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5E3 Options

mwittoesch

Member
Messages
270
After hearing a lot of sound clips and seeing the recent Tungsten Crema Wheat video with Greg V. I now have serious GAS for a 5E3 style amp. What tone! It’s exactly what I have been looking for. So.......... I got a chance to borrow a friend’s recently made (and un-modded) Richter 5E3 with JJs and a Jensen “Special Design” speaker. It had a real 3D sound and wasn’t “boxy” in the least. While the amp wasn’t bad, it was very loud, almost too loud. I loved the bell-like highs and the deep bass, but it was a bit harsh and hard to control. It was buzzy at lower volumes and didn’t take OD pedals very well either. This was somewhat contrary to what I have read about various 5E3 amps (Clark, Mission, Weber, etc…). So, to all you 5E3 aficionados, is this typical for a 5E3 style amp? Is there a 5E3 that is a bit smoother and good for both home as well as small venues?
 

Curly

Member
Messages
1,400
it was a bit harsh and hard to control. It was buzzy at lower volumes and didn’t take OD pedals very well either. This was somewhat contrary to what I have read about various 5E3 amps (Clark, Mission, Weber, etc…). So, to all you 5E3 aficionados, is this typical for a 5E3 style amp?
not typical

although I haven't played a Richter, I'd have to say a regular 5E3 is closer to GregV's video than what you're describing.
 

ezyrydr

Member
Messages
954
Were you using humbuckers? Anything other than very low output PAFs tend to be too much for the 5E3s I've played. Brand names don't mean much with these amps, they're a very simple circuit and the major contributing factor to the tone is often the speaker and the tubes. Richters are good amps. I'd try plugging in a speaker from a different speaker/cab and play through that and see if you hear the same problems.
 

Trout

Member
Messages
7,549
40% of great 5E3 tone is speaker & tube selection as long as they are dead stock.
60% is user related. For a first time user, the 5E3 can be a difficult amp to master in 2 hours.

I think what GregV said in his demo video is very true of most any 5E3 amps. Pick attack and guitar volume control use are big factors.

" It is really all about your right hand attack" 2:11
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,150
True what Trout says plus factor in the JJ's.

JJ's can sound good in a 5E3 but they will change the charactor of the amp.

You haven't played a 5E3 properly until it has stock tubes (i.e. 6V6's) in it with a 5Y3 rectifier.
 
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Curly

Member
Messages
1,400
I agree that there are better 6V6s for this amp than JJs. I think the JJs are better suited for something like the DRRI, which benefits from the additional bass response of that tube.

Of the current production tubes, I like the Tung Sols, which are a little sweeter like the old 6V6s.
I recommend an NOS 12AY7 in V1, since they're still affordable, and sound better, IMO.
Also, use an NOS 5Y3, which supplies a little less voltage to the power tubes -- closer to original specs, which is also better.

5E3s are great amps, but I agree they are deceptively simple. A lot of first time users need to get used to the interactive channels, and as noted above, how touch responsive these amps are.
 

Uniphasian

Member
Messages
898
I much prefer the sound of the overdriven amp which has a much different character than any of the OD pedals I have. Too much pedal drive will overshadow the natural OD tone of the amp, so if you use a pedal, go lightly on the drive.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,150
Ought to point out to the OP that the JJ 6v6's have a 6V6/6L6 mixed type sound which as I said can be good but definatley different than other 6V6's.
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,490
My Clark Beaufort with a Celestion Blue isn't any of the things you've described. It's the amp that most closely nails the tones on Castles or Wind Cries Mary that I've played. It's remarkably smooth and easy to play too and my reaction was that I didn't realize my playing had come as far as it had after my first encounter with it.
 

mwittoesch

Member
Messages
270
Thanks all. I had no idea such a simple amp could be so complex. This new territory for me and I think I'm going to go ahead and nab a good 5E3 clone and focus on getting tubes, as mentioned above, that are closer to original spec and a Celestion blue.
 




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