Tweed Amp Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Whoa Tele, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Hey folks. I'm thinking of selling my Lil Dawg Tweed Deluxe 5E3 to fund a Lil Dawg Tweed Harvard or Tweed Vibrolux. I'm playing mostly clean stuff theses days and using pedals for OD and I've heard the Harvard and VLux circuits stay clean longer. My Tweed Deluxe is 25 watts and seems to have good clean headroom for a 5E3 circuit. Can anybody offer advice or tell me the tonal differences I might experience if I make the switch. I will also talk to Jim at Lil Dawg about the differences.
    Thanks and stay well
     
  2. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

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    Take a look at the first mod (3 way switched feedback) on this link. The switch is stock in position 1, lifts the cathode bypass cap in position 2, and adds negative feedback in position 3. This also incrementally increases headroom. Not dramatically but noticeably. You may find you don't need to purchase another amp, just slightly modify the one you have. Since the #1 position is stock 5e3, it shouldn't detract much from the value.

    https://robrobinette.com/5e3_Modifications.htm

    The site belongs to a TDPRI member. When I was doing my mod members were happy to help me along the way, and I do the same when I can. I'm just a tinkerer and not a tech. Good luck and happy modding.
     
  3. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Interested in this as well.
    Until recent events made me hold off, I have been trying to decide between one of those three amps.
    I believe the 5f11 and 5f10 are the same aside from the 5f11 having trem.
    But people with more knowledge than me will hopefully chime in.
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The Harvard and Vibrolux have fixed biased output, so everything else equal the attack and point of distortion differed fro: the 5E3 circuit. All things equal means transformer and speakers. Imho, unless you are looking for just a little bit of difference, you won’t find what you are looking for in those amps. Ymmv....
    I have no idea how Lil Dawg build his amps with regard to the Fender circuits. Jim would be your best source of info. Out of curiosity, what tube are you using for V1? A 12AY7 or a 5751 will change the gain at the input stage and might give you some difference.....cheap experiment, imho.
    If I wanted more headroom while maintaining some tweed tonality, I would consider his clone of the 5E7 Bandmaster, which is my favorite tweed amp over all others. Or....would he build you a 5E5, which is a 5E3 circuit with appropriate transformers for a 6L6 output....same preamp, cathodyne PI, and cathode bias as a 5E3 with more power.
    Happy hunting.....
     
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  5. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    5e3 cleans are great, if yours is 25 watts and has decent headroom, why do you want to switch?
    I'm no expert but I'm not so sure a stock 12 watt 5f11 would have more headroom than a 25 watt deluxe. That's a tough one. From what I've read, they aren't as loud as a deluxe.
    I have a 12 watt lil dawg deluxe. It has plenty of clean(ish) headroom but if you're wanting pure clean... why not a Bassman? Mmm mmm goodness. Or what about an octal Super? I think that's what they were called. Those are hot diggity dawg yum! Or like suggested, a bandmaster. Or a Twin? Maybe too heavy and bulky.
    I'm actually waiting on a 5f11 vibrolux from Sound of Shoals Amps. It should be coming somwhat soonish. Wish I had it now to better help you. I've been wanting a 5f11 for the different character. The 5f11/5f10 seem to behave more like a brown face. I'm hoping the vibrolux will scratch the brown face princeton itch so I won't have to worry about "needing" one down the road. I'll be keeping the Deluxe and also adding a 5b3 Deluxe from Lil Dawg. I suggest keeping yours too. Do what you gotta do. I think you'll miss it once it's gone. I'll never get rid of mine.
     
  6. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    I've built 3 5e3 amps, one to take 6L6s. I've also owned a tweed Vibroluxe, but not Harvard. The Vibroluxe being biased differently is sweeter and much much later to break up. There's probably not a huge difference in flat out volume, much depends on speaker selection, but the Deluxe will give out the dirt much sooner.

    There's less gain to be had from the tone knob with the Vibrolux, but it has that thick rich tone inherent to tweed cleans.

    Then there's the trem. My word, there's not another like it! You can almost feel it in your scrotum! For a home slash recording amp you can do worse. If you need grit add a pedal like the Wampler 57.

    My current tweed is a 210 Super. Cleaner and louder than a Deluxe, not really for home use if looking for tweed breakup.
     
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  7. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A super efficient speaker makes a night-&-day difference for clean headroom

    Eminence has got many 12s in the 102+ Dbs

    This changes things a lot (depending on what Jim put in your amp)
     
  8. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Reason I'm looking at switching I while the overall volume may be the same, I've heard the Harvard doesn't break up as soon yielding louder cleans. Also, I'm a big Cropper fan. Please let me know when you have a chance to A/B the Deluxe and Vibrolux. I think I will ask Jim if a Harvardor Vibrolux chassis will fit in my Deluxe cabinet.
     
  9. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the description. Sounds like it might work.
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Uncle Daddy gives a good description of the Vibrolux compared to the 5E3. Fwiw, the 5F11 Vibrolux is the basis for the 6G2 Princeton...in fact, the 6G2 is very much the same amp as the 5F11. Except for the tone stack, these two amps are the basis for the BF/SF Princeton/Princeton reverb amps..and the Rivera/Jans Super Champ is the final iteration of that path...without the bias vary trem, though.
     
  11. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I own both, a beautiful original 6G2 and a wonderful 5F10 clone, a Clark Webster
    http://www.clarkamplification.com/webster.html
    I love them both, maybe Wally will comment here but ime, my Princeton breaks up sooner than the Harvard. Each amp has the same speaker, a Jensen P10Q. They are a matched pair from a 1961 Super. I run the Princeton straight amp out to guitar. While my Harvard is my pedal platform. I only use 4 pedals and it sounds GLORIOUS!! I think you need to decide how important is it to you to have the tremolo on board. My Harvard with my Flint gives me all I need in the reverb and tremolo department, and I'm a tremolo lover. I use tremolo far more than reverb, your use may be different than mine....either way, you've picked two fabulous amps and will be thrilled with whichever one you choose!! Have fun, and remember that HAVING FUN, is the most important part!!! My little family of amps....
    20200131_162955.jpg
    Harvard, Princeton and Champ( aka " the beast " ).....


    RJ
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nice, RJ. One would wonder how the biasing in the two amps compares. And related to that, what the transformers in the Harvard clone compare to the Princeton’s.
    Also....on a lighter note...I never run an amp to a guitar but am accustomed to running the signal of the guitar to the amp.
     
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  13. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would add NFB, that will clean things up until the amp clips. More volume is a speaker thing.
     
  14. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The tweed Harvard 5F10 is the King of sweet and clean but the 5F11 Vibrolux is close and has that swampy bias vary tremolo
     
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  15. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks guys. I'm kinda starting to think I need both now. :)
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    To paraphrase Shel Silverstein:.....baby, you need ‘em all!

    If you are ever around a 5E7 Bandmaster that is in proper condition, give it an ear. Wonderful cleans and the nicest, smoothest, singing overdrive of any Fender tweed amp, ime.
     
  17. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey @Wally ,

    Thanks for sharing that info! I've never realized how close the 5F11 & 6G2 are. I only glanced at the schematics so far, but plan to do a closer comparison/inspection!

    Thanks Again! :D
    Gene
     
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