Victoria 518 vs Swart Atomic Jr?

MHG

Member
Messages
5,814
Has anyone played both of these amps? I've read that some seem to favor the cleans of the 518, and the overdrive of the Swart. I'm a Strat player, and my primary concern is slight breakup tones. Anyone have an opinion on how the slight breakup tones of these two amps compare?

I've been told that the Swart may be smoother overall, and perhaps doesn't have the clarity of the 518, and that the 518 may be a bit more "raw", and have more of a true vintage character. Do these inherent characteristics make the 518 less forgiving in feel, and perhaps not as conducive to more articulate playing styles? Does the more vintage tone lead to more of a ratty, fatiguing, overdriven tone? Do any of you feel that the Swart is more versatile, or perhaps easier to play?

Any info regarding their differences in both tone and feel, would be great. Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
13,064
Haven't played the Swart but, I own a Victoria 518. Amazing amp. Hard to go wrong with it if you are after Champ like tones.
 
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Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,037
I used to have a Swart 6v6se, Atom, STR, Vicky 5112, decided to sell them all, then felt I was missing something, and presently have a 518. The 518 is a great little amp, I like it a lot, but miss the 6V6. It was just so huge sounding for such a small amp and very much 3D. In comparison, I did not like the Atom as much, they have different speakers, and in my case, I also found the 6V6 to be more raw sounding than the 518 I have now. The 518 sounds smoother. You really can't go wrong with either. I do miss the 6V6, but at the same time, would not sell my 518.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
I had the 6V6 but absolutely hated it. The bottom end was just so loose and farty. I thought maybe it was the 8" speaker, but it had the same "problem" through a 4x10 cab. I've talked to a few other people, thinking it was just me since Swart is a pretty respected brand, but one or two others hear the same thing. I know some of the tweeds, especially the 5E3, have a reputation for a loose bottom end, but I just couldn't handle the 6V6. The Atomic Jr. might be a different ball park but I just wanted to put it out there in case someone else had a similar experience and could chime in; if it's not your thing, no sense wasting time on it.
 

MHG

Member
Messages
5,814
Yeah, the loose low end is an important variable in the overall equation. If you tighten up that low end, you'll lose the sweet feel, and organic quality, of these low wattage amps.
 

e???

Member
Messages
2,941
The vic is awesome. Great tweed champ. Every swart I've played sounds too bright to me.
 

665

Member
Messages
354
Had both. Prefer the 518 for cleans, break up, overall tone and feel but the Swart had a greater variety of tones - I should have kept the Swart long enough to experiment with different speakers.
 
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bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,685
I have a 518 and love how it sounds with my Gretsch Duo Jet and my Nocaster. Absolutely phenomenal tones! Warm clean tones and a feeing of being really connected to the amp. I actually prefer it over my 5e3 clone (high end parts: Jupiter red caps, Weber speaker and MM output tranny)
 

H. Mac

Member
Messages
2,124
I've had an original tweed Champ for decades, and am a big fan of the 5F1/clones. I had a Swart 6V6se and it's a great amp, but I found that while the tone knob and negative feedback switch added versatility, they subtracted from the two features tha I admire most about the 5F1; its raw-sounding, unfiltered character and its touch sensitivity.
 




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