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Another tweed deluxe clone question.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by hotrodkid, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd like to hear what you guys prefer with your tweed deluxe clone and why.

    12, 18 or 20 watts?
    Alnico or ceramic speaker?
     
  2. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't assume that 12, 14 and 20 watt deluxes are necessarily different. Twenty real dissipating watts maybe, but there are different ways to call the tweed deluxe. I prefer alnico speakers, I like some of the compression and warts of the amp.
     
  3. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I like mine in a big box pushing a 15" Eminenence 1518.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure you asked a real question here about watts.
    A 5e3 is about 12w.
    There are numerous mods that can be done to the basic amp which change it, and each mod has specific results, more than whatever the resulting wattage may be.
    One of the popular mods is going to 6L6 power tubes, which is not included in your list of wattages.
    I'd go with 18w though, like my Marshall 18w cathode biased 6v6 powered hand wired Ceriatone TMB schematic based "clone".
    Sounds more like a Brown Deluxe.
    By far the best 5e3 I've ever played!
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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  6. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine is built to order head and I specified 12 watts but seems a lot louder to me. Yes, it keeps up with gig volume drums.

    Currently, my 5e3 head is going through 2 (combo) cabs, one has a single Eminence Red Coat and the other, two celestion blues. I think it sounds brilliant and I love the spread with two cabs and one head.

    I go one further

    I also have the other A/B/Y signal going into the DRRI. I have the 5e3 set crunchy/dirty and the DRRI a bit cleaner. so there are 3 cabs pushing air from two amp sources.

    All of that together is just killer to my ears (but a lot of humping kit about, admittedly!)
     
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  7. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The difference between 12 and 20 watts is under 3 dB, where as a 120 watt amp would be required to be perceived as twice as loud as a 12 watt amp through the same speaker.
     
  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't know what's up but this thing is so slow and glitchy it's tedious to respond. Here goes:

    Read the 6V6 tube data sheet.

    A pair of cathode biased 6V6 tubes will make about 12 watts with a relatively wide range of supply voltage depending on grid excitation. What I just said is there's only so much drive you're going to get from a cathodyne PI. That means ratings of 18 watts or 20 watts are a buncha hooey. They're intended to lead consumers to compare the tweed Deluxe to "18 watt" EL84 based amps or the fixed bias Deluxe Reverb. The "20 watt" Deluxe Reverb makes its power under dramatically different operating conditions including supply voltage that's literally off the charts.

    While I've got the floor:

    There are various mutant "Prolux" or "X2" variants many of which were rushed through R&D. It's not surprising, really. Tubes are obsolete and much of what passes for R&D is simply online re- posting the same old Urban Legend until the "democracy" of the internet validates it. In other words a goofy idea is often assumed to be correct if no one challenges it.

    My latest goofy idea is a "5E3A" that makes an honest 25 (or so) cathode biased watts while incorporating a few changes Leo surely would have added had he kept the 5E3 circuit past 1960 instead of replacing it with "brown era" amps.

    On the alnico / ceramic topic it depends. I use genuine vintage alnico when I want genuine vintage tone and shiny new ceramic speakers when I want to be heard.
     
  9. johnnyha

    johnnyha Tele-Afflicted

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    Interestingly, my 4W handwired Vox appears to be louder than my 5E3. I can play my 5E3 cranked with my attenuator at -20db in the house - VERY loud but not earsplitting. The Vox I can't turn the volume up past 10 o'clock before it gets just way too dang loud on the same attenuator setting. I still don't know how loud that 4W gets, I've never had it past noon yet and I'm afraid my wife would kill me if I dimed it.:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  10. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    ...and most of my 5 watters will kick sand in a 5E3's face.

    Like I said,

    "I use shiny new ceramic speakers when I want to be heard."
     
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  11. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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  12. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    Just a question to see what you guys prefer in a tweed deluxe clone. Notice I did not say 5E3. It's apparently a big world when it comes to tweed deluxe clones. I see them with wattages anywhere from 12 watts (you're right, original 5E3 specs) to 20 watts. I'm assuming a larger transformer? As far as 6l6 tubes with the ones that go 30-40 watts I wasn't really interested in those because now we're talking apples and oranges. Want to know what you guys like / are using in a tweed deluxe clone running 6V6 glass.

    Also I was curious about the preferred speakers.
     
  13. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    I dig the WGS G12C/S speaker I have in my Richter 5E3
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have various 6v6, el84, 6L6, and el34 amps in both cathode and fixed bias, and I find cathode bias more similar than any particular tube type.
    Meaning that I would expect changing the output tubes and transformers in a 5e3 from 6v6 to 6L6 would make more similar sounding 12w and 25w amps; where modding a 5e3 for more wattage with higher voltage, more power filtering and going to fixed bias would make significantly different sounding 12w and 20w amps.
    Another way to say it would be that altering the 5e3 for more power changes it.
    I think we say 5e3 because it's the final and most popular of the tweed Deluxe family, as differentiated from the brown and BF/SF Deluxe.
    Almost all modded circuits are 5e3 based
    Earlier tweed Deluxe circuits are not so common and not generally what is on the table in this sort of discussion of popular current builds of the "tweed Deluxe".
    And if you plug into a "20w Tweed Deluxe" you won't hear a Tweed Deluxe.
    It may be possible to add enough switches to make an amp that can sound and function like a 5e3 but switch enough functions to go up to 20w and a different sound. IDK.
    I would probably choose bigger transformers and more filtering with switchable cathode/ fixed bias for my own 5e3 based amp, just because there are all these choices and more is always better- except when it's too much.
    I'm more interested in a 5e5 Pro build though, as the 5e3 lacks bass clarity and tone controls.
    A 5f1 is so close in volume to a 5e3 I don't quite feel a need for both; I have a 5f1 and a 12w 6g2 Princeton.

    This is a mix of my opinions and observations, where there is a wide range of interpretations of what a tweed amp is, and a wide range of marketing that starts with an identifiable model and turns it into something else, keeping only the name and cosmetics the same.
    We see more threads asking what defines a guitar model than what defines an amp model.
    One thing that seems clear is it probably isn't the sound.
    I'm not sure any more if lots of options are actually good for me...
    Nothing personal!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
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  15. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Power in that range is meaningless. In fact, except in extreme cases with all other factors being equal, power has little to do with volume or anything else. The topography of the amp - whether it's designed for early breakup, even response or tight headroom - is far more important, as is speaker complement and efficiency.

    And all these factors mean nothing without knowing exactly what type of tone and headroom you are looking for.
     
  16. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. So many variants of the tweed deluxe out there.

    This is exactly why I was interested in what you guys like. For example, the reissue by Fender a few years back to my ears seems like a great choice for straight up rock & roll. Gained up, tight with less flub. Maybe too generic or in other words too refined for the purist looking for all the nuances and quirks of the original 5e3 circuit. On the other end of the spectrum the Victoria 20112 to me sounds too polite almost boring. But I guess it comes down to application. Ymmv.

    Maybe the 5e3 can be compared to a real P.A.F. pickup.. everyone thinks they want one until they get one..?

    With all that said, no amp intrigues me more than a 5e3 and all it's variants.
     
  17. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    I built a 5e3 circuit a few yrs. ago, was loads of fun to play through.
    At it's first gig, i realized it was boomy on low strings and too dirty for my purposes. I changed preamp coupling caps to .02, and switched
    over to fixed bias. Not a true to the original~but works great for me.
     
  18. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Larger transformer assumes more current. More power requires more voltage assuming adequate current is available.

    Fixed bias makes a little more power. A stock 5E3 uses cathode bias.

    I keep thinkin' back to my old Altec Voice of Theater amp that makes a raging 20 watts via a pair of 6550 tubes. While 20 watts from a pair of 6550s might seem anemic or even pitiful, it made enough sound for an entire theater fulla people back when the movin' pictures played to a full house very night.

    As far as real world power goes cathode biased 6L6s driven by a cathodyne PI won't hit the big numbers or even those numbers. 25 watts is about right and besides... you need to double the power a few times to make it appreciably louder all else being equal.

    Well they're here. I just got the first batch of my custom "5E3" transformers.

    It's a simple recipe. Set the supply voltage at a design center value, add a bias tap and retain the filament center tap. That's everything I need and nothing I don't need.

    Bear in mind many home "engineers" are blissfully unaware of the current demands of various tubes under various conditions. For example switching to fixed bias might increase current demand on the high voltage by as much as 50%. Many vintage transformers are barely adequate by design and often woefully inadequate when you start tinkering with a circuit.

    "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." It takes power to make power. It's like the old big block Chevy paradigm. If you're making one horsepower per cubic inch it's handy to have 454 cubic inches.

    Got your slide rule handy? One horsepower equals over 700 watts. :D

    Part of my goal was to eliminate the chassis bending weight of an oversized power transformer. They say, "go big or go home!" If you go too big you'll go home with a bent chassis and a broken cabinet.


    As far as a Pro goes... tone controls are for people with a knob fetish. When you say, "The 5e3 lacks bass clarity and tone controls" and don't address the root causes... you're in for a dozen trips to Guitarcenter and you're going to leave with a different amp each time. The 5E3 has a tone control. It works just fine. When you start tinkering with the 5E3 architecture you quickly end up with a non- reverb Princeton. While a '60s Princeton is a nice amp it's not a tweed Deluxe. Fender even covered the '60s Princeton with black tolex so no one would mistake it for an old tweed amp.

    Back in the day we updated our outdated tweed amps with a nice shiny coat of black spray paint. That didn't fool music shop owners.
     
  19. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    You just defined the two schools of thought on this.

    We might define one school as purists because they want the funky farty original. The closer to original the better which means we get picky... emulating every detail of an original even if said details contribute to loose bass and lack of flexibility.

    The other school of thought has come to expect flexibility, tight bass and a usable clean tone. Some of these are so far removed from stock the only tweed that's left is the amp covering. While they look like a 5E3 they sure don't act like a 5E3.
     
  20. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many tweed designs and variations can be built on a 5E3 chassis, and is the heart of your question if I understand you right. It's the Universal Tweed Chassis. God knows, many of us have done it.

    You can go any direction you want with the 5E3, or "tweed", design. Knowing where you want to end up in terms of response will determine how you should start out, the least concern being watts.

    If you like the 5E3 except for this or that, plan the changes and carry on. Personally, I avoid putting switches on everything, but I do use switches sometimes during testing to verify my thoughts and to easily A-B against stock, then hardwire what I like.

    Keep in mind, all of this happens before you even hear it through your first speaker choice, which is usually eye-opening in itself. Few, if any, of us will design something new on paper and build it with zero changes. It's part of the process, but you do need to start at the end before you can get to the beginning.

    It get's back to you question, what do we like and why, but "5E3" gets in the way. Make any changes and it's not a 5E3. Get past it.
     
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