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Older SWR heads


funkrockfreedomfighter

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Some people rave about about how older SWR heads are "way better" than pre-Fender SWR's. As a matter of fact, some people go so far to say that Steve Rabe's era SWR's are the best. With some of these heads approaching vintage status, why are they selling for less than new SWR heads? This is all coming from a owner of a Steve Rabe's generation SM-900, considered by some to be the nicest SWR head of all time.

 

Thoughts?

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Some people rave about about how older SWR heads are "way better" than pre-Fender SWR's. As a matter of fact, some people go so far to say that Steve Rabe's era SWR's are the best. With some of these heads approaching vintage status, why are they selling for less than new SWR heads? This is all coming from a owner of a Steve Rabe's generation SM-900, considered by some to be the nicest SWR head of all time.


Thoughts?

 

 

~buy alot of tehm, then... they'll be worth alot in the next couple years...

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Some people rave about about how older SWR heads are "way better" than pre-Fender SWR's. As a matter of fact, some people go so far to say that Steve Rabe's era SWR's are the best. With some of these heads approaching vintage status, why are they selling for less than new SWR heads?

I think it's mainly because people feel they need 8000 watts to play a coffeehouse gig these days. Most vintage SWR stuff is underpowered by today's standards (your SM-900 being an obvious exception).

 

Personally, I own an early SWR Red Head combo. It sounds fantastic and makes more than enough power for most gigs...especially if you add an extension speaker. I've played through newer Super Red Head combos and frankly, the sound is not as sweet. Don't know why. But it's not. Plus, I've been hearing about lots of reliability issues with their newer stuff, whereas my Red Head has been bulletproof for maybe 20 years now.

 

So, I guess you can put me into the vintage SWR weenie category.

 

Emre

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Perhaps it has something to do with them being solid-state. The most sought out vintage gear tend to be tube powered (Hiwatt's, Ampeg B15's, Marshalls, etc). I'm asking because I'm thinking about trading my head straight across for an Ampeg SVT-CL. I'm like that clean cut nerd trying to ride a motorcycle...

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Some tube stuff sounds great; some solid state stuff sounds great. I go more for the tone I get than whether that tone comes from tubes or transistors.

 

My big problem with tube heads I've experienced in the past is that they can be pretty lifeless until you get the power amp tubes really working hard. That classic compressed sound is certainly nice...but you have to be at ear-bleeding volume to enjoy it. A good solid state amp can sound great at low to moderate volumes, which fits my life-style much better.

 

Emre

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... kill people. Or at least me. The second time I flatlined was because I touched the top of an SWR amp that was turned on. :mad:

 

Never played or touched another one, never will. I don't care who owns them now, I don't care where they are made, I don't care if the QC issues are gone. I am done with the brand permanently. Period.

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Perhaps it has something to do with them being solid-state. The most sought out vintage gear tend to be tube powered (Hiwatt's, Ampeg B15's, Marshalls, etc). I'm asking because I'm thinking about trading my head straight across for an Ampeg SVT-CL. I'm like that clean cut nerd trying to ride a motorcycle...

 

 

Go for the SVT-VR, not the CL.

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... kill people. Or at least me. The second time I flatlined was because I touched the top of an SWR amp that was turned on.
:mad:

Never played or touched another one, never will. I don't care who owns them now, I don't care where they are made, I don't care if the QC issues are gone. I am done with the brand permanently. Period.

 

Yeah.

That wasn't a freak incident at ALL.

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Yeah.

That wasn't a freak incident at ALL.

 

 

I know 2 other people that have been launched off of a stage because of the same model of amp... Both I personally witnessed at that. These aren't urban myths.

 

One of them, a bass tech for a very well known SWR endorsee... keeps a welders glove int he back of EACH amp rack, he never touched anything metal without one on for fear of it happening again.

 

So let's see... counting myself, I witnessed 3 separate amps on 3 separate encounters doing this to people.

 

So no... no it's not.

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amp3.jpg

 

I own Pre-fender SWR 350 "redface". I have nothing but love for this amp. I ran it with an Ampeg 6x10, which I have downgraded to a 4x10. I have never "run out of headroom". It has done me good, I'm texan can you tell, It has been very reliable and powerful enough for the average size venues I've played.

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amp3.jpg

I own Pre-fender SWR 350 "redface". I have nothing but love for this amp.

That's basically the same as what we got in the old Red Head combo: Bass 350 head stuck in a Goliath Jr. cab with an extra rack-space thrown into the mix (just begging for a dbx compressor). One of the most versatile and sweetest sounding amps IMNSHO.

 

Only the original Baby Blue combo and Studio 220 head sounded better to my ears. But the Bass 350/Red Head made up with more usable volume and stronger bottom end.

 

Emre

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