Replace my Tweed Deluxe 5e3 with...?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by theelectronicma, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. theelectronicma

    theelectronicma TDPRI Member

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    Here’s my dilemma. I have an excellent, well-built Tweed Deluxe 5e3 clone. NOS tubes, and even the venerable Lord Valve aka Fat Willy says “this is a pretty cool little amp.” Best overdrive I’ve ever heard.
    Do I want to keep it? Yes.
    But...I am desiring more clean headroom. Been building the pedal board, and clean, sparkly (BF/SF?) tone is what I feel like I am craving.
    I’d love to have two amps, but can’t afford it.
    QUESTION: if I sold the Tweed, what would you suggest as a replacement in the ~$800 range? Maybe a Deluxe Reverb and use OD pedals to get me into tweed territory? A Blues Jr? I know they are all very different amps, but help me find some headroom with some warmth that at least *reminds* me of the Tweed I probably shouldn’t sell :)
    Help!!
     
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  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Ya, DRRI for your headroom. Especially with big watt 12" in there.
    IMHO
    Wish you luck
     
  3. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    I'd lean towards a Deluxe Reverb. Better build quality than a Blues Junior, IMO. Any equalizer, and some ODs or character pedals can take you back to tweedsville, if so required. I alternately use a Joyo American Sound or a TC Spark (full sized) to tweedify my PRRI. Works great.
     
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  4. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Afflicted

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    I found a 1980 Black Face Handwired Deluxe Reverb. You want headroom? Yikes! I loaned it to a friend who is gigging weekly. He wants to buy it. I told him to find one of his own.

    It’s a beast!

    When I need more power at gigs, I use my PRS H head. 50 watts of hadron, it’s dual channels give me a clean DR sound and a very good Tweed Deluxe grind in the drive channel. The H combo fits right into your budget.

    I have two Tweed Deluxes, a ‘58 Fender and a 2001 Victoria. I used the Fender at rehearsal Wednesday. The bassist kept telling me to turn down. Amazing how loud 3 can be.
     
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  5. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Used Deluxe Reverb RI. I got mine a couple months ago used for around $700. It's great. Really great. you will have no trouble selling your 5e3 if you decide to.
     
  6. theelectronicma

    theelectronicma TDPRI Member

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    Wow lots of early votes for a DRRI. Thanks guys...anyone have any Fender amps to suggest that I might be missing? Also be curious what guys think about the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb vs the '65 DRRI.
     
  7. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Will you be gigging? A DR in a house is overkill.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yep, DR is great. For gigging mine (or my Deluxe non Reverb) get used 90% of the time. ... for over 40 years...
    I'd get the 65 DR model if you are buying a RI.
     
  9. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Non reverb princeton
     
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  10. theelectronicma

    theelectronicma TDPRI Member

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    Non-reverb Princetons I’ve heard are great. But pricey, yeah?
    This amp will mostly be used for recording, although also used live. When live, it doesn’t need to be on stage with me. I’d be happy with a fat clean at 3 or 4 volume off stage somewhere and mic’d.
     
  11. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    Deluxe Reverb would probably be perfect for you.
     
  12. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    5f11. Thank me later.
     
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  13. ecoast

    ecoast Tele-Holic

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    change a couple caps and add an efficient speaker...
     
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  14. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Keep it.

    Get a Quilter 101 Reverb head.

    $%^& Mr. Valve.
     
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  15. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I have a 5E3 clone, a Champ 5F1, and a '65 Princeton Reverb RI, which is what I'd recommend if you're not gigging or playing in a garage with Keith Moon. A DRRI is a lot of volume.

    What ever you pick i will guarantee one thing...if you sell your 5E3 you will regret it within a week. I promise you that.

    " Best overdrive I’ve ever heard." That's why I own one. Mine has a VVR, so I can dial it down to a 1/2 watt. I did that because I wanted the amp to OD without a pedal. No pedal will EVER come close to how the 5E3 circuit breaks up...it's a flawed design that ends up working brilliantly. The volume knobs interact, the tone control past 8 stops adding high end and adds low. The channels can be jumped together into several combinations. I've never played an amp with so many quirks that actually positively add to tone.

    Do not sell that amp...you will be sorry.
     
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  16. chipwich

    chipwich Tele-Meister

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    This ^^^
     
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  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's tons of things you can do to a 5E3. A Blues Jnr won't do BF clean. Nothing like. The reverb is - well, not BF Fender either.

    If you want more headroom learn how the volume controls interact - you should have a 12AY7 in the V1 position too. Get a GA-12 SC64 speaker.

    Coupling caps, grid block resistor, fixed bias if you want. You can go GZ34 if you like.
     
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  18. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1
    If you're afraid to do it yourself, find someone to mod your 5E3 - switchable NFB, fixed bias, maybe a mid-scoop pot (switchable) - those will give you the possibility to go back and forth between 5E3 dirt and cleaner, BF-ish tones.
    12AY7 instead of 12AX7 is easily reversible.
    Filter, coupling & bypass caps are more intrusive mods, but can still be reversed, if you don't like them.
    And get an external cab with more efficient speakers (2x12", 2x10", 4x12"...) - instant headroom increase.
     
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  19. theelectronicma

    theelectronicma TDPRI Member

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    I’ve got a 12AY7 in V1, and the speaker is a Weber Classic Alnico. Filter, coupling caps, fixed bias...all above my pay grade! Meaning...that stuff is all Greek to me!
    I’m definitely curious about what a new speaker would do, because that seems like an easy ~$100 mod...
    Bumnote...I hear you...I think I would regret it...but I need to find more headroom too!
     
  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    What makes a 5E3 a 5E3 is a set of things - Leo started out with a generic schematic from Western Electric. When you bought tubes you could buy tube manuals which showed you how to build an amp using them.

    This was a general audio amp design, so it included large 0.1 value coupling capacitors that let too much bass and bassy artifacts through - that's part of the farty nature - swapping them out is quick and simple for anyone with a soldering iron..

    Alnico speakers are of the era. They add a bit of quack but depending which you have can break up early - the Emi Alessandro is a paper voicecoil former like a 60s Jensen and a good take on one. They've also got new alnico tophat models that look interesting.

    Both those mods will take the circuit closer to the Brown amps - the 6G2 in particular which is regarded as one of the classics and I believe the best Fender I ever heard in person. Add fixed bias and you are almost at non-Reverb Princeton but still with a bit of hair.

    If you leave the channels unjumpered and vary volume on the unused channel you will discover it varies the input impedance. That has the effect of increasing headroom and sweetening the amp. When I was gigging a 5E3 clone 6 on the plugged and around 4-5 on the unused channel worked with most guitars
     
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