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Deluxe 5E3 or JTM45...more versitile for recording?
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Ron Vogel
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Deluxe 5E3 or JTM45...more versitile for recording?

Doing rock...need cleans and distortion...articulation; using single poles.

I am either building a 5E3 or a 6V6 variation of the JTM45.

I can't decide, and want to hear some feedback on recording either...please...TIA
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Both would be flexible amps, though if I were in your position I would probably be comparing a 5E3 with an 18 watt Marshall rather than a JTM 45 (the wattage/output would be more comparable). Also I'd suggest that building a JTM 45 with 6V6 output tubes will change the sound somewhat from whatever "classic" JTM sounds that you have in mind (Bluesbreakers w/ Clapton is my first thought).

I would suggest two things. First off, will you be able to deal with the volume of the JTM 45 that you'll need to get into overdrive? If not, a 5E3 or 18 watt would be a better choice. A master volume doesn't really help to my mind because then you're not driving the power section hard enough to get it to contribute to the distortion. An attenuator can work, but it takes a little treble off (at least when I use mine).

Second, listen to a bunch of Neil Young records and see if you like the overdriven/distorted tones, "Cinnamon Girl" or something like that. He's known for only using 5E3's, so you'll have an idea of what they sound like being pushed. Does it sound as good TO YOU as a Marshall? Got a preference?

Also I don't know if you own any pedals, but having one good fuzz pedal like a germanium Fuzz Face or Tonebender can add a bunch of options for different levels of distortion. Since I started using fuzz, I find I'm cutting almost all my lead guitar parts with a fuzz pedal. Good luck!
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Ron Vogel
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24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
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I'm aware of the Neil Young 5E3 connection...but his playing style is so sloppy I just can't get past it....I like his music, just never liked his distorted tones.

I whipped up a schematic to build a tweed bassman pre into a 5E3 power section with a blackface princeton tremelo. Might work...I'm just torn..

To make the wifey happy, I agreed to build a new amp that's more flexible than my little '72 Champ; and sell the Champ to recoup the new amp's cost). I love the amp, but it's a challenge to get swampy sounds that I want out of it...plus I'm missing that extra harmonic content of a true P/P amp.

I was happier as a player when I DIDN'T know how the right amp can take your playing to the next level. In the past few years I've had some pretty nice vintage amps roll in and out my door, and the closest all-rounder I had I sold to upgrade my studio gear (Blackface Princeton reverb clone).

Maybe I should just build a 6G2 and call it a day, but I never played either the JTM45 or the 5E3...and they sound like good fits for me.
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24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
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Through an old Celestion, a Scumback or something similar, a 5E3 gets scarily into JTM45 territory, and at considerably less volume. I have a Scumback H75 in mine.

They're both versatile amps, and at least to my ears there's a tonal similarity about them. And they're not just overdrive machines, they both also have some really spectacular cleans when you roll back the guitar's volume knob. There are times when I prefer my Tweed deluxe cleans to my blackface fenders. Hard to say which is "more versatile for recording", but i'd go with the 5E3.

While you're at it, get a mahogany guitar with some P90s to put in front of that 5E3. You'll be glad you did...it's a whole 'nother thing.

cheers,
wade
Ron Vogel
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24th March 2012
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Yeah, P90's is another thing I have yet to work with. I have a guitar that's prime for one, and may just take the leap.

Just wish the 5E3 had a tremelo...not a deal breaker, but it's fun to play with once in awhile.

I'd really like to keep the watts under 15...it's just for recording, and in my space 15 would be more than enough.
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24th March 2012
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Have I got the answer for you: 5E11 Vibrolus: 10w from a pair of 6V6s, bias vary tremelo like the Princeton. If you need more power you can up the plate voltage and use a more sensitive speaker, but I love them just the way they are (also sold in almost exactly the same circuit as the brown Princeton). With a Jensen speaker they're tweed Fender all the way, with a Celestion the do get very close to the JTM45. The JTM45 sounds NOTHING like a plexi or later Marshall, totally different harmonic structure to the distortion, much more like the tweed Bassman it came from.
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24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
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Good call on using 6v6's....and I'd especially recommend using JJ's with a high B+.
I would also suggest to you that if you are building and going for versatility, make the amp a little cleaner than you normally think you would need. Then employ some boost pedals when you need some extra crunch

These are some ideas for you...
1. Use a JTM power trafo for tons of headroom...the stock 5e3 PT is weak and doesn't like adding even a single preamp tube - at least not if you want a higher B+
2. Use an over sized OT...I love ultralinear OT's. They help make the sound full, rich, and detailed.
3. Make the amp two channels but add an EF86 for variety and let it give you your primary crunch sounds. It is absolutely amazing and all you need to go with it is a switch or something to change your plate cap to a smaller or higher rating in order to clean up the low end, or let more through. No EQ needed on that channel at all!
4. Use a GZ34 to get your plate up in the mid 400v's and your preamps in the mid 300v's (hence the JJ 6v6's)
5. Or, keep the EF86 at mid 300v B+ and drop the 5e3 style preamp down to high 200's B+ to retain a more original sound
6. Make sure to stick to a split load PI - a long tail will crunch up way to much in my opinion...YMMV

Just some ideas!
Have fun!
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24th March 2012
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Forgot to mention....with the above PT you can put in any octal rectifier tube for varying B+....5y3 should drop it by 60v or more...lots of options there
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26th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 View Post
Have I got the answer for you: 5E11 Vibrolus: 10w from a pair of 6V6s, bias vary tremelo like the Princeton. If you need more power you can up the plate voltage and use a more sensitive speaker, but I love them just the way they are (also sold in almost exactly the same circuit as the brown Princeton). With a Jensen speaker they're tweed Fender all the way, with a Celestion the do get very close to the JTM45. The JTM45 sounds NOTHING like a plexi or later Marshall, totally different harmonic structure to the distortion, much more like the tweed Bassman it came from.
Vibrolux looks to be the ticket. Being biased cold stock is a plus, because I can tweak it...heck, maybe I can put in a rotary switch to run the tubes hot or cold...and a rotary to switch caps on the tone control. That should be plenty of options.

I'm partial to alnico's so I'll probably go down that road for it.

Simple circuits for guitar amps are generally a good thing...and it looks nice and simple!
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27th March 2012
Old 27th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
Doing rock...need cleans and distortion...articulation; using single poles.

I am either building a 5E3 or a 6V6 variation of the JTM45.

I can't decide, and want to hear some feedback on recording either...please...TIA
Based on you not liking Neils distorted tone I would say that an overdriven tweed deluxe is not what you are after. The 5e3 can be pretty "spongy" on the lows, not quite "articulate". The clean(ish) tones are incredible but the whole tweed and brownface series are all kinda like that. The bassman and pro being less so. Not to mention a closed back cab will yield "tighter" results. I own a 5e3 modded for 6L6s and I get more headroom but the squishy and compressed "Neil young" sound is inherent in the design when overdriven IMO. Running the amp clean but w a pedal for overdrive is your best bet for versatility... A jtm45 is pretty incredible but hella loud and you may find yourself resorting to pedals as well without killing your neighbors unless you have a good iso booth for the cab. I run my tweed w a sealed 2 10 cab in my vocal booth just so I can isolate and know what I'm getting to disk without dealing w the volume. In short I know there is no substitute for a great amp screaming but a smaller amp w pedals ( the 5e3) may be the answer. In all honesty try the tweed champ w a different cab. The "englishman" by love pedal is a GREAT pedal for the tweeds as it shelves off a little of the lows and gives it some "chime". Also those amps have far more headroom w single coils or p90s than w humbuckers.

Just my opinion and I wish you well in your search. Keep us posted!
-Jonathan
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27th March 2012
Old 27th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
Yeah, P90's is another thing I have yet to work with. I have a guitar that's prime for one, and may just take the leap.
The thing i love about P90s is that when played through an amp like a 5E3 set to stun, they've got this almost double-tracked sort of tone to them. Definitely very dirty, but with a clean shimmer and articulation cutting through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
I'd really like to keep the watts under 15...it's just for recording, and in my space 15 would be more than enough.
My 5E3 is 15 of the loudest watts I've ever heard. It's more than enough for any of the venues I play.

cheers,
wade
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27th March 2012
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Getting a Clark 5E3 with Scumback Scumnico speaker tomorrow (silver bell replica).
Tweed with a British twist!
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28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
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Ron,

Have you tried bypassing your Champ's speaker and going to a larger speaker cab? It can sound really huge and you won't have to build anything or sell your champ. Just a thought...
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28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
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5E3 is a JTM 45 of sorts,Jim Marshall's version of Leo's circuit...

Silvetone 1472 had crap caps but will take you home if you watch it.Plants "Raising Sand" T-Bone's vibrato from this very Silvertone is amazing.These amps had cardboard baffle boards,the sound is there,though!

peace
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Ron Vogel
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28th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CthonicEwes View Post
Ron,

Have you tried bypassing your Champ's speaker and going to a larger speaker cab? It can sound really huge and you won't have to build anything or sell your champ. Just a thought...
Yeah, I have a 12" external cab with a '58 Wurli speaker in it. The Champ can be nasal if it isn't balls out even with the external speaker. I did put a mid pot in the Champ that helps, but even so the Champ only get's me 60% of what I'm after tone-wise. The Weber alnico is great I have in the Champ...I actually just laid down some killer bass through it; you would be surprized at how well the little 8" speaker is for bass if you have the mics on it right.

I have a little hotter PT for the vibrolux build on order, that coupled with a 5V4 recto and few component value changes should aleveiate some of the sponginess.

I also decided to build a Supro 1606 to run into the 8" speaker on the Champ. Turns out Magnetic components is directly across the street from my work...it's less than a 5 minute walk from my desk. I'll try and get chummy with them for my next few builds! They were the OEM supplier to Valco when they were still in business.
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28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
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I installed a 6CA7 power tube in my Champ, it does about 12 watts now. I removed the 1k 2 watt power resistor off the plate and replaced it with a Deluxe Reverb choke. That removed that annoying residual hum they have. I installed a pair of dual 100 uf caps to take care of the rest.

Then just select different speakers/cabs.
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28th March 2012
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Hum isn't an issue on this amp...I'm overly anal about my amps; and dig into them constantly. This thing is dead quiet, I spent A LOT of time balancing the 12ax7, and biasing the 6v6 to get it how I like it.

However, it's just missing that extra bit you get out of a P/P amp. Power/volume of the Champ is just fine. If I mess with it more I may change out a few coupling caps to a higher value, but that's about it.

BTW I have a 20-20-40 filter cap set-up on it.
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28th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_ View Post
5E3 is a JTM 45 of sorts,Jim Marshall's version of Leo's circuit...

Silvetone 1472 had crap caps but will take you home if you watch it.Plants "Raising Sand" T-Bone's vibrato from this very Silvertone is amazing.These amps had cardboard baffle boards,the sound is there,though!

peace
Actually the JTM45 is an EXACT copy of the tweed bassman....the only exception being the 16 ohm hook up on the output trans...that knocks up the power. On the schematic there are a few different values...but minor ones...even Fender didn't stick to scehmatic values if they had something else on hand to use that was "close".
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28th March 2012
Old 28th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
BTW I have a 20-20-40 filter cap set-up on it.
That was the first thing I removed, old, small and leaks hum. A couple of dual 100 uf's tightens up the power supply and pulls out the residual ripple. The choke really helps in a Champ, the only Fender amp made without one. I also pulled the tube rectifiers out and use fast recovery rectifier diodes, more voltage, current and punch.

Watch out for larger audio film caps, you may get motorboating or at least a sluggist sound from excess low frequency information. I replaced my mylars with tubular polypropylene film caps. Re-Caps are very good. It's nice and smooth now. The 12 watts drives my 4x12 cabs very well. I also installed a mid pot, master volume and removed my vibrato circuit and used that tube as an extra gain stage. It's semi Marshall like now.
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