Used Swart Deal Breaker? Probably Not... But Maybe....

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Texicaster, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    ¡Bueno!

    I found a used Swart Atomic Space Tone Tweed. WOW!

    $1400+ tax....

    I fell in love with it BUT it had/has a "problem". One of the tubes is kind of shimmering tinkling almost rattling. Salesman was sure it was one of 2 tubes and is sending it to his amp tech to check out before he sells it.

    He also said it is best practice to replace ALL the tubes if one goes. Looks like one was was non stock too; maybe the bad one...

    Should I "demand" all tubes replaced as salesman suggested? If not should I bargain the price down somewhat? Already no cash discount....

    I assume a bad tube par for the course but does one or another going bad indicate an underlying problem? Are Swart Atomic Space Tone's prone to such issues?

    It has a small ding mar in tolex on corner and looks a little dusty.... Supposedly owned by a rich gear hound guy who plays at home. Well known customer at store and bought new there in 2012 they thought..

    What do you think?

    TEX
     
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  2. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Before you do ANYTHING, call and speak with Michael or Kelly. Every time I've called Michael answers. He is a great guy and extremely helpful! Obviously, describe for him what the amp is doing. I own an AST and I love it! And I'd try to get that price down a bit. It's a good deal if it's easily fixable....how old is the amp? I see now that the amp is 7 years old, yes new tubes for sure! Might it still be under warranty? Try to get the serial number, and call Michael!!

    https://swartamps.com/home.htm

    Best of luck!!

    RJ
    20190420_005409.jpg
     
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  3. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Obviously this is a non-tech-savvy sales person -- I call BS on his 'advice'. Swap in tubes (starting with the preamp) one at a time and see what happens. Now, you could take him seriously and deduct the cost of a full OEM preamp (JJ)/power(EH)/rectifier(JJ) tube replacement and see if he bites...

    FYI, I also have an AST with the Mojotone B25M -- outstanding amp in build quality and sound (and my back really likes the weight!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  4. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks!

    Yea just sales guy and not a tech which is why he wouldn't sell it to me which was pretty cool! I didn't hear the noice at first and he pointed out and accentuated it... We even thought it went away as we played and it warmed up but high volume still did it...

    He already said replace all tubes the ideal approach but he's not store or amp owner... He's a good guy and gives honest opinion. He said he wasn't a fan of the amp but after playing my Tele through it could see his eyes light up and he really dug it too! I had to pry my guitar back from the guy! :D

    Any up charges start to make new look like a better deal. if they can't swap out all the tubes with matched set and have it pass a bench test at same price....

    Thanks,

    TEX
     
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  5. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks!

    I'll do that!

    TEX
     
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  6. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    I've been pondering this amp all afternoon...

    Considering it may need all new tubes and that probably a good idea I guess....And who knows what else.

    But it appears to be the tube I have arrow to. Could this be replaced by itself and not effect tone as much as the others?

    If I was to gamble and say $X as-is what would be my top price?

    I'll be surprised if they just put back on shelf if I pass so they will have to pay for the work to be done eventually...


    atomic_976b.jpg
     
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  7. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    I'm an idiot, and hope to be corrected if wrong, but that's probably the rectifier tube? I'm pretty sure its got a pair of power tubes left of that, maybe 6v6s, and the 3 short ones are preamp size, 2 pre one ?reverb?.

    I haven't heard the problem you're describing happening with the rectifier tube in anything, but again, that doesn't rule it out.

    Hopefully he goes for an offer that's less the cost of all the tubes.
    How much does it weigh? Never played one, always been curious.
     
  8. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Holic

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    That is your rectalfier tube!
     
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  9. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, rectifier tube, and yes, easily replaced w/o impact elsewhere. The joy of the AST is that you can swap rectifier tubes around to a degree. OEM is a 5AR4/GZ34 but you could sub in a 5V4 (my fave) or even a 5Y3; each will provide a different flavour/headroom. Street price on a JJ GZ34 is around $16-17 (https://www.thetubestore.com/jj-gz34-5ar4), so not a big outlay of $$ there.
     
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  10. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Well, that guy doesn't know what he's talking about. No reason to replace all the tubes in an amp just because one is bad. It is generally recommended to replace power tubes in pairs/quads in most cases, but for all the other tubes in an amp it doesn't matter.
     
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  11. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Hmm, looking at the other tubes in the pic, I don't think the 2nd preamp tube from the left is a 12DW7, which is what Swart specs for the amp... 12DW7 has two quite different sides varying in gain and that one starts off as a 12A-something. I'd definitely replace that one if not a 12DW7 (again, not big $$ and easily found as a JJ ECC832 or NOS).
     
  12. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    I grabbed the photo from Swart's web site for example... this isn't the actual amp in question...

    Seems like an entire set would be <$100 for sure!

    The salesman and I guess as the tube indicated was not glowing as the others..... as it warmed up did it less but at volume just as much as ever. Very subtle back ground.

    I really don't know if it's the tubes or not....

    I REALLY loved the tone! I don't know if it's unique to this particular amp or all AST's..... That's the dilemma. Sure I could order a new one or a different used off Reverb but would it sound the same? Even though this one has that noise....

    I'm gonna call Swart in the AM and run it past them. Maybe a typical maintenance issue...

    Thanks,

    TEX
     
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  13. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Tubes are a service item and just like spark plugs, makes sense to change them as a set for good mantenence. Sure, it might just be a single tube issue or it might be a sign that they are all due for replacement. If it was a preamp tube, you can gamble, but since it is a power tube...replace the set.
     
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  14. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    A suggestion, when you call Swart, let him know all of the helpful comments the guys here gave you and let Michael take it from there. Please let us know how it works out. Worst case scenario is the store will replace the tubes in question. And if that's all it is, get the store to throw them in. I've had mine for 4-5 years, 3-5 gigs per month and it's the AST for grab and go. They're built like tanks, they can take it!! You'll be one happy guy!!!


    RJ
     
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  15. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Tele-Afflicted

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    You're making this WAAY more complicated than it needs to be. Tubes are like tires or shoelaces. They need to be replaced periodically. No big deal.
     
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  16. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    If you had the amp, its easy to power up and just lightly tap each tube with the eraser-end of a pencil (or even a finger nail). If one is micro-phonic or has structural issues it should be apparent when you tap it.
     
  17. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Well....

    I ordered up a brand new one!

    Upon reflection the store that had used didn't seem motivated to sell. I don't know why the salesman didn't call the amp tech when I was there....why he didn't look for the foot pedal... why with the above they wouldn't entertain a fair offer ...and finally why he didn't return my phone call.... He clearly was not busy and proceeded to lean on the counter as I left. My own business I make and sell items and I JUMP when as customer shows any interest! Kinda of a hassle sometimes but I do it 100% of the time and don't suffer slackers lightly...

    I spoke with Michael Swart and he concurred with it just being a tube and not a big deal.

    It came down to the above and price. Foot switch $50 and IF I went with new tubes ~$100 + tax would have made it no bargain IMO.

    TEX
     
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  18. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    You did the right thing! If they weren't willing to work with you, to make sure you bought a good working amp then F them!!! What color did you get? Inquiring minds need to know these things, and of course photos 30 seconds after unboxing. When you're ready you can get a great cover from undercovernyc.com .....
    20170810_114012-1.jpg
    Very happy that it worked out for you!!


    RJ
     
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  19. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks!

    I bought a tweed version! Will match the Tele case! :D

    Cool cover!

    Photos when it arrives!

    Thanks for all the advice!

    TEX
     
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  20. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    Yeah , I have an AST. It's an AWESOME AMP. The JJ rectifier tube started arc'ing two days ago, luckily my tech was so nice to slot me in and I just got it back today.
    While I was at the doctor.... I decided to take care of an issue that REALLY niggled me. It's the Switch on the back of the amp, in the " new" panel that allows you to plug in the external speaker lead and used this massive switch to throw the signal from I(nternal) to E(xternal). That sucker sticks out in the back and if you want to use the cover, you have to carefully YANK that down and over that switch to make it slide across and boy I do not know what will happen if your amp falls on it's back.
    So, I got it changed out. See pictures. NO MORE SWITCH. Just a jack that moves the signal to the external speaker IF there is a speaker cable connected. Just like everybody other mfg does it. Now I feel better. IMG_4045.JPG IMG_4046.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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