Tube swap saved my Swart AST!!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jimbo13, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. jimbo13

    jimbo13 Member

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    I never paid much attention to preamp tubes and always assumed guys who hyped some tubes over others were splitting hairs. As a last effort to get my Swart AST Pro to sound right ( it was thin and way too bright ) I swapped out the new Tung Sol 12AX7 from V1 and dropped in an old Mullard I had laying around and it sounds amazing now.

    I had put the amp up for sale while I considered speaker swaps to tame the top end but thought even that might not be enough to change the overall character of the amp that was so far from what I wanted. All of the demos I have seen sound great and guys go on about the reverb etc. but it was just not happening with my amp. Now the tone, feel and reverb are all much sweeter and live up to the reviews!

    Thank god the amp market is slow right now or I would have parted with a great amp :)
     
  2. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    Cool man, glad that tube swap worked out for you!

    I find that tube swaps make a much bigger difference with non-master volume amps, especially amps with a simple circuit. A change to V1 in an amp with just volume and tone knobs can change the whole character of the amp. So can a change to power tubes. I really wish tubes were made as well as they used to be. Most older tubes sound better and hold up much longer than newer tubes.
     
  3. porterburst

    porterburst Supporting Member

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    Your AST Pro was thin sounding.....?

    Man, sounds like something was wrong with your amps.

    Swarts are anything but thin sounding in general.
     
  4. Fatherflot

    Fatherflot Supporting Member

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    ^I know. I thought for sure this was going to be "not enough clean headroom until I switched v1 from a 12ax7 to a 12au7"

    "thin Swart" sounds like an amp oxymoron to me, like "Jazz Soldano"
     
  5. jcs

    jcs Member

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    V1 will make quite a difference in many amps....some amps it will be a drastic difference.

    Always worth a try first!
     
  6. Unadan

    Unadan Member

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    My Swart AST Mk2. sounds fab with the stock, albeit NNS (New New Stock), tubes. Seriously these amps sound grand - always nice if they can sound grander though!
     
  7. the tourist

    the tourist Member

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    If yours was the one in the emporium that I think it was, I almost messaged you about it. Wound up finding a Rambler that's on its way instead though. I love Swart stuff though. I had their ST Stereo. It was a few features and a bit of power away from being a holy grail amp for me. An AST Stereo with separate transformers so you can turn each side on and off independently would cause me to sell a lot of gear cuz I'd have to get it.
     
  8. stormtrooper

    stormtrooper Member

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  9. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    Glad that it worked out for you, Jimbo.

    My Swart STR-Tweed Was also thin and bright with the stock tubes, but improved after Isome swapping. Swapping the preamp tube made a more noticeable difference than swapping the power tube, but by swapping both, the overall improvement was major.
     
  10. scmavl

    scmavl Enjoyer Silver Supporting Member

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    Thank you for that incredibly helpful comment.
     
  11. porterburst

    porterburst Supporting Member

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    I own a MKII Master combo as well, and it does sound amazing stock though I like it with nos glass as well. Also changed the speaker for a little difference in tone.
     

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