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View Full Version : Dr Z Maz jr vs SWART AST, which has more clean headroom ?


Andre357
07-09-2008, 02:05 PM
Has anyone compared the clean headroom of these amps next to each other, or possibly even own both ??

I'm in the market for a new amp. I have two Budda Superdrive combos I love - but they're redundant. I'd like to get a 2nd amp with a bit of a different sound for backup and for a different vibe at gigs now and then and unload one of the Budda's.

I've narrowed it down to either the Swart or Dr Z ..........

My 18 watt budda has a shocking amount of clean headroom for two EL 84's - so I'm used to and love the low wattage thing....

So which out of the Swart AST or Dr Z maz do you think would have more clean headroom ??

Before the search Nazi's get their panties in a bunch :)......I did try a search first...

Thanks !

Andre357
07-09-2008, 08:20 PM
nobody out there has played or owns both ??

themusicboxstudios
07-10-2008, 08:52 PM
from my experience ... the maz BY FAR has more headroom.

cg
07-10-2008, 11:10 PM
It's been years since I owned my Maz Jr, but I think the Maz has a good deal more headroom.

Andre357
07-11-2008, 08:42 AM
Thanks for answering guys, I appreciate it. I forgot I had even created this thread a couple of days ago !

What is it that you like better, if thats even the case, about the Swart AST over the Maz jr ( I'm looking at your gear in your sigs and see you no longer own them ) ??

BIGGERSTAFF
07-11-2008, 10:41 AM
The Maz has more headroom, but the Swart has good headroom too though. They're both excellent amps, though I currently only have the Maz Jr.

cg
07-11-2008, 11:06 AM
Thanks for answering guys, I appreciate it. I forgot I had even created this thread a couple of days ago !

What is it that you like better, if thats even the case, about the Swart AST over the Maz jr ( I'm looking at your gear in your sigs and see you no longer own them ) ??

I liked both, but the Maz, to me, seemed to be a better fit for a Strat and was a little cleaner sounding. The Swart is equally friendly to humbuckers and single coils and has a rich, tweedy ballsy sound to it.

I did love my Maz 18 rig and it's one I might consider buying again. I had the head with reverb and played it though a Z Best and it was killer. It had a huge bottom end for an EL84 18-watt amp.

aaronblues
07-11-2008, 11:44 AM
One more Maz/AST Q, for guys that have owned both:

I own a Maz, and have been saving for an AST. Any opinions on if i would be better served running them stereo, or A/B?


cheers

sanhozay
07-12-2008, 11:52 AM
I owned a Maz 18 combo w/verb and 2x10. It was a great amp, one of the best made amps I ever owned. 18 Z watts is a loud mofo and there are lots colors/voices in there. Disliked the verb and didn't like the amp other than cranked. But at volume it is a wonderful combo! Eats tubes, runs hot and is a fairly noisy amp. The voicing of the amp is hard to really categorize but it's more Fender like and less Marshall like and very much not Vox like. I sold it because I was expecting a Voxier tone, disliked the weight, disliked the verb, but overall thoroughly enjoyed my two year stint with it. The Junior cleans are exceptional with a Tele. Off the hook!

The Swart AST suits me perfectly. It has a better verb, is lighter, has a gorgeous three dimensional sound and a great built in amp tremolo. Itís voiced Supro like and Tweed Deluxe like. Very simple circuit responds dramatically to tube changes. The cabinet is highly positional and projects cool voices from all angles. Unreal banana peal.

Both amps have a long speaker break in period. The Swart is not that loud unless pushed with a pedal but it is deceptively large sounding without a good overdrive. The Junior is far louder.

The Junior eats pedals, loves them all! The AST much fussier - I would have thought the opposite. The Junior has a more versatile tonal pallette and you can go positively insane finding different settings, whereas the AST has a very specific voice. The gain on the AST is smoother, warmer and creamier. It doesnít have the gritty drive that the Junior does. Both can sound pretty reedy but the ASTís overdrive is more pleasant to my ears. I can tolerate it for hours!

Both amps are super fine, though!

Andre357
07-12-2008, 12:35 PM
^^ Excellent comments and reviews everyone, Thanks !

The answer is simple, I'll need to get both....!

Andre357
07-23-2008, 10:09 AM
I'll give this a bump, see if anyone else wants to chime in.

I'm closer than ever to picking one or the other up soon, so want hear your opinions...

Thanks....

mangoman
05-17-2013, 07:25 AM
from my experience ... the maz BY FAR has more headroom.

:agree

aaronblues
05-17-2013, 07:27 AM
i love old threads.

i would still say the M12 (tho i haven't played it, but have owned the Maz and AST) would be much cleaner then the AST. Maz too.

cheers

Andre357
05-17-2013, 08:10 AM
It is a great forum :) I started this thread 5 years ago and never even got a swart or a MAZ !!! And now I'm playing through a Mesa Electra Dyne ( that I love by the way ! ). :D


I think I am eventually going to pick up a swart for a real small restaurant gigs I do once in a great while, just supporting a female singer....

TRS1
05-17-2013, 08:48 AM
Ive owned both. The M12 is nominally louder and has more clean headroom. The swart cab is smaller by quite a bit and sounds much smaller in comparison. Its a great sounding amp on its own, but when a/b'd next to a very open and alive sounding amp like the Z it doesnt really hold up. The Swart reminds me very much like a 20 watt amp wanting despertaly to be a 5 watt amp in its feel, sound, design and tone. If the small wattage amp is your thing the Swart cant be beat. If a larger soundprint is what your after the Z is the way to go.

Also worth noting that the AST I owned had significant tube rattle at louder volumes, not a problem for practice, but absolutely impossible in a recording environment. The M12 1x12 was dead quiet at all volumes from day 1.

The Z as you probably know is a Vox/Marshall hybrid where its very voxy when clean and goes into Marshall territory when overdriven.

The Swart has its own unique early American 6V6 swirly thing going on. Very cool for what it is.


Nice M12 demo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxvmyGL6M8M