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Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Jim72, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Jim72

    Jim72 Tele-Meister

    Jan 18, 2013

    I have been lurking here for awhile now. I am planning to build a telecaster, but it is too dang cold in the workshop, so I gotta wait. I have been looking over kits for amps and am leaning towards a 5E3, probably boothill.

    I am just learning acoustic, also want to go electric, and have been working with wood, metal, simple electronics since the early 70's. I built a couple heathkit deals back in the day. So I have never played and don't know anything about electric guitars and amps, other than I want to build a guitar and amp. I am progressing well, I think, with the acoustic guitar.

    I have been reading a lot and watching youtube vids and checking out this site for awhile now. I will never be a performer, so I don't need a huge amp. I was thinking just buy a blues jr at first then started thinking if I build a 5e3 that gives me something to work on while it is cold, and when it warms I can build the cabinet also.

    I have a question on 5e3. I saw a series of vids on tube amps and the guy was raving about the blues jr having master volume. The 5e3 as far as I can tell does not have a master volume. Is this something that would be a drawback when comparing blues jr to 5e3? Can master volume be added without messing things up?

    Thanks for any input you may have,
  2. thumbpick

    thumbpick Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 22, 2012
    hang on someone will be here shortly
  3. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    There are 2 camps when it comes to master volume amps.
    I'm in the "I wouldn't have a master volume amp if you gave it to me" camp.

    Anything could be added i guess, don't know how much trouble it would be.
    If you are just going to be playing at home and you want to be able to turn it up enough to get dirty without being too loud, just build a 5F1.
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  5. Jim72

    Jim72 Tele-Meister

    Jan 18, 2013

    Why do you feel that way about master volume, if you don't mind me asking?

    I have thought about building a 5F1, but does anyone stop at the 5F1 though? Seems most build the 5E3 after the 5F1, in search of better sound, from what I've read. I have never heard either live, just youtube and soundclips. But, from what I have heard the 5E3 sounds better.

  6. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 15, 2006
    Santa Fe, NM
    A Fender 5F1 is a great amp for the 'home' player.
    Probably good for fairly small venues too?
    The term....'sounds better' always subjective anyway.

  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    A master volume could be put in front of the PI stage. I wish I had my 5E3 finished by now (just cleaning up the workshop so I can work on it) but I think you could use the second channel Volume to cut down the output of the channel you are running into and still get some dirt without driving the output loudly. Could a 5E3 owner let us know if it is possible?
  8. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Out West
    Boothill amps also offers an L-pad attenuator kit that you assemble. It is designed for the 5F1, 5F2a and 5E3. It works very well as I ordered and built one. I recommend it for the 5E3 as it is very loud at any form of breakup.
  9. firemedic

    firemedic Tele-Meister

    Oct 16, 2011
    Many regard master volume as a tone-sucking device. In an amp with 2 gain stages like the Deluxe, I have found this to be true. A MV is a voltage divider and as such generally doesn't sound too good, unless it's turned all the way up.
  10. Brian Wilson

    Brian Wilson Tele-Meister

    Jan 3, 2013
    I can tell you that i'm real happy that I started with the 5F1. i'ts not finished yet, but it is a great learning experience. plus, I plan on a few mods before diving into something bigger. I really think that people build the 5E3 after the 5F1 because this stuff is addictive!
  11. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

    Aug 15, 2010
    I built a 5e3 first then another then a 5f1. The 5f1 is a satisfying build, a great practice amp and is great for recording or using mic'd so long as your stage volume is moderate. I love it and use it frequently for all of these things. The 5e3 is slightly more complicated but it builds of of the 5f1 layout and design. Once you build and understand the 5f1, the 5e3 will make more sense. I've sold both 5e3s and kept the 5f1. The 5e3 does not need a master volume. If you play loud stages, it might need to be mic'd. It can get loud but has little clean headroom. I passed both 5e3s on for better stuff but after 2-3 years I just bought a 5e3 chassis to build another. Like anything, the details make the difference. Transformers, tubes, caps, speakers. I tried different stuff and was never satisfied. This time I'll try a different combo and hopefully have a keeper. Otherwise I'll pass it on and wait a few years and try again. That didn't happen with my 5f1. It was an instant keeper.

    Don't stick your finger where it don't belong. Stay safe.
  12. Savman

    Savman TDPRI Member

    Dec 22, 2012
    Nottingham, UK
    I agree with Brian. My first build was a Champ type amp from a kit. I play it every day, it has a beautiful sound and I can't imagine I will ever need anything else. But need has nothing to do with it. I want to build a Bassman, I want to build a Tweed Pro, I'd quite like to build a 5c1 and a 5d8 and by then of course I'll have to have something else with tremolo. Oh, and a standalone reverb unit.

    Just don't tell my wife...
  13. Jimmy Rocket

    Jimmy Rocket Tele-Holic

    Nov 17, 2010
    Durham, NC
    My first build was a 5f2a. Good place to start.

    Then I built a Princeton reverb because its a completely different beast.

    Sold the tweed Princeton, built a 5f1

    Built another 5f2a as a head with a 2x10 cab which really opens it up and gives me a wider sound and more volume.

    Now I'm on a 5c1

    I could and have gigged all of the above.

    We build more/different amps because this is an addiction and generally not because we need them ;)

    Start with a 5f1 or 5f2a. You'll learn a lot and if you build something else it'll give you a lesson in layout / lead dress / etc.
  14. Jebrone Lames

    Jebrone Lames Banned

    Dec 25, 2012
  15. Jim72

    Jim72 Tele-Meister

    Jan 18, 2013
    Thanks for all of the replies everyone. Looks like I have more reading to do and re consider a 5F1 as a starting point.

    I will get back with more questions I am sure.
  16. Jim72

    Jim72 Tele-Meister

    Jan 18, 2013
    Now I am confused. The guy that did the video series indicated you would use the master volume to be able to avoid preamp distortion and get power tube distortion instead. I gotta find the videos again and watch them again.

  17. Jim72

    Jim72 Tele-Meister

    Jan 18, 2013
    I had it wrong

    Well, I watched the video series again and what you guys are saying about
    preamp distortion with the master volume is spot on. I don't know where I got the idea that I had in my head. I had watched those vids twice and still had it wrong. So I am not going to worry about master volume. I will start with a 5F1 and see if that is what I end up using.

    Thanks for all the input,
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