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5e3 Amps - for beginners???

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Taylornut777, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. engineer

    engineer Tele-Meister

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    Yay a newb, like me!

    I think you are in the right place, but maybe you need to ask yourself other questions?

    So you want an all-tube amp? Or a solid state?
    Do you want mostly clean sounds or do you want the dirt?
    Are you living with anyone else? House or apartment? Recluse in the woods?
    Will you be playing exclusively at home or will you take the amp on the road?

    I love tube amps.

    But man, are they LOUD!
    Well, a Deluxe certainly can be.

    So you need to consider those things.
    I also really like The Angle's suggestion on making your current amp a single tone amp. At least to try it out.
    For instance, I got a pedal that could be remodeled into anything (due to versatility) but I only use it for reverbs. What does that tell us?

    I started my journey into tube amps with a Fender Greta. Small 1-watt tube amp with a built in speaker. Super cute, low volumes for the apartment, I could add external speakers for more volume.
    Now, I live in a house. So the Greta does not get that much attention anymore. Plus, when you start down a path you learn more. And more. Especially if you hang around here. Today I have 6 tube amps but I am looking for more.
    (Does that tell you I should've gone the modeller route?) ;)
     
  2. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    They sound great for certain things but are not very versatile. One trick pony.

    Oh, the last time I said that I was hounded out of that particular forum.

    There are some pretty aggressive fans out there, but anyone with a little common sense will agree.

    ...and yes I own one, along with 10 other amps, inc 4 vintage style.
    .
    .
     
  3. jimytheassassin

    jimytheassassin TDPRI Member

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    I can appreciate the notion; less is more. The 5e3 has a different thing going vs a deluxe reverb. You’ll eventually appreciate the complex interaction of the volume and tone knobs as they aren’t as straight forward as you would assume. It will hopefully reveal to you that the true versatility of this amp lays within your guitars volume/tone controls, pickups, strings and playing. As much as it’s billed as a one trick pony, it’s definitely not one dimensional or boring. Besides, if you found yourself needing a change then there are copious amounts of info on ways to modify them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Going from a Mustang to a 5e3 will present a few challenges. It will be louder before breakup, it will not have onboard effects, it will have the tweed tone which might be a bit honky and mid-y compared to a Mustang, the volume and tone controls interact in an unintuitive manner, it will cost more, and it will be louder. In my book, most of those are a good thing. I see a few used under $800 right now.

    HRD's would be even louder. Maybe a Blues Jr, just to stay within the Fender tone palette? I still think a Super Champ is about the perfect house amp. One big advantage of a Super Champ, is its scalable for lower volumes at the house - which can be the most important factor of all, if volume keeps you from playing. AND, the effects are on a dial, so its intuitive. Much better than the menus of a Mustang. PS - Super Champs are easily had under $300, and pretty good swap for a Mustang.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  5. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    A 5e3 type amp would be perfect... And, I suggest you take muchxs's offer.
     
  6. dunehunter

    dunehunter Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Just curious. Do you like the sound of your buddy's Silver Face Deluxe Reverb? Very nice amp--I have one. BUT, it's NOT a 5*3 Deluxe circuit. It's a pretty clean amp that sounds great but is not nearly as touch-sensitive or dirty as a 5*3 Deluxe. The AB763 circuit of the Deluxe Reverb is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Leo's amp designs. The Silver face amps are not AB763 but they're pretty darn close.

    I'm starting to play jazz on mine and it sounds great. Rock and blues work well, too, but really needs pedals to get crunchy. And the amp takes pedals nicely.

    I also have a 5E3 that I built and I love it although I'm not particularly fussy about playing with the settings. I heard (and read) somewhere that with Fender Tweeds, just put the volume(s) on between 3 and 4 and you have a full range of touch sensitivity and you don't push the amp too hard. I've now tried this with my Champ and Bassman (both also home built) and it seems to work REALLY well. Great tone and no fuss with super touch-sensitivity.

    I agree with other posters, btw: the 5E3 circuit can be VERY loud.

    I also agree with other posters on the Champ (5*1) circuit. If you're just a beginner, this amp is loud (although without micing, has difficulty cutting through the mix with, say, a drummer), has great tone, is highly portable, and shows the full range of what the Fender Tweeds generally do. Plays clean AND plays very dirty. Great bedroom/practice amp.

    Guess, in the end, it depends on the sound you're looking for...;)
     
    RYAN1987M likes this.
  7. capt pearl

    capt pearl Tele-Meister

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    Amen, Brother!
     
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  8. capt pearl

    capt pearl Tele-Meister

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    Am big fan of this statement. To quote my friend Tim Lee (Windbreakers, Tim Lee 3, Bark) "Stop twiddling knobs and PLAY!"
     
    Alex W likes this.
  9. Spexicola

    Spexicola Tele-Meister

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    Yeah. Having had both, the 5E3 Deluxe and the PRRI are very comparable in price and features. As I'm sure you know, if you want a lot of variation in your clean tone and a great reverb/trem unit, go PRRI. If you want a lot of variation in your overdrive, with the caveat that you may need an EQ pedal to roll off the bass response, go 5E3. Both amps would make a solid investment for a beginner if bought used. Good with pedals. Good at bedroom volume with an OD pedal. If you stick with it, you'll never grow out of them. If you quit, they'll give you your money back if you're patient when buying and selling.

    Does the Mojotone Blackout come with a NFB circuit? That would make it a strong choice for those wanting something prebuilt in the USA, for PRRI-ish price, with more overdrive flexibility and EQ control.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  10. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    There are online tutorials on getting different sounds from a 5E3, including taming the volume. You also have the guitar's controls to work with. Regarding touch sensitivity, you might be more comfortable with a heavier set of strings than what you're using. Lowering the pickups a bit can also help.
     
  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    .
    This is a great suggestion for test driving this method with your Mustang III. Set the gain to just at the edge of breakup, where the tone is a warm clean that fattens up when you hit the strings harder. Set the treble, middle, and bass controls where the tone is where you want it, then turn the bass control up at least another half notch to attempt replication of the looser 5E3 low end.

    Play this way for a couple of weeks, as @The Angle said, use volume and tone on the guitar, then decide if this is what you want.
     
    Tim S likes this.
  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Uhhh...

    You said your buddy played a Deluxe Reverb and it was THE sound - right?

    Then you said a 5E3 Deluxe is THE sound - right?

    Do you understand that thew only things those amps have in common are PART of the name - "Deluxe" - two 6V6 power tubes; and one 12" speaker.

    But the "reverb" is a 20-22 watt amp, the "5E3" around 12-15. The preamps, output stages - virtually everything about the circuits - are different.

    They are as similar as cauliflower and carrots.

    My points -

    1. if you don't understand how different these amps are you need to do a LOT more reading and research before buying a new amp.

    2. DO NOT let anyone talk you into building a kit amp of any kind until A) you CLEARLY understand the technical differences between a 5E3 Deluxe and a Deluxe Reverb B) you understand ALL the safety rules involved with kit building, and C) have at least a rudimentary understanding of basic tube electronics.

    Kits are NOT like plastic models. Except for a couple of VERY expensive kit suppliers, they all expect you to understand and have some education in basic electronics. They don't TEACH anything - they simply tell you what to solder where, and in a few cases what to "test" (meaning you must own test equipment).

    Unless you know what you are doing you will end up with a sloppy kit with WAY too much wire looped all over the place - and NO idea what to do when you turn it on and it doesn't work, or makes a loud "buzzing" sound. Asking "what's wrong with my amp?" and posting pictures rarely helps. Instead, you have to take it to a tech and pay him or her to repair it - which will NOT be done with you watching, because you are NOT paying them to teach you electronics.

    This isn't meant to be demeaning, so PLEASE don't take it that way. It's meant to explain the hole a beginner is in when they have no understanding of basic electronics - and the much deeper hole he's in when he doesn't comprehend the difference between two VERY different amplifiers.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    If you want the blackface & tweed tones in one amp, I urge you to try the Tone Kings amps — that’s what they specialize in.
     
  14. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    Frenzel Tube Amps
     
  15. Taylornut777

    Taylornut777 TDPRI Member

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    i think I am going to dig into this line a bit more. I just watched a video of the Imperial demoing the tweed “fat” tone and it was glorious. I know they all have attenuators but would the gremlin be power enough for a small indoor gig with 50-100 people with a drummer? My local shop have both the Gremlin and Imperial (20th Anniv)
    I feel I’m getting closer
     
  16. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I don’t have a Gremlin. I have a Sky King. So I can’t say definitely, but I’m guessing a single-ended, single octal tube amp with one 12” speaker probably won’t compete with a heavy-handed drummer if you’re playing clean. Maybe if you used an external cabinet?
    The Imperial would be a better fit, but try them both out and report your findings.
     
  17. Taylornut777

    Taylornut777 TDPRI Member

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    will do Tim. Going to demo both as soon as I can get the #$&k out of this house
     
  18. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    Here's an example of a good price on a great used boutique amp:
    https://reverb.com/item/21335327-emery-sound-spotlight-superbaby-2001-wood-plexi

    I have an Emery Sound Microbaby and it is a great amp. He doesn't make the ones that look like a vintage radio anymore, which is a shame because they look really cool.

    Reverb.com also has some great deals on used 5F1 tweed Champ clones and 5E3 tweed Deluxe clones. Lil Dawg amps get great reviews and here is a 5E3 head you could pair with a speaker cab: https://reverb.com/item/31162792-lil-dawg-d-lux-5e3-tweed-deluxe-lunchbox-head


    For a a bigger upfront investment, this Clark Beaufort looks like a lifetime keeper to me:
    https://reverb.com/item/32881466-clark-amplification-beaufort-5e3-tweed-deluxe

    Happy hunting.
     
  19. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    5e3 is a simple, fun amp to play IMG_20200329_122148365.jpg
     
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  20. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Holic

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