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Thread: 5E3 too clean, no distortion

  1. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWJB View Post
    Push the plate wires to the 12A#7 tubes so that they lie on the chassis floor, away from grid wires & heater wires.

    Your upside down board has given you the perfect opportunity to shorten your grid wires. Disconnect the grid wires from pins 2 & 7 of the 12A#7 tubes & from pin 6 of the 6V6s. Now run them directly over the back of the board, straight from the turret to the tube pin, elevate a little off the board...you should be able to halve the wire length.

    Remove the 1500ohm grid stoppers from the 6V6 sockets, remount them with no lead length from the resistor body to pin 5, stand them up from the socket & connect the grid wire to the free end (you won't be able to use pin 6 as a mounting point, because your 470ohm 1W screen grid resistors will be living there).

    Looks like your OT lives behind the input jacks, bad move, can you move it down the chassis towards the PT any?

    It's a difficult thing to convey, but beyond the value of components and where they terminate, the actual positioning of wires & routing affects the sound your amp makes.

    Where are your 470ohm 1W screen grid resistors, fit them.

    Maybe you can salvage this...?

    There is an OT CT wire running under the board, so I can't move those grid connections any closer to it. I think the benefit of shorter wires will be cancelled by oscillations. That is why I shielded this wire. There is a serious high voltage 120 HZ ripple running in it.

    I don't have the 470 ohm screen grid resistors. This kit followed the original 5E3 schematic, where they don't exist. Can you explain what this does compared to the original setup?

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  2. #37
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    I know, bad move on the OT location. Can't move it now but I have been able to dress/shield things in such a way that there are no oscillations etc. Second amp will be much better thought out.

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  3. #38
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    Long grid wires are more likely to cause oscillations. I said elevate them over the board, I don't see why following my advice would run the grid wires any nearer to the CT wire than they are already?

    That amp, in the 12AY7/5751/12AX7 shootout YT vid that you think sounds so good, watch it again, see the note about the 470ohm screen grid resistors. If you buy a 5E3 from Fender (57 Deluxe), Victoria or Kendrick, or anyone who builds them for a living, they have these resistors.

    The original 5E3 had a daisy chain, single wire heater set up too...you didn't copy that, nor the OT placement, nor the grounding...it's a a bit late to start quoting the "original schematic/layout"...;-)

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  4. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWJB View Post
    Long grid wires are more likely to cause oscillations. I said elevate them over the board, I don't see why following my advice would run the grid wires any nearer to the CT wire than they are already?

    That amp, in the 12AY7/5751/12AX7 shootout YT vid that you think sounds so good, watch it again, see the note about the 470ohm screen grid resistors. If you buy a 5E3 from Fender (57 Deluxe), Victoria or Kendrick, or anyone who builds them for a living, they have these resistors.

    The original 5E3 had a daisy chain, single wire heater set up too...you didn't copy that, nor the OT placement, nor the grounding...it's a a bit late to start quoting the "original schematic/layout"...;-)

    They are running over the board or directly to the board. If you mean elevating them a little, that would elongate them. I don't think I understand.

    I tried to read about the 470 ohm resistors but I could never find the straight explanation. Can anyone chime in on this?

    I am not quoting anything. I just didn't get them with the kit nor they appear on the provided layout. I just wanted to explain to you why the kit came without those resistors.

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  5. #40
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    Your 6V6 grid wires run from the coupling caps right out to the left hand side of the board, to an eyelet on the far left, then turn back on themselves to angle right again, to go to the tube sockets. They do this on the original amp because there are components in the way, your board has the components on the other side, there is nothing in the way to necessitate this elongated routing. Run them in a straight line from the coupling cap turret to the tube socket pin 5. Even if you elevate them a quarter of an inch above the board they will be much, much shorter than they currently are.

    Here is some reading with regards to the 470ohms screen grid resistors..."fit them, your amp will function better for having them". Happy now? ;-) They act like little shock absorbers on the screens, they should improve screen reliabilty and make the amp a little more stable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWJB View Post
    Your 6V6 grid wires run from the coupling caps right out to the left hand side of the board, to an eyelet on the far left, then turn back on themselves to angle right again, to go to the tube sockets. They do this on the original amp because there are components in the way, your board has the components on the other side, there is nothing in the way to necessitate this elongated routing. Run them in a straight line from the coupling cap turret to the tube socket pin 5. Even if you elevate them a quarter of an inch above the board they will be much, much shorter than they currently are.

    Here is some reading with regards to the 470ohms screen grid resistors..."fit them, your amp will function better for having them". Happy now? ;-) They act like little shock absorbers on the screens, they should improve screen reliabilty and make the amp a little more stable.
    I understand now about the 6V6 grids and agree completely.

    I will mount those resistors when I get them. I would prefer a more scientific explanation to be happy completely though

    Shock absorbers work well on cars, they shouldn't hurt in a guitar amp.
    That is unless the amp gets "too bouncy" from trying to absorb the shocks caused by my playing.

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  7. #42
    Senior Member trobbins's Avatar
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    Although probably not related to any sound character you are hearing, I found it difficult to appreciate what your 0V cabling was doing on the path from PT secondary through the filter cap arrangement to ground star point. Would you mind sketching the layout of the 0V circuit and post a photo of the sketch? As MWJB highlights, there is a lot to appreciate about the layout of the cabling and why those recommendations are made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trobbins View Post
    Although probably not related to any sound character you are hearing, I found it difficult to appreciate what your 0V cabling was doing on the path from PT secondary through the filter cap arrangement to ground star point. Would you mind sketching the layout of the 0V circuit and post a photo of the sketch? As MWJB highlights, there is a lot to appreciate about the layout of the cabling and why those recommendations are made.
    trobbins,

    I believe you are asking about the grounding scheme, correct me if I am wrong.
    I am not doing anything unusual though. I have 2 ground connections, one dirty and one clean for inputs, preamp part. I have experimented with different locations and this is what I came up with. Works well, despite ugly looks with long wires etc. I am rebuilding it now and I can only appreciate the good choice to leave all the wires long. After cleanup, it will make more sense to you and others. I could draw the scheme but it is no different that what many others already posted on this board.

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    Hi Paulj
    I have a similar problem to yours a 5E3 circuit that produces too less distortion and have a farting speaker instead. I would very much like to hear if you ever got a solution to your problem? I've tried to lower the values of my coupling caps from 0,1 to 0,047, 0,022 and finally to 0,010 uF, but to no avail, the speaker still farts and no creamy overdrive is present. What was the solution to your problem?

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  10. #45
    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Try lowering the value of the first stage cathode bypass capacitor.
    Standard is 25uf.
    On most Fender amps, especially the lower powered ones, that value simply lets too much of the bass frequencies through.
    Start by using a 15uf & then a 10uf, or even a 4.7uf.
    Use which one sounds best.

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  11. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Try lowering the value of the first stage cathode bypass capacitor.
    Standard is 25uf.
    On most Fender amps, especially the lower powered ones, that value simply lets too much of the bass frequencies through.
    Start by using a 15uf & then a 10uf, or even a 4.7uf.
    Use which one sounds best.
    yep or if you only want an o/d sound maybe as low as 0.68uF. Farty overdrive is often the result of too much bass feeding through. The 25uF bypass on the first stage wasn't meant to produce the best overdrive sound.

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  12. #47
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    The 470 ohm screen resistors seperate the two 6v6 screen from each other which can be a good thing, but they also limit the screen from drawing too much current..
    I am not sure they are needed in a 5e3 deluxe running with period correct voltages (360Vp/320Vs) which allready have a lot or resistance in the +b supply line (a large 5k screen dropping resistor), and if you were to fit them I would chose a lower value, a 220 ohm will probably be enough and transparent.
    A deluxe reverb definately needs these as they have very little resistance in the supply line with a 4Hy, 150 ohm choke.. The output transformer in the deluxe has more resistance between the pins and hence the plate voltage is similar to the screen voltage which is not a good situation.

    THe problem gets even worse with old vintage deluxe reverb amps from the 60's. They will tend to run a little hotter than the 415V plate of the schematic, and you really have to bias them cold in order to prevent the screens from burning up under heavy playing.

    An amp tech saw a lot of older twin reverb with toasted 470 ohm screen resistor.. He upped the wattage to at least 3W and used 1K resistors in stead. This proved to be stable for his costumers, that reported that the amp was a little more responsive. You get a little less max output with the 1K screen resistors in the twin reverb but if the amp is vintage and running with higher voltages than the schematic values, a little more resistance on the screens is not a bad idea..

    The 6v6gt and 6l6GC are beam tubes and draw less screen current than the european pentodes such as a EL84 and EL34. High voltage marshall with just a choke between plate and screen really need those high wattage 1K screen resistors when voltages are high about 450V plate.

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  13. #48
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    interesting thread, was there any solution to this?

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    I had this exact same problem. My 5e3 sounded good, but it was totally clean, like a BF. I installed the Paul C mod, and now the amp has lots of breakup. It's like a totally different amp. I doubt it was the mod that made such a big change. I think I had a bad resistor (they all tested fine after I removed them) or solder joint in there.

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    Don't know the outcome but here's a "Lead" voice mod for one 5E3 channel that will tighten up and modernize the overdrive tone:

    https://robrobinette.com/5e3_Modific...m#Lead_Channel

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    totally clean, like a BF...
    I've only met one amp in my whole life of ANY kind that did that: an old Lectrolab that had no cathode bypass caps and a wrong preamp tube in it. Haven't met a Fender that can't crunch yet, though my Champion 600 (new issue) came close. Then again, I don't think a Super Twin is that loud, either. >:O

    Any Fender that's clean on "10" (or "12") I call broken. I vote for a bad solder joint, too.

    Dustin

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  17. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrob View Post
    Don't know the outcome but here's a "Lead" voice mod for one 5E3 channel that will tighten up and modernize the overdrive tone:
    We're all about the schematics here Rob (hint hint )

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    ...I installed the Paul C mod, and now the amp has lots of breakup. It's like a totally different amp. I doubt it was the mod that made such a big change.
    It could be the Paul C mod. If it has the 1M and 2M2 resistors it sets the bias of the cathodyne too hot so it clips before the 6V6s, meaning you hear PI clipping but don't have full power. It's a bit like having a pre-set post PI MV.

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    Last edited by Dave H; 10-20-2015 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    It could be the Paul C mod. If it has the 1M and 2M2 resistors it sets the bias of the cathodyne too hot so it clips before the 6V6s, meaning you hear PI clipping but don't have full power. It's a bit like having a pre-set post PI MV.
    Yes, the cathode now has 56k, the 2M2 feeds B+ into the grid, and the 1M is a ?voltage divider? on the grid. Do you prefer different values for that mod?

    I haven't played any other 5e3 so I don't have a frame of reference. Which stage is responsible for distortion in a stock 5e3? Does the PI distort?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    Yes, the cathode now has 56k, the 2M2 feeds B+ into the grid, and the 1M is a ?voltage divider? on the grid. Do you prefer different values for that mod?
    I replaced the 2M2 with 3M9 but it sounded exactly like the stock circuit so I returned it to stock.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    I haven't played any other 5e3 so I don't have a frame of reference. Which stage is responsible for distortion in a stock 5e3? Does the PI distort?
    I think the PI distorts first if you have the Paul C mod (with 1M and 2M2 resistors) but for the stock circuit it will be the output stage so it will only distort at high volume which is fine for a gig but usually too loud for home use. As Justin said above if it doesn't distort on '12' with a Strat or Tele it's broken but it won't distort at low volume.

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  21. #56
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I wish when people talk about things like modifying amp, they would at least put up a link to whatever the circuit is they are discussing. I have no idea what the Paul C mod is, and while I am sure I could do some research and find it, I shouldn't have to. people wanting advice ought to put up the background.

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  22. #57
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    The Paul C mod is what some call a "fixed bias" alteration to a cathodyne PI. I'm not so sure that's accurate, but here you go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Sorry Enzo, this is the circuit I used. The 1k5 is from the original cathode biased circuit. I was too lazy to remove it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The schematic that Chuck H posted is the one I used that gave me lots more breakup. To reduce the signal, it looks like I could increase the 2M2 or decrease the 1M? What would be the difference between those two approaches?

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    You shouldn't use those resistors for signal attenuation. They set the bias for the PI. Altering their ratio will change more than signal level and likely bias the PI incorrectly.

    It would help to know where the extra clipping is happening. Is the PI bias skewed such that it's being clipped more or is the new PI configuration putting out more swing so that you are getting more power tube clipping.?.

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    Supporting Member loudthud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    The schematic that Chuck H posted is the one I used that gave me lots more breakup. To reduce the signal, it looks like I could increase the 2M2 or decrease the 1M? What would be the difference between those two approaches?
    The parallel combination of the resistors acts as a load on the previous stage. As long as you don't go too low, (below 500K) the attenuation will be less than 1dB (10%).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    It would help to know where the extra clipping is happening. Is the PI bias skewed such that it's being clipped more or is the new PI configuration putting out more swing so that you are getting more power tube clipping.?.
    This is currently above my pay grade. Would I need a scope for this?

    This description is similar to what I have read from multiple sources:
    What the "Paul C" mod does for the player. - Lil Dawg Amps
    "The 5E3 is known for very it’s early volume increase & break-up, so at about 3 you are at full on overdrive with about max volume and everything after that is just more drive and saturation." This quote describes my amp after the mod. Before the mod, my amp behaved as described in this thread. But, I don't know for sure what a correct 5e3 sounds like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ...It would help to know where the extra clipping is happening. Is the PI bias skewed such that it's being clipped more or is the new PI configuration putting out more swing so that you are getting more power tube clipping.?.
    I measured it a while back (see below). With 2M2 the output of the PI at the onset of PI clipping was about 44V p-p (22V peak). With 4M it was 110V p-p (55V peak). My amp needs 27V peak at the 6V6 grids to drive it to full power so you can see that with 2M2 it would not be driving to full power. If 6V6Pin1 prefers it like that I wouldn't want to change it. To check he could try changing the 2M2 to 3M9 but I expect it would then sound exactly like the stock circuit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Dave H; 10-23-2015 at 12:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6Pin1 View Post
    "The 5E3 is known for it’s very early volume increase & break-up, so at about 3 you are at full on overdrive with about max volume and everything after that is just more drive and saturation."
    The "early breakup" of the 5E3 is because the volume controls are wired 'back to front' which destroys the log taper of the pot making it effectively full volume at 3. It's only "early breakup" in the sense that it starts early on the vol pot scale but it still doesn't breakup below full power output. It won't do "early breakup" in the sense of breakup at low speaker volume. If the vol pots were wired in the coventional way without changing anything else in the circuit they would function as normal log pots and breakup would start at 7 or 8 on the dial not 2 or 3.

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    Last edited by Dave H; 10-23-2015 at 11:55 AM.

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    The Lil Dawg page What the "Paul C" mod does for the player. - Lil Dawg Amps describes very extensive changes in the amp's response, eg

    The Paul C mod will give you more headroom so the overdrive wouldn’t come into play until you are at about 6-7 (tweeds go to 12), but after that it’s overdrive as normal. It also gives you more of a traditional volume increase instead of that very early ramp up, the tone control acts more like a traditional tone control, and the bottom end gets tightened up as well as getting a giving you a bump in volume

    I suspect they are doing rather more than just putting the cathodyne into fixed bias, eg also implementing 6G3 style vol / tone arrangement, reducing coupling cap values.

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  31. #66
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    I had more hair on my head the last time I saw this thread.

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  32. #67
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Hair? What was that like? I've forgotten...

    The above poster just spammed another thread for a CHinese guitar and amp maker.

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  33. #68
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    T took care of it I think he sits at the computer cleaning and polishing his gun

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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