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Basic 5e3 question: Which bypass cap do you mod?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by King Fan, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Good question, shoulda linked back here somehow, but cuz I had so many research questions over the year, I put results in a new thread.

    Briefly, I found Wally's 32uF reservoir cap, my 10uF V2 bypass cap, and a single 0.047 coupling cap in the bright channel gave me lots of vintage 5e3 tone *and* decent flub control. Oh, and that's still with my 470K PI grid stopper as per Rob, Merlin, etc. -- it just makes the OD a lot sweeter...
     
    timewaster1700 and Wally like this.

  2. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Isn't the same thing accomplished with speaker swaps and/or running into a cab quipped with a more efficient, tighter sounding speaker ?
     

  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Not ime.
     

  4. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    At the risk of running longer than Wally (heh), the pros I read all point out that flub doesn't come from the speaker, it comes from the circuit. Speakers are one of the most expensive mods out there, what, $100 up? A 30-33uF reservoir cap will run you $4 - $11, a bypass cap $1.20-$3, a coupling cap about $2...
     
    Wally likes this.

  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Lol....I rarely can express myself in two words, right, King??? Hehehehhe
     

  6. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Six letters in fact
     

  7. timewaster1700

    timewaster1700 Tele-Meister

    258
    Feb 17, 2016
    Utah
    Thanks for the update. Any downside you can see to running the 470k grid stopper permanently on the phase inverter? Any loss of character?
     

  8. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Yeah. If you want a totally authentic 5e3 sound, it included the PI distortion, so I shoulda really put it on a switch. But I learned tweed on a single-ended 5f2a Princeton, so to me the PI distortion was just ratty. Rob's 'sweet pot' would be an excellent solution, too.
     
    timewaster1700 likes this.

  9. ballynally2

    ballynally2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    470
    Jun 7, 2009
    donegal ireland
    I think its best to try changing coupling caps first as tinkering with the first stage cathode bypass caps might lead to all sorts of gain/eq/distortion changes, unless you're aiming for that, of course.
    If just reducing bass flab is your aim, especially on high volume (as Wally has pointed out) filter caps, then coupling caps, then cathode bypass caps.
    However, with low watt amps one has to be extra carefull not to thin out the signal too much.So going overboard with cathode bypass caps like .68 and not changing cathode resistors making a different equation might lead to a rather aenemic sound.We want to keep the bite but not going into saturation too quickly (at least i do).And nfb is also a factor.
    Anyway, if i keep everything stock and deal only with cathode bypass caps i would start with the first one and drop it between 1.5 and 2.2 uF.Anything above 3 uF is rather useless imo as low E is 81 hz as any audible change has been established as 3 dB (subject to Fletcher/Munson et al).Coupling caps are more subtle and even dropping .022 uf to .0022 uF often doesnt quite do it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 9:42 AM

  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Larger capacitance in the first stage tightens up the low end....makes the amp punchier...does away with low end flub. It is not a differencet in EQ but a difference in how the frequencies act in the signal path. IMHO, the first stage of capacitance is a basic design decision. If one wants a tight, punchy low end, this is where one starts, ime.
     

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