Victoria 20112 or Swart AST

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jeffh, Jan 27, 2008.


  1. jeffh

    jeffh Member

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    I am looking for a Tweed Deluxe inspired amp and think I have narrowed down to these two. I've played the Victoria, will not get a chance to play the Swart.

    I really like the woody organic tone of the Victoria. It's an amp you could play for hours and never get ear fatigue. I loved the sag very different feel than my other amps ( %13 JRT , Bad Cat Hot Cat , AC15HH and Orange Tiny Terror).

    I mainly want this amp for recording and home use. The bands I play in are bit too heavy for a tweed deluxe. The other amps I have will cover that ground. I doubt I will take it out of the house. I have a dedicated music room in my house, so turning an amp up is not a problem.

    For those who have played or owned both, besides the Tremolo and Reverb, how is the Swart different from the Victoria ?
     
  2. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member

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    I'd like to know this also, as I have long wondered about the Swart, and just yesterday found a used 20112 Victoria locally. Are there not any members than can chime in with experience? Thanks!
     
  3. es137p

    es137p Supporting Member

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    actually, if its not going to see band use, or leave your house, you can even go down to Victorias 518 or 5112, what Clapton recorded all the Layla album guitar parts on, even quieter than the 20112. Or, I'm thinking about Victorias Trem de la Trem with a 12" Celestion blue. I was told its basically a 20112 with trem. I love all the Victorias I've ever played. Never heard the Swart, but do hear good things about them.
     
  4. datguytim

    datguytim Member

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    They both make amazing amps - I've played both & love both. The Victoria is basically a clone of a tweed Deluxe (in fact, practically exact clone - closer than anyone else does). The Swart has some different, albeit cool-ass, mojo that gets very Deluxe-ish. The verb & trem are truly stellar. You can't go wrong with either. FWIW - both makers are extremeley cool & kind guys, so give 'em both yer $$$!!!
     
  5. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

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    I have a Victoria 5112 and a Swart AST (head). The Swart and the Victoria do not sound alike. Besides the tremolo & reverb, the Swart is brighter and has slightly sweeter cleans. Also, I think the Swart has more headroom than a 20watt Victoria, but it's hard to remember for sure. I prefer the Swart for band-type situations, it seems to cut through a little better. But for at home solo stuff, I have to go with the Victoria. They're dead-on clones of proven winners. I've A/B'ed my Victoria with a real 50's tweed Champ, and they were really, really close. The only real difference in tone was most likely caused by the difference in tubes. Of course, the Swarts are very cool as well. But I'm not sure that pure Fender was the tone Michael was going for. This is most apparent in the reverb. The Swart reverb sounds radically different to me than a Fender. That's not a bad thing, but be aware. The tremolo, of course, is beautiful.

    I guess the bottom line is, if you want a new amp to sound like a sweet old Fender, go Victoria. If you're willing to try something a little different, Swarts are great. Good luck
     
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  6. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    I can only speak for the Victoria 20112. I blue the original Jensen is about 30 mins of buying the amp so I put in a Emi Red Fang. I use a 12ay7 in V1 and these two changes have increased the volume and head room.

    The 5112 is not a smaller 20112 it is a single ended amp and therefore is a different animal; not bad just different.

    I think the Vicky and a tele can cover a lot of tones and can really sound fantastic. This is a staple set of tools for me.
     
  7. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Played both, gigged with one. My choice would be the AST.
     
  8. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    I have become a HUGE fan of the Swart. With that said, I have owned a couple of Vickeys and absolutely loved them. For me, the Swart would be a better choice due to the increased headroom, reverb and trem. It's not nearly as compressed as a 5E3 design to my ears.
     
  9. jeffh

    jeffh Member

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    That was the sense I got as well. Thanks for that.
     
  10. trwigg

    trwigg Member

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    Both are nice amps. I have owned a Vicky Double Deluxe and now own two Swart amps. I really like the Swart products as Michael Swart just seems to have expounded on the old tweed thing. All of the Swart amps have this sort of 3-D sound going on that is hard to put in words but is very evident to the ears. Good luck - you can't go wrong either way you go.
     
  11. Abandoned

    Abandoned Supporting Member

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    Major bump on an old thread ...

    This is my current dilemma at the moment. Anyone else wanna chime in?
     
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  12. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    Dude, I thought you were after a larger amp? What happened?
     
  13. wookiefoot

    wookiefoot Gold Supporting Member

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    If you're really only going to record, the 5112 & Ivy League are great options. I've played both and the Swart AST. The Ivy League being my favorite. 14 watts is enough to have some headroom so it's not all gain all the time and the 12" speaker option gets you the low frequencies you need.
     
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  14. Abandoned

    Abandoned Supporting Member

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    More leaning towards 20 watts now
     
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  15. Abandoned

    Abandoned Supporting Member

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    This is for live only
     
  16. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    That's cool, just wondering. Good luck with whatever amp you go with, your prospects are all pretty solid. Hopefully you find the one that suits your needs best.
     
  17. Abandoned

    Abandoned Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I hope they do too. Tough decisions ahead cuz I want a Gretsch White Falcon too :)
     
  18. svenhoek

    svenhoek Supporting Member

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    Both solid companies. I'd take a Victoria 5112 over the Swart 5 watt, but the Swart SST30 is one of the best amps I've ever owned, to my ear. AST was nice, but the SST is an entirely different league. No matter which route you take, I don't thing there's a wrong choice.
     
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  19. motokev

    motokev Member

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    I've owned both; they're different. From what you describe, you better go with the Victoria 20112. Don't get the Vic 5112. There's a reason there's so many for sale on EBAY.

    I thought the Swart was a smoother neutral type amp. It didn't have the feel that the Vic has, like a true tweed dlx. I had a Fender Tremolux EC that sounded great, but farted out at high volume. Nice amp, though.
     
  20. neils

    neils Silver Supporting Member

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    What guitars do you play? Humbuckers? Singles? Humbuckers really push the 5E3 hard to the point where even using input #2 and using the guitar knobs clean (tweed clean) is scarce. Play a Fender type guitar? Far more useful amp with SC pickups. You of course get breakup but more clean and more of that great clean with an edge of hair that makes chords sound so colorful. Of the three 5E3's I've owned the Vic had the narrowest window of useful (not the right word but...) tones. Cleans were nice but it spilled into "what notes make up that chord?" distortion too fast. I'd love to try an Ivy League Vic.

    I have no Swart experience.

    I'll say this, if you aren't a player who uses guitar controls you will hate a 5E3 no matter who makes it. Or you will learn to use the knobs on the amp and the guitar and be better for it.

    Neil
     

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