Tone King Gremlin or Swart Str-Tremolo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by guitartango, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. guitartango

    guitartango Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    Pink Floyd Land
    Hi Guys

    I am looking for a 5W hand wired amp for around £1300 (tops), seen the video's on YT for the Gremlin and the Swart. Both look great amps.

    Do they both take pedals OK? (Boss) How clean is the Swart ?

    What are your thoughts ?
  2. vadsy

    vadsy Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Houston Park
    I'd love to hear some feedback as well,., just recently decided I would like to give the Swart a try if the opportunity presents itself
  3. B Vance

    B Vance Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Thanks for posting this request. It's a discussion I will be tuning into as well. Very interested to see results.
  4. Slide

    Slide Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I’m seriously considering buying a Gremlin. I played one about a year ago, and it has been lurking in the back of my mind ever since. Really a great sounding amp for home use.
  5. jim lavender

    jim lavender Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I owned the Swart and have played a gremlin. I like both amps but feel the gremlin will give you more clean headroom. I never used pedals with the Swart and the verb and Tremelo were awesome.
    adamajah likes this.
  6. mikey69

    mikey69 Member

    Feb 6, 2016
    I spent some time with the Gremlin and nearly bought it, base tone is great its like a BF Fender but has a leading edge to it that devours OD pedals, the stock speaker although not broke in sounded like a great match to me (looked a lot like a Celestion V series), the Attenuator was very impressive, build quality seemed great (for example they actually put all 8 speaker screws in the baffle instead of 4), the unit is compact and light but it doesn't sound small at all, nice cabinet design ...the bad, I found the Lead channel completely useless for me with humbuckers, I could not find any musical or inspiring tones on that input, maybe with single coils you can get better results and I did not have a chance to mess around with different tubes, I think it is a great amp for what it is, but to me its a 1 trick pony (a very nice pony indeed!) with that factored in plus no built in reverb or effects loop (also personally don't need the attenuator despite it working wonderfully) I went with a 68 Custom Princeton and upgraded the speaker and I am very happy with that result, plus saved a little cash to boot.
    kidtwist and davidespinosa like this.
  7. Pongo

    Pongo Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    I've only heard clips of both amps, but since you asked for thoughts, I have opinions. And gotta say: it'd be a hard choice. For a tiny, plug-and-go amp, it's great to have built-in reverb and trem that sounds as good as what I heard with the Swart. I also prefer the clean/edge sounds of the Swart over the Gremlin. However, I'm definitely not a fan of the Swart's grainy, fuzzy gain; Swart wins on the lower end of the dial, but from cleanest to crankedest tones, the Gremlin wins for consistency.

    Another issue with both amps is the whole 5 watts thing. Again, I've NEVER played through either amp, but in my experience, if you want to bask in the tube goodness you've paid for, even 5 watts is still gonna be too loud for home practice (for that matter, 1 or 2 watts might even be too much depending on the amp/speakers)... while simultaneously a 5 watt amp will lack the oomph for playing with a full band (assuming no microphone). So from practical experience, the built-in attenuator on the Gremlin is a very attractive feature, 'cause trust me -- even at 5 watts, you'll use it.

    Am definitely following this thread and catching people's opinions. A good EL34 (not necessarily Plexi-inspired) and low-watt mini-amp are toys I'm definitely in the market for this year. Definitely hope @guitartango posts a few clips after making a decision!

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