Attenuator & Stereo Drive

Welcome to the Night Light resource page, a relatively dynamic page due to material being added as it comes in.  Look for Night Light samples coming soon.


What is the Night Light?
The Swart Night Light is a passive attenuator with an additional line out that will run your full output from your host amp into a second amp's input.   Typically, you would run your Swart combo (or any 22w and under amplifier) at full volume for ultimate output tube breakup, using the Night Light attenuator to roll back the level while leaving the breakup in full splendor, just at a level that does not wake the dead.

Passive? You mean it's not powered?
Indeed.  The unit needs only the connections to the host amplifier to operate.  In addition, it has a bypass switch that totally removes the attenuation stage from the circuit, enabling you to listen to your amp straight thru.

Ok, will it only work with Swart combos?
The Night Light is designed to work with 4-8ohms. Any 22w and under amplifier will work fine with the Night Light.  On the other hand, to hear it at full potential, ye olde Swart ST-6V6se, STR, STR-Tweed, AST, and AST Pro brings more happiness than chocolate and sex, not necessarily in that order. The Night Light WILL be ok with amps up to 30w, but entering into this upper range might lower the life of your filament compression bulb.  Replacements available HERE. You will also notice a bit more heat on the right side.

What cables do I need for the Attenuator?
First, for attenuator connections, we recommend high quality SPEAKER CABLES as opposed to instrument cables.  We carry two types of Speaker Cable, both recommended.  Instrument cables are shielded and designed to carry very low level signals while speaker cables carry higher voltage, don't need shielding, and are lower capacitance.  At the very least, for the attenuator, you need to have one 1/4" phone jack speaker cable from the chassis (speaker out) of the amplifier to the "From Amp" jack on the Night Light.  For the Swart Combos, you can run the stock speaker wire connected to the chassis (1/4 phone plug end) back thru the rear port to the "To Speaker" input on the Night Light.   This will provide the most straight-forward connection, if a bit limited in reach. We include a female/female phone jack adapter to connect to another speaker cable to providing more reach. Again, we recommend shorter over longer options for less potential for roll-off.

See the connection at RIGHT with
the AST
. Click on graphic for full view. 

In a pinch, you CAN use an instrument cable but be advised this is not recommended for a permanent solution.  We are offering TWO cable packages, the first of which is available here and linked at right.  The second is our uber quality Kimber 4VS package.  Please inquire.

What about the Line Out?
To power a second "slave" amplifier via the Line Out, use a quality Instrument Cable.  We prefer shorter over longer.  Remember, you are driving the second amplifier through the entire output of your first amp.  This offers a dizzying combination of tonal options.  We encourage exploration in settings of main and slave amp.  We recommend switching the Night Light to Bypass for better balance.

Can the Line Out go into a PA Board?
The answer is YES!  Use a quality Instrument Cable.  The Night Light will give a line level signal to PA boards, mixing boards, etc.

Hey, I'm not getting my Filament bulb to light up!  What's wrong?   Is my bulb burned out?
There is probably nothing wrong with your bulb or filament circuit.  This beast is incredibly reliable.  Remember, make sure your Night Light level is set to 12oclock.  Next, check to see your left switch is set to COMP.  Now, it DOES take some signal to get your compression to engage, filament glowing to show activity. 

To test, set amp volume to "11" with your guitar volume pegged.  Make sure you're in the high input.  Hit your strings with some attack and check to see if bulb/compression comes on.  In almost every instance, the user was not driving their Night Light into compression mode.  Sometimes, a guitar with really low output PUPs will have a hard time driving to compression, but this has to be an extreme case.  If the BULB is blown, then your Night Light will NOT have any signal when comp is engagedA 10pk of bulbs can be ordered.

As another test, you can unscrew the jewel lamp, and raise and lower your guitar volume while COMP is engaged.  Watch the filament start to glow as you bring your volume up, on to FULL glow when pegged.  Notice how you will not get the filament to light if levels on guitar or amp are too low.


Above and beyond your average
attenuator, the Night Light offers defeatable
bulb filament compression and the
ability to run TWO Swarts in Stereo via
the Output stage of amp one.


See full size view
Click above for full size graphic in detail



Swart Speaker Cables
Swart Speaker Cable ~ 3ft Pair




AST Pro NL Panel
AST Pro NL Panel - Run Ext cab ~ now with Night Light Jacks

Attenuator Controls

A Heavy Duty 3 Position Switch
     Low, Med, High Attenuation

• Low (12 o'clock) Minimal Attenuation/Front Bulb
       "Filament" Compression in effect if engaged

Med (2 o'clock) Medium Attenuation / Bulb          "Filament" Compression Auto Defeated

High (3 o'clock) Maximum Attenuation / Bulb         Compression Defeated / Tike Quiet

B Bulb "Filament" Compression Switch (Jewel Lamp Glows)
This mode runs the attenuated signal through a Swart jewel lamp filament, bringing tube compression/brown sound goodness.  This is a subtle effect and ONLY active when switched to COMP while in LOW (12 o'clock) Attenuation.  Bulb will GLOW with your input.

De Comp By-passes Bulb Filament Compression /                 less compression / Natural Dynamics

Runs Low (12 o'clock) attenuated signal
           thru light compressor for more Control

C Attenuation Bypass/Engage Switch

Bypass Bypasses Attenuator Circuit
             Straight Signal from Amplifier Output

Attenuate Attenuator Circuit is Active


D Night Light ~ Blue Glow Ports
These blue Night Light glow comes from LED bulbs within the Night Light, only activated when the attenuator is active and you're providing input from the guitar.  Watch the blue light show as you play.  Yes, it's the best of 70s Disco in 2010!r

E Bulb "Filament" Compression Jewel Lamp
The Night Light "Jewel Lamp" comes alive when you have the COMP filament compression switch engaged while in the LOW (12 o'clock attenuation setting. Bulb will GLOW with your input as the bulb's filament lights up, compressing your signal that little bit more.





The actual attenuation is controlled via a three position switch, avoiding the issues with mediocre attenuator pots robbing the sonics of heft and tone.  The most attenuated position leaves surprisingly robust breakup at a shade over natural string loudness.  It's THE answer to your significant other wanting to burn a hole through the center of your skull.

If this was all the Night Light did, it would be good enough.  Yet ole Michael didn't stop there.  He wanted a way to link up TWO amps, the first driving the second via it's full OUTPUT stage, bring all the effects PLUS power tube drive, this reduced to proper input level, then fed through the INPUT of the second amp!  The number of tonal variations is staggering; simply put, this is a boon for all Tone Explorers.  Run an AST into a ST-6V6se!  Or how about the STR-tweed into the little ST.  Man, it's just too fun to be legal.  I could ramble for 10 paragraphs and still not get near all the possibilities with this setup.    When you add in the attenuation aspect, this little magic box gives more than it has a right to. .

Lastly, it's small, compact, and cool to stare at, just like all the Swart gear.  And last but not least, it makes a great NIGHT LIGHT!  Bring your whole family in to stare at the beauty.  Or not.

The night light is  very portable and built like a rock.  It's the size of a small effects pedal: 4.67" L x 3.68" W x 1.18" H.  This thing can practically fit in your pocket.

The Night Light was designed specifically for the ST-6V6se, STR, AST, and AST Pro.   But even though optimized for the Swart brigade, the Night Light will work with ANY amplifier 20w or less with the light compression, 30w with it off. 



See full size view

Click above for Night Light ~ STR-T driving STR at Swart

Connecting a second amp, using Instrument Cable via
Night Light Line Out to Input of second "slave" amp.

Experiment with volume, reverb, trem etc settings on each amp
for desired result.   Unlimited combinations. 

Special Features Continued

  • Guitar Amp, guitar line level out
    (works in attenuation mode or bypassed)

    - Allows you to send the complete amp signal to another guitar amp. Now you an sound like Jimi in BOLD AS LOVE!  Well, maybe.   You COULD.  Seriously, have you heard two Swarts together?   You should.

    - You can send the AST effects, reverb and Tremolo to a standard non effects amp. This allows you to run the AST in stereo with another amp sharing the effects between the two amps.

    - With the Night Light it is now possible to get the AST sound into your 200 watt live guitar amp. Just plug the Night Light into the AST; set it to the sound you like and run a line from the Night Light to your 200 watt stack for ear shattering levels.

    - it is now easy to run a Space tone into a AST or a AST into a Space Tone.

  • It's a virtual blue night light show of psychedelic craziness.  And it looks cool.  Keep your 3 yr old entertained till the wee hours.


Click for full view
Click above for Night Light in action at Swart



see full size


click for full view


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