5E3 Build (first tube amp)

geetah

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My chassis and small parts arrived a few days ago - very exciting!
I am still investigating, reading, planning, ordering - but the wheels in are in motion.
 

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geetah

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Howdy again, I am still getting everything together but will be starting soon. My dad is building the cabinet for me, and I've been looking into speakers.

At this stage I am thinking a Jensen P12R reissue or a Weber Alnico Sig 12 with a smooth cone - leaning towards the latter. I can get either for around the same price at the moment.

Looking forward to getting going once the rest of the parts arrive!
 

2L man

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Howdy again, I am still getting everything together but will be starting soon. My dad is building the cabinet for me, and I've been looking into speakers.

At this stage I am thinking a Jensen P12R reissue or a Weber Alnico Sig 12 with a smooth cone - leaning towards the latter. I can get either for around the same price at the moment.

Looking forward to getting going once the rest of the parts arrive!
P12R can lack some power reserve in 5E3. P12Q is safer choice but its sensitivity is low and 5E3 is not loud but should be OK for most indoor bars etc.

P12N, Blackbird 40 and Tornado 100 are very good sounding Tweed speakers and quite loud too but there are still louder.

C12N reissue has very sweet classic rock and blues attitude after some loud playing and its VFM is very high.

I haven’t heard Eminence GA-SC64 but I have read good reviews so it interests me and possibly it is loudest of these?

If you don’t drive 5E3 very hard WGS G12Q quiet and reasonable volumes sound great and as ceramic cost is not too bad. Two excellent played Youtube demos worth checking: Cleans using Tele and crunch using LP. I have planned to build 2x12 Tweed combo cabin for two of these.
 
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micadoo

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G'day mate, don't know where you are in Oz, I'm northern subs of Melbourne. I've built quite a few amps, and I'll let you in on my secret for getting good seasoned pine for cabs. Wait until hard rubbish and go find an old book shelve. I picked up 3 last go round, enough to build half a dozen 5E3 sized amps. Evatco up in QLD is most likely the best bet for parts, and I've used their 600v tinned silicone wire on my last two builds. Good stuff. As far as speakers go, in my last RobRob 5E3 I had a Italian P12Q which sounded ace, but was a bit too quiet for gigging, a Lorantz 30 watt Greenback copy which was cool, but lost that Alnico squish that I love so much about a cranked tweed and finally settled on a Weber 30 watt Blue Dog. Loud enough to gig with and compresses just beautifully when you give it some welly. Congratulations on your first build mate, you have come to the right place here. So much expertise given so freely, a beautiful thing indeed. All the best, Mic
 

geetah

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G'day mate, don't know where you are in Oz, I'm northern subs of Melbourne. I've built quite a few amps, and I'll let you in on my secret for getting good seasoned pine for cabs. Wait until hard rubbish and go find an old book shelve. I picked up 3 last go round, enough to build half a dozen 5E3 sized amps. Evatco up in QLD is most likely the best bet for parts, and I've used their 600v tinned silicone wire on my last two builds. Good stuff. As far as speakers go, in my last RobRob 5E3 I had a Italian P12Q which sounded ace, but was a bit too quiet for gigging, a Lorantz 30 watt Greenback copy which was cool, but lost that Alnico squish that I love so much about a cranked tweed and finally settled on a Weber 30 watt Blue Dog. Loud enough to gig with and compresses just beautifully when you give it some welly. Congratulations on your first build mate, you have come to the right place here. So much expertise given so freely, a beautiful thing indeed. All the best, Mic
G'day Mic, thanks for that great tip - I will keep a keen eye out!

Evatco have been great. A couple of months ago I ordered my first batch of parts from them. I get a call the next day asking whether I meant to choose the screw in bulb, as I had ordered the bayonet lamp holder. Fantastic service there, and their prices are competitive.

I ended up getting a new italian P12r. We'll see how it goes. I am normally miced up anywhere I play that's not super small. I really want that ratty, crazy, buzzen sound like on old blues records, so here's hoping.

If I went ceramic, I would consider the Lorantz greenback clone. The Celestion G12-50 that used to be in my silverface Twin Reverb is just sitting around too.

I am ever so grateful and appreciative of the wonderful members help here. So much wisdom and experience in one place. Thank you all.
 

geetah

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Anyhow, a 2 month update is in call.
I have been heavily poring over forum posts regarding this and that. Choosing parts, reading datasheets etc etc Learning, learning.

Another shipment came in with the last pieces I need to complete the circuit board - so I will give myself a whippin' and get it made so I can post pics. :)

I am also trying to choose a power cord with a diameter of 8.3mm-9.1mm to fit the Heyco 6N3-4 (https://www.heyco.com/Strain_Relief_Bushings/product.cfm?product=Original-Strain-Relief-Round-2).

I was hoping to get some of that cool fabric covered stuff but I haven't found any wide enough yet (most have been 6-7mm in diameter)
I'll probably end up buying a 3 meter length of SJT 16/3 and a good plug.
 

geetah

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P12R can lack some power reserve in 5E3. P12Q is safer choice but its sensitivity is low and 5E3 is not loud but should be OK for most indoor bars etc.

P12N, Blackbird 40 and Tornado 100 are very good sounding Tweed speakers and quite loud too but there are still louder.

C12N reissue has very sweet classic rock and blues attitude after some loud playing and its VFM is very high.

I haven’t heard Eminence GA-SC64 but I have read good reviews so it interests me and possibly it is loudest of these?

If you don’t drive 5E3 very hard WGS G12Q quiet and reasonable volumes sound great and as ceramic cost is not too bad. Two excellent played Youtube demos worth checking: Cleans using Tele and crunch using LP. I have planned to build 2x12 Tweed combo cabin for two of these.
Thanks 2L man, I ended up getting a new reissue P12r. If it doesn't work for me I will check out the other speakers you mentioned. What were the videos you mentioned?

I have an old Celestion G12-50 that might work well?? I look forward to reporting back to you all with the results after the amp is built.

We don't play real loud so I'm interested to see how it goes.
 

2L man

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Thanks 2L man, I ended up getting a new reissue P12r. If it doesn't work for me I will check out the other speakers you mentioned. What were the videos you mentioned?

I have an old Celestion G12-50 that might work well?? I look forward to reporting back to you all with the results after the amp is built.

We don't play real loud so I'm interested to see how it goes.

You wrote you like old blues sound so you like it :)

I love all Jensen reissues because they have lots of character. I have test many other brands and often they sound dull.

Right now first time I am beaking in P12R and C12R same time. I bolted them cones together and feed 50Hz opposite phase thru 2x12VAC transformer/resistor circuit. Sound what comes out of them is less annoying and cones move quite a lot so I think their spiders and surrounding get good stretch but perhaps cones not so much when they help each others moving air mass inside there?
 
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Ricky D.

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A little late with this, sorry.

I built mine in 2010 with a Weber alnico Sig 12 smooth cone. Totally satisfactory, no inclination to try anything else.

Once you’ve got it up and running, you will notice the very abrupt response of the volume control. You hit full volume at about 3 on the knob, and it is impossible to dial in the clean range using just the amp volume control. I just run mine at 6-7 and use the guitar volume to get the cleans.

Twelve years in, and mine is still completely stock, no mods at all.
 

Powdog

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I’ve cycled many speakers thru this 5E3 and right now I have a Weber 12A150 with a 12 rib pulp cone in there. The best I’ve ever heard in this amp. Cleaner and powerful, it lets the amp do most of the talking.
 

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geetah

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You wrote you like old blues sound so you like it :)

I love all Jensen reissues because they have lots of character. I have test many other brands and often they sound dull.

Right now first time I am beaking in P12R and C12R same time. I bolted them cones together and feed 50Hz opposite phase thru 2x12VAC transformer/resistor circuit. Sound what comes out of them is less annoying and cones move quite a lot so I think their spiders and surrounding get good stretch but perhaps cones not so much when they help each others moving air mass inside there?
Very interesting way to break speakers in. I think I will just play mine in and see what happens. From what I have heard the Jensens sound good to me. I am happy with the C12n reissues in my early 70s twin reverb so happy to give Jensen another go.

A little late with this, sorry.

I built mine in 2010 with a Weber alnico Sig 12 smooth cone. Totally satisfactory, no inclination to try anything else.

Once you’ve got it up and running, you will notice the very abrupt response of the volume control. You hit full volume at about 3 on the knob, and it is impossible to dial in the clean range using just the amp volume control. I just run mine at 6-7 and use the guitar volume to get the cleans.

Twelve years in, and mine is still completely stock, no mods at all.
Hi Ricky, I was so close to getting a Weber alnico sig 12 but the postage was a killer on it and my local stores had the new Jensens for cheaper. I will try and collect old alnicos to try like MuchXS talks about.
I am a fan of my guitar's volume and tone knobs so it should suit me fine.

I am excited to get it going, muck around with those knobs and let you all check it out.


I’ve cycled many speakers thru this 5E3 and right now I have a Weber 12A150 with a 12 rib pulp cone in there. The best I’ve ever heard in this amp. Cleaner and powerful, it lets the amp do most of the talking.
Ooh that looks nice. The speaker and circuit board match! :) I would like to try a Celestion blue or similar in my vox ac15 one day. It has a greenback in it at the moment - that could have a little playdate in the 5e3 at some stage. The options are endless *mad evil scientist laugh*
 

2L man

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I would like to try a Celestion blue or similar in my vox ac15 one day. It has a greenback in it at the moment - that could have a little playdate in the 5e3 at some stage. The options are endless *mad evil scientist laugh*
Blue sound great but is very expensive, heavy and loud.

Blackbird 40 sound great as well, is cheaper and very light. Sound vise BB40 is between Blue and Gold. Airy highs what Blue has and very musical mids and lows what Gold has but lows are not boomy what Gold does bit too much.
 




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