Anyone own a Chinese 18w tmb kit amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Chunkocaster, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I've been looking at cheaper 1974x style clone kits and the lower prices of a couple of Chinese offerings are tempting. Of the two i'm interested in is a kit with chassis, tubes and transformers. Basically a complete amp minus speaker, cab or head shell. The other is a partially assembled kit with transformers but no tubes, chassis, speaker or cab. It's on printed eyelet board though not the traditional post style that I prefer. I have very little soldering experience, just installing pups and harness. I have zero amp building experience. Wondering if anyone has had any success with these cheaper kits?
     
  2. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the guys at work did, he loves the amp. He also put in London Power's VVR. The instructions were step by step pictorial from what I remember. I can not say which one it was though.
     
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  3. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Mable audio sells a complete 5e3 for $388.00.
     
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  4. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mable, that was it.
     
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  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    That's assembled too. Probably a nice amp. The kit for the amp only, no cab is $230. I was joking the other night that you could build one for $200 worth of parts...I guess its no joke!
     
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  6. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the tip on Mable amps. They have some great prices on ready built heads in fancy head cabs. Think I might just go with one of those in red with gold piping and replace any suspect parts if needed.

    The hard part seems to be explaining what I want and feeling secure that they understand and will provide what I ask for during the purchase.
    I sent a simple detailed request for red instead of black tolex quoting their item numbers and asked for a shipping price and I received a short reply saying "it is possible".
    Doesn't give me much confidence during check out when there is no provision for changing the standard order and no shipping calculator.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  7. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    I've purchased From Mable 3 1974 Marshall TMB 18w clone completed chassis and 1 5E3 complete amplifier minus the speaker. all amps were decent, no issues with the 18w TMB amps... all transformers seemed to perform and sound good... a few of the components in the 5E3 were lacking. First of all the Lamp assembly on the 5E3 was fake chrome/plastic... the machine screws that mount the O/T vibrated loose during shipping allowing the O/T to swing over and break the locating pin on one of the 6V6 tubes. a month or so into using the amp one of the Filter caps shorted out so I replaced all 3 with F/T brand.. I also went through the amp looking for other issues and found none... BTW --- dont buy the 5E3 cab from Mable because the speaker hole is centered in the baffle and if you are like me and like using alnico speakers, the magnet cover will be up against one of the 6L6 tubes, I had to order some grill cloth and make me a new baffle for mine. Let me just say this,,, I'm a picky SOB when it comes to blues tone and I have been using this Mable 5E3 nearly exclusively for 2 years and once I got the bugs worked out it's been great... here's a little video of me using the 5E3 in a live setting... This video is straight off a $130.00 ZOOM Q2N video camera - The amp is not going through the PA... I Plug into the normal input and set that vol around 2or3 the bright vol I set around 7ish and the tone I usually set around 6 or 7. the speaker is a Webber alnico classic that is rated for up to 30w the amp puts out around 12w

    Kindest Regards
    DW

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  8. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    When I purchased the first Marshall clone from Mable they were trying to get rid of the reds, I wanted black and they sent black, but they were really pushing the red. That first order came in amazingly fast... the second time I ordered from them was not so fast - I emailed them regarding availability for a pair of assembled 18-TMB assembled chassis they said they would assemble my amps that week and ship out asap, that was in October, I didn't receive those amps until January and was starting to get worried. Those amps were so well built though, I decided I had to have one of their 5E3 builds, and although there were some minor issues, I can't complain especially considering how good the amp sounds now that I've worked out the bugs...
    BTW I wasn't impressed with the Marshall style cabinets, the plywood is not good quality birch and it's not finger joint construction, the handle has Chrome accents not gold like a marshall and the piping they use going over the top of the cabinet is not the small like what Marshall uses, That said, it's cheap and holds the amp okay I guess. I especially wasn't impressed with the 5E3 cabinet, the speaker hole was centered in the baffle which is a no/no on a 5E3 because the speaker magnet will rub against the tubes, the cab is not finger jointed, but the main kicker and disappointment was that the tweed was some sorta fake plastic vinyl, granted it looked real and fooled me at first, but I'm one of those that likes to shellac the tweed and lacquer. and I kinda jacked it when I realized the product's weren't soaking in...
     
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  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for that review and posting the video, the amp sounds good in that clip. I suspected the cabs would look a bit off. I bought a Blackstar ht series head so haven't yet ordered anything from Mable. I still plan to at some point and will probably order a completed head with cab. For the $100 bucks extra for the head shell I couldn't source materials and build one for that price locally and I do have some gold piping and a Marshall handle and gold logo sitting around I could upgrade it with. I can see how the wait time could be stressful and a pita. I have had similar waits when ordering from china, sometimes items are delivered ridiculously fast then extremely slow. Nice to know they do eventually arrive though.
     
  10. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds good. I asked for people using their 20W amps with no PA signal to post a video showing the amp can play a live gig but the thread didn't seem to go anywhere. I know it is also speaker dependent but at least you can show what is possible.
     
  11. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    I posted a video on a youtube account "59bassman" but I've since forgot the password for that account. It is a side by side comparison of a TMB 18 and a 5E3 - the general opinion is that the 5E3 hands down was a better sounding amp. My personal choice is the 5E3 also, but here's why --- The 5E3 has something great going on with the bottom that has spoiled my ears, especially when playing with single coil pickups.
    Looking back, I didn't feel like I'd done the marshall clone justice re/ tone settings, but here's a link to that video if you're curious about the TMB Mable build...

     
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  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I prefer the sound of the 5e3 in the video above.
    Are the Mabel 5e3 cabs accurate dimensions and can a new baffle be installed to offset the speaker?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  13. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    Re: using Mable audio amps live ~~~
    This is the same Mable 5E3 at an out door concert miced with sm57 of axis. Here I'm using a Les Paul plugged into the Bright channel

     
  14. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    The accuracy of the cab dimensions is not something I would put much faith in, but they could be correct IDK, I just think if the speaker hole is in the wrong spot ;)... I cut out my own from a piece of birch plywood and ordered the oxblood grill cloth on amazon.
     
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  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I might just go with the 5e3 when i'm ready to order then. I've got Marshalls covered with a few other amps now. The cab looks ok, will wait and see how much savings on shipping can be had if ordering the amp minus cab before I make a decision. I can always recover the cab and install a new baffle if the price is right.
     
  16. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    Here's a 20w Egnater Rebel 20 un-miced at a outdoor party. This is recorded through a stock gopro camera using only the internal microphone.
     
  17. tonejunkie99

    tonejunkie99 TDPRI Member

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    ya, I have old, BIG marshalls also and the thing with the little 18W TMB amps is they are lacking in the bottom end. I assembled the first TMB in a 1/12 combo used it a while and then built a couple more for other people, but when I played the first note through the 5E3, it really felt like i'd stumbled onto something special. Those old JMP marshalls I still have are great and have magical bottom end, but Its gotten where hauling that stuff around is not worth it, and the venues are not as volume cool as they used to be.

    It's been my experience that the band musicianship dictates more if you can get by with just a 12w 5E3. In my blues trio the 5E3 is perfect, but I've not been able to use it in many 4 piece settings, primarily because of people playing too loud. In those settiings I still have to revert to 50w JMP or JTM45 style amps
     
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