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5e3 mods

2/27/2004 7:07 PM
Steve L
5e3 mods
So I just recently completed by build, and it works! I really love the thick tone this baby cranks out, and it is actually a bit cleaner than I expected (with my Tele - lots of grit with my Les Paul Junior). And man, is it ever loud for such a modest little amp.  
So, I have read about all of these different mods that people make to the 5e3. There's the Paul C mod to the phase inverter, the changes people make to the caps to limit the bass response, mods to allow the use of 6l6's, I have even heard of a mod to the volume control setup to make them behave more like the pots on other amps (no interaction, more range).  
I am not yet ready to start messing with it, as I want to soak in this amp in all of its glory before I change anything, BUT, which mods have you guys made, and what have your experiences been? Is there a place on the web where all of these possibilities are documented? If not, I might put up such a page after getting details from everybody.  
Thanks for your input.  
2/27/2004 7:38 PM
Frank DeSalvo

Replace 5Y3 with 5V4. You get tighter, clearer bass and a pinch more headroom.  
2/28/2004 12:53 AM
Steve L

Thanks for the reply. Does anything else have to be done to accomodate this rectifier change or just swap it in? No issues with voltage come up?  
2/27/2004 10:37 PM
Phil Loarie
General rule of thumb, anytime you affect B+,  
and certainly changing the rectifier is a good  
case, you should check your power tubes bias,  
and tweek if needed. In the case of 5E3, a tweek  
will require changing the value of the cathode  
I agree with you about listening to 'all its glory'  
before changing anything. Here are the mods I have  
done with my 5E3 project. Mine is a little different, mind you, from the beginning I decided  
I wanted something of a compliment to my BFDR.  
1) my 5E3 was built in a BFDR (mojo) clone chassis,  
so it fits perfectly well in a BFDR cab.  
2) I don't like the way tweed wears, so my cab  
is a blonde tolex with wheat grill.  
3) 3 prong power plug w/chassis ground.  
4) BF style filament wiring (two wire).  
5) beefed up PT, mine will support more  
tubes so I can experiment with things  
like tube tremolo, but not there yet.  
(but the B+ is about 330-340 VDC--very  
6) only one input jack for each channel.  
7) Paul C. mod, not a big difference in tone,  
but does make the last gain stage more stable  
over the entire volume range.  
8) added a little more filtering in the first  
stage (40 uf) and a standby switch.  
Best wishes,  
2/28/2004 3:31 AM
Darren Burt

I've already modded mine to accept 6L6s and a Copper Cap equivalent of a 5V4 rectifier. Sounds great through a Weber Blue Dog!  
Anyways, an idea I have was to build a bigger cab and add a second speaker (maybe another Blue Dog, maybe something different). I'd like a bit more punch and power so I've thought about changing out the output transformer, and maybe boosting the B+ a bit.  
Would raising the B+ accomplish much, and would I need a new power tranny? Bear in mind, my amp was built from one of Bruce's kits.
2/28/2004 4:55 AM
Steve L

I have a Blue Dog also. Mine is the 50 watt Ceramic version. I love it.  
What did your 6l6 mod consist of? 10 watt resistor, Copper Cap, and what else? Still using the original trannies? How did the mod effect your tone? I assume you ended up with more clean headroom, but how else did it change?
2/28/2004 11:55 PM
Bruce /Mission Amps

I have in stock a few tweed Deluxe cabs used for aux 12" speakers but with no chassis cut out or tube venting cut out in the back panel.  
Very COOL looking from all views with the amp and matching aux speaker cabinet!!  

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