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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by percy, Apr 12, 2019.
I have 2 different ends of the spectrum. The Epiphone Valve Jr. and the Fenders VibroChamp XD.
These looked great little amps but orange didn't leave them in production for long. I think maybe the lack of a master vol limited their appeal somewhat. I never can get why manufacturers don't fit M/V, even on a little 5 watter they are essential because a 5 watt tube amp is still very loud when cranked up. IMO all amps should have M/V and a half power switch to go with it.
OK then i've got to say that you're the Man when it comes to small amps. This is the best collection i've seen.
Any Mesa with a 5 watt setting works pretty good, and is my actual at home preferred amp. I have vintage Vibro Champ and Bronco amps as well.
Really happy with my Champ clone from Modern Sound Amplifiers:
This was one of my first YouTube videos and I can think of a dozen things wrong with it, but this amplifier isn't one of them. Apologies for the length and boring guitar playing.
5F1 Tweed Champ Clone
12" Jupiter ceramic speaker
"Clean/Crunch" switch - offers a little more clean headroom than a traditional Champ
Bright Cap switch - brightens of dark-sounding pickups or guitars
No affiliation. Just a twice-satisfied customer (Mike previously built me a 5F11 Vibrolux clone).
Yes, a master volume would have been good.
But still, it's the best 5 watter I've ever heard. Such an organic and responsive tone.
But then, I'm partial to Orange amps.
Little June bug
Here's my 5 Watter. I don't claim to be a musician nor a photographer.
Hi, I just acquired a Crate 5v 5 watt and I was wondering what tubes and speakers you used in your upgrade?
It was a while ago. I believe it was a WGS Veteran 10" and JJ's from Eurotubes.
I have and love my little Vox AC4TVmini. Attenuates down to .1watt. The little speaker breaks up at almost any volume. But the coolest thing about this amp is the speaker out jack. The amp is smaller than most amp heads, so essentially it doubles as a 4 watt head. Need more bottom? No problem, use it with a 12” cab. Want some clean headroom? No problem, hook up a 4x10 or a 2x12.
Here's a couple of clips I recorded the last couple of days with my Victoria 5112.
I have been on a trip to try to find a tone that doesn't have too harsh of a sear when I get into those heated moments on my bridge PU. I had a private party gig last Saturday where I'd usually play a Deluxe Reverb and brought this instead. It worked surprisingly well, the mids really sit in the mix nice, but I missed bold cleans for R&B comping. I think this Friday I'll bring both the DR and the 5112.
VHT Classic 6. 1x12 combo. 1 12ax7, 1 6v6. Tone knob is more of a mid contour. Great, blackface and tweed type tones in one box. You can pick one up for $250 or so if you can find one.
Here’s mine. A modified Epiphone Valve Junior Head, with an accompanying LopoLine 12” sealed back cabinet, loaded with an Eminence/Fender speaker.
Revised circuit board, based upon the 18watt.com/sewatt.com “Marshallesque” mods.
Output transformer replaced with a Hammond 125ESE.
Volume control for EL84 power tube.
Gain control for 12AX7 preamp tube.
“Pull for boost” on Gain control knob.
“Pull for NFB” on Volume control knob. (Negative FeedBack circuit.)
Mallory 150 caps used on all tone shaping circuit changes. Changed values used to bring what was a dark, muddy-sounding amp to have it resemble Marshall tones. The biggest, most notable change was the Hammond OT. The “big iron” does a lot for this little beast. It truly roars for 5 watts.
Negative feedback tames the volume - a lot - allowing reasonable volume and smoother tone. With the NFB switched out, there’s plenty of single-ended snarl. The separate Volume and Gain pots allow the player to balance preamp and power amp distortion. Cleans are possible at low volume with volume below 12 o’clock and Gain below 9 - 10 o’clock. Pulling the Gain control Selects the Boost circuit, which puts this amp into high-gain territory.
Connecting a DI box (such as a Behringer GI100) between the speaker cab and the amp head provides a line-level signal to be sent to a board or a DAW for recording, as long as an appropriate speaker or load box is also connected to the amp head. There are separate jacks for a 4, 8, or 16 ohm cabinet or cabinet array that provides a 4, 8, or 16 ohm load.
Reasonably loud volumes are achieved with the matching 12” cabinet. I’ve used it to drive two 4x10 8 ohm cabinets at a total 4 ohm load. Those who heard it didn’t believe it was 5 watts. Just goes to show that the first watt or two does most of the heavy lifting.
Schematic is posted on the sewatt.com site. I’m known as Ronzo there, too. Did these mods over ten years ago, on a card table with a cheap Rat Shack soldering iron. My eyes were a lot better then.
Enjoyed your clips Ian ! My fascination with 5 watters began about 2007 , I bought an Epi VJ to use in our band's small rehearsal room . Worked out well , I did a simple Bitmo mod to it , just a switch that thickened the tone .Then I bought a Blackheart V5 (?) for the tone controls , it was an improvement over the VJ , had run them both with a 1x12 cab . Next I bought a Bugera combo out of curiosity , with a speaker change ( Weber) and better tubes it was a pretty good amp too . But then I just had to have a vintage Champ , and bought a '66 Champ , and then a '75 Vibro Champ . Lastly , I bought a 5F1 kit and had a bigger cab made to fit a 10" WGS speaker . I just took the Blackheart out of retirement today and ran it through a 2x10 cab ... sounded really great !
I gutted a Sony reel to reel too! Turned it into a 5F1 like amp. Used the transformers, 6CA4 rectifier, 6AQ5 power tube and 12AD7 pre. Built it as small as I could with an 8” weber signature alnico.
First build was a 5F1 kit from Boothill. That amp sounds so good!!!
No beauty contest winner, but ticks quite a few 'tone boxes' (no pun intended):
5 watts / Class A / 1 x EL84 + 1 x 12AX7 / 8" speaker in open back cab / Simple operation (just a power switch and a volume knob!). Quite like a 'baby AC30' voice-wise (as you'd expect) and breaks up nicely. Mine is about 15 years old, and no build issues; can be run flat-out without any rattles! About time I changed the stock speaker, I reckon.
Got a few little ones
Kingston Silicon Solid State, Made in Japan in late 60s or early 70s. Probably less than 5 watts through a 4" speaker. Speaker was bad when I got it, replaced it with one from the parts box. Doesn't sound too bad for what it is. Really, I've had a bunch of the late 60s solid state amps and none of them sound as bad as their reputation.
Fender Greta, which seems well known here. Speaker swapped for the Visaton from Amazon. Went from trying to sell it to playing it daily, and the old speaker fit the Kingston above perfectly.
And my real oddball
Vox Student, based on the old All American 5 tube radio circuit, but with a real power transformer so it has to try way harder to kill you. Had to recap and change the volume/on switch, and I still have a ground hum I need to track down. ~6" speaker and gets pretty loud. Stays clean with single coils, but a boost or humbuckers will get it breaking up a little.