Difference between tweed 5C5 and 5E5A?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Pedro58, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    I know that the pre-amp tubes are different. And that the design itself is different, octal vs 9-pin... Has anyone heard or owned both and can describe the difference? Assume that it would be through an appropriate 15" speaker ( Alnico Jensen?). That said, what speaker do you think would be the best 15" choice for this design?
     
  2. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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  3. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    I believe some of the 5C5's are 9 pin, some Octal, but no matter. I've owned a 5C5, 5D5, and a 5E5. For playing live in a loud band, you'd need a 5E5, though the 5C5 with an efficient speaker might do the trick. My fav for tone is the 5C5, it has everything that i love in the fender sound, cleans, dirt,presence, kick. It's warmer and fatter sounding than the 5E5, which can get real screechy with a bright guitar like a tele. The 5E5 is more linear sounding, with a tighter bottom, and can get really crunchy. Most people would choose the 5E5 over the 5C5, but both are great amps!
    I would get an old Jensen P15N and put it in. They can be had off ebay for less than $200, sometimes far less, as they don't go into "holy grail" amps. Get a recone if necessary, it doesn't make that big of a difference.
     
  4. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Thanks! I've never played a 5E5 and I think it will have the headroom to hang with a band. I have played, briefly, a 5C5 and I thought it had a really cool vibe to it. Real grind and unlike anything else I had played at the time... Still, a tough choice. I don't even want to know what a 5D5 is...;)
     
  5. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Okay, I looked it up. The 5D5 is just a wide panel model... Transition between the other two. Some octal, some not.

    I have a Marshall 18 watt clone that I want to switch to for dirty tones and I am looking for a cool clean to go with it. I think a tweed would sound good in that application. Also, I might goose the clean one for dirt, too. I think a 5C5 might be the ticket, even with the questionable headroom. I know lots of folks want to go from Fender clean like a blackface reverb to an overdriven Marshall when amp-switching on stage, but I think I would like the two to be a little closer, tone-wise. Different, but in the same neighborhood. Also, I could just build a 5C5 head, given that Weber's kit site has deleted cabinets recently (Through no fault of Ted's). I could switch a tweed head in and out with the 18 watter in one cab... currently a Celestion blue and a Weber 10" Silver pup.
     
  6. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Bump! Still curious and unsatisfied!
     
  7. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    I own a 5B5 TV (and had a 5B5 wide panel) tweed pro. I have also borrowed and recorded with a wide panel bandmaster (1x15, treble, bass, cathode biased) and own a 5E5A narrow panel.

    They are very different sounding, feeling amps. The 5B5 is much less loud and is very compressed. It takes the hard attack off your notes and makes everything sound like an open vowel. The volume is about like a Deluxe reverb or narrow panel tweed deluxe with an efficient speaker. Plus better low end. It's distortion is primitive since it's so asynchronus sounding - real primitive sounding. Since I play early 50's style blues/jump, this amp is useful to me. The 5E5A is much louder, has a lot more headroom, less compressed, but still more compressed than a bassman, and has a more bright, aggressive, "modern" crunch or grind to it. You could play one thru 2x12s and get a fairly modern "retro" distortion sound, if that makes sense. Still, after saying that, the 5E5A when set up stock (smallish OT, 5U4 and 5881's) isn't a real loud amp. It's about like a vibrolux reverb volume-wise. They sound a litle fuller than a VR, I guess due to the cabinet and 1x15.

    As far as speakers, I would strongly recommend a vintage P15N for either amp. Especially the 5C5 or 5B5. Don't bother with anything else. With a 5E5A, start with an old P15N and see what you think. Then go from there. If you want more volume or definition with a 5E5A, try other speakers: C15N, emminence legend 151 etc. I just think you should start with it "stock" and so your ears know what the original amp is all about.

    Want "both" in one amp? If you put a switchable fixed/cathode bias mod in a 5E5A circuit and leave out the bypass cap, you would be 80% there to a 5C5 pro. The bonus is that you still have the option for playing a much more versatile, loud amp (5E5A) when playing fixed bias. To go "almost" all the way, you'd want to switch out the choke (when in cathode bias mode) and have a power resistor wired in it's place- in which case you might put the cathode bypass cap back in.

    The choke location (5E5A) and the power resistor-instead-of-choke have a large part in those amp's sound. I own and gig with a bunch of old tweed stuff, and if I had to narrow it down to one, it would be a 5E5A.
     
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  8. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    Some other critical differences between tweed pros (besides the obvious octal vs 9 pin preamp)

    - The 5E5-A is basically a 5E7 Bandmaster with 1x15 instead of 3x10. The biggest diff between these two is that the 5E5-A has more local NFB in the second gain stage (5Meg feedback resistor instead of 10Meg).

    - Up to 5E5 the tone stack is a simple treble cut (a la Deluxes et. al.). With the 5E5-A you've got a Bandmaster tone stack with separate treble and bass controls (and some neat interactions when you turn the ccontrols to extremes).

    - Up to 5E5 are cathode-biased power sections. The 5E5-A is fixed bias (probably a big contributor to the headroom comments from others). Note that you can get more headroom out of a cathode-biased Pro (or other tweed) by tweaking the cathode resistor value (move operation point a tad further into Class AB1)

    - Earlier models use a paraphase phase inverter design, later models use a split-load (cathodyne). The two behave a little differently (and sound a bit different) as you get into clipping. I personally like the paraphase better tonally.
     
  9. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey, you sound like you know your Pros! A 5B5 wide panel , though? Or is that a typo? I'd love to get a Pro built for me with the switchable bias -I love both the TV and the narrow panel for different things. Can you reccomend a builder ? PM or email me if you prefer. Also agree about the P15N as a reference point for tweed pro tone.
     
  10. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Yeah, no kidding. Both wakarusa (wakarusa builds amps, no?) and jetlag seem to have it nailed! I'd love to build something that does both... But I'll have a friend help me with a kit and we'll need to follow a proven, tried-and-true schematic. The 18 watter I mentioned didn't work with the first circuit board that we "tweaked." We built another one according to spec and it works fine. Not sure I want to go through that again... I'll ask my buddy. He'll roll his eyes at me for sure. Keep it simple, stupid... That's what he always tells me, but he doesn't call me stupid!

    Of course, 57special's suggestion is excellent... Either of you guys want to tackle such a project?
     
  11. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    Yes, I build amps. As it turns out one of my customers just "won" (bought) a tweed pro cab with P15N but no chassis. So I'm working on designing and building what, for him at least, is the uber-pro.

    We'll probably do the 5E5-A(5E7) preamp, paraphase inverter, and cathode biased power section (but operating further into AB1 as mentioned above). Still noodling over whether to use a spec PT or to upgrade a bit. We've definitely settled on a different OT -- going to use the model I had designed for another 2x6L6 amp.

    Throwing switchable fixed/cathode bias into something like that isn't too difficult, but I'd be more tempted to get my extra punch from higher B+ and a bigger cathode resistor to set the correct operating point for the amp.

    As for your particular Pro dreams, shoot me an e-mail. I'm sure we can come up with something.:cool:
     
  12. saftbill

    saftbill Guest

    Another thing about the 5C5 vs 5E5a: in totaly stock wiring configuration, the inputs of the 5C5 are isolated, individual, and identical. Each input uses 1/2 of a 6SC7 as a preamp, and there are two 1st-stage preamp tubes. The inputs cannot be 'jumpered'.

    The 5E5A inputs are paired (mic pair and inst pair), each pair going into half of a 12A*7, and whichever input you don't plug into, the other one of that pair can be jumpered into either input on the other pair to drive the other half of the 1st preamp tube to get some overdrive.

    I use a Jensen P15P in my Weber 5C5, as well as several upgraded parts - PT, OT, pots, caps, resistors, and jacks, and it's set up w/a pentode/triode switch on metal 6L6's.

    Currently building a 5e5A chassis with similar upgrades, and when I order a cab, I'll also get a thicker spare baffle for trying a D130F and an EVM15L, as well as trying the Weber 15A150-O that came with the 5C5 kit (a very nice speaker, BTW). I'm kicking around the idea of setting it up for KT-66's - that ought to annoy the neighbors!

    I just love 15" speakers in guitar amps. :)
     
  13. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    Yeah, my TV pro's tube chart says 5B5. I had an early wide panel pro that still had all octals and it also said 5B5. I thought that was a little strange too. I figured the wide panel would be a 5C5 - and it may very well have been under the hood. I didn't go thru the circuit close enough to tell. If your curious, you can look up a 5B5 schematic at schematicheaven.

    Just to be clear - my point or idea about the "dual" pro was to build a 5E5A. Then add some switchable mod(s) to sponge it up into sounding more 5C5-ish. Not sure I was clear there. I feel that the 5E5A would be the most used and most useful of the two, thus stay pretty true to it.
     
  14. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Hey, 57... contact Wakarusa. He and I are working on a Pro, 5E5-A with some mods to get some of the 5C5 vibe.
     
  15. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    Speaking of which, your amp is ready :AOK

    One of the best things about this job is that I get to play 'em first :D

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    I am stoked! I didn't know... This is what I get for surfing the GearPage before checking my e-mail!
     

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