Cheaper Fender Tweed Alternatives, e.g. Gibson Les Paul Jr Amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by adam79, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. adam79

    adam79 Tele-Meister

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    Hey, I love the sound of the late '40s - early/mid '50s Fender Tweed amps on the edge of breakup. They're WAY outta my price range tho.

    I recently discovered the '50s Gibson Les Paul Jr amp, it's WAY cheaper, at $400-500, and has a similar sound. I believe the circuit is pretty close to a '50s Deluxe, the 5E3 circuit (I may have that wrong).

    Before I go aheap and buy one of the Jr's, is anyone familiar with any other similar, low watt combos in that price range? I'd like to check out my options.

    Thanks.
     
  2. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    You mean a GA-5?

    Is a good amp, very Champ-ish

    The problem is that wattage is not like a 50's Deluxe
     
  3. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    A Tweed 5E3 Deluxe is a Tweed 5E3 Deluxe and there is simply no way around that! They fall into a certain little "niche" that is rarely as well covered elsewise. There are many clones and even some very reasonably priced ones from Chinesiawanoreanam that have been deemed by many to be fairly respectable, in your price range! Well built, used American made clones should be in the $600 to $700 range. I have even seen some really stellar clones that look to be "lifetime" amps for under $900.

    Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish, as compromising will likely cost even more, as you chase and chase that substitute (in the interest of pennies) and end up buying the real deal anyway, in the long run! Save a little extra and get what you KNOW you want!

    And if concerned about the lack of reverb and/or other features on the 5E3, they are easily circumvented. Tone, at the perfect volume is where happiness lives!

    Just My $.02 & Worth Much Less!
    Gene
     
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  4. adam79

    adam79 Tele-Meister

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    Yep, the GA-5. And you're right.. it's circuit is closer to a Champ than a Deluxe. I'm buying this amp just for the bedroom n studio, so 4 watts is perfect; I want to get to that edge of breakup area at a reasonable level.

    I watched a video of people playing different vintage low watt combos that can be heard on some of our favorite albums. I couldn't belive how amazing the GA-5 sounded.. it not only held it's own, but could have been my favorite, especially for rhythm. There was either a Champ or Deluxe in there that sounded like it was being touched by the hand of god on leads.
     
  5. MrYeats

    MrYeats Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  6. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    How 'bout the Roland Blues Cube Hot (Fender Bassman Tweed 6L6 version)?

    Nice little amp. Love mine!
     
  7. David C

    David C TDPRI Member

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    Greetings Adam, there are a number of alternatives, currently I am exploring the Mojotone kits now. Thanks to Rob Robinette's lengthy discussions on the early Fender amps I know there are plenty of sound options available to you if you can build a kit. There are a ton of people here who can help you along the way. If you don't really want to build an amp, I would investigate the Peavey Classic series of tweed amplifiers. They are very reasonably priced used and offer a very good alternative. The sound is slightly different, but good enough. Those amps are not low powered, however, the Classic 50 2x12 offers a master volume, so it can sound very nice at lower volumes. At this time I want to get more of the original sound and am willing to spend a little bit of time constructing an amp.
     
  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    A Peavey Classic is so far removed from a vintage Fender "tweed" it might as well be from a different planet.

    Same with the Blues Cube.


    Bit o' history, kids:

    Before electric guitar was popular lap steels ruled the earth. Hawaii got a lot of attention during and after WWII. "Hawaiian" music was played on lap steels. Vintage lap steels are surprisingly common if you know where to look. And... every lap steel had its companion amp. The Fender Champ was originally the companion amp for Fender lap steels.

    There are dozens of vintage amp brands who made amps similar to vintage Champs or Skylarks.

    The one caveat I'd toss out is no tranformerless amps. Those are junk IMO. They were cheap amps then and they're chap amps now. They can be identified by their typical 35W4 and 50C5 tubes.
     
  9. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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  10. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Why is this a topic without mentioning Supro/National, Alamo, Gretch, etc?
     
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  11. Thinline casket

    Thinline casket Tele-Meister

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    Go to reverb and search 5e3. You'll find several under $1000. Screen shot and YouTube for examples.

    I have 2 Chinese 5w tube heads. They sound fine in the bedroom with celestions and take pedals well.

    However, I'm starting to consider a black face deluxe (or brown, yummy) for rhythm and a tweed for lead with an AB pedal. I figure the fewer pedals the least hassle.
     
  12. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    'Cuz I didn't feel like typing a list.

    Suit yourself but you might want to hold off on a 5E3 for a bit. I'm going for another round of R&D.

    ...which includes re- examining a dozen or so different vintage pseudo- 5E3s.

    There is a relatively unobtainable pseudo- 5E3 that's so much better than a tweed it defies belief. Trick is to make the unobtainable obtainable.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:

    A brown Deluxe is better for lead. A stock 5E3 is farty and loose by comparison.
     
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  14. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I too have been interested in les expensive alternatives to fender tweeds. The conclusion I have finally made is that I don’t know enough to take a chance on one. I personally don’t have any experience with the original so I wouldn’t be able to tell how close they are.

    that being said I found a helpful webpage that compares the Gibson amps to fender tweed and brownface. HERE is a link to the site I ran across, probably from someone here.
     
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  15. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Why does that matter? The best copy isn't necessarily the best amp.
     
  17. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

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  19. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    Anyone have any experience with the VHT Special 6? Seems like it should be close to a Champ... there's one for sale locally for pretty cheap that has my interest.
     
  20. guitarist232345

    guitarist232345 Tele-Meister

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    Does anybody know of cheap chinese boutique tube amps that are good and SMALL for bedroom use?
     
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