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Tube for SWR Bass 350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Snarf, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I want some more warmth coming out of my SWR Bass 350 head. Anyone have tube recommendations? My main styles are smooth jazz, straight-up jazz/bebop, funk, and jam rock.
  2. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Are you running the gain pretty hard already? The 350's a pretty clean head, but I'll get a hair more 'traction' out of it if I push the gain hard. What cab(s) are you using? Swapping cabs will prolly have more of an impact.
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I always hear that swapping out the 12AX7 for a 5751 results in a much warmer sound. Try a JAN-Phillips or JAN-GE. www.tubedepot.com I think has them for under 20 bucks.
  4. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Yeah, gain is usually up around 3 O'clock. Right now it's hooked up to a single 8-ohm Dr. Bass BL115, which will be paired up with a RX210 some time within the next semester or so.
  5. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I have a NOS 12AX7 in my Bass 350; the sound is definitely creamier, smoother and more predictable when pushed than the stock 12AX7 (a Groove Tubes, I believe) was, especially with high-juice active basses. Alas, I'll have to find another supplier if/when I replace it; my once source locally has stopped carrying them, and they're not easy to find otherwise.
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    I put an EH 12ax7 in my SWR electric blue head. Warmed it up a tad. I hear some cats like the telefunken in the SWR as well. Overall, an SWR is going to sound like an SWR. IME, far more of the voicing of any given preamp comes from the electronics other than the tube(s).
  7. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Tubes definetely have a slight effect on the pre amp of the SWR products. For the most part it is very subtle, but noticeable. I currently use EH tubes in mine, but I have used jj Teslas (very hi-fi) Sovtek LP (very warm, good gain). I also heard that the Telefunken tube reacts very favorably with SWR products. If you can, do what I did. I took my bass, cab and head to an electronics shop and tried all the tubes out back to back. They were very cool about it. It is then that you can hear the difference in sounds when you go from one tube to the next.
  8. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    Try Ruby Tubes, warmed my SM900`s sound up very nice
  9. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Cut the eq between 800 and 1Khz and save the dough.

    There is no magic tube, IME, and as Ivanmike put it so well I may as well quote him, "an SWR is going to sound like an SWR".
  10. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll try to fiddle and get my sound, but I think the SWR sound may turn out to be not for me.
  11. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    AHHHH your no fun ;)
  12. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    So...are there any tangible signs that one should change a preamp tube in one of these units? Loss of gain, static/microphonic sounds???

    I own a Bass 350 and find it a reliable, trusty piece of gear...yes, with a predictable SWR sound. I use it as a stand alone head for small gigs and as a preamp with a Crown K1 on bigger jobs.

    Is it a "cold" sounding preamp/head? How much "warmth" are we talking about when swapping one of the stock tubes for another, more "designer" brand?

    I'm sincerely interested -- not trying to start/sustain an arguement against tube swapping! :D Now wife swapping, that's a whole other issue! :eek:
  13. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Preamp tubes should last a long time in the SWR amps...I've tried quite a few tubes in my SM-400S and Bass 350 and always have settled on the JJ ECC83 as the best sounding tube. Although the EH tubes get good reviews, I found that the one I tried produced some low-pitched hum, much like the Sovteks.

    The difference in sound is subtle but noticeable in the SWR amps. In contrast, I couldn't hear any difference in tubes in an Eden amp I owned for awhile.
  14. 810wmb


    Jan 29, 2000
    the best tube i ever put in front of my 350 was the sans amp. :D

    i use it now without the sans amp at practice. while it sounds good, my 400+ makes it to the live gigs.
  15. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    "Cold" or not depends on your touch...not marketing terms. :)
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the deal with SWR (IMO) is that it's not a very "exciting" sounding amp when you play by yourself. At a gig, it still isn't the coolest sounding amp out there. However, out in the room where the audience is, I've always found that the bass cuts through well and all of that "chilly" sound seems to dissapear. Instead, the bass sounds distinct.

    FWIW, even though it's what i use now, SWR isn't my all time favorite. That would go to alembic. $$$ considerations forced me to sell mine, and eventually I'll grab another alembic rig.
  17. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    Use JAN-GE 5751 for the V1 tube, stock (Chinese) 12AX7 & power in other slots... this warms up the sound, but keeps definition and amplification up (and cost down).
  18. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I turned the freq selection knob all the way up (800 Hz) and cut it a bit, worked wonders! It's sounding quite a bit warmer, at least with my Conklin GT4 and fretless jazz. I'll have to try my p bass tomorrow. I'm just so unused to having to do a lot of eq twiddling, since I ALWAYS set the Fender Bassman 100's at my school flat, and my other amp (Nemesis NC200) is flat and working its FET magic.
  19. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    12ax7s have a gain factor of 100, while 5751s have a gain factor of 70. They should actually clean up an amp, not push more gain.

    I put two JAN GE 5751s in the preamp of my old Bassman 100. The result? Even in an all-tube amp - small. Made the gain come on a bit easier. An SWR will sound like an SWR, as said earlier.

    That said, I really do like the tube.