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The best Fender Deluxe Tweed Clone? (Kit or already Built)

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by P-Zilla, Sep 8, 2006.

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  1. P-Zilla

    P-Zilla Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2006
    North of The Wall
    My birthday is fast approaching and I am really wanting my dream amp! A Fender Deluxe Tweed. i either want an afforadable complete 5E3 Deluxe or a easy to build Kit. Any suggestions?
  2. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

  3. kludge

    kludge Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2006
    The best I've played are Meadowlark amps (or is that Meadowland?), which I've heard at Willie's American Guitars in St Paul. My favorite is an old-style large-face cabinet in pine, but covered in varnished green hemp canvas rather than tweed. It's gorgeous. I think the circuits are modified a bit from a classic tweed configuration, but they still behave like a tweed deluxe - the volume pots interact correctly. TERRIFIC tone on them, better than most of the real vintage tweeds in the shop. And they're new, not 50 years old! I think the regular Deluxe type is $950, and a 6L6 version is $1150, but you could call Willie's to find out.
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  5. FiddlinJim

    FiddlinJim Tele-Holic

    Mar 28, 2006
    I built a Marsh Princeton kit ( and I know Mike sells quite a number of tweed Deluxe kits. He's very helpful and picks top-notch components. The Deluxe is a step up in complexity from a Champ or Princeton... but probably not that big of a step.

    Building my amp was one of the most rewarding learning experiences I've had in a very long time. I'm currently building a tweed Super (not from a kit). One of these days, I'll figure out how to play the dang guitar.
  6. lewis

    lewis Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
  7. stevedenver

    stevedenver Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2003
    the mile high city
    i built a mission 5e3 too

    1 i had never built an amp (or anything like it-nor can i read a schematic)
    the amp is really paint by number

    2 what sold me : i a/bd bruces kit against a Vic deluxe (with a jenson) at another music shop-the mission absolutley smoked it (might have only been the speaker but i really heard a big difference)

    3 he has pics of how to do everything

    4 he will help you if you blow it

    5 i have a great deal of pride in building the amp-it took me about all day to build the chassis-and he has a forum for tweaks etc

    6 he uses top quality stuff and included NOS tubes where it counts-and believe me it makes a big difference

    7 bruce has used his knowledge and experience to make this the best 5e3 circuit-better than the original -and -i later added the humbucker single coil switch he offers (added it about a year later) (nice and while subtel takes away farty flabby with a les paul- yet keeps the big bass for a tele -which btw is about the most perfect match for the deluxe imho-really

    8 as you might imagine i think this is the way to go-fwiw im a lawyer and pretty busy, and know that name brands have better resale-and-i hate it when stuff doesnt work or is second rate-all i can say is this was a real wake up call-better IMHO than the vic-cost less (but not cheap-but still about 400 under a Vic and this with a better speaker)

    -worth every penny-and sounds great-and works well at bedroom volume-clean sound up to 2.5-after that grind and more grind

    the cab and leather handle are top notch-beautiful-as is his finished and polished chassis

    all you need to be able to do is solder, you might like a meter to test things but its not really necessary -basically a 20-45 solder pen, flux, solder, solder removal wire, maybe some extra wire (if you have trouble with estimating how much wire to cut -

    you MUST have patience to carefully familiarize yourself and have the discipine to carefully check and recheck your work-this means neither beer nor caffiene to me-wide awake and able to work in a well lighted area undisturbed or distracted

    -its like a math problem-you have to get it 100% but all it takes is being carefull not to mix up resistors and caps

    -it was my first amp-and it fired up dont have to bias or anything

    bloody wonderful and the BEST quality i am convinced

    i used the upgraded mercury tranny and got a weber blue dog (dont skimp on the speaker)

    i just posted on how to 'laquer' the cab with poly (this will take you a couple of days -mostly drying time -

    i have had many people who are amp nuts think the mission is a genuine 5e3 from its appearance and most think its sounds twice as good

    Mission makes first class stuff-my friend has built a marshall mission and it is equally superior to its progenitor (yes we ab'd as well-)

    if you gotta have the F logo plaque you can add it-mine is naked-frankly now that mission offers its own plaque IMHO its nicer looking-

    ps these amps can actually power a second cab (tweed) if you need more sound, and can use 6l6s for more output, and, can use a tube rectifier and can be modded to a copper cap rectifier for a tighter more rock (less bluesy sag/mush)

    oh and did mention that the two volume controls are interactive which affects 'grind'

    youll love it im sure

    checked out the ceriatone site link-gets good reviews -prices are drop dead

    you can get an cab and speaker here in the us-check out mojo tone , antiqueelectronics, the fender field guide (has a link) - good luck
  8. DrewB

    DrewB Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 3, 2005
    Independence, MO
    Yeah, everything Steve said! I built a Mission 5E3 a couple of years ago, and it sounds fantastic. The instructions he includes with the kit are totally geared to the novice (so it was perfect for me), and there is a website that shows a pic-by-pic breakdown of wiring the board. My amp worked the first time I turned it on and has been extremely reliable. Go for the cloth-covered wire option; it makes wiring up the twisted-pair filament supplies a lot easier than dealing with the plastic-insulated wires.
  9. Tremo

    Tremo Banned

    You guys need to bear in mind that you get what you pay for. You need to know that there are some amp kits on the market that use bargain basement el cheapo offshore made parts, some of which are pure crap. No names, thank you. If it's too cheap to be true, there's a reason. Caveat emptor.
  10. stevedenver

    stevedenver Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2003
    the mile high city
    true -in fact imho the mission could use better tubes sockets -you do get what you pay for-usually
  11. acmesoundlab

    acmesoundlab TDPRI Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    Clifton, NJ
  12. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
  13. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Don't overlook the option of hunting for a bargain on the real thing... I bought a 49 Fender TV front Deluxe with a new jensen p12r for $850, A 49 Fender Pro for $1000 mint except for the handle and speaker baffle with the original victoria cover and a 52 Fender Pro for $250 that was in bad condition (painted black with silver sparkle grill cloth and steel corners) and I recovered it with tweed, shellaced it, recapped, retubed and replaced the speaker for less than a kit.... And...It's a FENDER!
  14. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 20, 2003
    Tug Hill Plateau

    A used Victoria is a good deal.
    They are made well ! :D

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