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  • New member and new tweed Deluxe build.

    Hi all,

    I'm new here and just recently completed my first amp build, it turned out sounding great and I'm very happy with it. It was the Tube Depot Tweed Deluxe kit. I decided it would be fun and helpful to document the build process with a build thread which I did on the Fender Frontline forum since I was already a member there and wasn't aware of this forum. I have now been reading this site for a few days and thought I should join up and share my build here as well since it may help other new builders.

    I hope it's OK to post here, Here's a link to it (There's about 9 pages in the thread):
    build thread

    I just built it straight from the kit and it worked flawlessy first time I fired it up and went throught the testing procedures. The one thing I did was replace the speaker with a Texas Heat and that sounds great (I may upgrade the coupling and Filter caps in the future). I also installed a Xener diode string to get the B+ voltage down to 380vdc as the Mojo/heyboer Export Transformer and my wall voltage (240VAC) was making my B+ run at 450 and running the tubes very hot.

    Anyway I just thought I'd join in and share the build as this looks to be a very good site for sharing build knowledge.

    I'm not sure what my next amp will be, but it sure is addictive building these things!

    Cheers,

    Snowy

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, and with such a nice looking build! Three years after building my 5E3 is still my go-to. Even after the hey-I-built-this-thing stage wears off you are left with a killer amp.

    And yes, what to build next is hard (and fun) to figure out. I am sure you'll come up with something though.
    In the future I invented time travel.

    Comment


    • #3
      G'day cminor9,

      Thanks for the warm welcome.

      This sure looks like a great forum, I hope I can add something in return for what I get out of reading the various threads.

      For my next amp I'm seriously considering yet another 5E3, possibly a more traditional build now that I have this kit under my belt. This amp had Mojo/Heyboer Deluxe Reverb Power and Output transformers with a GZ34 Rectifier, went together nicely and sounds fantastic and dead quiet.

      When I tackled it I was a little nervous about how it would end up but it gave me a lot of confidence as a first time builder to see and hear the way it turned out.


      Cheers,

      Snowy

      Comment


      • #4
        yep, if you are careful it seems like things go pretty well. I have built a few 5E3 amps now in different configurations, a matchless spitfire, a 6G3, and a 5F2-A. The only one that had real startup issues was the 6G3 and that's because I got a bit "creative" with the layout. If you are meticulous, take your time, and triple check your work, it seems like it goes smoothly. You really took your time, it seems, and the results are very good. Keep doing that and you'll be fine.

        Planning an AB763 or a root-666 later this year. Those are more complex, I hope the take your time rule holds up then

        This is a great forum. Before I joined here I didn't know *anything* about tube amps though I had always been an electronics tinkerer. I have learned a lot here, I am sure you will too.
        In the future I invented time travel.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just added a couple of little Custom touches, some Cream Chicken Head knobs in place of the Black ones.


          A Texas Heat 'round the back - It sounds great!!


          Snowy

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cminor9 View Post
            yep, if you are careful it seems like things go pretty well. I have built a few 5E3 amps now in different configurations, a matchless spitfire, a 6G3, and a 5F2-A. The only one that had real startup issues was the 6G3 and that's because I got a bit "creative" with the layout. If you are meticulous, take your time, and triple check your work, it seems like it goes smoothly. You really took your time, it seems, and the results are very good. Keep doing that and you'll be fine.

            Planning an AB763 or a root-666 later this year. Those are more complex, I hope the take your time rule holds up then

            This is a great forum. Before I joined here I didn't know *anything* about tube amps though I had always been an electronics tinkerer. I have learned a lot here, I am sure you will too.
            cminor: The Matchless spitfire you mentioned, was it a kit or something you did on your own?
            Thanks,
            Terry


            "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
            Terry

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by big_teee View Post
              cminor: The Matchless spitfire you mentioned, was it a kit or something you did on your own?
              Thanks,
              Terry
              That was something I put together with some old transformers I had laying around (which happened to be a set perfect for a spitfire). I had most of the parts in stock. No kit. Here is a pic of it all: 1_box_o_parts | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

              It's a relatively simple amp and it sounds just brilliant.
              In the future I invented time travel.

              Comment


              • #8
                Looks great, Snowy. I'm planning on build a Tweed Deluxe 5E3 soon as a gigging amp. I have considered the tubedepot kit, but would choose to buy it without the speaker and a few components they offer (caps, etc) to give it a more boutique sound. I'm considering the triode kit. It looks really great otherwise. I'm diggin' the Texas Heat speaker. That's what I plan to go with. I hear great things about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi cmattdabrat,

                  Thanks for the comments.

                  Yeah, I'm actually considering building another of the Tube Depot kits with some cherry-picked caps etc, the kit has superb clear build documentation and Rob Hull at the Tube Depot promptly answered every email I sent him.

                  I also liked the fact that the kit also comes with two nice US made Heyboer Deluxe Reverb Transformers and a GZ34 rectifier. With those components and the TH speaker the amp is really loud and still has plenty of Tweed Deluxe flavour, all in all it makes for a great gigging amp in the 5e3 vein.

                  Snowy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds nice, Snowy. Their 5E3 kit is just what I'm looking for. From the youtube videos I've seen, I just love the touch sensitive dynamics and natural distortion.

                    I spent a couple hours yesterday hand selecting each part for this build. The thing I like about Tube Depots pdf instructions, and their site, is the fact they have each part linked to their site (on the pdf) and I can easily choose to upgrade or change out certain components. I opted to go with Mallory 150 and Sprague Atom caps, a mix of JJ and EH tubes, a blue lamp jewel, and cream colored chicken head knobs. I just plan to order a TH speaker from GC.

                    I see some people really don't care for the PCBs, but I think it's fine and will make this project a breeze for a first time builder like myself. I think upgrading the caps and resistors will get it closer to a boutique amp yet have some nice modern advantages to it.

                    Some other things I have been considering is using different brand caps in each channel of the amp to give it a slightly different voicing. I saw a picture of a Tungsten amp with Mallory 150s in one channel and Mojo Dijon caps in the other. I could clearly see the values they used too, so that might be something to try.

                    Did you use 2 12AX7s in your preamp or are you using a 12AY7 and a 12AX7? Also, have you experimented with the difference between the 5Y3 rec tubes and GZ34? I guess I'm still trying to figure out the right setup / sound for myself and it seems the only to do so is to try different configuration of tubes.

                    Any who, your amp looks great. Any sound clips yet?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like it will be a good build with those components, I'm planning on Sprague Orange Drops and F&T Filter caps for my next build, it will be interesting to compare back to back with build number 1.

                      I put a 12AY7 in V1, it sounds better to me and seems to give the amp a fair bit more head room, staying cleaner further around the volume knob. Check out their You-Tube channel as well, they also have a build video, where rob steps through the entire build from start to finish, showing how and why he does certain things.

                      Yeah the build manual is great and the links for each part are an awesome touch, actually Rob just revised the build manual with a layout diagram that wasn't there just recently when I built my amp.

                      Don't worry about the things people say about the PCB, the one in this amp is nothing like the ones you see in a production type Reissue amp. This board is not a cheap crap Chinese one that most people envisage when they think PCB. It is Made in the US, it is Military spec, double sided, wide thick traces, plated-through eyelet holes, etc. You could replace components over and over on the board without an issue so I can't see what's not to like about it.

                      I think the Deluxe Reverb transformers are a nice touch too as they seem to handle all the Bass this amp can dish out, without farting out.

                      Also check out the back of the PDF as they also have some tips for some cool mods you can try and it seems they have deliberately over-specced the build to allow for trying a most of these options such as running 6L6's etc.

                      When I looked at components I noticed they had a link in the build PDF to an Ohmite "Brown Devil" Cathode resistor (8W - 250 Ohm) as an upgrade option from the kits standard 5W, so I also grabbed one of those.
                      Ohmite Brown Devil 8W Wirewound Resistor

                      Anyway, good luck with your build i would love to see any pics and thoughts, etc, as you go through it, so stay in touch.

                      Snowy
                      Last edited by No457 Snowy; 01-28-2011, 09:15 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by No457 Snowy View Post
                        Sounds like it will be a good build with those components, I'm planning on Sprague Orange Drops and F&T Filter caps for my next build, it will be interesting to compare back to back with build number 1.

                        I put a 12AY7 in V1, it sounds better to me and seems to give the amp a fair bit more head room, staying cleaner further around the volume knob. Check out their You-Tube channel as well, they also have a build video, where rob steps through the entire build from start to finish, showing how and why he does certain things.

                        Yeah the build manual is great and the links for each part are an awesome touch, actually Rob just revised the build manual with a layout diagram that wasn't there just recently when I built my amp.

                        Don't worry about the things people say about the PCB, the one in this amp is nothing like the ones you see in a production type Reissue amp. This board is not a cheap crap Chinese one that most people envisage when they think PCB. It is Made in the US, it is Military spec, double sided, wide thick traces, plated-through eyelet holes, etc. You could replace components over and over on the board without an issue so I can't see what's not to like about it.

                        I think the Deluxe Reverb transformers are a nice touch too as they seem to handle all the Bass this amp can dish out, without farting out.

                        Also check out the back of the PDF as they also have some tips for some cool mods you can try and it seems they have deliberately over-specced the build to allow for trying a most of these options such as running 6L6's etc.

                        When I looked at components I noticed they had a link in the build PDF to an Ohmite "Brown Devil" Cathode resistor (8W - 250 Ohm) as an upgrade option from the kits standard 5W, so I also grabbed one of those.
                        Ohmite Brown Devil 8W Wirewound Resistor

                        Anyway, good luck with your build i would love to see any pics and thoughts, etc, as you go through it, so stay in touch.

                        Snowy
                        I've been meaning to email Tube Depot and see if it can be bought with a turret board instead of the PCB.
                        Did you ever hear if that was an option. It may be just as good, I know, but it would more vintage looking without the PCB.
                        Terry


                        "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                        Terry

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Terry,

                          I'm pretty sure they will customise the kit however you wanted, they have quoted me for the same kit with a number of changes to it.

                          Cheers,

                          Snowy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Beautiful job! I wish my builds looked this good. Mine look more like they were found in the dumpster of a pawn shop (which is usually where I found the cabinet or chassis to begin with). But they sound great, to me anyway.

                            Joe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was just looking back at some of your pictures and mine, and noticed that the PCB you have is a v3.1 and mine is v3.3. I wonder what the difference is?

                              Comment

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