New tube suggestions for my Swart AST

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by cg, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    I think it's time to try some new tubes. Suggestions?
     
  2. * velcro-fly *

    * velcro-fly * Supporting Member

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    You need to add another pair of 6v6's and turn it into an SST ;)

    Steve E
     
  3. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    I had the best luck with a Brimar CV4004 in V1, an RCA (or similar) 7571 in V2 and an RCA 12dw7 in V3 (if I remember the order correctly). Brimar 6V6's are great, but I lean towards the 6L6 side of things, so actually preferred the JJ 6V6's in there. I never really bonded with 6L6's in this amp, though. Kind of defeats the amp's swampy genius!
    Peter
     
  4. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    PM Blues54...he just got back today from meeting with Michael Swart earlier this week. He's all about the AST.
     
  5. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    Stop it! You can't begin to imagine how much I'd love to have one.
     
  6. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    well, i threw some generic 6L6's in there and liked the added headroom.

    recently, i added SED winged c's (6L6GC) in the power section. for the pre section, i got a penta 12AX7 and a 5751. both are interesting. with the 5751 and the SED's there's tons of headroom, quite a bit more bass etc.

    however, i'm realizing that pstarr is correct. the mojo of this amp, is the 6v6 combo. i think i was trying to clean this amp too much. that's not it's purpose in life. i'm going back to the drawing board.

    cg, i assume you've read the thread by bluetweed? i'll try to find it.
     
  7. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    We just got done playing through a brand-new one...right out of the box. Played a Cobra, a Hahn and a Rory Gallagher through it. Almost perfect...well, there is the SST.
     
  8. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    here's the thread:
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=341264

    i'm curious to know what some of you other guys are using in the ast and what direction (tone-wise) you're going.

    velcro,
    do you have an AST also? if so, it'd be fun to be able to a/b with 2 since you're in PDX too.
     
  9. blues54

    blues54 Member

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    I had to go to Wilmington NC last week for family stuff and made it a point to meet Michael Swart. Great guy very unassuming and humble. Just talking with him you get why his stuff sounds like it does. I had the privledge of playing some prototype stuff but I am sworn to secrecy otherwise Michael would have to kill me................just wait.

    With my AST I go back and forth depending on the gig and the size of the rrom. I prefer the sound of 6V6's. I have tried the JJ's, EH's, and most recently I have a matched set of Ruby's in there that I like very much. My favorite 6L6's are the SED's.

    I was with Peppy as we opened up a new AST out of the box. All of the guitars (Anderson S-Cobra, Hahn Tele, and Rory Strat) as usual sounded great. We also put in a matched set of Ruby 6L6's. You get more sparkle, more headroom, and more volume but I wouldn't say you get anymore tone.

    I played a gig last Saturday night (April 19th) outdoors and I played my AST and a friend of mines AST. His had SED 6L6's, and mine had the 6V6' matched Ruby's. I had the best of both worlds. The sound man couldn't believe the tone i was getting with my Cobra and Hahn Tele with the two amps and my Atomic Boost Pedal. It doesn't get much better....................................................well it might....................I think the SST-30 might be the best amp Michael makes. It will be the next amp I get.
     
  10. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    May I "flip" out on that model....hint, hint.
     
  11. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    Can you say a bit more about the difference between the EH 6V6 and the Ruby's? I knew i should have ordere a set of those too.

    you get more head room compared to 6V6's in general or than other 6L6's?

    were you running them at the same time or a/b'ing? did you have them set up similarly or was one dedicated to more cleans and another to more dirt?

    lastly, what pre-tubes are you running?

    sorry for the grand inquisition...just loving my ast and trying to optimize it for myself. i was coming out of a twin, and i'm really used to the clean platform and use a bunch of pedals in front of it. i was trying to clean up the AST, but that's not what this amp is all about. i can get my strats, gibsons and gretsch to sound great, but my tele...i don't know...something just isn't happening there yet.
     
  12. blues54

    blues54 Member

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    Guildchild,

    This is the 3rd time I am trying to answer your request for information. I just wrote the document in word this time and copied and pasted.

    First and foremost let your ears be the judge. Don’t be influenced too much by what goes on here and other discussion groups. Your ears will always be true.

    1 I currently have and have used the EH’s, JJ’s, and Ruby 6V6’s. The EH’s sound great but I have had some problems with microphonic tubes and not lasting very long. The original set that came with the amp, the 2nd set that I ordered direct from Michael Swart, and the 3rd set I purchased locally all had problems. The JJ’s are not as loud. They have good tone but seem to have the least output. The Ruby’s have been nice and consistent. Loud enough with rich tone across all spectrums.
    2 I’m talking about more headroom etc…compared to the 6V6’s. I like the SED’s the best here. The Ruby’s are very good but the SED’s are just a very nice musical sounding tube. Again let your ears tell you.
    3 I was running both AST’s at the same time in stereo. The sound guys running our sound at the gig were blown away at my tone. You really couldn’t tell much difference until you started to push the amps louder. Then you could clearly hear the difference between the 6V6’s and 6L6’s. What a great blend.

    I have been running the JJ’s pre-amp tubes that came with it. Normally I like to put a Tung-Sol in the 1st position just because I like the way it sounds but I have been staying with what came in it. I’m going to start to experiment because I have had the amp now since November. Like Michael Swart says half the fun of having a tube amp is experimenting and finding out stuff that you like.

    I play an Anderson Cobra, A Strat with Texas Specials, and a Hahn Tele through my Swart and it sounds great. If you want to get a bigger sound more twin in nature sound try using the 6L6’s. If you can get the SED’s they won’t disappoint. Then try any guitar you have if you want a more aggressive sound with an Atomic Boost pedal.

    I hope this helps.
     
  13. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    blues54,
    thanks so much for the effort to respond. i understand what you mean about having to redo reply's. i'm not supposed to be on this forum at work, and sometimes (usually after VERY long responses) it tanks on me. i appreciate you writing everything out.

    last night i pulled out every guitar that i use live and ran through the tube combinations that i liked during previous tests.

    the final result was: v1 - penta 12ax7 (or the jj stockers...not too much difference); v2 - 5751 (got this idea from bluetweed in the thread i posted earlier) although this didn't do much sonically imo, the tele magically turned into a country tone machine. v3 - stock; power tubes - i ended up with the sed winged c's. the 6v6's are great, but for my purposes, i liked the 6L6's better. i also found that i could push it farther before significant breakup.

    man, this stuff is fun! now onto messing with the speaker... actually, now that the mojotone is breaking in, it's pretty great. brand new i thought it was pretty terrible, but it's coming around nicely.
     
  14. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    just as a followup:

    last night i had the first un-mic'd show with the new tube compliment.

    v1 - penta 12ax7
    v2 - 5751
    v3 - stock jj's
    power - sed winged c 6L6GC

    i was really concerned about the overall volume. i realized that i'd been using dirt / boost pedals to push the amp a LOT when playing with a loud drummer and i'm un-mic'd. anyway, this set up allowed me to keep the volume only on about 7, and i had PLENTY of headroom to move up. all my dirt is at unity gain and use a vol pedal to bump up. if i get in trouble, i'll hit the rc boost. previously, the rc boost had no effect at all since the amp was already being hit very hard. it was PLENTY loud for an un-mic'd venue that was packed with about 120 people (and the drummer is REALLY loud). i'd put it up against MUCH bigger amps.

    enough about volume...

    tone? IMHO, utterly amazing. this is a live karaoke gig (don't laugh! it's more fun than you think...oh and it pays), so i have to cover a boat load of sounds. it handles everything well except for the really heavy stuff, and i don't expect it to handle that too well. it just sat perfectly in the mix and was controllable yet interactive.

    not that i ever regretted buying the ast, but now that the speaker (etc) is breaking in....i'm just really blown away by this amp more and more everyday.
     

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