Tweed Deluxe or Tweed Princeton?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 909one, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. 909one

    909one Member

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    So I am just about ready to jump into building a tweed kit.

    Basically the tone I want is akin to Neil Young's tone, specifically the era of "Tonight's the Night" and "On the Beach". So obviously, this is why I am gravitating towards the Tweed Deluxe.

    However, this is still a pretty loud amp and I'd like to use this new build for recording mostly, so I was thinking about a Princeton too, specifically the 5f2a.

    I have never really tried a Princeton, there are a few clips on Youtube, but the sound quality of them are all pretty bad.

    I am wondering, is a Princeton going to give me all of the chime I am looking for in a Deluxe, only less watts? Or is it a waste a of time to bark up the wrong tree when I know that it's the Deluxe tone I am after.

    FYI, I already have a cabinet made, so I won't be using either of these amps in their intended cabinets.
     
  2. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    The Princeton and Deluxe do have some similarities in sound. They actually share the same tone stack, which is good for your purposes.

    However, the P does not overdrive or compress as much as the D. Since it is true Class A, there is a difference in the way the power amp responds to your attack and its interaction with the speaker.

    In a nutshell, the P will get you close, but not all the way there. Still, it is awesome little amp in its own right.

    One thing you could do is buy a vintage voltage power transformer (Mercury has one) that will give you a loaded B+ of about 320VDC for about 11 or 12W. If you use a standard PT, your B+ will be 100V or so higher for 15-18W.
     
  3. 909one

    909one Member

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    Actually, I was looking at the SDG vintage kit, and he offers the b+ tranny. That seems like a good way to go with the Deluxe.
     
  4. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    A 5F2a tweed Princeton is basically a champ with a tone control in a bigger cab. Certainly some great recordings have been made with champs and with amps like the 5F2a (the infamous White amp Leo made for Forrest was a virtual 5F2a circuit.) The downside is that there is very little clean headroom.

    The 5E3 is a bit more versatile and chimier, but louder and doesn't quite get the same primative roar that the 5F2 gets.

    Neils 5E3 is not stock and even louder, but if you want to cop that tone, the deluxe will be closer for you IMHO.
     
  5. 909one

    909one Member

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    Yeah I was pretty sure his wasn't stock, but I just want to be in that area of tone. I like alot of chimey high end, and punchy upper mid presence, with cleans that are just on the verge of breaking up.
     
  6. Gris

    Gris Member

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    Respectfully disagree. To my ears the single-ended Princeton is 'chimier' and the 5E3 is warmer and more middy. 5E3 gives a more bluesy compressed overdrive sound and 5F2A a more tweed Champ raunchy harmonic mini-Marshall sound.

    All that said, my favorite little build is a 1x12 5F2A x 2 which is essentially a clone of the Gibson GA-8 Discoverer, the dual single-ended one. All you really have to do is punch another octal and change the bias resistor. I put a GZ34 in the last one I built and it screams. Don't get carried away with your output tranny though. Bigger is not necessarily better there. I strated building these a few years ago after I picked up a '61 Gibby Discoverer. By FAR best recording amp I've ever heard. And so says all that hear it... :)
     
  7. 909one

    909one Member

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    Hmmm, this makes things more interesting...
    Basically I am looking for something that is NOT too muddy, lots of upper mid harmonic content, from your perspective, the Princeton sounds like it might be more up my alley.

    Anyone have a sound clip of a healthy 5f2a anywhere?
     
  8. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    You had best try them for yourself. IMHO, 5E3's are not muddy at all and have lots of mid harmonic content. People hear things differently and the amps/speakers all will sound a bit different. The particular guitar certainly plays a part too.

    For 5F2 recordings, IIRC Los Lobos used a White amp on Kiko and Bonnie Raitt used one on some of her albums (Luck of the Draw maybe?).
     
  9. 909one

    909one Member

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    Yeah, I have tried a Clark 5e3, it sounded awesome, but I don't think it was the stock version.
    Yeah, It is definitely best to try first in all cases. Especially since I am building and there is very little resale value.
     
  10. Gris

    Gris Member

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    Middy, not muddy. Yes, both have gobs of harmonic content, but the SE amp has the even order sound - like a Champ, 'chimier,' 'crunchier,' less compressed sounding.
     
  11. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    See, this is why he needs to hear them for himself. To me, a champ or 5f2 is about the most compressed sounding amp you can find, largely because of the PS filtering and PT (and yes, I have more than one of each of the real deal original 5f1, 5f2, and 5e3's.)
     
  12. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    Tweed Princetons are awesome!
     
  13. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    :AOK

    Nothing like the real thing either....I've tried the clones and the originals just have a smoothness and woody tone that doesn't get duplicated in new builds. Same thing with the 5E3's. Original trannies and coupling caps are probably why. They don't show up often, but sometimes they do: 5F2A;)
     
  14. champster

    champster Member

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    I have owned both and still have my 5F2A but not because it sounded the best. The 5F2A does sound good but compared to the 5E3, it sounds really thin. Having two 6V6 power tubes for me just gives the amp more oomph, and thicker more powerful sound. The 5F2A is a great amp for what it is but if you want a thicker sound I would say for for the 5E3. The only reason I got rid of mine is because something had to go for other amp purchases.
     
  15. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    I can't comment on the princeton but I have a victoria 5e3. It is veery open to preamp tube swaps and I can nail some neil tones out of it. The thing that makes it shine is the cabinet. It sounds almost 3d and at times I'd swear there was reverb. You mentioned you have a custom cab. That is going to dictate a major portion of the tone
     
  16. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

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    I am a neil fanatic, so I will be able to help. I have a clark beaufort special, and use a les paul with antiquities. even though they are humbuckers, they are bright and low output, which is what is important. The key to Neil's sound is using the volume control for the channel you are not playing through to adjus the amount of compression and that "spitting, amp exploding overdrive" that he gets. For instance, on "Drive Back" and most of Zuma, Neil is going into input 2 on the bright channel, with both volumes on 11.5 (there is a point where if you turn either on above the line, the amp loses alot of volume and just feels wierd) and the tone on about 8. he adjusts the guitar volume to control the drive on it, but "drive Back" is full on. This sound is also really evident on "Hey Hey, My My", but he also uses an octave pedal to get that super low sound, but you can really hear the amp chewing up on that track.

    On Tonights The Night he was using a broadcaster, and I dont know what amp. Back then he used many fender amps, and there is a good chance the ttn amp is a tweed bandmaster. You can get into that zone with either the guitar or the deluxe turned down some from the above settings.

    On On The Beach, "Walk on" is a leftover from tonights the night, so it is the tele, but rest of the tracks are recorded with his white falcon through any number of fender amps.

    He didnt really settle down with the deluxe until "Zuma", but the deluxe really sounds like neil. I play the guitar in the same physical way that he tends to, so it may just be me, but I can usually get really close to any Neil tone using the right guitar into the deluxe. I havent used a princeton before, but the single biggest tool I use to cop his tones are the deluxes interactive volume controls, so if I was you, I would get a deluxe.
     
  17. Gris

    Gris Member

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    Uhhh, anyone been listening to me? I've been talking about the DUAL single-ended 2 x 6V6 in parallel tweed Princetons I've built, not the 'stock' 5F2A... ;-)
     
  18. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

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    I agree that the cab is a huge part of these amps. When that little guy starts buzzing, it just adds to the overall insanity.

    As for gris, ive never played/heard that circuit. All tweeds sound awesome, so im sure it plain rawks, but I cant comment on what I dont know about. All I know is the op wanted some neil tones, and the 5e3 is the amp neil uses. Mine gets identical enough that any difference is up to the player, and that is why it is my pick.
     
  19. Gris

    Gris Member

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    I heard Neil uses 6L6s in his 5E3 and had a few other tweaks as well.
     
  20. HotBluePlates

    HotBluePlates Member

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    I don't think you'll get a reply about his decade-old comments... His last post here was 4 years ago.

    However, R.I.F. Gris seems to have built his own clone:

     

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