Tweed Deluxe vs Tweed Champ

Dizzydre21

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Hey guys/gals,

I was just hoping to open a conversion about tweed amps and guitars. Little bit of a ramble below, apologies.

I just bought my first American made guitar. It is a used Les Paul Studio Deluxe 2 from 2013 (I am long time Tele guy and will never sell the MIM I have had and modified since age 14, I'm now 31). I have been super stoked to play lately, even before getting the Les Paul, but holy hell am I digging the Les Paul through Tweed amps with a little boost pedal and a Fuzz or O.D. (Blues, Country Blues/Rock/, Standard stuff like Led Zep and Sticky Fingers era Stones). I just replaced the pickups on my Tele with some Lollar Special Ts, but I had a tuner collar strip out at the same time as I put the pickups in so I took it to a Luthier to get it replaced along with a good setup as it has been a while and needed some fretwork. Thus, I haven't rocked it through the anything with the Lollars yet, but man am I ready to.

Over the years, I have built a clone of a 5f1 tweed champ (10 inch Jensen alnico speaker) and a 5e3 tweed deluxe (same model 12 inch Jensen). I actually enjoy playing the champ FAR more in my basement when jamming by myself. I usually play at the edge of breakup and then add a boost or OD depending on the scenario. It seems to me that the Champ is a bit more open ended in the high mids and treble frequencies.
I can also get it to that sweet spot at a much earlier volume so this probably plays a big part, as with all tube amps.

Anyway, I suppose to direct the conversation....What are everyone's thoughts on Humbucking git-fiddles through the Tweeds and how do you guys feel about the little champs vs the 5e3 Deluxes or similar amps that have the tone knob? I am really digging the tones of both, but I feel like the tone knob on the 5e3 doesn't quite get me to the sound I am into with the 5f1 Champ. I am pretty certain that I added a capacitor to my Champ at some point a few years ago. but I can't remember which mod it was off Rob Robinettes website. I'll have to look it up at some point, but this could play into the tone as well.

Anyways, just hoping for some conversation.

Cheers
 

High Head Brad

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I have similar amps that I play at home…… a Victoria 5E3 and an original 5F2 Tweed Princeton. The additional of the tone control and the bigger cabinet is a big improvement on the Champ IMO, but it’s a great circuit nonetheless.

Having said that, i have hardly been playing my Princeton because the 5E3 just hits the sweet spot for me. I use a pair of Tele’s, a 335 and an SG mostly (plus a few home brew guitars) and they all sounds great with the 5E3. The humbuckers are good with the 5F2 as well. Tele’s and tweed amps are a match made in heaven IMO though.

I assume you’ve experimented with the volume on the non-active channel when dialling in the 5E3?

I also have a Lil Dawg 5E5 Pro which i use with our band and it also sounds great with all my guitars.
 

Chipss36

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My problems with champs any of them especially with a lp, is clean tones, and having no breakup slamming the open e, staying clean, I do not like speaker breakup, or a saturated output transformer, I like evms, and oversized outputs, that said, for my tastes, it’s starts at a deluxe reverb, and goes up from that point.
I would rather play a twin at low volume, than my low e, or a open string farting out. I think the more power you have on tap, the more punchy the amp, even at lower volumes. But again I play mostly clean.
 

tshoe71

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Having owned both the '57 Champ and the '57 Deluxe, I enjoyed both of them, but did sell the Champ. It was purely done to fund a new purchase. Having played Teles, Strats, LPs and 335s through the Champ, Deluxe and Bassman, my reality is that the 5E3 '57 Deluxe is my desert island amp for all. The only amp I really need. BUT for home use, it basically has no volume taper, loud as H from right off the dial. Which is where the Champ comes in, super easy to just plug in, turn the dial to taste with volume and play. The sound while good, is not as good or as full or as tactile as the Deluxe, but if have the means to keep it, I would. It's a fun amp, sounds good and variety is the spice of life. The Bassman is the same for me, far easier to get a quality home at night volume/tone than the Deluxe, sounds ok to me with my Tele, but oddly with the Strat it's amazing to me. So bottom line I don't think you can go wrong with any Tweed into any of the big 4 guitars. I enjoyed having the Champ along with my Deluxe and Bassman and may even still get another Champ. It's just the fight back and forth between having just the one amp I truly love and gassing for having others to collect, keep and enjoy.
 

Dukex

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Here's an interesting video on getting various 5e3 tones.



From Jim @ Lil Dawg Amps:

From Jim's Blog:
I’m often asked about which tubes can be used in my 5E3 D-Lux so I’ve put together the info in one spot for everyone and here it is.

You can swap any of the tubes out at any time in any order with the exception of the power tubes which need to be a matched pair. That’s what is referred to as “tube rolling” and it opens up a lot tonal possibilities.

Rectifiers you can try would be the 5Y3GT with the most sag & compression but also the lowest voltage which means less output. Then there’s the 5V4G which is a step up on voltage which would tighten up the feel of the amp as well as some increase in volume. Finally there’s the GZ34 which would give the amp the tightest feel as well as push the output up another notch.

Power tubes you can try would be the 6V6GT, 5881, or 6L6GC and they all have their benefits. The 6V6GT would be considered the darker of the three but it also has the early break-up and wonderful tone in my opinion. The 5881 is also known as a 6L6WGB and while it’s in the 6L6 family it does have some warm tone and a bit less output that the 6L6GC. The 6L6GC would have the most output but it’s also got a later break-up along with a bright & chimey tone to it.

You can try any 12A*7 or one of it’s variants in the pre-amp for different amounts of gain or tone too.

have fun
 

68goldtop

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Hi!
...

From Jim's Blog:
I’m often asked about which tubes can be used in my 5E3 D-Lux so I’ve put together the info in one spot for everyone and here it is.

You can swap any of the tubes out at any time in any order with the exception of the power tubes which need to be a matched pair...

Rectifiers you can try would be the 5Y3GT with the most sag & compression but also the lowest voltage which means less output. Then there’s the 5V4G which is a step up on voltage which would tighten up the feel of the amp as well as some increase in volume. Finally there’s the GZ34 which would give the amp the tightest feel as well as push the output up another notch.

Power tubes you can try would be the 6V6GT, 5881, or 6L6GC and they all have their benefits...

You can try any 12A*7 or one of it’s variants in the pre-amp for different amounts of gain or tone too...

Not sure where you picked this up, but I would take that with a, err, grain of salt.

I don´t think you can just swap the 6V6´s for a pair of 6L6´s or 5881´s and be "safe" - but I could be wrong...

Perhaps we can get someone with more hands-on knowledge to chime in here?
Sounds like something I would like to try with my ´57 Deluxe RI 👍


cheers - 68.
 

Dizzydre21

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm just going to touch on a few of them in one post here.

I didn't mention this, but I have had the 5f1 for several years and the 5e3 for somewhere around a year. I have definitely played around with the interactive controls on the 5e3. I find the unused channel volume needs to be at about 10 or 11 on the dial to keep out the farty bass. Without this, the bottom end is just too boomy for either a Tele or Les Paul. I guess I was surprised that the same model 10 inch speaker on my 5f1 has WAY less bottom end. It may just be that it is a 10 inch vs the 12 inch on the 5e3. I could play the 5e3 through the 10 inch tonight to see, but both speakers should be pretty well broken in by now even if the 5f1 is a couple years older. I hooked both up to a hifi receiver and played low volume music through them for a day or so when new.

I would also note that I have started using a 10 band EQ pedal on my board and especially in front of the 5e3. I can back the lowest 2 frequencies down like -12db and that usually takes out all or most of the boomy-ness that I don't like. That may read more extreme than it actually sounds, but the frequencies are 31.25hz and 62.5hz. Cutting them actually gives a good deal more clean headroom for those low E chords (Low E note on guitar = 82hz) and the natural overdrive doesn't seem as fizzy at the equivalent volume without the EQ pedal. I place it just after the dirt and boost, but before the slight delay/echo I use last in the chain.

I do truly appreciate that the Tweeds don't have much clean headroom in general, but man that clean sound on a cranked one with the guitar volume rolled back is glorious. I enjoy it on both amps, despite my comments above, but my preference probably goes to single coil guitars through them, instead of humbuckers. Something about that raw Tele sound is just so Rock n Roll.

Dukex,
Thanks for the tube rolling tips. I have played around with quite a few 12ax7s and prefer a 12ay7 in V1 and 12ax7in V2. I have also tried a couple different 6v6 matched pairs that I have, but have not changed to 6L6 or 5881 or swapped to different model rectifier tubes. Now that I am thinking about it, I put a beefier transformer in my 5F1 so I could run it up near 15 watts with a 6L6. I wonder if that is actually the tone difference that I am hearing. I really have to play both amps through the other's speaker tonight to see if it is the speaker or something else (i.e. transformer, added capacitor mentioned in first post).

One last thing for now...Do you guys have preferences on pedals for Tweed amps? I think
I usually prefer to preserve the tone of the amp and just have "more of that" rather than use a pedal to drastically alter it. Currently I am using the Exotic EP Booster (LOVE IT) and a Fulltone 69 Fuzz (LOVE IT) for the extra push. I do not like a tube screamer through either of my Tweed amps. I also really REALLY did not like using The Dude by J. Rockett Audio as it just seemed to change my dry tone too much. I really wanted to love it. Pretty sure I will dig it through a Blackface amp though (Almost done with a Mojotone kit).
 

Vibroluxer

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Here's an interesting video on getting various 5e3 tones.



From Jim @ Lil Dawg Amps:

From Jim's Blog:
I’m often asked about which tubes can be used in my 5E3 D-Lux so I’ve put together the info in one spot for everyone and here it is.

You can swap any of the tubes out at any time in any order with the exception of the power tubes which need to be a matched pair. That’s what is referred to as “tube rolling” and it opens up a lot tonal possibilities.

Rectifiers you can try would be the 5Y3GT with the most sag & compression but also the lowest voltage which means less output. Then there’s the 5V4G which is a step up on voltage which would tighten up the feel of the amp as well as some increase in volume. Finally there’s the GZ34 which would give the amp the tightest feel as well as push the output up another notch.

Power tubes you can try would be the 6V6GT, 5881, or 6L6GC and they all have their benefits. The 6V6GT would be considered the darker of the three but it also has the early break-up and wonderful tone in my opinion. The 5881 is also known as a 6L6WGB and while it’s in the 6L6 family it does have some warm tone and a bit less output that the 6L6GC. The 6L6GC would have the most output but it’s also got a later break-up along with a bright & chimey tone to it.

You can try any 12A*7 or one of it’s variants in the pre-amp for different amounts of gain or tone too.

have fun


I've been down sizing my gear but I still have 2 of Jim's amps. The Mutt is really interesting as it has a 5E3 cabinet, controls, and inputs but is a Tweed Champ on the backend with a small single 6V6. And it's only 5 watts. I really like this amp.

I also have one of his 5E3s with all of the upgrades. It has a Weber Blue Dog in it. It's a great amp, deserving of all the praise it gets but is a bit loud dimed. My ears like it fine but I don't know about my neighbors!
 

Dizzydre21

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I want a deluxe so bad!
Tweed is where it's at for sure, but the Tweed Deluxe can be a little finnicky and I don't believe I would be alone in saying that. I built mine from a Mojotone small parts kit and then sourced the other items from various other places. It was pretty easy if you can be patient and are willing to learn.

Not to derail the Tweed chat, but I am really excited to finish up a Blackface Deluxe Reverb kit here soon though. I have never actually played through a blackface amp, besides in a guitar shop. Totally different animal than the Tweedies
 

Dukex

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Hi!


Not sure where you picked this up, but I would take that with a, err, grain of salt.

I don´t think you can just swap the 6V6´s for a pair of 6L6´s or 5881´s and be "safe" - but I could be wrong...

Perhaps we can get someone with more hands-on knowledge to chime in here?
Sounds like something I would like to try with my ´57 Deluxe RI 👍


cheers - 68.

Hi, that is Jim from his Blog. He's the highly respected amp builder/owner of Lil Dawg amps. I have one of his 5e3 D-lux builds.

I personally don't know much of anything about tube rolling except the basic concept.
 

Dukex

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm just going to touch on a few of them in one post here...

...One last thing for now...Do you guys have preferences on pedals for Tweed amps? I think
I usually prefer to preserve the tone of the amp and just have "more of that" rather than use a pedal to drastically alter it...

Yes, that's me, the natural 5e3 overdrive is the sound I want. No overdrive/boost pedals for me with this amp.
 

ahiddentableau

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Over the years, I have built a clone of a 5f1 tweed champ (10 inch Jensen alnico speaker) and a 5e3 tweed deluxe (same model 12 inch Jensen). I actually enjoy playing the champ FAR more in my basement when jamming by myself. I usually play at the edge of breakup and then add a boost or OD depending on the scenario. It seems to me that the Champ is a bit more open ended in the high mids and treble frequencies.
I can also get it to that sweet spot at a much earlier volume so this probably plays a big part, as with all tube amps.

Perhaps it's blasphemy to say this on this forum, but I also prefer the 5F1 to the 5E3. I like the aggression and the way the champ compresses. That circuit is just plain fun.
 

High Head Brad

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One last thing for now...Do you guys have preferences on pedals for Tweed amps? I think
I usually prefer to preserve the tone of the amp and just have "more of that" rather than use a pedal to drastically alter it. Currently I am using the Exotic EP Booster (LOVE IT) and a Fulltone 69 Fuzz (LOVE IT) for the extra push. I do not like a tube screamer through either of my Tweed amps. I also really REALLY did not like using The Dude by J. Rockett Audio as it just seemed to change my dry tone too much. I really wanted to love it. Pretty sure I will dig it through a Blackface amp though (Almost done with a Mojotone kit).

The Hudson Broadcast sounds great into a 5E3 and other tweed amps. I use mine on the lowest gain setting for a dirty boost. The other overdrive I use if i want to switch up a gear for a heavier dirty tone or to compensate for the guitars volume being lower (for the sake of my family) is a BJFE Honey Bee. Treble Boosters are also fun with tweed amps
 

Sean65

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You will develop a finely tuned ear as to what you guitar volume pots are doing between volumes 6 and 10(for example). Micro adjustments will become second nature.
 

Dizzydre21

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So, I didn't get around to playing either amp through the other's speaker last night as it got a little late before I actually got a chance to pick on my guitar.

I did do a little reading though and I believe the capacitor I added to my 5f1 was the Cathode Bypass cap. I am wondering how much difference this is actually causing between the two amps tones. Looking at the circuits, the 5e3 already has the same value cathode bypass caps, so I'm guessing not much difference.

I am interested in checking out the pedals mentioned above too! Thanks for the suggestions.
 

jsnwhite619

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I understand the dilemma - I really love the Tweed Champ/Princeton tones and vibe as well. I did some experimenting a while back and built a small Champ-sized closed back cabinet with a Jensen C8R inside - 25w speaker for a test cabinet. Hoping for lower volume and less bass for something just to plug into while testing/diagnosing stuff on my amps. I love it! It is amazing how much of the "Champ tone" simply comes from the small cab & speaker. I love playing through this thing - all my amps are 15W or less, so no worries about the handling. But it gives the full cranked, rock & roll sound & feel at a MUCH lower volume and room noise. Throw in Rob's 1/4 power mod attenuator in a project box and I can rock out with a 3-5W output amp and Champ cab/speaker whenever I want. :cool:

8 inch cab.png

Here is my 5e3 - modded some with lower value coupling caps, couple other things but can't remember what at this point - through the C8R.

 

GuitarTalk

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Late to the party….

TL;DR: consider building a 5F2A Princeton with a 12” speaker (instead of 8”). Apparently this well get you the best of both worlds (of a champ and deluxe)!

I had a, dare I say, mint 1960 5E3 Deluxe, and still have a 1957 5F1 Champ and a 1957 5F2A Princeton.

I sold the Deluxe because I liked the tone of a Gibson GA-20T (1959) more, especially overdriven… so much so that I now have 2 GA20’s (1959 and 1960) that I run stereo for (what to me is) the perfect high volume (~40 watt) overdrive tone. If you haven’t tried a GA-20T, I highly recommend you do. They are still relatively inexpensive (compared to very similar Fender models) even though they doubled in price in the last 2 years already.

I kept the Champ because nothing matched it at room volumes for overdrive to my ears until I got the Princeton. As @High Head Brad mentioned above, the Princeton to me beats the champ in every way (I can make the Princeton sound like a Champ but not the other way around). I cannot get the low end of the deluxe from either the champ or the princeton (6”/8” speakers are just not big enough for that).

So, if you’re playing at room volumes, go Champ/Princeton (or put the princeton in a smaller champ cab but definitely build it with the tone knob; so much more versatility). If you want to build an all around classic, the 5E3 is great but you may need an attenuator to get the most out of it without damaging hearing haha. Want the best of both worlds? Build a 5F2A princeton but with a 12” speaker instead of the 8”.
 

Jakeboy

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I have had both the 5e3 and the 5f1 from Lil Dawg. Love them both. The 5e3 is much more versatile, but I sent it to a dear friend and kept the 5f1. Snotty and fun. Love it with a bridge p90. Pure rnr.
 




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