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Am I In Over My Head? - Buying a Vintage 5B3 Wide Panel Deluxe

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by BloozeGtr, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    The repairs that have been done aren't the work of a pro.
     
  2. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    30 yrs of using metal body 6SC7s in a 5C3 and no microphonics.
     
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  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would buy the best clone available...
     
  4. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    aside from the comments already here, have you played it?

    it's a fairly different animal from a 5e3 tweed deluxe most people know. grid leak biased 6sc7 input stage and a paraphase instead of a cathodyne phase inverter. plus, you can't just walk into any guitar shop and buy some 6sc7's, nor can you grab a 12axx and sub it in if you're in a bind. if you really want to mess with that stone age pre-narrow panel era type of amp (which can be great!), vintage valcos and oahus can be had for much cheaper.

    if you really want a tweed deluxe, get a reputable 5e3 clone with resale value. cheaper and it's much less of a headache.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  5. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    Not gonna happen. Especially in the “information age.” Not to mention folks are still dropping 3k for a Milkman! I had a chance to buy 1959 sunburst Les Paul in the 80’s for $9,500. I passed and so did all my friends. Fingers crossed, we’re all still waiting for that better deal.
     
  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I should add....that amp, properly serviced, can be damn near as dependable as ANYTHING.
    I've been gigging tweeds for 35 years with fewer breakdowns than I can count on one hand.
    And...that stone age wide panel amp can be a great gigged...loud enough to hang with a band. Especially with a speaker swap.
    Speaking of speakers...if you have pics of the code #s, we can tell you if the speakers are original.
    And...yeah...those octal preamp tubes are mostly microphonic.
    They're not hard to find and a couple silicone o-rings (non slip hair ties ;) tame the noise.
     
  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Too much for a player grade 5B3, imho.
     
  8. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Afflicted

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    oh! it's going to happen,lol.it's happened already to a degree.
     
  9. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I agree that it's too much for that particular amp with all the replaced bits.

    However it does look to be serviced and should hold up as well as any other amp.

    If it were me, I'd keep looking and reading. Be ready to pounce when the good deal comes up, because a lot of us are out there looking.
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Side note with relevance..hopefully. The conversation above between Nickfl and the hot rod kid about the future of the vintage amp market and player grade amps like this one in particular is interesting and imho ‘unwinnable’ from either side because the market is always changing and is not steady in its path.
    As for the baby boomer influence in the current market, I would posit that baby boomers such as myself are alarmed at the current market because of the influence of the younger generations. From what I see, younger players are willingly to give ‘excellent and original’ prices for player grade amps. I do not do that, and the market of 25 years ago did not do that. I have carted three great tweeds through a show in the mid-90s and not had one thing about the condition or prices....because it was evident that the amps were not original because at the minimum of non-originality they had been recovered. No one asked about the details that were not so obvious, and no one asked about prices. I knew the amps were worth at the most 50% of market for excellent and all original condition examples. Today they would sell for a small fortune IF the seller and buyer were of a mindset.
    So, imho, the current market is set for an adjustment at some point. As with all prognostications, I very like could be mistaken.
    But,...this is one baby boomer who is leery of some activity in the vintage amp market.
     
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  11. blues

    blues Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    That's a bonus
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have many 6S-7 tubes...and not many applications for them.
     
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  13. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    You’re right in the younger generation of players not being as finicky on 100% originality. I’m 54 and even I get it that parts wear out. But I draw the line at the output transformer. That’s a must in my book. However I would still be a buyer if it blew me away and had the mojo. However I would not dish out collector grade value or even close to it.

    Going back to my debate with Nickfl. I’m always looking and I just don’t see desirable vintage gear going for cheap. Thankfully I’m completely satisfied with a quality repro, so I’m not pounding sand.

    Another example of why I feel the way I do, about 5-6 years ago I was seriously considering buying a JCM 800 head. I shopped for the right one for a few months and prices were steady at $1,200ish. I hesitated as it’s still fresh in my mind when I was able to grab those amps for well under $500. In the back of my mind I figured with all the reissues floating out there, combined with the fact it’s almost impossible nowadays to gig those loud amps - that prices would come down. Well, they’re about to hit the 2k mark and I’m seeing less and less of them coming to market. And guess what? it’s not the boomers buying nor is it the gigging musicians. It’s mostly home players, some who record but all have the technology to make them go silent or attenuated with minimal loss of tone. The 800’s are the next plexis.
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hotrodkid, in a serious and discriminating vintage market; cab covering, speakers, and transformers are the main points. Any of those points that are non-original reduce the value as much as 50%....or used to do so.

    and...which JCM 800 head are you wanting? I think there are maybe 9 different head models...including two Md.1959 Super Leads. There are certain Marshall amps from the early years that never felt the downturn that took place. Certain few pre-WWII Martin and Gibson instruments were the same....they never lost any value. Those L.P. ‘Bursts???? They lost somewhere over $100,000 over that weekend...just like almost everything else...30-40%.
     
  15. dunehunter

    dunehunter Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Like many other posters, I'd find a suitable clone of a 5E3 at less than this $2000 price point. There's a lot of them and they'll be a better value to you over the years.

    Pass on this one.
     
  16. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    It’s funny you mentioned “cab covering” because around two years ago my local (horrible btw) GC had a 1956 tweed Bassman, not even grail circuitry for $6,500. The tweed was so fuzzy, mangier than a sick dog. Not sure on the guts but in any case it didn’t last more than two days before it was sold. Knowing the shrewd manager at that particular GC I highly doubt the buyer grabbed it for less than 6k. I don’t think 6k was a 50% reduction on that amp which emboldens your first post.

    On the JCM, I was looking for a 2204. The vertical vs horizontal input debate doesn’t phase me on the 50 watt models. I had several of both in my time and they all sounded great.
     
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  17. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Afflicted

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    run away!
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    with regard to that old 1956 ?5E6? Bassman as with any other vintage amp, a worn original covering is worth more than a perfect recovering all else considered equal. Ime, an all-original amp with worn cosmetics often indicates an amp that has been used for a very good reason....it sounds good. Some of the best sounding old amps I have heard do not exhibit pristine cosmetics.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  19. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    Id save your money for a 5d3
     
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  20. BloozeGtr

    BloozeGtr TDPRI Member

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