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5e3 to bare bones PRRI conversion?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by regispenguin, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. regispenguin

    regispenguin TDPRI Member

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    Hi there, what I really want out of an amp is a simple PRRI with a 12 inch speaker and no reverb/trem. I also want to build said amp myself. What I’m considering is getting a 5e3 deluxe kit and changing the tone stack to match a PRRI including caps and resistors (both fixed and variable). I would change one volume to a bass control and the tone to a treble control.

    I understand the personal dangers of creating a tube amp and I am pretty good with my hands and an experienced solderer, however I don’t quite understand all the details about how an amp operates. So I’m curious if the above mods would effectively give me Princeton tone and gain or if there are any other mods I would have to make.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What about the reverb and trem? It will get crowded in that chassis.
     
  3. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    My personal recommendation - get a 5E3 kit and build it as-is. Forget the mods until you have some idea what you're doing & what you really want.

    There are so many guys who've never gotten their feet wet who suddenly want to go surfing in Hawaii.
     
  4. regispenguin

    regispenguin TDPRI Member

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    I actualLy don’t want reverb or trem in this build. Partly to reduce six, weight, and cost and partly because I really want to begin to understand how an amp works in its most basic form.
     
  5. regispenguin

    regispenguin TDPRI Member

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    Yes, I do plan to start by putting together the actual 5e3. Just getting an idea for the future. I know that I don’t love the 5e3 tone itself, as I have played a few in my days, and I really don’t want to throw that money I won’t be back into an amp that can never give me what I want. Just trying to confirm I can get that Princeton tone with a few smaller mods in the future to create an amp I’d be content with. The 5e3 selection is for its simplicity and similar tube compliment to a Princeton (minus the reverb and trem preamp tubes)
     
  6. regispenguin

    regispenguin TDPRI Member

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    Yes, I do plan to start by putting together the actual 5e3. Just getting an idea for the future. I know that I don’t love the 5e3 tone itself, as I have played a few in my days, and I really don’t want to throw that money I won’t be back into an amp that can never give me what I want. Just trying to confirm I can get that Princeton tone with a few smaller mods in the future to create an amp I’d be content with. The 5e3 selection is for its simplicity and similar tube compliment to a Princeton (minus the reverb and trem preamp tubes)
     
  7. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    The amps are two different animals from end to end. Get a Princeton kit then.
     
  8. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Why not just build a 6g2 Brown Princeton? It does have vib but no Reverb. Having built one, and spent lots of time modding it trying to make it into something it is not, I wouldn't waste my time with a 5e3, especially if a Princeton is what you want. The 6g2 will be a much more useable amp anyway, so good choice.
     
  9. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    +100
     
  10. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Actually just read this. If this is how you feel, and I totally get why you feel this way, as the 5e3 is so over hyped for what it actually is, then don't waste your time or money on a 5e3 kit. Just build the Princeton out of the gate.
     
  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My advice would be not to build something that you know you don’t particularly like. Fwiw, the 6G2 Princeton is still a different amp from a BF/SF PRin/Prin Rev amp. The more complex tone stack in the BF/SF Prin Rev sucks gain. The 6G2 has the simple tone control like the 5E3 and is a hot little amp. It has cathodyne phase inversion as does the 5E3, but the fixed bias in the 6G2 yields a punchier Sonic with more articulation and slightly more power tha; the 5E3. The 6G2 is a continuation of the 5F11 Vibrolux, which is the ancestor of all Princetons..6G2 and BF/SF.
    if you like what you have heard from a PrinRev amp, I say build that. There is more to work with there as to mods for more heat out of the amp, and the output is stiffer and more articulate than is the 5E3.
     
  12. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry if I muddied things with the 6g2 suggestion. I agree with Wally. If the BF/SF Princeton is what you want, build it.
     
  13. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    It should be a law that ALL noobs must download and study the schematics for the amps they think they want to build before they spend a dime. It would be so obvious how different these two amps are that threads like this wouldn't be necessary. In the event the noob just wants to build step-by-written-step without understanding the schematics, it could be suggested he refrain from considering circuit mods until he understands what he's asking.
     
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  14. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I started experiencing different amps and got into buying them, I got curious enough to start trying to learn a little bit about why different amps do different things. That lead to needing to know tube pinouts so I could start to read a schematic. My understanding of these things is just about enough to be dangerous, but I was cautious about working inside them until it came a time when I had to do it. The only good tech in town left. I farmed two BFSRs out and had to finish the job on both of them.I became a tech out of necessity.
    However, that was when the internet did not exist here and information as well layout diagrams in the ‘paint by numbers amp Kit world’ did not exist. You know....waaay back in the dark ages, right? Lol... Things are at once easier and more difficult, it seems.
    All we have to do today is ask a question, and almost 100% of the time it will be answered. I posed one that seemingly has no answer...and I sure don’t understand it, so I know that at some small part of the time some rare question is a tough one.

    A really curious person who has only done the physical work following a layout diagram will eventually learn to read a schematic because they will be driven by that curiosity to understand what pin of what tube is connected to what resistor or cap. As one looks at a layout or the circuit, one will start to ‘see’ the schematic and one will have some idea, depending on one’s technical knowledge and [email protected] experience, how the amp is going to deal with the signal...what sound it will lean toward. One would come to this point more quickly by understanding tube elements, tube pinouts and schematics. What do filter caps do? What is a rectifier? How does a power transformer work, and how about the output tranny. What is bias? That good tech that did all of my tube amp work offered to mentor me in the subject one day. I should have taken him up on it because it would have sped up not to mention increase my limited understanding. I had been reading and learning, but for some reason I did not take him up on the offer, which was an extremely generous offer. I marveled at how he could look at a circuit and know what was going on. Many years later I have some small inkling of that.

    I suppose we have to accept that in this day and age, sometimes the cart can successfully be put in front of the horse when it comes to building guitar amps. Now....someone tell me how 535volts gets onto...... eeeehaw.
    Have an excellent day, everyone!
     
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  16. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

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    From Robs site

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And...if you build what D’Tar shows us above, you will in essence be building a Rivera era Champ II, which is a close take on the AB165 preamp with a cathodyne phase inverter. Hot little amps......like an AB165 Bassman’s Normal channel with a 1+2 format. Without the reverb and in the case of the larger reverb Fenders with the gain sucking onto-isolator trem circuit, the AB165 through the Bassman 50 are ime different from any of the Fender guitar amps in that it is a hot preamp...very lively cleans with great overdrive.

    https://schematicheaven.net/fenderamps/champ_II.pdf
     
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  18. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Meister

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    I really enjoyed these vids about how Tube amps work:




    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=901iaPVVzY0


    I started to get an understanding from this and then wanted to do my own build. Hope to try this too soon, but would start with a kit probably.

    enjoy

     
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  19. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    My first electronic multi-kit which my Dad gave me when I was about 13 used TUBES...as well as a steel chassis, terminal strips and a widowmaker line cord and required soldering, desoldering & resoldering to get from one project to the next. After the first several simple projects they stopped providing wire diagrams and you were forced to build from schematics only. It was mostly different AM radio circuits, audio amps into headphones and of course the obligatory AM transmitter (which wrought havoc to the neighborhood when hooked to my longwire shortwave antenna outside). After this came the Heathkit Twin-Reverb style 20-watt guitar amp and a series of mutilated Silvertones. There was nobody in town who worked on these things, not even the TV repairmen would touch them so I learned to troubleshoot on my own - without schematics. No such thing as instant gratification or fast answers then but I'm glad to say I was able to keep things running and rescue a dead dog occasionally.
     
  20. rghill

    rghill Tele-Afflicted

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    Brown Princeton delete trem circuit, or Tweed Harvard. Very similar circuits.

    I have a pair of 6aq5 tubes I purchased from someone on the forum. I have been wanting to build a cathode biased Brown Princeton without the trem, ala D-Labs.
     
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