- solid state amplifiers
- tube amplifiers
Steve W. Rabe founded SWR Engineering Inc. in 1983. His aim was to make a bass amp with a full range and hi-fi, clean sound. SWR's first “hybrid” full-range bass amplifier, the PB-200 (later to become the SM-400), appeared in 1984. The first five units were made in a garage. The PB-200 had a warm but highly accurate tube preamp, a stereo solid-state power amp and a low-noise, integrated circuit-driven tone section. It was used for the famous “We Are The World” session, at which a direct-input signal was taken from the amp (as opposed to using a direct box), a then unheard-of bass recording concept. In 1986, SWR released the Goliath, a 4 x 10" full-range speaker cabinet with a built-in horn tweeter, a first for bass cabinets. In 1997 Rabe sold the company and it was sold again in 2003 to Fender Musical Instruments Corp. Fender discontinued the SWR brand in 2013.