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5E3 Amp Blasting

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

  1. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    That seems to be the million dollar question here: How low is the OP talking about? Like "don't wake the baby" low? And is he talking about clean or dirty tones?

    Well, assuming he's is going for the latter, imo you're just not going to get a satisfying tone at whisper quiet levels from a 5E3 in my experience (even with a dirt pedal or attenuation).

    "Sweet satisfying saturated sustain heaven" is just not possible at "don't disturb the family" levels on a 5E3 afaict...



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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have watched people try out an amp and have been amused at the fact that they had no understanding of how to get a lively tone...clean or overdrive...from a rig. They were afraid of the volume for one simple reason...they beat on their strings and/or they have relied on pedals alone to get overdriven sounds out of an anemic sounding amp. I would have the amp set up where one could have beautiful lively cleans that were harmonically rich as well as great overdrive with the simple change of pick attack...or volume control at the guitar. These people would hit one note, freak out, and turn the amp down to where there was really no reason to have it 9n...and then bang the strings so hard that the notes were all sharp from that hard hit..and rattling...and of no use unless you wanted to play out of tune, bashing punk music. These are the certain people who can sit with an unamplified acoustic guitar and not be able to get a musical sound out of the guitar because of their extremely hard pick attack.
    If one wants to understand control of the guitar’s output, there is a good way to do it. Note: this is NOT advised as a playing set-up but rather as a learning aid. Turn the guitar controls to max. Turn the amp up louder than you might ever want to play. Then, try to get a clean sound with only changing the pick attack. Yes, it is hard at first if one has not already learned to control pick attack. Once one gets a handle on that, then use the volume control in addition to that pick attack. With an amp like the 5E3, one can find that with the amp turned up to say 5-6 on the volume of the Bright channel and the ‘offline’ Normal channel also at 7-8 and the tone 3/4 way up; one will find that the cleans and the overdrive will be at the same level due to the compression in the circuit.
    On an acoustic guitar, try changing the pick attack so that one is playing extreme pianissimo levels, forte levels...and anything in between. Volume control is an important aspect of music...that is why there are guidelines such as p,pp,ppp, pppp and f,fr,fff, ffff. Those guides implicitly demand that the musician understand where the center of that volume production is...what would that be if they had a guiding notation for it???? M for medium????? That is the pick attack one would do well to understand and use in the majority of situations. In amplified situations, this approach is how one can watch certain guitarists who can go fr9m quiet cleans to extreme screaming high gain whil!never touching a footswitch for anything...they simply change the guitar’s volume control and/or their pick attack. Of course, for an amp to do this it will need to operating at a certain level...and even with a 5E3 this level of volume can very easily be too much. Hence my suggestion of a good attenuator.
     
  3. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    +1 ^^^
     
  4. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Once again, without knowing how "low" the OP is talking about, you can only bring the attenuation down so low before it literally sucks all the life from a 5E3, since they all tend to stifle the higher frequencies as you lower their output levels - which is problematic for such an already bottom heavy fat amp.

    The better attenuators have some sort of presence control to compensate, but these devices tend to be fairly expensive, so that's a factor as well. Plus they all seem to have their critics (as far as affecting the amp's tone in some adverse way).

    In my case I gave up trying to attenuate my 5E3, but mostly because I was able to get the desired results from my Mesa Boogie, which is far more forgiving at lower "attenuated" levels - probably due to getting much of its overdriven tone from the cascading preamp gain rather than the output side of the circuit. I had to increase the treble and lower the bass considerably (when set at extremely low levels), but was able to get a reasonably satisfying "cranked" tone on it (Mesa Boogie TA-30 TransAtlantic: speaker out going through a Bugera PS1 attenuator into a 1x12" Mesa Boogie speaker cab).

    Controlling the treble and bass is obviously not so easy on a 5E3.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, if considering the highest quality attenuators expect to pay $700-$1400 for the good ones and pray that they are worth the added costs...


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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  5. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Heh, is this becoming one of those threads where everyone wonders what ever happened to the OP? It happens; we're a very enthusiastic bunch of answerererers. :D

    I always kinda picture one of two scenarios:

    1. OP, sitting in a comfy armchair wearing a smoking jacket and sipping VSOP from a snifter, reading our posts and thinking, "What a wise and judicious group of new friends I have here."
    2. OP, running from the house tearing his hair and screaming, "These people are cra-z-z-zy."

    OP, if you're still there, please bear with our exuberance, congrats on your new build, and enjoy. :)
     
  6. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I wonder about the volume pot you are using...? Maybe it's very front end loaded getting loud from 1-3 and not so much further up?
     
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  8. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    I will second this, to a point - my mini mass is a great band aid, but it absolutely will not reproduce the tone of a wide open 5e3 at bedroom volumes. It works great for me if I need to stay quiet, but it’s probably about 80% as good as the “real” unimpeded tone of the amp (which is still damn good to my ears). To me, for my philosophy of use, thats awesome. For recording? Maybe not so much.

    OP, if you’re looking for a decent, fast, non-invasive solution for a master volume, I like that attenuator for the use case I described. If you’re looking for perfect clarity and fidelity at lower volumes, that might not work for what you’re after.
     
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  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    We might have to admit it....there is not much of a replacement for the movement of air...which takes a certain amount of power. That said, the best attenuator I personally have played with was the onboard attenuator in a Tone King I Persian MKII....and that attenuator works with a special design output transformer that has one extra secondary windings that are assigned to that attenuator in some manner. Mark Bartel understands things most of us can only marvel at when we use them, imho. The other attenuator that worked for me was in the Jim Kelley FACS amp I owned back in the late ‘90s until 2002. I should have kept that one, right?
    The best ‘bedroom amp’ I have ever played through was a little single ended amp built in Dec, 1940 and that I serviced a few years ago. I cannot remember the maker...but it was a recognizable name. That amp did not make much volume, and it sounded glorious at those low volumes. I wanted to make an offer for it, but it was inherited by the young man from his grandfather. I knew there was no way. I have heard nothing else that amplified an electric guitar with such good sound at a very low volume...clean and overdriven.
     
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  10. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's the video I was thinking of. Great info in there!
     
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  11. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You need to call that certain young man and see if you can blueprint that circuit! LOL

    I have played a TK that had a fantastic attenuator as well.

    I am very pleased with the variable voltage solution that Marshall has implemented in my Origin 20. I would have no idea how to implement, just sayin'....
     
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