Swart Atomic Jr opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by THiwaTT, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    I am considering grabbing one of these after many years looking at them, but haven’t found any real high quality clips or videos online

    can some owners here weigh in on what they think of the Atomic Jr - likes/dislikes, etc.

    Worth the extra money over the 6V6SE?

    I will almost definitely add a nightlight jr as I mostly play at less than TV volumes
    Looking for a rootsy bluesy sound with compression and a bit of hair
    Guitar will be a Harmony Juno (gold foils, similar to old H44)

    I recently owned and sold a 57 custom champ RI that I didn’t bond with because it sounded a bit sterile to me

    many thanks!
     
  2. pattste

    pattste Member

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    I have a Space Tone Atomic Jr. with the Nightlight Jr. attenuator. The amp is a lot of fun. Based on what you're looking for, I think it would be a great fit. The components and build quality are top notch. I wanted a bedroom amp that would also make a great grab and go. The Nightlight makes it possible to push the amp at whisper quiet volume. The amp sounds great for what it is but don't believe the hyperbole that it "sounds huge" and other non-sense. I bought mine used about 15 months ago and plan on keeping it but I wouldn't pay retail for it. The reverb tends to be way over the top and has really long tails. However, the more you work the amp the more reverb you need. I usually have it set around 2 or 3 and I like reverb. Like most small tweed-style amps it doesn't take pedals very well. It's a 5 watt amp so there's little clean headroom. Hope this helps.
     
  3. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    That helps a lot!

    I kind of regretted not buying the Swart when I got the 57 champ as I didn’t really love the sound of the Fender
     
  4. dividedsky

    dividedsky Supporting Member

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    I recently had mine up for sale but took it down. It's probably my favorite amp I've ever owned, I just play way more acoustic these days. Still plan on keeping it for now but I have a night light I'll sell you if you want it.

    I've had the str tweed, str trem, and 6v6se as well. This one is the best to me. Just really sweet tone and the reverb is amazing. Buy one used and you can get your money back if you don't agree!
     
  5. Robert Sands

    Robert Sands Member

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    Had one. Sold it. It’s a very well made amp and it looks gorgeous. The lack of bottom end was a deal breaker for me. I know you shouldn’t expect a ton of bottom from an amp with such a small speaker but I, personally, need more low end to get the mojo going. Also, I didn’t like the reverb and how it interacted with the volume control. It’s the second Swart amp that I’ve bought and sold. AST Master was the other one and I sold that for the exact same reasons. I guess Swart amps are not my thing. At least those 2 models are not my kind of amps.
     
  6. THiwaTT

    THiwaTT Member

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    Bump

    Any other Swart Atomic Jr or 6v6se opinions
     
  7. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    I had the head version going through a 1x12 cab, and it was great. Very sweet OD when cranked
     
  8. MikeEd

    MikeEd Supporting Member

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    I've got the AST Jr head with reverb. I chose a head so I could use it with a 12" speaker. Also a head gives you the option of using a closed back cab if you want to constrict the volume some.

    I've tried out several small amps and bought a few. As others have said you can't get much low end out a speaker that's smaller than 12", so the combo is out for me, as is a Champ.

    I also bought a Supro Comet and compared it side by side with the AST JR. The sounded very close but the Supro had a 10" speaker. I tried a few different speakers in it but could not get the low end I wanted. The Celestion Gold sounded the best to me.

    I really like the Swart AST Jr. I don't think you can find better quality anywhere. I am running a Tung-Sol 5881 power tube in it, it sounded better than a 6v6 to me. The output of a 5881 is somewhere between a 6v6 and a 6L6 I believe. However the head is 16 ohm and I think that is the only way they make it, so you would need an attenuator that handles 16 ohm if You want to use one. I have never tried an attenuator with it but might in the near future.

    The reverb is nice and I usually set it at about the same level as the volume control. I can get the amp to break up at around 4-5 on the volume control, going any higher it just gets more saturated. The break up is different than most amps these days that mainly are designed for preamp distortion.
     
  9. No_Stairway

    No_Stairway Supporting Member

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    Being a single channel amp I wish it didn't break up so soon. I love the amp but recently let go of a Carmen Ghia and find myself looking for a higher wattage amp for cleans, I really like the cleans on a Princeton so probably that or a similar circuit. Mine came loaded with 6v6 and a box of various tubes for other configs.

    Reverb is quite impressive.
     
  10. MikeEd

    MikeEd Supporting Member

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    I'm still getting to know the AST JR head. I just switched over to a Les Paul with 57 classic pickups. Before that I was using an American Elite Strat with noiseless pickups.

    With the strat i engaged the gain switch for more gain and kept the volume at around 5. I am still experimenting with the LP, I disengaged the gain switch, and sounded pretty good turning the volume up to around 9, but it way too loud for home use, I would need to find a good attenuator or risk ear damage.
     
  11. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the 12” speaker on the STR Tweed or STR Trem but the Atomic JR is very nice. I’m a big fan of the Swart tone.
     
  12. frijoleghost

    frijoleghost Supporting Member

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    i had a 6v6 which i enjoyed a lot, but dont try to rock out w/ a bangin drummer...600 bucks and worth it...now i have an atomic jr. which i paid 800 for to get the reverb...i like the verb of course , but it gets out there pretty quick - can't use it past 3...was it worth the extra cash for the verb? probably for me, yeah - it's a very cool little amp at 14 lbs
     
  13. will richardson

    will richardson The Tennessee to California Connection Silver Supporting Member

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    Purchased a used AST Jr. at Guitar Center on year ago. It was mint with wrap around Studio Slip Cover with big tote pouch. It has the attack, EQ, and compression of the best vintage amps. I originally wanted a tweed Tremolux (late fifties) but was not willing and should not spend that amount of money at my stage in life. I have historically gone for the good stuff, which cost more. The Swart scratches my Tweed itch. All my other amps are British vintage, Park 75s, Selmer Zodiac and Thunderbird, AC30 and Mainstay is a 61ish AC15 Twin with Rexine covering. The Swart has respect from it's older family members.

    Keep on picking',

    Will Richardson
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020

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