scientific evidence point to this as being a logical outcome?
     
  9. Sure, in so much as a cut in the lower midrange will help if things are a little bit on the muddy side.
     

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