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SWR California Blonde

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by P Thought, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    I got my Tak paid off, and I just ordered one of these to go with it:

    upload_2018-1-13_4-35-2.png

    It's an SWR California Blonde acoustic amp. I don't think they make these any more. I played one once that belonged to a friend, and liked it a lot. I used PayPal credit again, six months same as cash, and ordered from Guitar Center's used gear page. I think I can return it if anything is wrong.

    I think now I'm all set for my upcoming retirement!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

  2. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Texas
    Those are good sounding amps...that's what Monte Montgomery uses. I have it's smaller cousin, the Strawberry blond and it's pretty good too.

    The downside is the weight. They are not light amps.
     
    P Thought likes this.

  3. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    If I'm ever called to perform for the Queen I'll have my assistant carry it. :D

    If this works out I'll sell or give away my Acoustasonic 30, before my wife accuses me of amp clutter.
     

  4. Honest Charley

    Honest Charley Tele-Holic

    675
    Dec 13, 2013
    Sweden

  5. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    I've always wanted one, but I don't have the heart to install a pickup in my 1977 custom ordered Yamaha CJ-838S II acoustic.

    Country jumbo with (S for Solid) rosewood back and sides with spruce top, ebony fretboard, abalone inlays, bound neck and body, and high ratio tuners. Got it in near mint condition with TKL wood and vinyl case for $325 off reverb.
     
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  6. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Does NOT look like the California Blondes I was envisioning (wink,wink).
     
    mtown and P Thought like this.

  7. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    If you ever have a change of heart, K & Ks--made right here in Plundertown--are very unobtrusive, stealthy even, and they sound very respectable. . . .

    My other Takamine acoustic/electric, an EF340S BG, will like this amp, too. It has the "Line Driver" pickup.
     
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  8. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    Those look like a great alternative to onboard preamp systems I have seen. Thank you. I'll consider it for sure!
     
    P Thought likes this.

  9. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    It's here!

    It came with no power cord, no invoice, just the amp and some bubble-wrap in a box. I got all panicky and called the Guitar Center customer service number, called the store in Missouri, found the shipping guys were gone home already, and I'd need to call tomorrow. Then I came to my senses enough to go take the power cord off my Acoustasonic 30. :confused:

    All seems good. There are lots of knobs and switches, lots of inputs and outputs. I don't have time to try everything out right now, but my SBG sounded great, loud and rich, so I think everything will be fine. I'll try it with the guitar and a voice mike when I get home tomorrow, and maybe see if I can find an owner's guide online. I'll do some cleaning, too. . . .

    I think I'm going to like this amp a lot. :cool:
     

  10. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    56
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    Those were a hot tamale when they first came out, a little spendy IIRC, but yes they do sound good, enjoy.
     
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  11. asatfan

    asatfan Friend of Leo's

    Nice. Hope it's a great amp.

    I may be in the market for an acoustic amp in the near future so you're post is helpful!
     
    P Thought likes this.

  12. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    I don't know what they cost new, but this one cost less than most of the new acoustic amps I see in the catalogs. They've been $3-500 when I've seen them on Guitar Center's used gear site. I paid (well, I'm going to) $400.

    Might have to stick some K & Ks in my 12-string and my classical, so they can join in the fun, or maybe I'll learn how to mike 'em up properly. This is a really nice-sounding amp. I still haven't tried singing into it yet--poor neighbors.
     

  13. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    56
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    IIRC they were about 2x that new, they also work well for string bass..
     
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  14. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Texas
    I think their weak points are the weight and the reverb. And with all the good reverb pedals now that's not much of a problem.
     
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  15. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Tele-Meister

    211
    Sep 18, 2011
    calgary, ab, canada
    Such a great amp! I love the oomph it provides, the crisp top end (without being harsh) and the clean signal through the DI out for running to the FoH. It may not be the most "natural" sounding acoustic amp out there, but I love what it imparts to my tone (especially with the aural enhancer around 2:00). And yes, it can be a beast to carry, but is so worth it in my opinion.
     
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  16. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    209
    Jul 14, 2016
    N W Arkansas
    The tweeters on those amps went through a kind of evolution. I think the original ones were made by Eminence. They had an actual crossover system. Then they went to a piezo type which wasn't considered as smooth. Then they went back to a crossover type, but not an Eminence. The old ones with the Eminence crossovers are kind of the sought after ones, as much as those are sought after at all. I don't mean they aren't good. There are some well known players that use them, but the amps aren't well known to the masses.

    I played through one of the old ones for years. It would cut through about anything. I bought it used, and the tolex was road worn when I got it. I loved it. I put casters on the bottom because it was very heavy. The thing was extremely gig worthy in all respects. Very easy to dial in the sound. Play around with the Aural Enhancer.

    I am using an Acus now. My needs and tastes changed as I got older and don't play in loud environments anymore. Once I was convinced the Acus was a keeper, I traded the SWR in, coincidentally to Guitar Center, on a Deluxe Reverb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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