Michael never stops tweaking circuits and late one night about a month ago, we were messing around in the shop with the STR and decided it might be interesting to take this amp up one more notch, giving it more of a tweed, ST-6V6se on steroids approach. Essentially, our aim was to put a juiced circuit in a larger Space tone-esque cab, blown up in living color with top mounted controls, all with crazy good breakup/tone along with the ST-6V6se harmonic complexity that we all crave and love. Our goal was to make the most FUN AMP TO PLAY...as in EVER.
Why mess around?
Yet we still wanted the cleans option, or at least some semblance of control when needed, just to give it a bit of flexibility. And of course, it had to be a bone simple circuit, tone cut sans bass/treble/mid controls, something that let all the guitar through while also having a character of its own.
Well, I cant stop playing this damn thing and it's now my FAVORITE Swart amplifier, at least this month! Yep, it's the Swart Space Tone Reverb TWEED, and if it's not the most FUN amplifier I've ever played, then I don't know what.
This is essentially the Space Tone Reverb, a circuit based on the little 5W, Class A, single-ended 6V6'R that started it all, but with new found bottom, and just amazing breakup (in my view, the BEST of the whole ST series). Of course, it has the same king hell reverb. In addition, the STR-Tweed has a switch that brings in more cleans, taming the breakup a bit when you want to tone it down.
But to tell you the truth, I haven't been able to stop smiling enough to use that switch for cleans, that's how much of a blast this amp is in "hot" mode. It really is a lot like that little ST-6V6 single-ended beast, but with that big 12" speaker, bigger cabinet vibe riding along with some Swart magic. This cabinet is actually wider and deeper than the AST, only losing a bit in the height department.
Compared to the STR, it's a bit warmer and bit hotter. This is not a subdued amp at all, sounding far bigger than you would think any 5 watts could do. And there is something magical about pure Class A single-ended, 6V6 watts, too. Lord, I love that SE breakup when everything kicks in. Who needs a pedal!?
- 5W CLASS A ~ JUST INSANELY BIG TONE BREAKUP!
- Single-Ended Output - Zero Negative Feedback
- 100% Tube Circuit - GZ34 or 5Y3 Valve Rectifier
- Big Swart Tube Reverb - Foot Switchable
- Hot and Clean mode Switch
- Powered by choice of 6V6 or 6L6 (shod w/6V6)!
- JJ 12AX7(2) - JJ 12DW7 - EH 6V6GT - JJ GZ34 Rectifier
- Point to Point Hand Wired Circuit
- Cathode Biased (no need to bias)
- Carbon Comp Resistors ~ Mallory Caps
- Cloth Hook-Up Wire
- Hi/Lo Input for High & Low powered Pickups
- Heaters referenced to ground
- Standby Switch for tube warm-up, extending tube life
- All Swart Amplifiers employ Star Grounding
- 4/8 ohm 1/4" Out - Drive other Speaker/Cabinet
- Switchcraft 1/4 inch inputs and output
- CTS Potentiometers
- Custom High Quality USA Built Swart Spec Iron
- Speaker: 12" Mojotone BV-30H ~ 8 ohm
- Finger-Jointed, solid Pine Cab w/ Lacquer Tweed Cover
- Vintage Jewel Lamp ~ Circuit Fuse Protected
- Pre-201517" W x 9 3/4" D X 16 3/4" (w/feet) ~ 29
- 17" W x 10 3/4" D X 16 3/4" H (w/feet)~ 29.
The point to point, hand-wired STR-Tweed has three driver/preamp tubes comprised of two 12AX7s and one 12DW7 with a parallel Reverb stage utilizing the 12DW7 & 12AX7, providing the circuit with virtually zero insertion loss. And like all Swart amplifiers, the STR-Tweed is tube rectified by the JJ 5AR4/GZ34 for the best AC filtering bringing great compression and tone, avoiding the typical solid state harshness that seems to ride along with solid state rectification. Try a vintage 5Y3 for a bit more SAG and less voltage on the power tubes.
If you look at the specs above, you'll notice a lot of familiar attributes, such as cloth covered hook-up wire, carbon comp resistors, quality Mallory caps, and a circuit optimized with testing done by LISTENING....and MORE listening. Whether with the BV-30, this amp kills it..
And like ALL Swart amps, STR-Tweed utilizes the Swart philosophy of minimal controls for the least complexity, something we feel is instrumental in great tone. Wonder why we go with a simple "treble" cut in the circuit? There's the answer. You wont see a plethora of controls in the Space Tone series because we've found it compromises our #1 goal: The best tone out there.
Michael agrees with me that this new amp is just the most fun and our all out hottest amp. I wouldnt let this photo sample model out of my house! You gotta hear this thing.