New Amp Build - 5F11 Vibrolux!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ripple, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Received my 5F11 kit from Mojotone, and can't wait to start building this sucker! I love my previous 5E3 build and play the heck out of it, but the Harvard/Vibrolux circuit has intrigued me for quite a while.

    I'm looking forward to a more gradual volume taper, and the delayed breakup compared to the 5E3 and I'm REALLY excited about the tube biased trem.

    I wanted to solicit some opinions from TGP on the filter caps for the 5F11: the kit comes with Mojotone branded 16uF filter caps (per schematic), but Ive not used the Mojotone filter caps yet. I only have experience with their Mojo Dijon coupling caps (which I like a lot in two other builds).

    I have (3) F&T 22uf filter caps that I'm considering using on this build. I previously upgraded the filtering on my 5E3 build from 16uf to these 22uf F&T caps, and it sounds great. BUT, to be fair, I never tried 16uf filtering in the 5E3. So, without a baseline comparison, I'm not sure how much/if any improvement there is going from 16 to 22uf, and if it would be worthwhile in this 5F11 build.

    What say TGP? I'm hoping to get some knowledgeable opinions from those who've tried higher filtering in these tweed circuits. Pros & cons...

    Oh, and b/c this thread is worthless without pics, here's my Vox Fawn Tolex/Bluesbreaker cloth 5F11 kit:[​IMG]
     
  2. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    The 5F11 is a pretty clean amp. I'd try the 16uf mojo's first. Easy to change. The single tone pot on the 5F11 allows limited control.. you just have to carefully find the sweet spot. I haven't figured how I might divide that into Treble and Bass yet. I did change the .02 uf cap (pin 1 of V1) to .047. I may even go to .1 on that one.
     
  3. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    I've been thinking about changing that .02 cap in my 5F11 to either a .047 or .1 too.
    How much difference did the .047 make?
    I'm wondering if the .1 would give to much low end?
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Ripple, Which model number power transformer does it have?
     
  5. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I'm thinking of trying the .1 because the .047 didn't seem to make much difference.. I doubt it will give too much low end. I also want to try using a 250pf in place of the 500pf that is between the Vol and tone pot.

    I'd really like to try the Bass/treble scheme but this circuit is so much different than many fenders not sure what to try.
    I do have an extra 9 pin socket in my chassis......
     
  6. GTRJohnny

    GTRJohnny Member

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    Nice color choice! Did you go with the 10" or 12" speaker baffle?
     
  7. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Mojotone 757 (US model w/120v primary)

    EDIT
    Figaro: it just dawned on me that you were probably inquiring about the secondary voltage, not the primary. According to spec sheet, the Mojo 757 tranny has a secondary of 350V at 75mA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  8. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    10" baffle - kit comes with a Jensen C10, but I'm gonna install an Emi Copperhead in there to see how I like that.

    Thanks - I LOVE this Vox Fawn tolex and wish I'd chosen it on some of my other past builds. Don't get me wrong; lacquered tweed is such a sweet, classic look, but I wanted something that had a different vintage vibe this time. The Bluesbreaker cloth matched up very well with that Fawn tolex.

    Here's a pic of the 5F11 cab next to my 5E3 build. Same sized box, with different baffle and chassis cuts.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    I really would love to build that kit someday... How are the instructions for a newbie?
     
  10. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Non-existent instructions on this 5F11 kit. You get a bill of materials, a schematic and a layout pic on 11x17 paper - that's it. However, the layout pic is very clear and easy to follow, if you're comfortable working from a picture versus step-by-step instructions.

    Mojotone does a great job of packaging the kit: all small parts are shipped in a plastic "tackle box" with compartments labelled to identify what type/value they are.

    Unlike the 5E3 and other amp circuits, there's not a lot of info on the web for the 5F11 circuit. Aside from the Mojotone drawing, the only other layout drawings I could find were multiple copies of the original Fender layout and schematic.

    Trotter:
    I completely agree with you about the attraction of this circuit: here are the two youtube vids that have given me the most GAS to build this amp.

    One is gnarly and ballsy, and the other is sweet and smooth. Both are original late 50's models Vibroluxes.


     
  11. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Ok... Mojotone website says the build time for this kit is 5 hours... Let's hear it! :D

    And that top video is great! Sounds like my tweed Vibrolux clone...

    Oh, and by the way... I think you're going to want to change that speaker... maybe to a 12" :aok
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  12. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Good luck with that!
     
  13. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Cant start the build until Sunday, because friggin' LIFE is getting in the way and it's killing me.

    Killing me I tells ya!!! I just get to stare at the sexy cab and loose parts in the interim.

    Oh, and regarding that Mojotone website build time estimate:

    LOL
    5 hours my ass. Where the hell did they come up with that? Who's building it: an army of Nanites?

    I don't exactly work with the efficiency and alacrity of a sweatshop solder jockey, but so far I've built a 5F1 Champ, 5E3 Deluxe, 5F4 Super, Marshall 2061 Lead/Bass and a JTM-45.

    I'll say it again, 5 hours my ass... ;^)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  14. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Finally got to start on my build this past Sunday at noon, and I wrapped it up just before Game of Thrones came on. So, in total it took around 9 hours start-to-finish working at a comfortable pace with breaks.

    Threw the juice to it and VOILA! Worked perfectly right out of the chute, with no issues whatsoever. As a matter of fact, it was so quiet at first, I thought I had a problem: no hiss, no buzz, just silence. That is, until I grabbed a Telecaster... :dude

    Anyway, I've been beta testing the last couple evenings and am in love with this 5F11 circuit. It has such a manageable volume taper (compared to my 5E3) and stays clean up to about 6 with single coils, which is EXACTLY what I hoped for. Tube bias trem is super lush, and the EMI Copperhead is sounding strong and tight on the bottom end.

    After a day or so, I decided to mod the first cap value to get a little more bass. I had a Mallory .1uf 600v cap, but wanted to try something between the stock .022 Orange Drop and the .1 cap.

    After reading swiveltung's comment about the .047 cap not really being a noticeable change, I decided to parallel a Mallory 150 .047 cap onto the existing Orange Drop .022 for a magical custom cap value of.069uf on V1 Pin 1. :anon

    Amp sounds wonderful through an external 4x10 open back cab as well. This is going to be my grab & go rehearsal and small venue amp for sure. So much easier to dial in than my 5E3, with different guitars and is more pedal friendly as well.

    Anyway, here's a couple pics: I take old muscle car emblems and use them for monikers on all my home builds. I give you: The 2015 MERCURY

    And I just had to get a "Dastardly Duo" pic with my previous 5E3 build (The Comet) as well, to show off the sexy pair. Can't wait to use 'em both in a live setting![​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    You need to find a Mercury Comet automobile for the ultimate photo.
     
  16. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Nice.
    Im used an original 68 Mercury emblem on my jmp
     
  17. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Have you tried connecting it to the 12" speaker (what kind?) in your 5E3?
     
  18. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes- I have a Celestion G12H30 in the 5E3 (which contributes to that sucker's loudness issues). I tried it Monday night for a quick comparison to the 10" Copperhead. Very tight, punchy and very loud - not sure if I'm going to pursue a 12" speaker baffle as a future mod or not.

    I also tried it through 3 other single 12" speakers (Celestion Modern Lead 80, Emi Cannibus Rex, and Jensen c12) and it sounded great, albeit a little different through each speaker (to be expected). The Jensen sounded especially sweet in the cleans, but didn't hold together very well at louder distorted levels.

    I'd like to give the Copperhead a thorough break-in period, to see how that works out. I've wanted a 1x10 combo in my arsenal for some time, so I'm hoping to keep this Vibrolux rockin a 10 of some sort.

    I still have a variety of other 10's yet to try if the Copperhead doesn't work out: Greenbacks, WGS C10, and even an old Quan laying around.
     
  19. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    Excellent!

    So far, I have a Mustang (5F1), Comet (5E3), Sport Fury (5F4), Galaxie 500 (2061 Lead/Bass), Barracuda (JTM-45) and a Mercury (5F11) in the stable.
     
  20. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    This weekend, I rolled through a bunch of 10" speakers I had on hand to see if any sounded better than the EMI Copperhead I originally installed in the Vibrolux clone.

    Tried a Jensen C10, a Jensen P10R, a couple Celestion Greenbacks (one old and a brand new one), Warehouse G10C, a funky old Marsland and an old Quan I had laying around.

    The Copperhead was the best overall sounding of the bunch: tightest lows and loud efficiency with a relatively smooth top end.

    The Marsland sounded warm and smooth in the top end but must have a very low efficiency rating, as it was noticeably quieter than the others, and got pretty mushy when I was driving it hard. Even the Jensens were louder and tighter.

    The Jensens both deliver "classic" tweed tones at lower volumes/cleaner gains, but I just don't like the way they sound and fall apart when under duress.

    I wish I had a Celestion Blue or a couple other AlNICos to try, but aside from the one Jensen, it was all ceramic magnets this time around.

    Bottomline: regardless of speakers, I LOVE this amp. Of the tweed circuits I've built to date, this is my favorite so far. I can't wait to gig it.

    Maybe this Friday night I'll break it out for the first set (which tends to be a more volume conscious affair). I'd like to see how far I can take it into the night before 10 watts hits the wall, and I have to bust out the ol' JTM-45 for more headroom and volume.

    Anyone have any "must try" 10" speaker suggestions for this amp?
     

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