Registered: May 2011
Review Date: Sat June 2, 2012
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: None indicated
| Rating: 10
Tone, Quality, value for money
nothing; it's perfect
This is an 'update' on the 5e3 Tweed Deluxe. Another one? Well, not just any old 'another one'...
It has optional extras of reverb,tremolo and an attenuator... I went for all 3
I chose the Tayden Ace 25 speaker which has slightly less volume than the Celestion blue
The amp can take either a matched pair of 6L6 or 6V6. I run mine with the 6V6 power tubes as its mainly for home use.
The attenuator is on a pot and this takes down the power to the speaker without altering the signal up to, and through, the amp. It is effective.It switches out of the circuit with a click at one end, then, as you start to dial it in,it smoothly sweeps the power down, as you increase the attenuation. One unavoidable consequence is that the tremolo has to be 'reduced in intensity' when you use the attenuator, otherwise you get a clipping sound. It is a brief adjustment at the back of the cab, but think of it as 'when I reduce the amp output, I need to also reduce the trem output to keep both in balance'
The amp has a footswitch for trem on/off and speed and reverb on/off and intensity.
The longtank reverb is superb. The reverb intensity can be controlled both with a pot in the back of the amp, and then again with a pot on the footswitch. A great advantage here is that if you set the reverb to, say, 10% in the back of the amp, you can then further micro adjust that amount from all of that 10% down to zero... I hope I'm not losing you here... In practice this means you can dial in v subtle amounts of reverb quite precisely . You can avoid that 'the reverb sounds fully on right at the beginning of the dial'. Anyway, it is the first reverb I have ever wanted to use.. never was keen on reverb before... I love using it judicously now.
The amp has a bass cut switch in the back of the cab [for Les Pauls if wanted] and mid boost lift switch on the tone pot.I tend to use neither and the effect of both is subtle. But its cool to have these to experiment with tone
With the bigger transformers and rev/trem modules, the amp is quite 'full' in the cab; A standard fitting is a discreet and silent cooling fan which a smart thoughtful touch
Build quality? in a word, faultless. Sound? Classic tweed.I use the #2 input for less gain. I think everyone knows tweed amps offer good distortion, but it is worth adding this amp can produce the most wonderful clean tone at lower volume, esp if guitar volume rolled down. But all 'clean' is really full of harmonics and this tone is so,so pleasing. The Tayden sounds v good with rich tight bass, sparkle in the highs and that midrange richness of the
5e3 . Being slightly less 'efficient' than the celestion, this makes it usefully somewhat less loud if you are a home player
The reverb and trem also switch on and off smoothly and swiftly, without that lag that some amps can have .
Finally, the amp seems to sound right with tone controls on guitar set to fully bright. I don't need to cut treble off the guitar signal, nor do I have to dial treble off the amp.I run the amp tone control at around 8 or 9 . I think this allows the amp to run 'unchoked' tonewise. [So many amps sound ear piercing if you ever try setting the treble to max]
It really is a fine amp.I would not hesitate to chose it in preference over the fender ec tremolux. It is UK made and the builder-an American amp tech who has settled in the UK- is based near SW London. The price was £1825 pounds sterling
UPDATE November 2012
I write to add I have been playing the amp daily and I am more and more in love with the sound ! The Tayden is superb.Now it's played in, I run the tone around 4/5 I'm happy to use both normal and bright channels.The amp is perfect for both humbuckers and SC's. The amp is quiet
I impressed by the sound I can get at low volume too. With the attenuator VAC, the sound dials down without losing tone, enabling late night playing. It really works well. [But 99% time, I don't need to use it]
I really understand the effect of the bass cut and mid boost better now.I posted my original review after 2 months of use. 5 months further on, I could not be more happy with this amp... In summary,it is utterly amazing and, yes, totally worth the money
UPDATE October 2013
I still own it. Still love it. It's more or less the only amp I use.
I think it was worth every penny!