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5e3 / 5e5 Amplifier Circuit

Front view 5e3 custom built 5e3 with Florida Cypress cabinet The 5e3 (50's tweed fender deluxe) and 5e5 (50's tweed fender pro) are basically the same circuit. The real difference between them are the transformers. I have modified my 5e3 into a 5e5 since I first built the amp to see what the tonal differences are. The amp is now a little louder with a lot more head room. The jenson P12Q 40 watt speaker now has a little more bottom end and the amp has an exceptional clean tone and you have to drive the amp a little harder to bring out the dirt. The 5e3 circuit is definitely more touch sensitive and has a much more dirty sound. If you have a light touch you can produce a really clean tone. You can go from clean to mean with your fingers. The 5e5 is not as touch sensitive but it really has a great clean tone. I think the clean tone from this amp is better than the blackface series amps. All I had to do was change out the output transformer, the power transformer, a 22k res into a 10k, a 250 ohm 5 watt into a 10 watt, and add a 16uf filter cap.

For an experiment I swapped the tubes back to the 5e3 set of tubes with the 5y3 rectifier and 2 6v6. The amp did not sound the same as the original, it had much more headroom and still sounded like the 5e5. So the transformers really affect what the amp can sound like. For a practice amp, and you want clean and dirty at the touch of your fingers, the 5e3 rules.

I have now modified my 5e5 to have 3 gain stages with a master volume before the phase inverter. I have posted my schematic and will have changes added to it after I tweak it. My first impression was, wow! This amp kicks ass! We are talking some serious distortion. And the sustain is absolutely incredible.

I have added some pics of the chassis:

Chassis photo bottom Chassis inside photo Chassis inside photo 2

The layout I did here eliminates a lot of wire. I used an old Bogen chassis.

Here are some photo's of the cabinet:

rear photo speaker view corner view
     

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link to large photo of inside chassis Link to large photo 2 inside chassis photo of bottom of chassis rear photo 5e3 cabinet speaker view Jenson P12Q corner view of cabinet