since the original AST, the Swart Reverb has been an integral component
to the overall Swart sound. We opted for the tube and spring tank solution
for the most authentic and natural reverb take and we have not veered
from this approach from 2003 to 2022.
a few things to help with your understanding of the Swart reverb as
well as trouble shooting any issues that might crop up.
Preferred Reverb Tube
JJ ECC832 (12DW7)
reverb circuit is usually something YOU can take care of without need
for tech support. 99% of any issue is a matter of plug & play
replacement. Simply put, it's usually either TUBE, TANK, or RCA Cables,
all inexpensive and easily replaced.
*MOD 8FB3C1B (Long Decay)
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE..2575 ohms
Not only is it generally all
serviceable by the end user, it's really inexpensive if ever an issue
and out of warranty.
a simple test to suss out the culprit. It's usually the reverb TUBE
or TANK, closely followed by an issue with the RCA cables that connect
the tank. All of these are easy replacements.
Try to rule out the RCA cables. Also, make sure they are fully seated
and a tight connection (sometimes, removing and bending outer flanges
in of plug will help tighten contact).
ALSO IMPORTANT: RULE OUT the Footswitch by unplugging from amp.
Your reverb WILL WORK without the FS connected.
RCA cables good...try this below.
TUBE or TANK SHAKE TEST
- Turn the reverb
up to 11
- Shake the amp,
and listen to see if you hear the springs through the tank. Note result.
- Now, swap the
RCA cable leads and shake it again.
If you hear the springs one way and not
the other, than it's most likely the tank.
If you hear it BOTH WAYS,
it's most likely the 12DW7 tube.
Note: On the early older amps, with a bad knock,
there can be issues with white push on connectors.
Sometimes cleaning and re-seating can fix.
HUM an issue?
While there will always be a trace of
hum, if noticing some excess, one quick trick might be to reverse
the RCA leads. There will almost always be one orientation that
is quieter than the other. To find BEST, simply try both ways. Whichever
is quieter is correct orientation in your amp.
also handy if you ever remove cables and forget orientation. Simply
test which has least noise/hum.
There will always be slightly more hum in the
smaller heads due to closeness of tank to transformer.
if you are unsure of any of this, you're always free to drop us a mail
Below are the three
main components that you will address if an issue.
ECC832 (12DW7) Reverb Tube
This is a
dual triode that is unusual in that one side is a 12AX7 while the other
side is a 12AU7. That is literally the most gain (12AX7 side) and least
gain (l2AU7 side) of the minipin 12A*7 tubes, To give you an idea, the
12AU7 is literally 18% of the gain of the 12AX7. One side pushes the
reverb drive and the other side the reverb recovery. These tubes are
usually pretty reliable, however they CAN have an issue and cause some
strange symptoms. This is the first thing to check with a reverb issue.
IF you do NOT have a spare 12DW7, a 12AX7/12AT7 is completely
fine to TEST circuit to see changes. Subbing 12A*7 tubes does no harm,
just not the designated tube for circuit. Of note, the default
12DW7 for us is the JJ ECC832. This version seems to work best.
There is a NOS version, the 7247, that actually is not recommended due
to inconsistent results. If you happen to prefer, say, a nice
12AT7, or any other 12A*7, feel free to use with knowledge JJ option
is our usual choice. .
8FB3C1B Tank (Long Decay)
INPUT IMPEDANCE...............1925 ohms
Ever since we ran out of our big stash of vintage Accutronics tanks
way back in the late mid 2000s, this has been our go-to reverb tank.
Yep, it's the MOD 8FB3C1B and it's a short tank that fits ALL the
amps. It sounds a lot bigger than it looks, which is one of the reasons
we like this little beast. It's pretty reliable and inexpensive to
replace if ever an issue. It's an overachiever and has some nice character
to the response, too. However, there are a few that do prefer the
MEDIUM DECAY tank. Everything is the same except a shorter decay time
of 1.75 - 3 seconds verses 2.75 - 4 seconds for the long. Note,
it's important to match the input & output impedance with any
8FB2C1B Tank (Medium Decay)
someone does prefer the medium decay tank if the splash seems a bit
too long. This is a drop in replacement. Some get both just to experiment
and since most of the tanks are floating in the tank bag, no mounting
is involved. The dimensions and specs are the same aside from the
decay. You'll notice the one number difference in model with a 2 in
place of the 3.
A pair of RCA cables carries the send and receive signal to and from
the circuit to the reverb tank. Later cables were a bit more heavily
shielded and are somewhat quieter though I personally still have the
more traditional gray sets in my amps and do not have any issues. But
it's important to rule out the RCA cables as a potential issue. The
amp side is obviously easier to access than the tank side due to bag.
One thing to be aware of, you can tighten the grip of the connection
on RCA jack by lightly bending in the outer tangs of the RCA plugs.
Make sure the plugs are fully seated on the jack.
Reverb Tank Bag
In most every combo,
we employ a reverb tank bag to house the tank. For a while, we did directly
screw the tank to the cabinet but after comparing the two methods, the
amps with the tanks in the bag seemed to have less of a mechanical harsh
take, sounding somewhat sweeter and smoother. So we opted for the bag
in the combos. If your combo does not come with the bag, it's also available
for purchase. The tank is literally FLOATING within the bad, unattached
aside from the RCA cables that connect tank to amp chassis.