June 30th, 2012, 10:30 PM
I've just built a 5F1 1x12 style tweed amp, and for the most i'll run a tele or a strat through it.
The dry tone is awesome at any setting, unfortunately my distortion and overdrive pedals aren't really translating into this amp... i'm wondering if anyone uses a compression pedal instead? Tone is just a bit peaky and punchy - i'd like smooth it out a little.
I'm also wondering if this is an amp that doesn't take well to pedals?
July 1st, 2012, 05:13 PM
I have a 57 Tweed Twin RI and find that the Barber Tone Press compressor pedal just adds a bit more 'oomph' to the tone when I want it. This has got to be the most transparent compressor pedal on the market.
Before the Twin I had an older Bassman RI which worked well with my TS9 and Crowther Hotcake pedals but I've never been overly happy with either pedal in front of the Twin. I eventually bought a Lovepedal Les Lius which I love using as it seems to add just the right amount of tweed grunt to the tone without having to crank the amp to the max.
Between the Tone Press and the LL I have all the overdriven tones I need going from tweed clean all the way to Billy Gibbons and Neil Young grunt.
July 2nd, 2012, 10:58 AM
I had to do some work on my right hand technique when I first got my 5E3 but you could try a 12AY7 in V1 and also lifting V1's bypass cap if you have one. Lowering your pickups might also make your rig a little more pedal friendly. Some of the dirt pedals I've had success with are Red Llama, Distortion+, TS808, and Blues Breaker ver.1. I'd stay away from anything that pumps a lot of bass. I was able to work it out without resorting to a compressor but YMMV.
July 2nd, 2012, 04:43 PM
Try a treble booster if you must have anything other than a guitar pushing that wonderful circuit. What speaker is in there?
July 2nd, 2012, 11:09 PM
I'd try an Analogman Beano Boost. It's on my list. I just got a late '55 early 5E3 and I want to get one soon. They sound great.
My favorite compressor is the Keeley 4 knob. I don't like transparent studio type compressors. The Keeley is like a warmer Dyna Comp but with slightly less heaviness but still much more than an optical or really transparent comp. I prefer that as I use a compressor for either snap n' pop or a lead boost, and I like the Dyna Comp type comps for that.
July 4th, 2012, 11:52 AM
I have built a few of these (and a few 5E3s...and a 5E5) and the small ones take pedals better in my opinion (although the 5E5 loved a reverb pedal!) The 5E3s were most challenging to match pedals to.
To answer your comp question: I used a HBE retro comp with great effect on the 5F1 and 5F2..and I had a rangemaster that I liked best on the 5F1..who knows why!
July 4th, 2012, 07:39 PM
The RAF Mirage will absolutely complement that amp.
July 4th, 2012, 10:26 PM
Those little amps should be getting plenty of gain on their own. I think that you are thinking about on the right lines as far as using a compressor for what you're describing.
I never understood why so many guitar players insist on adding overdrive pedals to, "Tighten up the sound." You end up having a distorted amp with an overdrive in front of that. Heck by design the tone should be a big pile of mush, and then these guys hear their sound and say, "Man I must need new pickups/ tubes/ speakers!"
You can add me as a plus one for the Keeley compressor or any dynacomp/Ross clone.
July 4th, 2012, 10:43 PM
I've ended up buying an MXR custom comp... and a carbon copy.