Tremolux decision- 5E9A vs 5G9?

Zzpomzz

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Interesting dilemma, I’m not so sure which way to go here. I’m more of a harp player and I already have a bassman and a bandmaster amp I use for gigging and touring. I’m trying to get a lower wattage amp and confused on which way to go.

I’ve been told the 5E9A is essentially a Deluxe, which are iffy for harp (lots of gain). Is this true? It seems the phase inverter and rectifier are certainly different.

I know people love the 5G9 but is it way louder and cleaner? I’m wondering if it would be sort of pointless since I have a Bandmaster not to mention two fixed bias amps. I’ve also had people say the 5G9 is a “baby Bassman” because of the power section…I need volume for small restaurant gigs of 50-100 and small open air places, not a bassman. But the closest I’ve used to the 5E9A would probably be a Gibson ga45 which was pretty quiet.

Regardless, it will be in the big cab.

Any thoughts?
 

King Fan

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Really good question, especially re staying clean for harp. I had a similar quest for guitar, since I already built a 5e3. So I went 5G9, and highly recommend it. Despite having the same front end, it has many differences from the Deluxe that make it a much bigger but cleaner amp. Not BF clean -- no scoop -- but lots of bass and mid and a sweet not harsh treble. The big cab slays, and choosing a 12" around sensitivity will give you a lot of control over the resulting SPL.

I totally don't know how different it is from a Bandmaster; I find it doesn't do the big Bassman 4x10 dirt, and FWIW mine isn't insanely loud. I consider @tubeswell our local Tremolux-meister, and IIRC @Wally also knows a lot about the bigger tweeds.
 

printer2

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The Gibson has 6L6's in it, should be more powerful than a 6V6 amp. The speakers may be really inefficient resulting in a low volume. Or the amp was tired and needed a recap, or both. The both above circuits for the tremolux should not be that different in volume. Depends on how much sag is happening in the PT, use the same PT and the difference should be minimal. The paraphase inverter is a little dirtier than the LTP but it may be in a good way for harp.
 

Junior Little

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I dont have any input re: Tremolux variants, but I built a 5D4 Super in a 5E3 Deluxe chassis for harp and it is exactly what I was looking for: lower wattage than my 5F6-A Bassman but bigger than my 5 watter. At about 12-15 watts it's a nice in-between spot, wattage-wise. Of course, if you need/want tremolo, the 5D4 circuit doesn't have it.
 

SnidelyWhiplash

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I owned a 5E9-A clone for a while. Fantastic sounding amp, but for 18 watts, it was just too loud for my situation. A Tele through it was just pure tonal bliss. 😀
 

donrichfan

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I’ve been told the 5E9A is essentially a Deluxe, which are iffy for harp (lots of gain). Is this true?
Yes it is. I have a 14-watt 5E9a clone that I use on occasion, depending on where I play, and I can say it absolutely is a 5E3 in a larger cab with wiggle. I think the larger cabinet allows for a tad bit more ambience/headroom, but it’s an overall greasy amp. It’s great for what I do, but it sounds like you may be more interested in a fixed bias 5G9.
 

Zzpomzz

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Really good question, especially re staying clean for harp. I had a similar quest for guitar, since I already built a 5e3. So I went 5G9, and highly recommend it. Despite having the same front end, it has many differences from the Deluxe that make it a much bigger but cleaner amp. Not BF clean -- no scoop -- but lots of bass and mid and a sweet not harsh treble. The big cab slays, and choosing a 12" around sensitivity will give you a lot of control over the resulting SPL.

I totally don't know how different it is from a Bandmaster; I find it doesn't do the big Bassman 4x10 dirt, and FWIW mine isn't insanely loud. I consider @tubeswell our local Tremolux-meister, and IIRC @Wally also knows a lot about the bigger tweeds.
Super helpful info. Would you say it distorts/compresses at more of a small gig volume overall? My bandmaster has three speakers of course and it’s pretty ridiculous even with inefficient speakers. One speaker obviously changes thing. The preamp of a deluxe with a cleaner output stage could be a huge benefit.
The Gibson has 6L6's in it, should be more powerful than a 6V6 amp. The speakers may be really inefficient resulting in a low volume. Or the amp was tired and needed a recap, or both. The both above circuits for the tremolux should not be that different in volume. Depends on how much sag is happening in the PT, use the same PT and the difference should be minimal. The paraphase inverter is a little dirtier than the LTP but it may be in a good way for harp.
The Gibson GA45 is a GA40 with 4x8s and uses 2 6v6 tubes. It also has a paraphase. I can say it’s quite dark, not super loud, and really really distorted.
I owned a 5E9-A clone for a while. Fantastic sounding amp, but for 18 watts, it was just too loud for my situation. A Tele through it was just pure tonal bliss. 😀
Yeah I’ve used champs that were really loud. I suppose it’s a speaker thing. Did it break up wel?
Yes it is. I have a 14-watt 5E9a clone that I use on occasion, depending on where I play, and I can say it absolutely is a 5E3 in a larger cab with wiggle. I think the larger cabinet allows for a tad bit more ambience/headroom, but it’s an overall greasy amp. It’s great for what I do, but it sounds like you may be more interested in a fixed bias 5G9.
Yeah those 5e3s are incredibly touchy on the volume knob and feedback like crazy with harp for what I hear. I think I might have to just go all fixed biased with my amps as it also sounds like the darker mushier sound I don’t like is in part cathode bias.
 

King Fan

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Would you say it distorts/compresses at more of a small gig volume overall?
Hard to say. Best I can offer is that it's the breakup opposite of my 5E3, which starts to get dirty when you dig in around volume 3; this just keeps getting bigger and richer up to like 7 or 9 -- some compression, maybe, but not that much dirt. Sounds also like the opposite of the 5E9a based on the helpful note from @donrichfan .

Here's my simple take; if you own a 5E3, I don't see much argument for a 5E9a over a 5G9. The question I'd have is how different would the G9 be from your Bandmaster? Folks who know that amp may help here; I can't.
 

Zzpomzz

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Hard to say. Best I can offer is that it's the breakup opposite of my 5E3, which starts to get dirty when you dig in around volume 3; this just keeps getting bigger and richer up to like 7 or 9 -- some compression, maybe, but not that much dirt. Sounds also like the opposite of the 5E9a based on the helpful note from @donrichfan .

Here's my simple take; if you own a 5E3, I don't see much argument for a 5E9a over a 5G9. The question I'd have is how different would the G9 be from your Bandmaster? Folks who know that amp may help here; I can't.
That’s a good point, and probably worth finding out as that’s currently my “smaller” amp. My worry with the 5E3 circuit style as is is it hits peak volume instantly and with a microphone that can be hugely detrimental to being able to get any volume and can also be intensely distorted in a bad way (if you ever heard too overdriven harmonica, it’s like it loses all the before and after resonance in a weird way). I would be using this live so it’s not worth experimenting too much.
 

printer2

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The Gibson GA45 is a GA40 with 4x8s and uses 2 6v6 tubes. It also has a paraphase. I can say it’s quite dark, not super loud, and really really distorted.
Schematic for a GA-45 came up, I hate when they use the same numbers.
 




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