Describing tone: tweed deluxe vs. champ : breakup vs. kazoo
Please bear with me: I love 5e3s. They rule. In some situations though, they may be too loud before breaking up. People have suggested a tweed champ as an even lower wattage alternative.
But to me there is a significant difference in tone in the two amps. To me the champ seems to be clean...then it just rolls over into being over-driven without a fight. It goes from clean to kazoo really fast. There's not much in between.
The tweed deluxe however seems to fight against being fully over-driven. It doesn't just roll over to kazoo tone. There is a long range where the break-up becomes greater as the amp is pushed harder. The tweed deluxe puts up more of a fight. It seems much more intense/powerful (and I'm not talking volume or wattage) .
Am I crazy? Am I full of it? Is this just part of the difference in wattage? or is there a real difference? Anyone?
I'm betting the transformer has something to do with it? Not sure but I notice that too. You can get some great tones out of the tweed champ. The thing is there is no real substitute for a larger amp cranked. Not better or worse just different headroom.
I've been using a Barber eq pedal with my tweed champ lately and I think it helps a bit. The tweed champs are a bit dark by nature. The eq brightens it up and seems to allow me to hear more detail before kazoo.