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5E3 Amp Blasting

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by andy81563, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. andy81563

    andy81563 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I have built a Fender Tweed Deluxe 5E3 and have been very pleased with it. However, it is just so loud I can't turn the volume up passed 1 or 2. I built it with 12ax7 tubes in both of the preamp positions. If I put a 12ay7 tube in the first preamp position will the sound be attenuated somewhat?

    Thanks for the help.
    Andy
     
  2. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congrats! Yeah try an at7 also.....or 5751.....the design is for a 12ay7 to begin with....youll love it. I built mine many years ago and it rocks...i gig with a 5 pc. Blues rock band and mine only gets to 3 or so on the dial. We do mic it tho for foh.
     
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  3. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Have a look at the 1/10 th power mod on the Robrob site. Well worth doing and an easy fix.
     
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  4. drneilmb

    drneilmb Tele-Meister

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    Not really. A 12ay7 has lower gain which will allow more input signal before the onset of distortion in later stages so more clean headroom. If you want to set the volume knob higher than 1 or 2 to get more tube distortion with less volume, then a 12ay7 will not get you where you want to go.

    If you want a quieter amp, you could use an attenuator or build a different amp or use a less efficient speaker.
     
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  5. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's how they are. A 12AY7 is what they're supposed to have in V1, but the volume still comes in abruptly.

    Leo expected you to use the volume control on your guitar, too. ;)
     
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  6. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    No, volume probably won’t decrease any with a 12ay7, but you’ll get more headroom. I had to get a Weber mini mass for mine. It works great! I can put that sucker on 12 and it doesn’t wake up my wife or two year old. It was about $150, and worth every penny!

    Also, the variable volume sweep is basically between 0-2. Anything above that gets marginally louder but definitely squares off the waveform, as it sounds like you’ve found out.
     
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  7. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I just built a Mojo 5E3 and it came with a 12AY7 in first position and a JJ ECC83 for the 12AX7. Really good combination and it breaks up at a reasonable volume and sounds really good. It is not loud. At least to me. I did not jump the channels just used the bright channel and it worked out good.
     
  8. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    A combination of true 5E3 facts can sound like blind men describing an elephant. These guys are all correct, though it sounds disparate... the key things are:
    a. Get a 12ay7 -- it's the tube Leo wanted in there
    b. The 5E3 volume ramp is basically between 2 and 3 (maybe 4 with an ay7). After that the active channel volume is mostly gain, and much slower at that.
    c. The tone knob also acts to increase effective gain over much of its range. Start out below 6.
    d. Yes! Your guitar's volume knob has now has to work for a living -- make it get your pick attack to help.
    e. Secret sauce: the 'inactive' volume knob can help attenuate the active channel as you get above 8 or 9 (on the inactive). Try it on 9 or 10, and make very fine volume adjusts to active in the 2-4 range.

    Watch the maestro set his volume using T=5 and just the active volume knob...

     
  9. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    What speaker you running? If it's super sensitive (loud) swapping in a less sensitive one helps. However even a large drop in speaker sensitivity might not get you there if you're playing in an apartment or something.
    I had a Maverick in a Deluxe Reverb those ate adjustable from about 91 to 99 db. Very useful difference really, but not to the point you could crank it at TV volume.
    Tube swaps don't do much in my experience. Worth a shot though because it might change the character of it enough and it's cheap and easy to try.
    Really depends on what you want to hear at what volume level.
     
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  10. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Try a 12AY7 in both V1 and V2 positions.

    While it won’t necessarily decrease the volume much, you may still like how it sounds (I did on mine).

    Also, I tried a lower sensitivity, lower output, brighter speaker once and it made the amp sound thin and weak.

    No luck with an attenuator either.

    Of course YMMV...


     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  11. Joshtheguitarguy

    Joshtheguitarguy TDPRI Member

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    A little, but not enough to crank it and get amp distortion. Just turn the opposite channel volume up, or use overdrive or distortion.
     
  12. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I don’t know how low the OP was wanting to go, but I’ve pretty much had disappointing results using overdrive or distortion pedals at fairly low volumes. It just sounds so fake to me.

    Besides, a pedal overdrive will never match the 5E3 overdrive (imo).

    Unfortunately (or, rather, “fortunately”) the 5E3 is meant to be cranked unimpeded in order for the player to bask in its glorious tone!

    In other words; the 5E3 is happiest when it’s in the “saturation zone”.

    Sure, you can get a decent “clean” tone at lower volumes, but, as far as overdrive is concerned, there doesn’t appear to be a simple solution that yields those “to die for” results I think we’re talking about here...


     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Every 5E3 I have owned or worked on could be played with the tone at least 3/4 way up and with both channel volumes set to a minimum of 6 on the dial....plugged into the Bright channel, I like that channel even higher. One can play anything one wants to play at those settings. Control at the instrument and in the pick attack is demanded. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it and learn how to control the pick attack and the guitar output would be my advice.
     
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  14. NEED4TWEED

    NEED4TWEED TDPRI Member

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    I didn’t see this mentioned yet, but consider a master volume, which can be pre or post-phase inverter in this amp. That will at least get you preamp tube overdrive at low volumes. As mentioned, you can also use an attenuator to get some pre and power tube overdrive. You can also do Robs mod for a 10-50% reduction, but consider that this is hard on components.
     
  15. Joshtheguitarguy

    Joshtheguitarguy TDPRI Member

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    That´s true. But when your playing at low volumes you can only do so much. Try the JHS black box. It's basically a master volume so you can crank the amp and turn it down on the master. Some attenuator is probably your best bet. EDIT: THE JHS BLACK BOX DOES NOT WORK WITH THE 5e3 AS IT WILL DAMAGE THE AMP IF IT RUNS BETWEEN THE POWER SECTION AND SPEAKERS. ONLY USE IF YOU HAVE A SERIES FX LOOP IN YOUR AMP.


    https://reverb.com/item/33568617-jh...45f_yn1KLnm9C9JP31Uh1E_BHC2k1KPNw&rollup=true
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would...
    • change to the 12AY7 or 12AT7 as others recommend
    • Get a good overdrive pedal (I like Klon types, but there are many others); a good boost will get you there too...look at the TC Electronic Spark or JHS Prestige for example (I use a Prestige followed by a Klon type with my 5F1)
    • Set the amp to edge of breakup volume
    • Set the pedal to push it into the breakup you want AND to set the overall volume level from the pedal (this is really the point of overdrive pedals)...this will solve your sound level problem
    • Set the overall level (from the pedal) to your lead volume/gain and then roll back the guitar volume to clean things up and/or use different pickup selections; as others have mentioned, the 5E3 is also very sensitive to pick attack
    • Enjoy

    PS: If the issue is your ears and not your housemates/neighbors, just get a good set of musicians earplugs and turn up to the volume you need. When you need to keep it down...use the above suggestions.

    PPS: There is a video on youtube about how the interactive volume/tone controls work on that amp. It's very educational and worth a watch.
     
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  17. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is a cool solution, but I think you have to run it in an effects loop, which most 5E3's do not have. (Just saw your EDIT). Someone please correct me if I'm misunderstanding how this works.

    Would it be possible to run it between the jumpered inputs of a 5E3 to have it work similarly?
     
  18. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    You won't make that amp any quieter with a tube swap.

    BUT, you possibly could. I have two Mesa/Boogie 12AX7 tubes a friend gave me that I can't use in my Vox because they made my amp super-quiet with very little preamp gain. I don't know if there's something wrong with them or what. They're sitting on my desk as decorations...
     
  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That JHS is simply a signal level control to place in the effects loop, correct? Ime, most amps with an effects loop already have a MV. If an effects loop has level controls, simply install a loop between the in and out Jack and use the level control of the loop.
    IF one wants the sound of a lively amp, ime, the output section needs to be involved. This is why I would almost always prefer a good attenuator rather than a MV. I have experienced only a very few amps that have a MV that I find useful. Most amps sound best when the output is being involved. A MV separates the output from that involvement. If one is looking for heat from only the preamp, then a well-designed MV can be enough.
     
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  20. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    This honestly needs to be required watching for anyone new to a 5e3:



    I run a 12ay7 in my Cox Ultimate 5e3. I can play clean at lower volumes, by using the interactive volumes and the volume on my guitar. if I want dirt at lower volumes, I use a dirt pedal. Everything from overdrive to fuzz, depending on the mood du jour.

    A 12ay7 will slow the onslaught of volume, a touch. But, as stated it slows down the onset of overdrive, too. But, by balancing the volume of both channels, yiou can play at reasonable volumes... As long as you're not looking for Neil Young or Joe Walsh levels of overdrive in a typical 10x10 bedroom.
     
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