1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

5E3 recommended reading

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Spexicola, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Spexicola

    Spexicola Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    129
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Hendersonville
    I have a Boothill kit coming in this week, which I aim to start on this weekend. In the interim, are there any particular 5E3 build threads which are canon around here? Threads with other sorts information are welcome as well. I'm just trying to get a solid baseline of info before I start, as this will be my first build.

    Thanks!
     
    TobyZ28 likes this.
  2. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    7,226
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Rocklin Ca.
    If you go to search Type in "5E3 Build" should be a couple weeks of reading. Just make sure you ask question's and post pics while you build that seems to be the key for success
     
  3. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    479
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2019
    Location:
    Hanover, PA
    Rob Robinette's site was a big help to me when I was building my 5F1 and I intend to refer to it a lot while building an 5E3. Stew Mac's instructions helped too even though they were slightly different than my kit.
     
    AlbertaGriff, robrob, muscmp and 4 others like this.
  4. Pick_n_Strum

    Pick_n_Strum Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2016
    Location:
    Lino Lakes, MN
    Definitely check out Rob Rob's site
     
    muscmp and Jlwctn like this.
  5. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,066
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    robrob, muscmp and Jlwctn like this.
  6. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,125
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    Boothill used to have cool tutorials on the website as well. But you will get as much from Rob’s site as anywhere else I should think. I think before I ever melted slider on my Boothill I had memorized the layout in my pre sleep toss n turns.
     
    robrob and Jlwctn like this.
  7. 82LesPaul

    82LesPaul TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    55
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2019
    Location:
    Nashua, NH
    Rob's site is great at explaining the 5E3 and how it works, not to mention lots of useful mods you may want to incorporate. In addition, his site provides a wealth of knowledge on tube amp construction and testing in general. The Stew Mac instructions are great with lots of photos and recommended step by step build process. Could not agree more on mikestearns recommendations.
     
    muscmp likes this.
  8. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    146
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2020
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Congrats on taking the plunge at building your first amp ;). I just finished mine a month or so ago and am extremely happy with it. I couldn't have done it without Rob's site and this forum's help.

    General tips that I either did or wished i did ;) :
    • GO SLOW - Plan everything, be organized and check and recheck every cap/resistor before putting it in. Having to troubleshoot if the parts are bad later is a nightmare it seems.
    • Post pictures before you solder on this board, board members saved me from making a few mistakes with the layout i thought would be a non-issue!
    • If you're new to Soldering, practice soldering/desoldering beforehand. Watch a few youtube videos to refresh yourself;). I had extra flux on hand as well as desoldering supplies and they were invaluable. You'll be a pro by the end of the project!
    • Painters Tape - I haven't seen anyone mention using this for builds but I had a roll on hand nearby. I think i used it more than ANYTHING else! Securing the board/chassis at times, holding wires out of the way, covering components when adding a hole to the chassis, holding all the resistors down with a single strip and marking the tape with what each value was for easy reference, preventing solder/flux splatter. I even used the roll to help raise the chassis level while working in it!
    • Read up on your electrical safety stuff from rob's site. I recommend a building a current limiter.
    • If this is going to need to play at bedroom levels you'll NEED the 90% mod or an attenuator!
    • I found using the DIYLC program to work from Rob's original diagram HUGELY helpful in gaining an understanding of what is actually going on circuit wise. I did do a few modifications in the end, while still keeping the original circuit intact but adding reliability/safety/flexibility to it. Making all my modification changes to the diagram before building it was very helpful.
    • I used 18Ga wire because it came with the kit and wondered why life was so hard until someone told me 20/22ga can be used just fine (just as I was finishing the build) lol.
    • Use a cordless drill to help twist wires!
    • Don't worry about forming modern caps. It's not necessary at all.
    Here are a few of my threads as I was building it:
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/just-started-my-first-build-5e3.1002362/

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/first-time-amp-build-questions.1001810/
     
    robrob likes this.
  9. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    479
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2019
    Location:
    Hanover, PA
    Another one, there this guy Uncle Doug on YouTube who has a lot of videos explaining electronics, how tubes work, etc. Very simple, informative, and entertaining.
     
    robrob, Mr Ridesglide and TobyZ28 like this.
  10. Spexicola

    Spexicola Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    129
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Hendersonville
    Thanks everyone!
     
  11. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    7,960
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Location:
    United States
  12. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,649
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Very few folks are willing to admit to the kind of insanity required to "memorize the layout in pre sleep toss n turns!" I'll admit to doing the same! :p

    And @Spexicola
    With that said, ALL the previous advice/comments are spot on! I do however, "strongly" suggest that even if considering a few "mods" you build it bone stock first and "become one" with the amp before doing any of those mods, and then do them methodically, one at a time so that you can understand how each one takes you away from and changes from the original design. It's easy enough to plan for and lay out for the mods in your initial build, though if you do as I suggest, you may well end up undoing many, if not all of the mods. A stock 5E3 with good tubes (especially that all important 12AY7) and the right speaker is truly a thing of beauty! :cool:

    It's my considered opinion that most mods dramatically take away from what the 5E3 is best at and only mildly improve the aspect that the amp is not really great at! o_O

    And FWIW, my 5E3 vies neck & neck with my DSL20CR for main amp use. While the DSL (running 6V6s vs EL34s) can bring a few more "modern" sounds and versatility to the table, the 5E3 just does that "vintage" thing so well! The only mod on the 5E3 is a passive effects loop, to adequately facilitate the feeding my severe echo/delay/reverb ADDICTION! :eek: :D

    Have Fun With Your Build & Even More Fun With Hours Of Playin' It!
    Gene
     
    Mr Ridesglide likes this.
  13. TobyZ28

    TobyZ28 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    146
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2020
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I second holding off on any tone modifying mods! See how you like the stock circuit, at least you'll have a pretty straightforward baseline.

    For me I did add a bleeder resistor for safety, and elevated the center tap ground (added zero circuit complexity), rectifier backup diodes (for reliability/resilience) with my initial circuit. None of these mods touch the tone.

    Only after i got it all working did I add a 3 way switched feedback mod, which added some flexibility to the amp but sill allow for a 100% stock circuit on the first setting.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.