Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Swan 1200X Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Swan 1200X Amplifier
Reviews: 6MSRP: 239.00
A nice tabe top size amp (circa 1976), producing 1200 PEP on SSB. Running on on (4) 6KD6's... a previous owner's mod from the original 8950 tubes. Small, easy to use, can be purchased in very nice shape for as little as $200. A nice, dependable, inexpensive way to increase your output.
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N0ZNA Rating: 2012-02-18
missing tunes,e verything else there, Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just got it from CBer down south,he bought it and couldnt get it going,so he took the tubes out for his CB amp...hehe,i got it for $ tubes but have the tubes,it going to be a winter project,i run old Swan radios alot,and looks great next to them right now.Been looking for one for years. Will go threw it,73 de n0zna
KD8MJR Rating: 2010-04-19
Fairly Small Size Yet Delivers 500 Watts Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased one of these on ebay, it was my First Amp and not a bad looking Amp at all, the exterior design is very nice. The Interior design is a little less perfect.

The Main Problems I found are as follows:

1) The Input is not a balanced 50ohm or even close. I have read that this is very common on older Amps like the Heathkit SB-200 etc. So I guess it goes with the territory.

2) The Unit gets Hot, real Hot! A Fan is 100% needed on this unit; it was a serious mistake by Swan to leave it out.

3) The 12V power needed to Key the Amp will only work with older Swan Radios so you need to Mod that.

With these problems in Mind I got to work on making the Swan a usable amp with my Kenwood TS-440S.

I first tapped into the 12VAC Heater element power that also powers the Internal keying relay and was able to get 18 VDC when rectified, I then put that through a 7812 voltage regulator so I would have a Nice clean 12V supply to work with. I then ran wires from my regulator to the needed areas.

Next I installed a 80MM Fan INSIDE the case on the Left Side near the Tubes. The Fan is only about 15MM from the tubes, but since it blows air onto the tubes the Fan protects itself from the heat and does a great job of just about silently keeping the Amp very cool.

I then installed a small 12Vdc relay that would be used to Key down the older larger internal relay. This made the Amp compatible with most modern Radios by eliminating the 12Vdc keying voltage and dropped the keying current down to about 45ma which is a power level that most solid state radios can supply.

Lastly I installed a Blue LED in the Meter area just to make the Amp look a little cooler and then I cleaned up a few solder joints etc.

The Non 50 ohm input problem was solved by turning on the TS-440S internal tuner. Or you could also add a small external tuner between the Radio and Amp. It adds a bit more work when changing bands; but it gets the Job done and is not all that bad if you label all the settings.

So with the four 8950 tubes in place I started testing and found that on 40M and 20M the Amp puts out about 500 Watts PEP, it could possibly go higher but I really did not want to strain the Tubes. It does about 400 watts on 80M, 17M and 10M. and that was about the extent of my testing. About a month later I gave the Amp to My Brother and purchased a Tokyo Hy-Power.
While I liked the Swan and had many good contacts with it I found myself a little out of whack having to go through all the Tune up procedures that a Tube Amp requires, so I decided I wanted to simplify thing and go the solid state way.

Overall the Swan is a great Amp to get your feet wet on a budget, it's a solid design and if you can find one that has been MODDED or know how to Mod it and at least get the Relay Mod done and a Fan added you should be good to go for many years. And it also it looks great and is not as bulky as many tube amps in that power range.
KD0EMI Rating: 2008-11-28
Nice little 600 watt output and 1200watt input PA Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This little amp could use a fan but otherwise on a 1500 watt screwdriver and a little elevation I can reach ANYONE I can hear even a little wisper of someone that I can barely hear I call them up and they can hear me right away! Not that that is a good test but it feels better than someone loud that cant hear YOU!

The price was right at $250 and dispite the fact that it uses the more expensive 8950 tubes it still was a great value. I love this little critter!
AB5GU Rating: 2005-03-24
Nice Sweep tuber Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have 2 of the Swan 1200x amps. One runs the 8950 tubes and the other runs 6lq6's. Swan made both as such from the factory. They are a nice little amp, about the same size as the Swan radios it mates with. For a light weight amp they put about 600 watts output with new tubes, pretty respectable! Also, they require 12v to key the amp. This is provided from the back of the Swan Cygnet radios. The manual contains a mod that has to be made to key it with other brands of radios or a foot switch. The price was 259.95 new from the factory. SWAN FOREVER!
WA8UEG Rating: 2001-09-12
Great low cost Amplifier Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I picked up a 1200X several months ago with the 6KD6 mod. I did add a small fan to keep things cool and changed out the T/R relay which was rather noisey, it has worked great. No TVI or RFI and have purchased new tubes for $10 to $12.00. Whats not to like? 1200 watts, $10.00 finals and super easy to tune and QSY.
WA2TED Rating: 2001-05-01
Inexpensive Reliable Power Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The Swan 1200X appears frequently on ham websites for sale. Covers 10-80m. They're best if they have been modified to take the 6kd6 sweep tube,instead of the expensive 8950 as factory built. 100-125w in will deliver an easy 600w out the window. Small tabletop footprint, operates on 110v. Tubes run about $12-15. each to replace, not bad for a good looking, small, amplifier. Inexpensive, solid, after's a SWAN.