Possible Speaker change for bass-heavy 5E3?

JDRNoPro

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I have a 5E3 that was built by member muchxs about 10 years ago. As many of you know, his 5E3 and 5F1 builds are really top quality with great components and workmanship. This one has an old Cleveland alnico speaker pulled from an organ.

I really like this amp with single coil strats and teles and it is very full and rich sounding with a lot of bottom end. Lately though, I have been playing my Gretches more and the bass is a bit too strong, even using lower gain input, etc. I know that 5E3's can be bass heavy but my issue is with HB equipped guitars. I'd rather not make changes to the circuit at this point unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Any thoughts/experience/suggestion on speakers that might have less bass response? Thanks!
 
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King Fan

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Speaker changes can make a difference, for sure, and I think you're smart to consider 'em. Despite Neil Young's chain-o-amps example, the 5E3 is often considered not-HB-friendly.

I also like your plan to try to leave the circuit intact. You're obviously aware of the coupling cap, bypass, and other mods that can make a homebuilt 5E3 more amenable to HBs. Rob covers lots. But it's probably some form of sacrilege (and would likely do resale harm) to mod a muchxs amp. This is even more true for those playing vintage versions, where mods in general might be unwise.

The other problem with speaker changes (besides cost and unpredictable results) is they're not easily switchable (unless you do a separate cab -- and plug/unplug carefully). If you like your old alnico with your single coils, I might be tempted to try an EQ pedal first, as per @Wildeman .
 

AntonyB

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As King Fan said, it is also my experience that some amps sound better with a specific type of pickups.

I was super happy with a humbuckers t-tops equipped ES-335 on a '62 Ampeg Reverberocket, while single coil guitars always sounded whiny on it. On the other hand, a Charlie Christian equipped solid body sounds magical on a late 60s Vibrolux Reverb... the ttops on that amps are meh.

Also, in your case, Alnico will definitely enhance the bassy and dark side of your guitar.

I came to the conclusion that if you own multiple guitars, you MUST own multiple amps.
Now, if only I could convince the other member of my household of this rule... :p
 
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JDRNoPro

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Appreciate the responses:).

I have thought of using a EQ pedal but over the years I have simplified and gotten away from pedals (except for a simple reverb).

I can change circuit components but would prefer to leave this amp's innards intact - it's impeccably constructed. I don't mind trying speakers though. I've used Weber and WGS vintage style ceramics in some SF amps. Hadn't really thought of a Celestion type like a greenback for this one though. Although I know some like the Celestion Blue in a 5E3, those are pretty expensive for an "experiment" lol!
 

schmee

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I never considered 5E3's bass heavy at all.
Having said that, some old organ speakers can be very warm sounding and it is likely your problem. There are many good speakers. It depends on if you are an alnico enthusiast really. I'm not.

Hoe deep is the cab? Too deep can cause hifi low end.

Ceramics:
Emi GA SC64 (may enhance lows a bit too much? But I suspect it's your speaker not the amp)
Weber 12F125
A vintage style offering from:
WGS or Jupiter
Even a Greenback in a 5E3 might be good. Unless you play the 5E3 pretty loud.
 

AntonyB

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Celestion Blues are Alnico.

I thing you should explore ceramics based speakers... they also do tend to be cheaper if you stay below 40oz magnets
 
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archetype

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Appreciate the responses:).

I have thought of using a EQ pedal but over the years I have simplified and gotten away from pedals (except for a simple reverb).

I can change circuit components but would prefer to leave this amp's innards intact - it's impeccably constructed. I don't mind trying speakers though. I've used Weber and WGS vintage style ceramics in some SF amps. Hadn't really thought of a Celestion type like a greenback for this one though. Although I know some like the Celestion Blue in a 5E3, those are pretty expensive for an "experiment" lol!

Still, you might consider lifting one end of a coupling cap and clipping in a smaller value. It could be the simple $4.00 solution. You're not going to mess up Much's good-looking layout.
 

King Fan

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For that matter, I wonder what value coupling and bypass caps Much used. And what else he might have changed -- he built some famous hot-rodded amps, though for all I know this might be stock or at least a standard modern 5E3.
 

Lowspeid

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I have a 5E3 that was built by member muchxs about 10 years ago. As many of you know, his 5E3 and 5F1 builds are really top quality with great components and workmanship. This one has an old Cleveland alnico speaker pulled from an organ.

I really like this amp with single coil strats and teles and it is very full and rich sounding with a lot of bottom end. Lately though, I have been playing my Gretches more and the bass is a bit too strong, even using lower gain input, etc. I know that 5E3's can be bass heavy but my issue is with HB equipped guitars. I'd rather not make changes to the circuit at this point unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Any thoughts/experience/suggestion on speakers that might have less bass response? Thanks!
I’m in the EXACT same boat, and was even thinking about posting the same thing. I have a Victoria 20112, and I’m not going to mod anything other than the speaker. For reference I mostly play at home, so I’m looking for a speaker that isn’t super loud (and I prefer low-efficiency speakers in vintage-style amps). I’ve tried:

Jensen C12N: came with the amp. Really loud, really quick. Very “dark” for a jensen

Celestion Alnico Cream: way too efficient and “dark”

WGS G12Q: low efficiency, better than the other two, but still has a very “boomy” bass when I play my LP.

I have been watching YouTube videos and found the video Rhett Shull put up a couple years back where he compared speakers in his 5e3. I liked the original Jensen C12q the best. I think I’m going to pick one up soon.

 

Lowerleftcoast

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I had a 12" Jensen Falcon 50W. It was a bright speaker and I wasn't thrilled with it. The Jensen site claims "exceptional bass depth" but that was not my experience.

When I built my first 5E3, I paired it with the Falcon. The 5E3 and speaker seamed to compliment each other. It is an efficient speaker 98.7dB 1W/1M. YMMV.

The amp was sold the same day I finished it.

DSCN1316.JPG

DSCN1319.JPG
 

ElPositivo

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I personally would mod the circuit. Install a mini toggle switch to switch between different coupling cap values, one value that works with single coils and one value that gets your tone with humbuckers. It’s an easy mod, cheaper and easier than changing speakers and like this you will also not loose the full sound you like with single coils.
 

ahiddentableau

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If you like the sound of your current speaker with single coil guitars, and if you or someone you know happens to be handy with a soldering iron and know how to discharge the caps safely, you might want to consider modding the amp. Robrob's page gives the details (including clear diagrams of a layout for each mod), but there are a couple of straightforward changes that you can make to tame the bass and/or make the amp more receptive to humbuckers.

You'd probably want to consider the PI grid stopper and the humbucker switch (which lowers the values of the coupling cap on one channel to cut bass) as a start.
 

loopfinding

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this question gets asked a lot, and there is actually a very simple and non-invasive solution: a passive high pass filter in a pedal or in the amp before any gain really happens.

here is a link to my post (#15) in the other thread:

 
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