5E3 build idea

For those building and repairing amps on their own. Learna and share ideas.

5E3 build idea

Postby madjackhatter on Sat May 18, 2013 4:51 am

So I sold a load of gun safes and got a sweet commish coming in next week's check and think I'm going to start a 5e3 build. I'm not a traditionalist, actually a pragmatic gigger / recorder. So I'm building it with a choke and 22uf caps to tame the noise, using metal film zisters except for the plate load, and building in satellite A/C power in the amp cab (cause extra A/C power is damn handy)

Here's where it's going a REAL different direction, I'm contemplating a vintage/modern switch that will feed B+ through a 16uf caps and the stock 4.7 zister between the first and second filter caps instead of the choke. Also thinking about switchable channel bridging anm possibly a switchable Paul C mod and a V V R to scale power. Of couse I will hide the switching with either push-pull pots or mini switches mounted on the underbelly of the chassis. Just wanting to know if anyone's done builds with similar switchable options and your experience and take on it. Remember this is mostly going to be for smaller gigs and recording use but flame away as I know over-modding a Tweed circuit is utter blasphemy in these parts.... :lol:
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Re: 5E3 build idea

Postby Papa Dog on Sat May 18, 2013 9:58 am

FWIW
I am building some amps based on an old circuit myself.
Kinda figgered out that a custom build is exactly that, nothing more or less.
If you have an idea for how to take a "vintage" design to "the next level", the please do whatever your heart or head tells you is the "right" thing for you to do.
By all means make it you own, and do not worry if someone might think it is not "true to the original". If you were building a Tweed clone then that is what you would have said. You are building an amp inspired by a venerable old design.
No reason to not do exactly what YOU wanna do. It is, after all, a build for your own personal use, and not something that you will be trying to pawn off on someone as a clone.
I believe that more folks should do "ground up" builds with cricuit mods or parts selection to reflect their own ideas and desires. Yea, it do cost more on the front end to do it that way, but at least ya didn't go out and find a clean example of the basic circuit you are building on and hack a true vintage piece.
Good luck with you build and keep us updated with pics, schematics, layouts and et al.
Stretch yer wings and fly. Don't worry about the cork sniffers or snobs, or even about trying to hide switches or added controls, unless they are just aesteticly un-desirable to you.
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Re: 5E3 build idea

Postby Baron Von Machinenmann on Sat May 18, 2013 12:52 pm

madjackhatter wrote:So I sold a load of gun safes and got a sweet commish coming in next week's check and think I'm going to start a 5e3 build. I'm not a traditionalist, actually a pragmatic gigger / recorder. So I'm building it with a choke and 22uf caps to tame the noise, using metal film zisters except for the plate load, and building in satellite A/C power in the amp cab (cause extra A/C power is damn handy)

Here's where it's going a REAL different direction, I'm contemplating a vintage/modern switch that will feed B+ through a 16uf caps and the stock 4.7 zister between the first and second filter caps instead of the choke. Also thinking about switchable channel bridging anm possibly a switchable Paul C mod and a V V R to scale power. Of couse I will hide the switching with either push-pull pots or mini switches mounted on the underbelly of the chassis. Just wanting to know if anyone's done builds with similar switchable options and your experience and take on it. Remember this is mostly going to be for smaller gigs and recording use but flame away as I know over-modding a Tweed circuit is utter blasphemy in these parts.... :lol:


My advice would be to breadboard your mods first, installing only one at a time until you are satisfied then add the next to avoid the hair pulling nightmare that can occur when too many mods are added and you end up with noise, hum etc.

Rotary switches with five positions or more are great for trying different plate load values as well as different cathode resistor/cap combinations. Have you decided on a chassis? Turret or eyelet? Soooo many options...... :wink: 8)
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Re: 5E3 build idea

Postby madjackhatter on Sat May 18, 2013 6:05 pm

Definately going the turret route and may add extra turrets or terminal strips to the board to facilitate the extra stuff in the circuit. When splitting the filter caps yet sharing some of the same wiring, would I want to use diodes to keep the filter caps from bleeding back into the unused caps ??? I believe I will buy a breadboard too... 8)

I don't know if the smaller pots attached to the switch of a push-pull pot would perform like a CTS or Bourne. I truly suspect NOT, but any experience with them in an amp would be appreciated. They seem to work well with guitars but not sure with the vol / tone control of an amp. :?:
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Re: 5E3 build idea

Postby Unit_1 on Sat May 18, 2013 8:16 pm

gun safes huh? i love my sportman's steel safe :mrgreen:

not much room in a stock 5e3 chassis, if you're going for turrets be sure to get a board that's thin enough so the turrets don't make a connection with the input jacks - *very* tight in that area!

if you want to get some PIO NOS astrons, including the .0047 tone cap, i can make you a deal you cannot refuse!

of course i would check them all for leakage at 400v and test to see which side is the outer foil before sending.

i've made quite a few amps with these and they are the lowest noise, highest signal strength of any cap i've ever used.
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Re: 5E3 build idea

Postby madjackhatter on Sat May 18, 2013 11:08 pm

Unit_1 wrote:gun safes huh? i love my sportman's steel safe :mrgreen:

.

Been working on safes since I was 17 years old, some 30 years now. Got into the biz because of my uncles and never escaped ... :lol:

PM me a price on the NOS caps.... sounds interesting
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