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RCA amp to 5E3 Deluxe

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  • RCA amp to 5E3 Deluxe

    Hello, I just snagged an old RCA radio/phono amp and was wondering if this would be a good base for a 5E3 build. I would basically just use the transformers power and rectifier tubes. The OT seems a little small and I can't find any info on the ohms for the speaker load. Or would this be better suited for another classic tweed amp?

    Any info greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Two cents

    I wouldn't be in a hurry to deep-six the existing circuitry; you've got a whole amp there that's already built. I'd be more inclined to look at it as an opportunity to explore the sonic qualities of all those 6CG7s. Have you tried plugging a guitar into the aux. input to see how it sounds as is?
    Last edited by tboy; 01-29-2009, 10:21 PM.

    "If you're the only person I irritate with my choice of words today I'll be surprised" Chuck H.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply,

      Yeah, I'm going to check it out as is first. I imagine the 6GC7's are pretty clean? was a little syked about getting a somewhat vintage Deluxe out of it. I did a 1961 Silvertone organ amp to 5F1 Champ that exceeded my expectations. It sounds fantastic and looks pretty tasty too (see pic)

      Is there an easy way to determine the speaker load the OT wants to see? would 4 or 8 be safe? I got this unit sans speakers.

      Thanks again for taking time to help this noob
      Attached Files


      • #4
        RCA? I'd sell it to an audiophile and buy a handful of 5e3s, most likely. Try the for sale section at audiokarma or diyaudio...I imagine there's a nice speaker in there too


        • #5
          Originally posted by 6267 View Post
          RCA? I'd sell it to an audiophile and buy a handful of 5e3s, most likely. Try the for sale section at audiokarma or diyaudio...I imagine there's a nice speaker in there too
          Naw, It's just an old consumer grade console I doubt any hi fi geek would be that interested. The speakers were gone when I got it.

          I fired it up with a Les Paul into the phono input using non-original tubes incase it smoked them. It works but has a lot of hum. Sounds dark like an old Gibson. I ran it at 4 ohms through an 8 inch Alnico. I'm going to try it through my Vox 2 X 10 cab as soon as I clean it up a little.

          Thanks for your replys


          • #6
            That radio section is weird, it's like the 35w4 rectifies its own filament voltage or some nonsense. Lots of 7-pin sockets in there to use for other circuits though, 12av6 is about half a 12ax7, 6j6 is dirt cheap and almost a 12ax7 too. 6cg7 isn't necessarily clean, but it can be, depends on the circuit. It's supposed to be a 6sn7 in a 9-pin bottle. I've used them in some amps and really liked the tone.


            • #7
              The unit came in 2 sections (tuner and amp/pre amp) I've just been messing with the latter. It needs help. sounds anemic and motorboats if you crank it and hit the strings hard. Most likely needs filter caps. So at this point I'm back to considering building it into a Deluxe. I'm not the best at troubleshooting these point to point monsters.

              Here's a couple of pics for anyone interested
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Might as well build the deluxe then, that's a nice little chassis to design in. Much better than the damn filmosound I just did, I *had* to rip everything out and rebuild the "ship in a bottle" . Couldn't get the hiss to stop without replacing damn near every resistor in the thing. I would consider reusing a 6cg7 as a phase inverter though. Damn fine 9-pin tube for stuff like that.


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