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The best recipe for a raging 5e3?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Muzzy, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    There are 5e3's and then there's really good 5e3's that sound like they're on fire and about to explode. What's the secret recipe that make some of them sound like they're really pissed off? Certain transformers with certain coupling caps with certain speakers? I've built two 5e3's so far and experimented with a lot of different caps and speakers and both of them sound good but, they don't rage like some that I've heard unless I boost the crap out of them. I'm sure some of you guys here have built some exceptional sounding 5e3's. What components did you use?
     
  2. bblooz

    bblooz TDPRI Member

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    Any good build should sound right, but speaker selection is probably the biggest varying factor. I would say the cabinet construction can be a close second. (old pine vs. new vs. ply vs mdf, etc)
     
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  3. High Head Brad

    High Head Brad Tele-Meister

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    Have u tried to jumper the channels?
     
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  4. dankilling

    dankilling Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Raging as in Neil Young raging or raging as in early Eagles?
     
  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    IMO... there is a lot of variance between cool bias (90% to 100%PD)and 115+%PD.

    Also, a higher B+ seems to noticeably smooth out the 5E3. 350V vs 380V makes a difference.

    It is easy to lose signal gain when the volume and tone pots are less than 1M. Measure and correct the pots.

    OMMV.
     
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  6. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    maybe the OP can post a few examples...?
     
  7. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Holic

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    All of this. ^^^. Mine has more in the transformer department than spec that got me a lot of B+. You could also try different rectifier tubes as long as you don’t exceed the OT’s specified mA.
     
  8. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    12ax7 in v1? The speaker's a pretty big deal, too.
     
  9. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    OP here. My amps sound good but, seem to be more polite than some I've heard. They are Boothill kits with ClassicTone transformers but, when I bought them I was sent the 40-18002 output transformers that are for a Deluxe reverb instead of the 40-18022 tweed deluxe transformer. When I asked Dave about it, He said he liked those better so, I went with them. Would that make much of a difference?
     
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  10. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely a difference. The 5E3 likes the 8k primary. The 6k6 primary will make it more of a gentleman.
     
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  11. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, that's what I thought.
     
  12. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    I ordered the proper OT from Mojotone. Will see if that makes a difference.
     
  13. dankilling

    dankilling Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The Mojotone OT sounds great to my ears. I use them in my 5e3 builds. Classic tone sound good, but I’ve had some quality issues with them- the secondary winds are sometimes unbalanced so biasing ends up being a balancing act when you want to ride the edge of ‘safe’
     
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  14. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    Use the parts that Leo Fender had available back in the day and go from there. Carbon comp resistors, PIO caps, silver mica tone cap, American glasss, alnico speaker, solid hookup wire, chrome plated steel chassis, pine cabinet, etc.
     
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  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    and hot power tubes. Imho, the circuit demands 100% of max plate dissipation. That is when the cleans are the liveliest and the overdrive is the best, ime/imho. The choice of tube specs is paramount in attaining whatever sound one wants coming out of the speaker. I serviced a vintage 5E3 once that had some really cold power tubes in it. I could not stand the sound, but it was just what the owner wanted. It sounded nothing like what I want a 5E3 to sound like.
     
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  16. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    I just tweak the tubes and speaker to my taste.
    .
    IMG_20200508_085642 1.jpg
     
  17. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the info so far guys. My amps have carbon comps and silver mica tone caps. Both amps have RCA nos glass, pine cabinets, and reconed Jensen p12p's in them. Coupling caps are jupiter reds in one amp and mallory 150's in the other. I used cloth covered stranded wire in one and cloth covered solid wire in the other. Both have the deluxe reverb OT in them though. I'm hoping the Mojotone 5e3 OT makes the difference.
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    one would be curious to know what the bias numbers are, ime.
     
  19. Jimy

    Jimy TDPRI Member

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    The output transformer is a key ingredient to the 5E3 sound. Those Deluxe Reverb OT's you're using will take you towards a cleaner, fuller sound... opposite of the "gnarliness" you seek.

    Higher plate voltages will make the amp louder, tighter, and punchier with less sag. Vintage amps running at vintage wall voltage should show something like 350V on the 6V6 plates. Check your voltages.

    Once you get those things sorted out, then you need to dial in the bias.

    Also, you're using three 16uf caps in the power rail, correct? Not 20uf or 22uf? More capacitance here makes the amp tighter and cleaner... again, the opposite of what you seek.
     
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  20. Muzzy

    Muzzy TDPRI Member

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    I'm not a tech and built these amps out of pandemic boredom. I recently bought a meter but, haven't had time to teach myself how to check the bias yet. They both run good and no red plating or excessive heat so, I figured I was good for now. I'm still learning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
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