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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Swart Amp Porn
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Swart Amp Porn
Muff Wiggler
edit - look through the thread, at least the first five pages - I got a second Swart, a head-and-cab setup, and I've taken both apart to take pics, loads of juicy pics if you read through the thread!

---------------------------

I was asked if I would take a couple photos of sweet #316 for the Swart website, so i I thought I would make some lower-res copies of the better ones to put up here at the forum. Will probably blog a couple of them as well. enjoy.

First up, a shot of the tube chart. I like this for a few reasons - Michael has been building these since '94 (i believe). Anyway, mine was built 2 weeks ago, and it's #316. Not sure why, but I love that. I just like handmade things a lot.

The other thing I like about this pic is the martini glass doodle. Apparently he puts this on the amp that is the best out of each test batch. He told me "they all sound great, but I can usually find the pick of the litter. congrats!" That's some sweet luck for me 8)





ooh, Muff is showing his sensitive side, LOOK FLOWERS mad



NOS GE USA 6087 (5Y3) Rectifier tube working away....





Now this was amazing..... this amp, with a bit of it's onboard reverb, sounds STUNNING with the theremin. I've never heard anything like it, so haunting. I think they were made for each other....









I needed to make this thread to balance out all the Fucking Fucker talk that's been going on around here razz I think this amp is the polar opposite of the Fucking Fucker lol
Chuck E. Jesus
the fucked fuckee?



looks sweet dude!
zerosum
grin
$uperpuma
looks like a very serious little amp...
tiny333
nice

how much is one ? :shock:
Muff Wiggler
thanks! yes, it is INDEED a very serious little amp. I've never heard anything like it to be honest. My two friends who heard it both said it was the best sounding amp they have ever heard in their lives

They are $1700 USD new, I got a very good deal on this one though

all hand-made, point-to-point wired, etc. Really sweet amps

www.swartamps.com
tiny333
lovely

real nice

i want one


razz
felix
Re: the theremin sound...

Theremins must be made to be used with guitar amps, they just sound so amazing with them. I did some theremin fx on a friend's project a while back and he had borrowed a Mark IV Boogie and we had it cranked in the vocal booth; it sounded out of this world!
Babaluma
been thinking about either this swart amp, or an emery, or a siegmund for myself. trouble with the boutique tube amps is that it's impossible to try them out before you buy, but i guess at least you know you'll be getting quality, even if you don't know exactly how they sound!
Muff Wiggler
yeah, i hear ya there. luckily I got to spend some time with a Swart before making my decision. It was a *very* convincing experience.

If you look at Swart's dealer listing, if you live anywhere near any of those shops, you would be able to try the amps out there. There was one in Montreal, which is only an hour and a half from me, and a place I end up going to often anyway. I stopped by and got to play with the amp all I wanted 8)

definately very very scary to drop 'boutique amp prices' on something you've never had a chance to try. Actually that's something I couldn't bring myself to do.

I guess though, on the other hand, if (let's say) you KNEW you were looking for a Fender tweed-era clone, if you chose a Victoria or a Clark amp, you would have a very good idea what you would be getting, assuming you trust that their craftsmanship is what they claim it is.

In my case, I wasn't necessarily looking for a clone of anything in particular. The 'tone' I had in mind wasn't really specifically a Vox or a Fender or a Tweed or a British or a California sort of sound. (OK, well I knew is wan't a "California" sound I was after), I was looking for THICK WARM, FULL/SPATIAL tone, sort of 'make the hairs on your neck stand up' tone. I knew there would be amps in different styles that could provide this, so I couldn't say I was after a "EL84 amp" or a "6V6 amp" or a "Vox Clone".

Anyway, I also had a bunch of other criteria for the 'right' amp that I was looking for. I didn't know what amp would give me what I was after. I had lots of different 'top contenders' as well, all of which compromised in one way or another the complete 'wish list' of what I was after.

I knew the 'right amp' was out there, I knew that I wasn't aware of it, I knew what I wanted, and I knew that I would know it when I found it.

When I finally, (after *almost* pulling the trigger on so many amps that were AWESOME but also not quite 100%), finally discovered the Swart, it was like someone read my wish list, and then built an amp to cater to it. It was too good to be true, and too expensive to believe on blind faith.

So it sat at the very top of my 'contenders' list for about 4 months, while I continued to research amps to see if there was anything else out there that seemed to fit the bill. Going on raw specs and appearance, there were quite a few that were VERY CLOSE, but none that really matched it.

Finally, I got to play one, which more than confirmed what I was already thinking. All my concerns disappeared instantly, literally on hearing the first attack of the first note I played through the damn thing. It was so obvious, I could have switched it off after 1 second and said "sold".

The guys in the shop were grinning - apparently this amp has the same effect on everyone. They said everyone who tries one, buys one. They were cool though and let me keep playing as much as I wanted. I stayed about 45 minutes and everyone's ears were ringing when I was done.

Anyway, I couldn't be happier with this purchase. It's on the level of my decision to choose Blacet for the core of my modular synth. One of those "best decisions ever" sort of things, the kind of decision that makes you happier and happier the more you think about it. I'm not paying attention to any other amps whatsoever, I'm done. This is the amp.

OK, in fairness I won't ever stop thinking about The Fucking Fucker. But that's a totally different sort of deal. You couldn't replace that with a Swart, nor vise-verse (in my opinion anyway, having never experienced a Fucking Fucking in person.....)
Muff Wiggler
by the way, if you need an amp for any sort of hi-gain, nu-metal, scooped-mid crunch, metal drive, or hi-distortion applications, the Swart isn't for you.

It's incredible for blues, country, jazz, folk, soul, or any kind of 'old fashioned' rock n' roll. I think it's probably one of the finest amps ever made for any of these applications. However you won't be able to ape Linkin Park or NIN with this amp, not in any sense whatsoever.

Just a fair warning.
Babaluma
thanks for your in depth analysis muff!

a guitar amp isn't really on the top of my list, but of those three compnies i mentioned, i think perhaps swart might be the only one with shop distribution, i'll see if there's a dealer in japan wink perhaps i won't be able to resist...
Muff Wiggler
i think they only have north american dealers, at least from what i can tell oops
Babaluma
muff, one more question if you please:

the muddy buddy (1 watt and less) from siegmund and the microbaby (2 watts) from emery are both designed for great tube tone at bedroom/apartment levels, this is the main reason they are top of my list. i was wondering if the swart space tone (5 watts) can sound good at extremely low levels too. i would be using this amp 100% at home and for recording - no gigging/rehearsals studios etc.

tia,

gregg
tiny333
http://zvexamps.com/
Babaluma
yep, i am well aware of the zvex, but... call me retarded, but i'd rather spend more and get something that actually looks like an amp in a really nice wood finish! i really dislike the childish crayon look of the zvex stuff. plus, i need something with a speaker - a combo! i've also read a lot of mixed reviews about the tone of the zvex, whereas with the swart, siegmund and emery i've only seen praise.
Muff Wiggler
Babaluma wrote:
muff, one more question if you please:

the muddy buddy (1 watt and less) from siegmund and the microbaby (2 watts) from emery are both designed for great tube tone at bedroom/apartment levels, this is the main reason they are top of my list. i was wondering if the swart space tone (5 watts) can sound good at extremely low levels too. i would be using this amp 100% at home and for recording - no gigging/rehearsals studios etc.

tia,

gregg


hey gregg, i'll try to help

for one - I was looking at Emery amps when I was trying to pick my amp. Beautiful BEAUTIFUL designs (as I'm sure you know), right up my alley. In the end a couple of concens pushed me away - one was knowing I would need more than 1 watt at the odd time my amp comes to a club. I was hoping to get 'at home' tone AND club tone all at once. For two, while this will sound bizarre coming from a Metasonix fan, but the uncommon tube types in the Emery's conern me slightly. The real nail-in-the-coffin was the lack of onboard reverb. This was a deal-breaker for me - my amp had to have it.

About the Swart - I was orignally considering the little brother (the 5 watter you mention) to the amp I bought - which I had NOT played, but HAD played the Atomic Space Tone.

I gave Swart a call, Michael answered, and he graciously spoke to me for quite some time about what I was after. Basically I told him my amp would be 95% 'basement/bedroom use' and NEEDED to sound good at low volumes, which was pushing me to the smaller Swart.

He basically said I should get the bigger AST. He said it would perform just as well at very quiet levels as the 'little guy', it generally sounded better overall, had the verb and the trem, and had the ability to get REALLY loud if I needed it to.

Based on this, and the fact that I had totally fallen in LOVE with this amp when I tried it out previously, I went for the AST.

To answer your question -
Quote:
i was wondering if the swart space tone (5 watts) can sound good at extremely low levels too. i would be using this amp 100% at home and for recording - no gigging/rehearsals studios etc.
-

Well, my experience is with the 20 watt (more like 18watt I believe) Atomic Space Tone, and not the 5w amp.

However, I would say that it is a resounding YES!!! With one slight caveat.

The 20-watter performs INCREDIBLY at very low volumes - I have a pregnant wife, a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. I can play it low enough that none of them wake - and the tone is the sweetest, warmest, fullest I've ever heard. I'm not exaggerating, it's "mouth on the floor tone". Everyone who hears it feels this way. It's a great 'late night' amp, it fills the room with the warmest, friendliest vibes you've ever heard.

And this is with the volume set on '1'.

This amp will teach you to use the volume control and tone controls on your guitar. You can set this amp to 1 and do everything with it, just using the volume control on your guitar.

However - here's the caveat - YES you will be BLOWN AWAY at the performance at bedroom levels - but only if you are looking for cleans.

The amp breaks up so very very sweetly - it's a totally smooth breakup, transitioning from totally clean and pure to the fullest, never-ending, warmest ROAR you have ever heard.

BUT - if you want this breakup, you GOTTA make the amp LOUD. Waay too loud for bedroom use. There's a lot of clean headroom on this amp, and the sweetest breakup I've ever heard in my life - cleans can be had without waking the baby. Breakup CANNOT be had without waking the BLOCK!

I know that 5-watter will give you breakup at lower levels, for sure. How low? I cannot say...

I hope this helps....
Babaluma
thanks dude!

i thought it was the siedmund that used weird mini tubes (like the metasonix stuff), and that emery uses pretty standard stuff? (they have a tuibe kit for 200 bux so you can try out loads).

unfortunately i'm gonna need blistering jimi tone at bedroom levels as well...
felix
Babaluma wrote:
unfortunately i'm gonna need blistering jimi tone at bedroom levels as well...

Metasonix TM-7 + Mixer and headphones/speakers. It's not necessarily a guitar amp, but it will make sounds like a guitar amp ready to explode! Play with a filter (bandpass, preferably separate LP/HP like the Frostwave Resonator) before the TM-7 to really get a variance of tones.
Muff Wiggler
had the Swart apart today and took a shot of the circuit, because it's so rarely seen. some really nice work in there, photo doesn't really do it justice...

J.w.M.
Gorgeous. I just had a friend's recent-era low-end Fender amp apart yesterday to fix a jack. Let's just say that it looks... different... from this one.
felix
super rad!
Muff Wiggler
oooh there's a 2x12 cab option now, UK-made Celestion Greenbacks

el clon
holy cow, Muff! eek!
that amp looks soooo rad.
i'm a guitar player and a tube-amp fan (i've got three low-wattage tube amps) and i've always admired that amp from afar, gazing at it in magazines and such. i don't have much to add, other than to say that yr amp is rad and i'm jealous.

a great thing about top-notch tube amps like that one is that they take pedals so well. pedals that sound just so-so thru cheaper amps seem to come alive... recordings??? hyper
Muff Wiggler
if I make recordings you'll all know how shit I am as a guitar player lol

i will - soon - for real. I'm actually not THAT bad, at least I don't think so. But I've never considered myself primarily a guitar player. Although in fairness I have friends that get mad at me when I say "i'm not really a guitar player" because they think I play better than they ever will. I don't know. I think I suck, but people say I'm pretty good. I'm really faking it to be honest.

One of the things I really like about this amp is that it is really sensitive to different tubes. You can really hear the difference. I've been picking up old tubes on ebay and from various dealers and having a BLAST trying them all out in the amp.

I'm excited about the external cab because I have some really nice 50's tubes that sound great, but rattle too much in the combo. I'm thinking they will be totally fine with the external cab.

Yeah, I admired this amp from afar for SO LONG. It's a good candidate for that soft of thing. But when I got to take one for a spin - wow, talk about living up to the hype. Still one of the most satisfying purchases I've ever made, this thing has become more important to me than my guitar, which is sorta hard to believe, but it's the truth.
el clon
Quote:
One of the things I really like about this amp is that it is really sensitive to different tubes. You can really hear the difference. I've been picking up old tubes on ebay and from various dealers and having a BLAST trying them all out in the amp.


i know exactly what you mean. i recently bought about a dozen old 12AX7s (used, not NOS) from a guy who used to have a studio w/all this old tube-driven gear. it was a mixed bag of RCA, Brimar, GE, Valvo, Telefunken, all these great tubes i'd read about but not had the money to try. i spent a whole weekend (like a freak) swapping them in and out of my amps (a BF Fender Deluxe Reverb and a Marshall Lead & Bass 20) and recording the results, analyzing the recordings. the difference was HUGE! just in changing the V1 tube. i already had an NOS RCA in the Fender, but it was totally out-shined by a tube i'd never heard of (Valvo).

by the way, i saw on another thread that you were raving about an Amperex Bugle Boy. how much did that cost? it's one of the only classic 12AX7s that i haven't tried and i'm more curious after yr post...
Muff Wiggler
The Amperex Bugle Boy is the best V1 tube I've found! The telefunken and the UK Mullard 'large plates' are tied for second - but there's a pretty big difference between first and second here!

The Bugle Boys add so much clarity, but it's "warmth of treble" (for lack of a better term) where they really shine. I can honestly crank my tone control to '11' without ice-pickiness with this tube, impossible with all others.

I have a large plate one, and a medium plate one. The large plate one is a bit microphonic - you can amplify your finger tapping if the amp is cranked ALL the way up, but this isn't bad. the medium plate one is not microphonic at all. I prefer the large plate one - the sound is basically identical to the two, however the large plate one adds some 'air' to the amps tone, that the medium-plate one does not. I firmly believe that this is due to the slight microphonics.

Vacuum Tube Valley sells them for $200. SND Tube sales (www.vacuumtubes.com) sells them for $100, but don't always have them in stock.

I just got some *BEAUTIFUL* Visseaux ST-bottle (shoulder bottles) power tubes that I can't wait to try tonight.



Also yesterday I received a NOS Mullard 5Y3 rectifier in an ST bottle, and it looks and sounds SO NICE in my amp... I just love these big ST glass tubes...

occupant
gorgeous amp hyper just nice quality, some of those wires in the circuit photo even look cloth insulted - especially the white ones.. Don't think they are, but it's a nice touch they don't look super-shiny.


What does that 'launch' switch do? oops
el clon
beautiful pix.
$200, or even $100, for one tube is out of my $$ league. i had no idea.. i was guessing $50.
after that used 12AX7 buy i mentioned, i'm going to look for used tubes now. those old ones were really built to last. as long as they aren't too heavily used.

i like the look of those coke-bottle guys. very 50s, Forbidden Planet, mad scientist lab.

the crazy thing about messing w/all these tubes is that they behave so differently depending on the amp. the tube that sounded amazing and seemed to 'fix' the sound of my Marshall was ok, but not great in the Fender.
do you have another amp you've been sticking these tubes in besides the Swart? it looks like you have enough awesome tubes to fill another amp.
Muff Wiggler
occupant wrote:
gorgeous amp hyper just nice quality, some of those wires in the circuit photo even look cloth insulted - especially the white ones.. Don't think they are, but it's a nice touch they don't look super-shiny.


What does that 'launch' switch do? oops


all the wire used inside the amp is cloth-covered...no plastic/rubber sheathed wires AT ALL


the 'launch' switch is the standby control....
Muff Wiggler
el clon wrote:
beautiful pix.
$200, or even $100, for one tube is out of my $$ league. i had no idea.. i was guessing $50.
after that used 12AX7 buy i mentioned, i'm going to look for used tubes now. those old ones were really built to last. as long as they aren't too heavily used.

i like the look of those coke-bottle guys. very 50s, Forbidden Planet, mad scientist lab.

the crazy thing about messing w/all these tubes is that they behave so differently depending on the amp. the tube that sounded amazing and seemed to 'fix' the sound of my Marshall was ok, but not great in the Fender.
do you have another amp you've been sticking these tubes in besides the Swart? it looks like you have enough awesome tubes to fill another amp.


You can get them cheaper on ebay - ~50-80 ea, however it's prety rife with counterfeits. The Bugle Boy is a VERY common tube to fake (possibly the commonest? Eric?)

They will last 20ish years though.

You think $100-200 is bad? Just wait 2 or 3 years. Trust me.
Muff Wiggler
and here she is with the Visseaux's installed....

Muff Wiggler
hey El Clon -

I happen to have an extra NOS Bugle Boy, the box has a damaged tab but other than that it's in great shape, and the tube is pretty much mint

I know $100 for a tube is out of your league, but I would entertain interesting trades if you have anything cool you aren't using...
el clon
Quote:
You think $100-200 is bad? Just wait 2 or 3 years. Trust me.


that's funny. i was telling my wife the same thing recently.
me: "... so you see, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for me to spend $1000 on tubes... before the prices are too high."
her: "oh, god..."
el clon
Quote:
hey El Clon -

I happen to have an extra NOS Bugle Boy, the box has a damaged tab but other than that it's in great shape, and the tube is pretty much mint

I know $100 for a tube is out of your league, but I would entertain interesting trades if you have anything cool you aren't using...


thanks, that's really cool of you... i have a few vintage (used) 12AX7s that i could add cash to, if you were interested. RCA, Telefunken, Brimar...
Muff Wiggler
hmm, I sorta have too many 12AX7s to be honest, but I *have* been looking for a Telefunken Ribbed Plate one. Is yours smooth or ribbed for her pleasure? How used are they? Do you have access to a tester?

and, any chance you have any interesting tubes in these types?

6V6
6F6
6L6
5AR4/GZ34
5Y3
el clon
sorry, they're smooth plates. no idea how used, as i don't have a tester.
i tried them in my amp and they worked and stuff, but...

i don't have any extras of the other tubes, just what's in the amps. it's probably for the best since i dodn't have any spending money anyway. i always seem to spend a little more than i should because cool things like this always pop up.
(much to the chagrin of my wife) hihi
Muff Wiggler
no problem...we could maybe go the other way as well, i could kick in some cash along with the tube for something. Any cool guitar pedals or modules you would consider parting with? I'm pretty picky and have lots of good toys but it never hurts to ask 8)

cheers
el clon
good idea. i'll give it some thought, but i think i sold off all of my unused stuff. i recently sold a bunch of pedals and a Marshall head to finance my modular purchases.
but i'll have a look around the studio...
Muff Wiggler
Muff Wiggler wrote:
oooh there's a 2x12 cab option now, UK-made Celestion Greenbacks




just got an email.....mine's almost ready. Cabinet is done and the speakers have arrived. I special ordered it with Celestion Blue's
tiny333
your such a tart! applause
Muff Wiggler
very frustrating

Anyway I don't think you would like this one. The are far more expensive alternatives out there for ya.
el clon
i've always been curious about the Celestion Blues... i've never played any alnico speakers.
Muff Wiggler
i'm looking forward to 'em... A freind has a really old Vox with a really old Celestion Blue in it, and I have to say that I *love* that amp.

My other experience with alnico speaks is a Weber Blue Dog that a friend has in an amp he made himself. He originally had a Greenback in there, and the difference when he went to the Blue Dog was immense....not as aggressive or punchy of a sound, more relaxed with a huge increase in clarity, warmth and definition...as much as those words are useful to describve sound anyway, but that's how I put it.

I originally took the Greenback's (standard option) with my cab, but I couldn't stop thinking about alnico speaks. It was one of the things I wanted when I originally bought the AST amp, but I fell in love with the amp so much I ended up not caring about the ceramic magnet inside it, because whatever was in there, sure worked for me.

So while I was thinking about the extension cab I ordered, I couldn't get the alnico thing out of my mind. I emailed them about switching the Greenback's for Blue's, figuring I have a nice ceramic speaker/greenback clone already in the combo. So yeah after all this I'm really curious to hear these speakers with my amp. I've heard they can take up to a year and a half to really break in, but they supposedly sound great out of the box, so no matter. We'll see....time will tell. They are shipping it to me at the end of this week after some time to test it and break it in (also they are very curious about the speakers as well and want to compare them to the other cabs they have sitting around....they've never put alnico into their amps before)
Muff Wiggler
ok i really *AM* such a tart, i'll admit it oops



they even made me a replacement rear panel for my AST that has an external speaker jack and a speaker selection switch. just gotta remember to not get dumb and leave it on 'external' with nothing plugged in eek! the two guys down there that make these amps are some really nice guys

tiny333
wow they DO look FANTASTIC


spinning spinning spinning
el clon
beautiful work. it's so great dealing w/little companies, huh? (well, sometimes not, but...)

how 'bout some ceramic vs. alnico recordings? yeah yeah! Rawk! Rockin' Banana! SlayerBadger!
Muff Wiggler
el clon wrote:
beautiful work. it's so great dealing w/little companies, huh? (well, sometimes not, but...)


i agree....it's just incredible when you have things hand-made by people who truly, tryly care. awesome.

el clon wrote:
how 'bout some ceramic vs. alnico recordings? yeah yeah! Rawk! Rockin' Banana! SlayerBadger!


but then you'd have to hear me play guitar!! oops
tiny333
yessss.... meh

come on we want to hear the swart


help

just sustain a few notes and play an e

no one expects steve via... we're not worthy we're not worthy
Muff Wiggler
don't worry, i will Guinness ftw! you'll get to hear my $100 mic into my $100 pre into my $100 converter, but yeah, I'll do it

just gotta get people out of the house and setup the mic, dunno when that'll happen, but yeah for sure

i think even through all that crap this amp is going to sound REALLY NICE.



but tiny when do we get to hear any of your stuff?
el clon
Quote:
just sustain a few notes and play an e



funny, that's just what i was gonna say. just hit an E
chord a few times! Guitar


Quote:

i think even through all that crap this amp is going to sound REALLY NICE.


i'm sure it will. just think of how dreadful so many of those youtube
videos sound... it's way better than a video-camera mic or computer mic or whatever people use...
Muff Wiggler
SM57 or $120 chinese ribbon?
el clon
both! put em close together, flip the phase switch on one of 'em, blend to taste. (57 for more midrange, ribbon for more balance... at least in theory.)
tiny333
,,,,,but tiny when do we get to hear any of your stuff?

welllllll i was kinda up for the artistic challenge and planning on sending
a track or two down the line..had a bit of a setback timewise but will get there come hell or high water hyper
Babaluma
muff, are you still rapturously happy with your swart?

i've been eyeing the dark tweed STR recently.

http://swartamps.com/photos_str-tweed2.htm
Muff Wiggler
oh god yes. I actually like it more than I did when I first got it, I don't know if the speaker is broken in, or my ear is just more and more pleased that it wasn't 'honeymoon effect'

but sweet damn. I've had it a year and a half now, and there's not a single time that I warm it up, power it on, and don't experience jaw-drop all over again.

i know it seems like outrageously gushing praise - but I *swear* to you I've never, ever heard an amp that sounds as good. never ever anywhere.

Some people say they are a bit dark, I suppose this is probably true, but you can brighten them up a lot with the tone control, and I'm sure different pickups or whatever. I do keep the tone a lot higher than on any other amp I've used, but I find this is not to counter any inherent darkness, it is more because you can increase the tone control without suffering 'ice pick' highs. I always try to turn it up on any amp, and the brittleness of the treble is what stops you, and I don't get this with Swart.

I keep going through this thing where I think of buying one of the other models, but then I realize it would be wasted money because the one I already have is just so, so perfect. It is psycho loud though, but it sounds damn great (minus roaring distortion) at low levels, so I don't care.

I love it.
Babaluma
thanks for the update!
Natman
I joined this forum just for this thread! It's hard to find good info about these amps online.
Muff Wiggler
wow! so rare that someone is joining up without being a modular person!! screaming goo yo


awesome!! a warm welcome!

how did you find the forum?
Natman
Hunting for pics of the AST!
Natman
I should point out that I played one in a shop and was blown away but I just don't have the cash for a boutique amp (wife, kids). Instead I build all my amps now. I'm a newb still with only 3 builds to date, but learning fast. My plan is to make a Swart-alike. There's only so may ways you can design a tube amp for 18 watts, reverb and tremolo with 2 6v6's.
Natman
Hey I just realized the pics were high res -could you maybe send me the originals? I'm particularly interested in the gut shots. I'm no expert but I have to try a fake AST build! Help a brother out?

Since I'll NEVER be able to buy one, my expensive gear days are over according to my wife. Which is frustrating because I just finished university and have a decent income for once but we have "responsibilities" that have to come before my guitar toys like kids, saving for a house & car...
Natman
And last but not least I can use the search function if I have 5 posts. Let's see if it works... Dead Banana
Natman
Hey Muff Wiggler, can you tell me what the transformers are on your AST? I know they're supposed to be Heyboers, but can't read the sticker on any pics I've seen.
Muff Wiggler
hey sorry for the delay, in the middle of a bunch of travel and very very busy....


.... I don't have any higher resolution copies of the pics - usually I upload pics to this forum and then delete them from my machine, they are safe online!! sorry

you can save them with a right-click and 'save as'.... at least if you're on Windows. If you use an Apple machine, I have no clue how you save a pic, but I'm sure there's some bizarre way that does work.


Not sure about the trannies, when I get home next week I'll see if I can get some markings from them - I do believe they are Heyboer's as you say but that's all I know about 'em

cheers
sandyb
Muff Wiggler wrote:
...
you can save them with a right-click and 'save as'.... at least if you're on Windows. If you use an Apple machine, I have no clue how you save a pic, but I'm sure there's some bizarre way that does work...


it's not that bizarre! ctrl-click then "save image as" or "save image to desktop."
Muff Wiggler
i knew there was a way *oops*

and I figured it was probably some alt-click or ctrl-click or option-click or something!

but I dunno.... never touched a mac I'm afraid to admit help
Kwote
Muff Wiggler wrote:
never touched a mac I'm afraid to admit help


oooh! you disgust me.
Muff Wiggler
Natman
smile great pic
I'm a happy Mac owner except at work where it's PC hell. I'll be saving all them pics, they're tasty! And major thanks for checking the specs when you get home!!
Kwote
Muff Wiggler wrote:


i'm only funnin yahs. i never messed with a mac either.

ok.. that's a lie. i briefly touched one at a mac store. i left feeling all icky inside. kinda like a 50cent hooker.. but cheaper!
Muff Wiggler
hey sorry for the delay on the tranny info - here's what they say on them:

Power Transformer: 1155-1010
6050741

Output Transformer: P-272
9960737


I have no idea what these numbers mean but hopefully they help you on your quest!
Kent
If you ever need Trannie info in a hurry, Muff is your man. Store the digits.
Muff Wiggler
lol
Natman
Thanks a million! It's another piece of the puzzle for my Swart-a-like project.
Natman
Say Muffman -one more thing: do you see any choke or reverb transformer on the AST? I haven't seen any in online pics.
Moog$FooL$
screaming goo yo i really need to try a Swart!!!!

the shop i do part time at is to lame to stock them! angry
Kwote
Please make this thread a sticky! it's easily the most epic in this section.

heh. Rockin' Banana!
Muff Wiggler
(lotsa pics, give 'em a sec to load)


i accidentally a stereo Atomic Space Tone setup oops



















well, not that suddenly actually, this has been in the works a long time.

The little combo is the same AST from previously in the thread - it's a standard AST with a bunch of NOS tubes in it and the modded back panel with the larger port and switchable external speaker jack.

The two parts in the stack are both a bit special - it's basically a custom AST Mk.II head, with some changes I requested, and a custom cabinet.

I've had the 2x12 cab for about a year now, it's the only one Swart has ever made in the AST color scheme, and the only one they've ever outfitted with Celestion Blue's

I've just received the head, which has been in the works for a little while. AST Mk.II #77 was once a standard Mk.II (which is the same circut as the original AST, with the addition of a bypassable, tube-driven master volume, and the addition of selectable output impedance, since it is a head after all)..... but I had some small changes made to it.

Because I'm using the two amps in a pseudo-stereo setup, I wanted the circits as similar as I could - the output impedance selector on the Mk. II means it is using a different output transformer than the Mk.I, so I had mine built with the original AST output tranny, foregoing the option to have selectable impedance.

I also wanted the original AST metal badge on the front of the head.... they weren't sure it would look cool or not so they shipped the amp with the normal plastic Swart logo on the front, and included an extra AST metal badge and some screws. I moved the original plastic logo to the back (where I think it looks cool) and put the metal badge on the front, and I'm glad I did, I think it looks killer.

But the most important moment came when I loaded them both up with the same tubes, used an A/B pedal to make sure they were both the same volume and tone and slight reverb level.....

then i turned on a bit of tremolo MY ASS IS BLEEDING

insane, totally hypnotic. stereo amping, I think I'm hooked oops
Babaluma
nice one muff, and it was even built in the future! applause applause applause

been eyeing amps again myself recently. not sure whether to just mod my champ 600, or buy a 5F1 tweed champ kit from somewhere and build it myself, or spend a bit more and get something by swart, emery or siegmund etc.

whatever it is, it has to be tiny and quiet, and break up nicely at low volumes for recording and japanese apartment living!

i've often dreamed of running my dimension c into two tube amps, it would sound phenomenal i reckon!
Moog$FooL$
my god man!!! angry angry angry

this thread is just mean!!

that truly is a beautiful set-up Muff. congrats!!!

Baba. i recently did some minor work on a Siegmund Midnight Special for a friend, & that amp is just incredible!! the workmanship inside is perfect.... i was afraid to change anything. i really didn't want to have to disturb any of the original wiring. i also had a reason to call Chris Siegmund & found him to be very interesting & nice.

this amp also had a cele. blue & sounds to die for!!
Natman
Why do you torture me so?

Why? seriously, i just don't get it

What did I do to deserve such taunting? Is it becaus eI'm trying to copy the awesomeness of the AST? I have most of my parts, still trying to guess at the circuit, but I think I have something that will work.

Remember this Muff: if you want some $cash$money$ I will pay for more detailed gut shots. The new AST's apparently all have epoxied circuit boards so you can't read anything.
Kwote
Please sticky this Muff. C'mon she's beggin for it.
Moog$FooL$
Natman wrote:
Why do you torture me so?

Why? seriously, i just don't get it

What did I do to deserve such taunting? Is it becaus eI'm trying to copy the awesomeness of the AST? I have most of my parts, still trying to guess at the circuit, but I think I have something that will work.

Remember this Muff: if you want some $cash$money$ I will pay for more detailed gut shots. The new AST's apparently all have epoxied circuit boards so you can't read anything.


i have a feeling Swart has based some of what he's doing on the old Valco amps..... Supro, National, Gretsch, etc. along with Fender. starting with Valco circuits (there are many) you might be able to build something similar to a Swart. seriously, i just don't get it
Muff Wiggler
Natman wrote:
Why do you torture me so?

Why? seriously, i just don't get it

What did I do to deserve such taunting? Is it becaus eI'm trying to copy the awesomeness of the AST? I have most of my parts, still trying to guess at the circuit, but I think I have something that will work.

Remember this Muff: if you want some $cash$money$ I will pay for more detailed gut shots. The new AST's apparently all have epoxied circuit boards so you can't read anything.



lol, not trying to torture anyone, trust me...

I'm not sure about the epoxied circuit thing, I talk to the Swart guys fairly often and never heard anything like that. Also there aren't any circuit boards inside them, it's all point-to-point wired turretboard work. Covering that all with epoxy would be a huge pain in the ass.

Also, right on the back of the amp it's printed "caution - danger of fatal electric shock - no user servicable parts inside - take to a qualified technicican for service". If they epoxied the guts you couldn't take it to a qualified tech, you'd have to send it back to Swart. Anyway that totally seems to go against the vibe those guys have, I'd be amazed if it was true, where did you hear that? Are you sure you aren't thinking of Dumble amps? I know it *is* true about those beasts.

Anyway you have piqued my curiosity so I will take the head apart when I get a chance and take some pics for you - and I would not dream of taking cash for something like that, doesn't seem right at all.

Also....in the new head the reverb tank is bolted on the inside of the top of the cabinet, and is not bolted inside of the vinyl bag - making reading the markings on the tank very easy, I can let you know about that as well.

But I can't do any of that for a while as I'm in Sweden right now, only going to be home for about 30 hours at the end of this week, then off to Mexico City and then Brazil. But when I have some time at home I'll take it all apart for you.
Muff Wiggler
Moog$FooL$ wrote:
i have a feeling Swart has based some of what he's doing on the old Valco amps..... Supro, National, Gretsch, etc. along with Fender. starting with Valco circuits (there are many) you might be able to build something similar to a Swart. seriously, i just don't get it


The AST started with a Gibson Scout circuit and evolved from that....
Muff Wiggler
posted this earlier in the thread, but here again in case you missed it...

.... this is the guts of the COMBO, not the head. I'll take the head apart when I get the chance.

Natman
Dude, that is ridiculously amazing. Happy & safe travels!

FWIW I have been STUDYING that picture of yours for about 2 months now (no I'm not joking!). It tells me a lot except for the actual connections and component values (well some are visible). I've got my Heyboer trannies, tubes, JJ can cap, sockets, turret board, reverb pan, and most of the hardware. All I need now is to order up the resistos and caps, maybe a better chassis. I'm going to have a friend build the cabinet close to AST specs too.

I found a guy locally who fixes amps and he said a client of his had a Swart AST. When the amp came in for repair, he told me the accutronics reverb pan # and he's the one who told me that Swart is using epoxy now. No circuit board of course, I meant turret board. It's been done before, and that's one tasty amp which people like me would want to clone so I wouldn't blame the guy!
Muff Wiggler
ok, i've been curious as hell about this epoxy thing, to be honest I was a bit ticked off about it, because I don't want to have to send my amp back to the USA if it ever needs repair.... IMHO one of the benefits of buying a handwired PTP amp is that it should be easy to work on by any competent amp tech if you have problems.

So anyway, I pulled the new head apart tonight and I'm happy to say no epoxy, just like my combo SlayerBadger!

although, somehow, wtf, the wiring has gotten even NEATER. Damn Michael Swart does nice work.

(super hi-res pics so please give 'em time to load)















Muff Wiggler
just want to put the combo and the head side-by-side in a post here so it's easier to compare them....

first the combo, then the head:



Moog$FooL$
nice stuff!!
that's pretty much how it ought to be.

not sure where the epoxy worries were coming from??

if you want to see really clean wiring.... look at a Siegmund amp some day.
1986Bowler
I had an Atomic Space Tone- great little amp, and so warm- I kind of regret selling it, but hey those bills gotta get paid.

Looking at these pictures of the inside wiring, it's obvious that the work is impeccably neat! I am having soldering/ wiring envy right now!
Space Jazzer
These are indeed some mighty pretty amps...

Oh, and the play great, too!
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