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Who uses SWR amps for ROCK?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mav, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    I play a Pbass through an SWR ST220 playing many different styles of music, rock, jazz, country, anything...great versitile amp IMO.
    I've been reading alot of negative comments about SWR amps,
    sterile being the most popular comment and "hifi" scooped sound good for slap.
    I've been using the st220 for many loud rock gigs and never thought twice about it, always happy with my sound even considered my sound to be vintage.:bag:
    I feel like SWR has been branded a modern slappers jazz fusion amp when i think it sounds great as a good ol' rock amp.
    Anybody else playing rock music with there SWR's and digging it?
  2. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    its funny as i am a rock bassist and i've ended up with a bunch of SWR gear - even though they were known for the hi-fi thing, their "low-fi" products are some of the best out there.

    i have a pair of SWR 12-stacks and a 12-pack, and IOD, and a pair of Power 750's.

  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I used and loved them for years. Great amps when configured correctly, and with the right bass.
  4. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    I own a ton of SWR gear (two Goliath IIIs, a 2x12, a 4x12, and a 750X) and I love them for rock music. I know the ups and downs of that brand, Ive been using their stuff forever. They have a mid-scoop? Boost the mids then! I tend to have a pretty mid heavy sound. I also love running my Bassdrive before my head with a really low gain setting to dirty it up a bit.
    powmetalbassist likes this.
  5. Hi.

    ST220 is my choice for rock too. With an Epiphone Thunderbird I've found a tone that I really like.

    And my band members like that tone as well. And the audience as well. Well everybody likes that tone really :bassist: .

    The features I really like in that head are the active cross-over and the semi-parametric EQ, and the tube pre of course. I use the DI all the time as well.

    I was really surprised to see all the bashing that goes on towards the SWR products, when I joined TB a few months ago. IMO the gear is designed in a certain way, that's not a flaw, that's a feature ;) .

    The Workingmans 10 is my other SWR at the moment and the power-chip issues aside, a remarkable tiny combo. Pwerful enough for a number of occasions and a good tone too.

    Just my 0.02€
  6. I used to play through a Workingmans 2004, and have a LA10. If you want a really pure smooth sound SWR is ok. I think for rock you need something with a little more "grind" and midrange. I always felt the SWR amps and cabs were too reserved. The only product of theirs that I ever liked was the Silverado 2x12. That is one of the best combos ever, regardless of brand. I think it was better than most 4x10's.
    VifferMike likes this.
  7. ROGI


    Apr 25, 2005
    Croatia, Europe
    i tried redhead combo and it's a great amp, you either set it up the way you like it or bitch around that it sucks :smug: (sorry, i had to say that)

    john myung used SWR on Train Of Tought tour... it ended up sounding very "heavy" wtih lots of low mids and punch.
  8. Myung also swithched to Ashdown shortly after. His tone is not very distinctive. I have always been a Myung fan, but he has never sounded as good as when he was playing his Tungs through the Mesa gear. I am curious what he will be using on the up coming tour as his tone on Systematic Chaos is really nice. I know in the liner notes it reads like he may be using Music Man gear.
  9. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    I run my Yamaha Attitude Ltd through an Ampeg SVT-5Pro into a Goliath III that I use for rock gigs.

    Gives me a pretty good sound. The drummer sure likes it...

    I also have an IOD Pre in a rack that'll get used the next time I record.
  10. Chelsea Baker from (www.aroarah.com) uses an SWR Workingman's 2004 to drive a D410-XLT and one of my Magnum 18 subs for hard rock and metal. She is quite happy with the tone.

    The 2004 is a 200w head into 4 ohms, but it makes a good amount of noise considering its modest power output. She uses it mostly as a stage monitor, because they play mostly large venues with full PA support. The 2004 does get buried outdoors by her mates' Marshall and Mesa stacks.

    I've been playing an SWR Interstellar Overdrive for a number of years. I play Blues and rock cover tunes, and it does the job just fine. My P bass is my main player. One man's "clean" is another man's "sterile". IMO, the SWR products are closer to a non-colored tone, than Ampeg or Eden.
  11. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I rocked all kinds of SWR gear for over a decade, but experienced a major change in my tone preference.

    As I was selling it all off, (and the buyers were trying it out) I was truly amazed at how much better (and appropriate) this gear all sounded with their (more modern) playing styles and basses, compared to mine.
    But for me, playing my SWR gear became like driving a modern sports car, when I actually needed a 3/4 ton pickup truck.
  12. i don't, but Roger Glover (Deep Purple) uses SWR :D
  13. I forgot about the IOD. That is definately an exception to the SWR product line.
  14. I'm an SWR user and a rock player.

    Zon Sonus -> SWR Bass 350 Redface -> Hartke 410XL & SWR Big Ben 18 = great rock sound.

    I have played lots of other rigs and this is the one that gets it done for me.

  15. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    You sound like you so play what you want to. I used SWR for years. The pro series. SM-400 (2) with (4) Goliath Jr.IIs then Bass 750s (2) and two GIIIs. I still have and won't part with a BBII. I could get that, to me, Motown and even I was told a Noel Redding kind of tone. Very warm good blend of highs and mids and lows. The mid scoop thing was characteristic of the times and the way amps were made then. The heads are capable of very wide frequency resp. Any way turn the tweeter way up and you get sterile thinness. Ignore the ohm requirements and they seem underpowered. Say plug one side of an SM-400 into an SVT cab. The head will put out 160 watts into to 8x10s and yes that sounds anemic. Bridge it and it's a different story. For me they were the rock soul r&b fusion country thing. They do it all. They sound great flat with a little treble rolled off very little aural enhancer and the tweeter barely on. To me. Ignore the hype and the dislike.
  16. I think it really depends on the style of your influences and who you are trying to emulate through your playing. For rock bassists it seems there are three groups of tone: ringing bell tone with huge bottom, slightly overdriven ballsy guitar tone, and what seems to be the new trend of growly midrange cut. I think SWR fits the first perfectly. I myself prefer the third. Just listen to Cynic, Mudvayne's LD 50, OSI's first release, and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". Perfect examples. To me the bass just cuts through better.
  17. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    Bumping for some more SWR engineering love.
    I've recently flirted with another amp but just can't leave my ST220. I love the super clean sound with my Pbass.
    What can i say, i love my amp.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I have a ton of SWR pro gear as well and I'm a great hater of "modern" bass.

    Basic Black
    Black Beauty
    Goliath IIIs
  19. johnnycat42


    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam used SWR back in their heyday
  20. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    I've always considered Ross Valory's bass sound to be the complete opposite..... i.e. it is VERY mid focussed...:meh:
  21. 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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