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Who's Currently Making The "old" SWR

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LeonD, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I've been playing an original SWR Bassic 350 since the early 90's. Not that I'm unhappy with the amp but I was thinking of looking for a new amp. Maybe more power or smaller / lighter or more features or all of the above. :meh: Damn GAS.

    So I bought a few amps (Eden & iAmp) that I thought I would like but they just didn't do it for me. I guess I'm just an SWR tone kind of guy. :eek:

    The obvious solution would be to get a new SWR amp. However, after hearing all the horror stories with the new SWR and the fact that if there is a problem, you have to deal with a large company, I'll pass on that.

    So, who makes quality amps that would fall in the SWR range of tone?

  2. Interesting question!

    If you liked SWR because of its very modern sound and great slap style presence, etc., then IMO the EBSHD350 might be your cup of tea. It's very crisp, clean and 'modern'... but also has a drive circuit to add a little bit of grit if wanted. It will reproduce the deep lows and crystal clear high end of the original SWR line way back then... at least to my ears!

    Not identical, but in the same general tone family. Interesting, now that I think of it, that Marcus Miller, one of the key SWR players years ago now uses EBS for his backline.

    Edit: As an added bonus, the EBS line of amps has the best compressor on-board of any I've experienced. It's very subtle and transparant... very high quality... I believe it's virtually the same circuitry used in their compressor pedal, which gets rave reviews. The 350 is very high quality and quite lightweight.... they come up used every once in a while, and the prices of the new ones in the US was reduced recently to a more reasonable level.
  3. Used to be an SWR guy myself... got from 350 bassic red head to the limited edition Mo'Bass head....Now I ve just ordered this and still waiting it to come:
    Its a 350 bassic very similar amp head... all analog, solid state, lightweight, simple fast EQ, clear/aggressive tones... except that this one has twice the wattage!! You should check it out 100%.
    Review soon! ;)
  4. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I'm very much with Mr. KJung on this one. As soon as I read the title to this thread I thought about EBS. I played threw Ken's old EBS and the first thing I noticed was I actually sounded like I knew how to slap! Well, almost!:D But no amount of EQ would get a "60's vibe" fingerstyle tone out of that head. Seemed to very well constructed and quality stuff.
  5. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    I believe Kjung has nailed it once again.:D
  6. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
  7. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member


    Good call with Marcus Miller. If I remember correctly, he used a Basic350 for a number of years as his amp (and preamp). It would make sense that he would gravitate to the same tone with the EBS.

    While the features are a definite upgrade, the thing I'd have to consider is that the EBS only goes down to 4 ohms. Lately, I've been playing 4 ohm cabs so I'd be limited to using only one cab. I'll have to think on this.

    Thanks for the reply,

  8. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    Thanks for the reply Low D.

    I was under the impression Ashdown was more of a rock & roll sound. Is the M. King amp different than the rest of their amps?


  9. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I remember when SWR was 'in'. I had to drive 300 miles for a Baby Blue Combo. I couldn't find one any closer. It was truly considered BooTeek. :p

    Now, SWR is as common as Fender. :bag:


  10. Actually, the HD350 is rated safe for 2ohm operation, although you won't get more watts out of it. The TD650 (three rack spaces and a real tube in the drive circuit) is actually designed to run at 2 ohms (440 watts into 4 and 650 into 2). They get a little pricey, but if you were regularly going to run at 2ohms, it's awesome. That's the head that Marcus uses now with two EBS410's.

    The 650 and 350 don't sound that much different into a 4ohm total impedance, but at 2ohms, I assume it's a different story.

    Good luck on the search!


    Edit: per the Fafner post above.. that head is a different deal... the tube is always in the circuit... it's more of the 'rock voiced' head of the EBS line from what I understand (I've never played one). Also, many posts on reliability issues with that particular model.. whereas the 350 and 650 are very, very well made.
  11. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I think the Mark King is a completely different beast from the rest of their line. I also kinda like the SuperFly, though I find it to be underpowered. The ABM is more SVT-like, while the MAG is more like...um...maybe Peavey? Like a MegaBass sound. The MK-500 sounded a good deal more hi-fi to my ears, and I mean that in a good way- I'm very much into the "hi-fi" type sound.

  12. Ofcourse. Or else why i would order one? :p
  13. lowmid1

    lowmid1 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Actually the current offerings from SWR should be good quality, they are the same designs built from the same parts it is just the customer service end of things where Fender takes a nosedive.
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    In any case, just use your old SWR 350 as a preamp for a Crest CA6 or CA9. It then sounds like a 350, but with a wee bit more whallop.....:cool:

    Definately not lighter, though....:ninja:
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    its been a couple of years since ive owned either of these amps, but imo the hd350 i had sounded more like one of my eden amps than the swr sm400 i owned at the same time.
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Get a Grand Prix and the amp of your choice.
    Or....the Bass 750 is quite an amp. The pre of the Redhead with 450 or 750 watts pure mono power. Big boom and articulate.
  17. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I'm with you, I thought I'd like the Eden heads but they didn't really do it for me the way an SWR does. SWR heads are great as long as you have good souniding, efficient cabs ... and a great sounding bass. And if you're into that sound, most anything else will sound congested and veiled. You might check out a Demeter pre sometime though.

    I can vouch for the grand prix / crest CA combo. That SWR sound at ANY volume. :D

    But I had a late model SM-500 for a while and it sounded the same as every other SWR I've ever had. If you stick with SM-500, SM-900, etc then I can only imagine you're still getting a great amp even though fender is running the show now.
  18. If you like the tone of the Bassic 350 and need more power, hook the Bassic 350 to a power amp and use the Bassic 350 as a preamp. I've done this in the past with excellent results. Just run an XLR cord from the Line Out (line, not DI) into the input of the power amp (either one side or bridged, depending on your power needs) and you're in business. Gives you the latitude of going low power or hi power, depending on your gig, and you don't have to change an amp that has been tried and true and worked for you all these years. YMMV
  19. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    KJung nailed it sonically with the EBS. Don't want to seem negative, but EBS customer service has been "questionable" at best. I remember there was a time when EBS units were very unreliable. I had a problem with one of my EBS pedals and it took 9 months to get a replacement (no kidding). How has customer service been with EBS.

    The amps sound great, just the concern with reliability
  20. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    thats actually the reason i dont have a 350 anymore. it shutdown on a gig and wouldnt power back up. than magically the next day it started working again. that sucker went back quick after that experience.

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