The family of Steve Rabe, the founder and President of SWR Engineering Inc., has announced his passing on September 30th 2021 at the age of 73. Known for his innovative and breakthrough designs in bass amplification products Rabe was the chief engineer from his founding of the company in 1984 until it was sold in 1997. Later the brand was sold to Fender.
The company’s name was derived from Steve’s initials, Steven William Rabe. Prior to starting SWR, Rabe had worked at Acoustic Amplification and A.M.P. He developed his own ideas for a hybrid design of amplification that included a tube preamp with a solid state power section. In addition to iconic bass models and memorable names such as the Redhead and Goliath, SWR produced the California Blond series which set a new standard in acoustic guitar amplification. Rick Carlson, who headed up sales and marketing at SWR and worked side by side with Steve for ten years reflects, “Steve redefined the boundaries of bass amplification and changed the game, his legacy lives on in the hearts of the musicians that knew him and all those that played SWR gear. His influence was considerable and set the course for bass amplification as we know it today.”
Steve leaves behind his wife Linda and sons Brian and Michael.