June 29th, 2012, 02:34 PM
I'm new to owning a 5E3 amp but I just bought a used one and have no idea what brand it is. The amp does have one Mercury transformer and it seems to be a nicely built amp. Sounds nice but, as I understand is the case with most 5E3's, it gets loud quickly and goes into an overdriven sound just as quickly and the low end gets real flabby. I understand that there are a couple of different mods (one called Paul C) that can be done to improve the loudness issue, delay the overdrive a little and tighten up the low end.
I am not an amp tech and don't want to get hurt doing something I know nothing about. Can anyone recommend a trustworthy and capable amp tech or member who would be able to do one of these mods for me? I live in Indiana so I would like to find somone around the mid-west if possible but not mandatory. Thanks for any help or suggestions. It has a Red Fang alnico speaker if that matters.
June 29th, 2012, 05:32 PM
JimmyZ, I can't helhp pyou with a tech in you rarea. I will make this observation. IF you arenew to this typeof amp, there is one thing to keep in mind. These amps are very sensitive to the output of the guitar...which can be controlled by the guitar's volume pot and/or the player's pick attack. I prefer to see soemone learn how to gofrom clean to scream with only a changein the pick attack. ONce that is learned, then using the volume control on the guitar is another aspect. The other side of the coin is that that amp will yield distortin at 3 on the dial IF the player plays only with a heavy pick attack...there will be no clean, ime.
As for the amp and what it does, it is cathode biased. ONE can 'bias' the amp with tube choice and/or a change of the bias resistor. Once one finds the tube/bias point that works for them, that particular tube with those particular specs will maintain continuity from one set of tubes to the other. So, if you find a set of a particular tubes thta works, one wants to take note of the parameters that the tube presents----those specs that 'matched' the tubes----and use that tube with those parameters from then on.
June 29th, 2012, 06:03 PM
If it has a 12ax7 for the first preamp tube try a 12ay7. That might help and all you have to do is swap a tube.
Also on a 5e3 the volume control on the channel your not plug into changes things (alot) on the one you are playing. I'm still messing around with one I built last winter.
There's alot of tones in these things just playing with the three knobs and the guitar volume.
June 29th, 2012, 06:19 PM
It has a Red Fang alnico speaker if that matters.
Yes! If it has a 12ax7 in v1, get a 12ay7. These amps already have a ton of gain, and a 12ax7 will turn 'em to mush.
Turn the channel you're using to around 6. Crank the un-used volume knob wide open. It'll clean up. Turning it back down will increase the dirt. Get it to a spot you like for a lead tone, then turn down the volume on the guitar. You're done.
The 5e3 , IMO, is the best amp ever.:mrgreen:
June 29th, 2012, 06:54 PM
I don'y have a 5E3 (yet) but the amp I am playing through now is a Tweed Princeton type of amp but using a lower voltage output tube. I put in a switch to add or remove the bypass capacitor from the input triode. It cuts the gain by about 5-6dB I would guess, and makes the amp more manageable, it gives me about a 1/4 turn more rotation on the volume pot for about the same distortion level.
June 30th, 2012, 01:09 AM
The 5Y3 rectifier tube can be a pretty big deal, too. I would avoid the Sovtek. Some say it's not a true 5Y3. I bought a NOS 5Y3 for my amp and couldn't believe the difference in tone. Way better!
While I agree with the others that you should take some time to learn the amp before modding, I think having a tech look at it would be a good idea. It may already have mods as well as areas that could be improved on. I'd take it back to the original 5E3 circuit with all the correct tubes, spend some time with it, and then decide if you wish to mod it.