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Is there something wrong with my 5e3? (see Video)

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by sethriggenbach, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. sethriggenbach

    sethriggenbach TDPRI Member

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    Just bought this 5e3 clone that originally came from Cream City Music (though I bought it from the person who bought it from them...).

    It has an odd high pitched 'fizziness' that QUICKLY decays whenever I play through the amp's natural overdrive that is really unpleasant.

    Is this normal?

    • I've replaced all tubes, which did not help the problem whatsoever. (Currently has: 12ay7 12ax7 6v6 6v6 5y3)
    • Has Italian Jensen P12Q Reissue
    • Issue ALSO occurs if I leave the amp clean and use an SD-1 overdrive, though the fizz doesn't decay AS quickly....
    • Happens at both loud volumes (cranked) and quiet volumes (when using an attenuator to get amp overdrive)

    I'm trying to determine if this is a circuit issue (caps gone bad?), a speaker issue, or if this this is just how a 5e3 sounds? Though something tells me the 5e3 circuit doesn't normally sound like this as they're known for warm, fat overdrive....

    Here's a video with the issue, (bright channel input 1, volume all the way up):

    Here's Cream City's Description and a picture of the internals:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  2. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    It does sound odd. I have a Bose stereo system so I'm getting about as good a audio quality as you can get off the net. I also have a 57 Custom Deluxe (2019) with the Eminence Special Design speaker in it. Mine does not sound like that in Input 1, Instrument channel. I'm not a techy, but many here are.
     
  3. sethriggenbach

    sethriggenbach TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for listening.... hopefully someone can shed some light on this - pretty disappointing considering it was supposedly comprehensively worked over by Cream City!
     
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  4. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Wally is your guy here. There are many other's here too. It's odd, it actually sounds almost like it has reverb, which of course it doesn't.
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nah, I ain’t the one here. Imho, it needs to be on a tech’s bench with a signal generator and an audio probe or an oscilloscope.
    That amp sounds nothing like a 5E3 should sound when cranked...or any other time. One friendly suggestion..... Ime/imho, there is no need for multiple notes and especially ‘odd’ interval chords for demonstrating any noise issues like this. I am going to guess that some of that wavering...what Jared says sounds almost like reverb....is due to notes beating against each other. Even a well-tuned major third does not sound good through any sort of distortion situation.
    Are that elevated yellow pair feeding the heater filaments? If not, I do not understand what they are or why they are twisted.
    I have a feeling that there will be many of these ‘builds’ floating around with problems that have either never been observed or have been observed and passed on because the builder and/or a subsequent tech did not know what to do about it. Can you run the amp through another speaker?
     
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  6. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I like how the heaters to the pilot light aren't twisted :D Or any of the PT wires. Which would lead to believe it's possible there are other "bugs" that may not be as easily seen.

    The quickest test would be to try a different speaker.
     
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  7. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Some more gut shots of the amp would be appreciated I am sure by those amp savvy denizens of this realm.

    With the untwisted wires I am interested to see what is happening with the wires around the tubes.

    I agree with Wally, that is not a 5E3 sound with the volume cranked. Something is off there.
     
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  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    What is step 1 of amp troubleshooting when there is weirdness????????? Voltage chart :D
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    First, I would plug in a known good speaker cabinet. In general I dislike the Jensen RI P12Q or P12R, whichever that one is.
    That really sounds hollow and a bit ugly though. It sounds a lot like a bad speaker. Almost like a wah pedal cocked to all mids...

    My 5E3's (Both clone and the real thing) were not "warm, fat overdrive" in normal use. They were clear and clean with a bit of breakup and minimal low end.
    BUT, they can certainly be made to be "warm, fat overdrive" playing leads when dimed and everything set right.
     
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  10. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Surely, you've got some effect going? Sounds like a fast but subtle chorus or ring modulator? If so,

    The noise on attack that fades, is that staticy stuff I work hard to dial out. I usually reduce treble to remove it, but some cases you might actually increase treble to smooth it out.

    If not, sounds like something is microphonic, and causing a sympathetic second signal. In addition to the staticy thing happening at attack that fades.

    PS - enjoying thru my new SDOTD K52s..
     
  11. sethriggenbach

    sethriggenbach TDPRI Member

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    First of all, thank you so much for the engagement and ideas here - you are all amazing!

    Quick update for everyone -
    • The first recording I posted of this amp is not the greatest - recording was made with my iPhone pointed at the speaker from roughly 2 ft away, hence some of the room sound many of you have understandably perceived as reverb.
    • Swapping the speaker for a Cannabis Rex, the sound is still present but MUCH MORE pleasant sounding - but is it natural to have this overdriven bit suddenly decay this way?
    • All tubes have been replaced with tested NOS stuff and tapped to identify microphonics - everything appears to be a-okay, but this had zero affect on the sound here
    Here is an updated audio clip, again with the Jensen P12Q, but recorded with a proper setup. You can still hear some room noise (particularly the strings of the electric guitar), but this should be better. Also, I played more standard chords, as well as did some clean tones as well.



    Guitar is a Fender duo-sonic with strat-esque single coils, amp is fully cranked with an attenuator bringing levels down to apartment volume


    Also, here are more shots of the guts

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Do you have a voltage chart? I don’t like that V1P1 supply wire’s path.
    General observations.....I have yet to find a Fender single coil that will push an amp by itself in such a way that I like it. Most people use a boost. P90s and Humbuckers push an amp on their own more satisfactorily for my tastes. And....big chords are not what I use when I have an amp like that turned all the way up. As I noted, thirds don’t work well in distortion modes. I learned that about 56 years ago when I got my Maestro FZ-1. Nope...can’t play a major third!
    With that said, what I hear in your second demo is not as ‘distressing’ as the first demo. However, it still doesn’t sound like a dimed 5E3. I say that as one who never runs one of these below halfway. Try this...bring that other channel vol control up to a bit past halfway...turn it while you have say a power chord sustains and listen to the change.
     
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  13. sethriggenbach

    sethriggenbach TDPRI Member

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    When I increase normal channel volume the way you mention, it introduces more bass to the signal at first, eventually becoming less overdriven as I near the top of its range.

    Also - I'm not sure what a voltage chart is! But I'm sure I don't have one haha
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That is exactly how that ‘off’ channel relationship works. I like it in the meat of the range....6-8 by the numbers.Ommv.
    I am thinking that it is time for an amp evaluation by a good tech. This is necessary for any newly acquired amp, imho....whether one does their own tech work or hires the work done. Assessing over the ‘net is tricky, but when dimed that amp should be very much overdriven. It doesn’t sound like that to me
     
  15. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Your second video. That's what a cranked 5E3 sounds like - now I know what one sounds like through an attenuator. Why? You can get great tones from a 5E3 at almost whisper volumes.

    It's like using cruise control on a flathead Ford V8.

    Leo and co never thought anyone would play this amp that way. That's why they left the generic audio value .1 coupling caps in it. Plus didn't fuss too much about preamp controls. Hence, it's a bar-brawlin' hooch suckin' mofo if you spit on its boot.

    What is your V1 preamp tube? I'm betting it's a 12AX7. Try getting anything lower gain but preferably a good 6072/12AY7 in that slot. It removes a lot of the less attractive artefacts of overdrive. This amp responds to tube rolling in V1.

    Also the 2nd channel volume is your friend. Even with nothing plugged in it interacts with the other channel to affect input impedance and change the preamp response to smooth it out. It helps dial the dirt.

    Attenuating a tiny little output transformer like that which is already compressed to hell - that amp to me lacks a lot of top end sparkle. Less attenuation and less volume if you want a fuller response.

    The 5E3 cranked is a filthy little ho - not a sound you'd use very often. Neil Young uses it like an effect, but he's one of the few.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  16. sethriggenbach

    sethriggenbach TDPRI Member

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    V1 Tube is a newer 12ay7

    I will say, I love the choked, sucking and pumping overdrive tones when 5e3s are cranked, I intend on using this for some real gritty, nasty garage rock in my band similar to bands like white stripes etc...

    I'm trying to get a local tech to look at it but everyone's super backlogged...

    Question

    I'm thinking about throwing a Weber 12A125A in this beast... but is the Weber also known for fizzy, static-y trebles when cranked? I know the p12Q Reissue I have in there currently is known for this...
     
  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK - well if that's the case then the sound of what you have minus the attenuator is what you'll get gig wise. The 5E3 might work at rehearsal and recording but it'll need miccing for full on gigs with a White Stripes/Ramones style thrash punk band. I think it'd get a bit buried. I gigged with one just - but it took juggling to get any cut.

    You'd be well served with a Silvertone Twin or similar.

    Eminence Legend 12 alnico is a lot of speaker that works in these.
     
  18. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Holic

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    Hi is that 16 UF across the board like every node? I’ve heard of Buzzy fizzy in 5e3’s with 8 or 10 uF. Have you tried tightening the input jacks and do they all have star/knurled washers that will bite into the chassis? And lastly before I look in again what is the green wire going to the extension buddy speaker jack? Shouldn’t that be just jumped from the main output jack?
     
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  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    my guess is that the OT has two taps...one Jack for each tap. That needs to be ascertained, imho. The output jacks there have no shorting tabs, so one would want to be very sure that there is a load plugged in before firing the amp up.
     
  20. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Holic

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    Hey, Don’t I recognize that bike from EL34 world? Yeah I hear you probably is Another tap, but gotta make sure eh? Ha. What about those input jacks aren’t they the ones that if they’re loose it causes worse problems than usual. I ran into loose jacks on my HOF reverb and it was completely wacky. I was also going to mention the heater run and it’s proximity to the output Jacks, and those same wires? And I just noticed the 2 100R presumably, artificial center tap R’s screwed to the chassis, from the pilot light , could that be stripped or not tight?
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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