Tweed Tremolux vs Tweed Deluxe

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fabiomayo, Feb 2, 2006.


  1. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Hi, y'all.

    I've been meaning to have a tweed Deluxe (5E3) built for me for quite a while now. Think I found the right builder, and almost ready to order. Thing is, researching I found those tweed Tremolux (cathode-bias, pair of 6V6s, 5E9-A) that looks to be real sexy. To my newbie eyes, circuit seems awfully similar so it wouldn't be a problem for the builder. A few questions though:

    1. Tonewise, how they compare? Headroom? (I couldn't find the tweed Tremolux power anywhere, but I believe it's about the same on both, right?)
    2. Would trannys be an issue or could the same be used succesfully on both?
    3. This tremolo seems to be achieved a lil' different from BF Fenders. How those tremolos compare?

    I was actually set on the tweed Deluxe, but if tone and feel are not compromised tremolo would be anice thing. This amp is for playing at home mostly, maybe the small jam thing, playing the jazzy, blues thing and maybe heavier blues and mild rock.



    Any thoughts would be deeply appreciated...
     
  2. atomicmassunit

    atomicmassunit Member

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    Either amp should be easy for any builder to tackle. I had a Tremolux in the big tweed Pro sized cab (a '59) and it was a bit louder than the 5E3, but probably just because of the bigger box. You could use the same trannies, no problem. The tremolo is a lot richer sounding than the blackface and I'm sure you will be thrilled with the sound of that. I'd go with the Tremolux personally, but the 5E3 is a classic as well!
     
  3. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    I have a mid-50s Gibson GA-40 that is in many ways similar to a tweed tremolux (2 6v6, cathode biased, big box with trem). Having owned a couple of tweed deluxes, I appreciate what this thing adds to that basic sound. The trem and the spacious sound of the larger cab are great.
     
  4. mkg

    mkg Member

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    You guys have said you prefer the big box Tremolux, but which circuit is preferable...5E9, 5E9-A, or 5G9, and why?
    Thanks.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I can speak to the 5E9 vs 5G9 question. The 5G9 is a more "advanced" amp, with the first long-tailed PI that Fender used, as well as fixed bias. It's going to have more clean overhead and less harmonic complexity than the Deluxe at the same theoretical output.
     
  6. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Good question. I'm also interested in the answer.

    Between the 5E9 and 5E9-A the only difference is the rectifier which is a 5Y3 and a 5U4 respectively. Is that right? If so, the 5E9 would produce more sag and probably less power. Is that it? In that case, the 5E9 would be preferrable to me. The 5G9 is rated 15 to 18 watts in the Fender Amp Field Guide and unknown for the other two circuits. Anyone knows how they rate? Maybe a bit less?


    Thanks for your previous answers everyone. Keep 'em coming...
     
  7. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Thanks a lot. You posted while I was writting. Missed the PI information on the Fender Amp Field Guide. Also the tremolo is different on these two, right?

    Well, I believe I'm set with either the 5E9 or the 5E9-A. My guess is that they're very similar but the 5E9 is more towards the 5E3, sonically. Is that right?
     
  8. mkg

    mkg Member

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    Sounds like the 5G9 is similar to the brown Deluxe 6G3 circuit, is that correct?
    In your opinion is there much of a difference between the trems in the 5E9/5E9-A amps vs. the 5G9?
    "More clean overhead and less harmonic complexity" is very helpful and I think a good description of how Fender amps evolved from tweed to brown to blackface.
    Great thread, I've been curious about this often-overlooked amp for a long time.
    Keep 'em coming!
     
  9. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    I just read up on this subject in the "Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years" book not too long ago, as I was interested in the very same things. I am going from memory, but essentially the first Tremoluxs were basically 5E3's with a trem circuit added. Still cathode biased, in the same cabinet, etc. The trem was a bit odd by later Fender standards because it was working on the cathode bias setup. After just a year or so they transitioned the Tremolux to the fixed bias setup and introduced the same basic trem that the later brown Fenders would possess. Probably the sweetest trem ever. The Deluxe stayed with the 5E3 circuit throughout this period. I think trem just works better against the fixed bias. At about, but not exactly, the sametime (within a few years of introduction) Fender also transistioned the Tremolux into the Pro sized box. I have watched on ebay and seen transition pieces. (Fixed bias in a small box, and visa versa, *and who knows if they are still original after all these years). I ended up getting the 5E3, because no one offered a straight up 5E9 like you are talking about. Clark offers a Tremolux circuit in what he calls a Wateree, I think, but it is the fixed bias version. I really wanted the 5E3 cathode biased sounds, so I stuck with that and forfeited the trem. If you have a guy who will build you the cathode biased version of the Tremolux, that would be very cool indeed. I would get the 5Y3 recto (same as in 5E3 circuit). The ability to sound just like a 5E3 when the trem isn't being used would be a plus in my book. Seems to me with the later versions of the Tremolux as compared to the 5E3, you have a different amp entirely. I happen to love the 5E3 so that is my leaning.
     
  10. mkg

    mkg Member

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    fabiomayo, great minds think alike...I'll just sit back and read!

    Mapleneck, excellent info, thanks.
     
  11. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Yeah... Guess we're all after the same thing, right?

    Great info Mapleneck. Thanks a lot. I don't know if it's a recent offer but Victoria Amps offer a Trem d'la Trem which is a 5E9-A with a 15" speaker. Here's the link and a small nice read.

    http://www.victoriaamp.com/modeltremdelatrem.htm

    About the speaker. I never played through a 15". Would you think it could be a good call on this amp instead of the 12"? And why or why not? I actually thought about a 10" for a while but kind of gave up on that...
     
  12. nek

    nek Member

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    The 5G9 runs open loop, no feedback. The tremolo circuit operates by modulating the grid bias voltage. For some reason, this gives the 6V6's a blue glow, pulsating in time with the tremolo setting. The circuit is very hard on the output tubes, although I got some Brimar military and they are holding up OK. This is a wild and crazy amp; completely unique. I don't think there was ever another amp like it in the Fender line.
     
  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    15", Jensen type speakers work well in these tweed amps. I've heard them in tweed Pros, as well as having one in an open back 15 I use with some of my other tweedy amps. They don't give much more bass than a 12 and have a more delicate sound to my ears for some reason-a little less efficiency perhaps? Anyway, I think the Tremolux into a 15" Jensen would be a rocking sound...
     
  14. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I'm still doubtful as to what speaker size, but this is really helpful. What isn't helpful is how many great and different flavoured speakers are available, specially 12 inchers. Makes decision making much harder.

    Mark Baier from Victoria Amps answered my email and informed that on the 5E9-A either 5Y3 or 5U4 rectifiers can be used without need to rebias. So I guess I'm about done here. What do you say, mkg? Let's just have a 5E9-A built, with our choice of speakers and tubes...
     
  15. mkg

    mkg Member

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    fabiomayo, that sounds like a winner...I'd love a tweed Tremolux. Either a clone or an original (I'd have to get lucky in a pawnshop for an original, though).
    However, I'll have to wait a while. This past year I picked up an Allen brown Deluxe clone, so I've got to start saving up funds again.
    I envy you getting one built, it's the very choice I'd make. I don't envy your search for a speaker, because as you say, the choices are nearly limitless.
    I will say that I really like the Eminence Texas Heat in my Allen, I think it brings out the best in the amp.
    I look forward to reading your impressions of your new amp once you get it...might spur me on to get one built myself.
    :AOK
     
  16. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    So I guess we envy each other ;) .... But mine is still due to few months away...


    From the clips I've heard, especially Tomo's, I believe this is a bit on the brighter side, right? I always worry about things being too bright. It also seems to be a bit too efficient, ain't it? Tell me more, please. From Tomo's clips, I liked the Ragin Cajun 10" better but lacking a lil' bass.
     
  17. mkg

    mkg Member

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    In an amp of 35 watts or less you won't get speaker breakup, that's for sure. It just seems like a very transparent speaker to me, if that makes sense...whatever the nature of the amp, that's what you'll hear.
    Clips of the Texas Heat in my Allen are here: http://www.nowhereradio.com/mkg/singles
    I used a Les Paul on two of the clips and a Strat on the third.
    Maybe you'd like an AlNiCo, like a Weber 12A150. Like you said earlier, too many choices...but that's what makes this fun and maddening all at once.
    :p
     
  18. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Hey, mkg. Thanks for your reply. Very nice clips there. Really great listening and they showcase well your gear, IMO. I also liked the two songs. I have one mp3 here that I downloaded from the telecaster forum, I think it's Chriss Neel's Banker's Blues. Really funny and well recorded tune.

    I see what you mean about the transparent speakers and I do think your clips sound good. When running away from the bright thing I often get stuck with muddy or dull sounds. I still think this speakers shows the highs a bit but still good and may be just the ticket. I'll look over Weber speakers, but if I decide to have the amp built here in Brazil Eminece speakers would be a MUCH easier choice. Especially since there's a dealer (the same guy I want to build the amp) starting to import the whole line...

    Well, but I guess the speaker research is for another day, right?
     
  19. mkg

    mkg Member

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    fabiomayo, thanks very much for the kind words, glad you enjoyed the tracks.
    You should be able to find a suitable speaker in the Eminence line, at least that narrows the choice somewhat.
    Chris Neel is a very good (long distance) friend. I always enjoy listening to his tracks.
    :AOK
     
  20. fabiomayo

    fabiomayo Member

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    Hi, everyone.


    I would just like to report back and thank everyone for
    your much too helpful opinions.

    I finally got my tweed Tremolux clone. I got it from MG
    which you may be familiar with. They offer a number
    of pedal effects at least on pedalgeek.com

    I won't do a complete tone report since it's only been
    here for a few days. I'll just say it looks very good and
    sounds oh-so-sweet. It has 12 watts, breaks up pretty
    early and the tremolo is amazing.


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