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I want 5E3 but at lower volumes.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Doug C, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    Life changing amp

    That little amp has altered my approach to a lot of things and "calibrated" my ears to what my collection of guitars and speakers really sound like. I think every guitar player should spend some time with one of these. It's been one of the few purchases I've ever made that has made me a better player: even when I'm playing through another rig.
     
  2. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The 5E3 is 2x6V6 i.e. it's not all that loud, a comparable 2xEL84 is louder.
    But you could replace the 56k in front of the PI with a VR as a Master Volume. That is simple, and cheap.
     
  3. keithb7

    keithb7 Poster Extraordinaire

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    My bad. I get caught up in the whole Champ thing and often forget folks may be referring to the tweed champ vs the BF/SF champ. True, they are indeed different animals. I did the simple tweed champ mod and lifted the resistor off my VC tone stack. It surely was a different animal. I put it back as I preferred the original VC circuit. All are great amps, and for newbies, it is hard to know where to start with so may amp models and variables. I ended up with 3 amps so far. The 64 Bandmaster, a tweed deluxe clone I built, and a 68 VC. All are great amps. With a my compression pedal and voodoo labs sparkle drive, I can get great tones at low levels. In my experience although all three are very good, the VC sounds the best when at lower, reasonable levels. Turning down the deluxe tweed and the bandmaster cuts the bass pretty bad and sounds more anemic to me.
     
  4. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I've had very good luck with Weber attenuators.
     
  5. big jimmy

    big jimmy Tele-Afflicted

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    Try the much over looked tweed princeton.
     
  6. Gypsyblue

    Gypsyblue Former Member

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    You might like a tweed Princeton/Harvard like mine. My Princeton is in a Harvard cabinet so I can use a 10" speaker instead of the 8" speaker a Princeton normally uses. The Princeton chassis is a perfect fit in a Harvard cabinet. Like a 5E3, you get a volume and a tone control. My Princeton/Harvard is a terrific amp in the studio. I can turn it down and get killer Steve Cropper style rhythm guitar tracks, or crank it up until its singing for BB King or overdriven for Larry Carlton, Eric Clapton or even Gary Moore kinds of tones depending upon the guitar I'm playing and how loud I have the amp turned up. I have a Weber P10RT in mine.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. Duke

    Duke Tele-Meister

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    +1 on that! Super amp at a great price. You won't be disappointed. The VRM is the way to go.
     
  8. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    How about building a 5E3 with split cathodes for the power tubes so you can yank one out when you want? I did this mod to my 5B3/5B5 clone recently (still need to do the writeup for TDPRI.) :cool:

    - Scott
     
  9. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    There are also people who build cabinets for a Champ chassis that allow you to use a 12" speaker. And you'll have one less knob to worry about. life persents enough decisions without having to worry about tone knob settings.
     
  10. celeste

    celeste Friend of Leo's

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    Naw, pulling a tube will saturate the OT with unbalanced DC and it does not have an air gap to deal with the flux, Just put the signal to one of the 6V6's on a switch so you can remove it, then that tube will idle along and keep the OT balanced
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    6K6's?:cool:
     
  12. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

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    6k6s will lower the output about 25% maybe. My 5E3 is set up with a Mojo baffle adapter and a 10" Weber Sig !0S alnico and is significantly quieter. I think the guys recommending the single ended amps haven't owned a 5E3. I built a tweed princeton clone and also owned the VHT mentioned above. They're good sounding amps but, being single ended, can't achieve the compressed sweetness and sag of a 5E3. I'd try 6K6s and an inefficient speaker and if that's not quiet enough add a simple attenuator.
     
  13. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

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    One way I get my 5e3 clone to run more mellow at lower volumes is to turn the volume on my guitar down. I do play at moderate volumes at home. Also, to get a quieter sounding 5e3 I use 5Y3GT vs the GZ34 rectifier. And I switch to EH power tubes vs JJs. I also use normal input #2 and set the tone at 6. I also change out the 12ax7s to tung sol vs JJs.

    I agree that the dramatic volume drop would come from changing the speaker as mentioned above (from 12" to a 10" weber signature 10 alnico). One caution, is the weber sig 10 alnico only handles only 15 watts so go easy on it. I use one in my SFPR and it is weak, but sounds good on low to moderate volumes.

    To get the most volume out of my amp I run all JJ tubes and either rectifier (5y3 or GZ34), and plug into bright input #1. and use the volume control on the guitar to change the tone. If I want more punchy bass I just turn the volume for the Normal channel to 3 or 4 Anything more will make the amp mud up.
     
  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I tried a set of 6K6's in mine for about an hour. Definitely not as loud, but they sounded harsh to me. The JJ 6V6's went back in.
     
  15. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    Just curious, but what does single ended have to do with compression and sag? BTW I own 2 5E3's.
     
  16. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

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    fauxsuper, I don't really know the technical reasons why. I think a big box tweed princeton has an amazing clean tone, very pure, but it just can't do the greasy 5E3 thing.

    ON 6K6s it pays to try a few. I didn't like the blackplate RCAs at all. The Sylvanias are really nice but are almost as loud as a 6V6.
     
  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Single ended amps like the Champ are more "in your face". The OT sees constant DC, so there's where the "sag" disappears.
     
  18. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    I think that some of us posted single ended amp suggestions after reading this comment from the OP:

    [
    Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation, Fezz.
     
  19. Doug C

    Doug C Tele-Meister

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    I wrote about the 5E3 and tweed champ because deep down I want both. But after reading this thread I can see that really the 5E3 can be more versatile. Lots of good info here (I'll be mulling it over a few more times) - I appreciate it guys.
     
  20. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    I own both, so I obviously agree with you. The do sound different but in the same family.

    I got the Champ because having tried both a Hot Plate and a Weber Mass, i found that attenuating the amp to the level that I wanted, took away too much of it's personality.

    Of course, the Champ, all by itself isn't That much quieter than the 5E3, if you're trying to get some real distortion at conversational levels. To do that, you have to attenuate the Champ as well.

    But what I discovered with the champ was a voice that I find very appealing, even at bedroom levels. It's not the raging distortion that I expected, (Although cranking it IS amazing) but an "intamacy" between guitar and speaker that none of the other amps I own has.
     
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