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Re: 5E3 w/ reverb and tremelo? Try this...

1/20/2006 5:10 AM
TD Madden
Re: 5E3 w/ reverb and tremelo? Try this...
How about providing some more detail on what you did to "wake up" that Falcon? I've been tempted to EBay mine, but haven't mainly because you just don't see many of them....  
There is an AMAZING difference between it and the "tweed" version.
1/20/2006 9:47 AM
Hi Bruce,  
I finallly got those 5E3 transformers last week, very  
nice iron, thank-you.  
TD, I guess the most important thing about this amp is  
the clean boost pedal on the front end, it really wakes the amp up. I've not done much to mine, removed the Sprague wafer type cap assembly and put in separate bass and treble caps on the tone stack, it's been a few years, don't remember the values, probably  
pretty ordinary, did it by ear. I also replaced all the electrolytic cathode caps but not the power supply  
caps, put some Jensen paper in oil coupling caps in,  
as well as replaced the OPT with a larger Hammond unit  
about the same size as a tweed deluxe, primary of 6300  
for 8 ohms. JJ803S as V1 and an EI 12AX7 as V2, PI is  
still a 6EU7. I've tried many speakers, keep coming back to the C12R. I like the Tung Sol 5881's but use 6V6's in smaller venues, like tonight, mix and  
match the rectifiers.  
I recently borrowed a buddy's '59 Tweed Deluxe and  
measured all the components and voltages to clone it  
using Bruce's transformers as it's the best-sounding  
Deluxe I've heard. I had it onstage in a small pub  
we play quite often and A-B'd it with the Falcon and  
the Falcon ate it for lunch. The Deluxe was a little too compressed and didn't stand out. If I was recording at low volumes I'd probably use the Deluxe, but it would be a toss-up. I guess because  
the Falcon is lower gain than the Deluxe, it has more balls at volume and is more suitable onstage.  
I play a Tom Anderson Hollow T through it, love that  
guitar, the reason I sold all my vintage Fenders.  
The Gibson is the same as far as all the amps I've heard too, it just is the one for me. I hope you can get yours to do the same for you. Good luck.
1/21/2006 12:34 AM
Bruce /Mission Amps

OK, with all those mods and tweaks, I'd say it's pretty safe to say you no longer have a Falcon!! Ha ha...  
In recent years, I've not heard a stock one that was worth a hoot and that's if it still worked OK, didn't hum like crazy and didn't have a reverb section that would feedback like a banshee.  
Can't say I remember hearing a newish one back in the good old days when I was still playing in clubs either.  
1/21/2006 9:13 AM
Steve A.

    I remember some nice Gibson amps in the 60's... maybe the Skylarks with or without tremelo? Was it specifically the GA-19RVT Falcon that was a "dog", or does that apply to other Gibson amps with reverb? Just wondering which Gibson amps you do recommend... in 25 words or less ( :D )  
    I guess there is nothing earthshattering about the GA-19RVT design, but I thought that it might offer some ideas for adding reverb and/or tremelo to the 5E3 (not that the tweed deluxe needs them!)  
    I do see some potential problems that might require some redesigning. Like there is no pot on the output of the reverb section. Maybe replace the 470k grid load for the cathodyne PI with a 500k pot, with the wiper connected to the coupling cap after V2b.  
    I'm not familiar with the 6EU7 preamp tubes in this amp, so I have no idea how these circuits compare to 12A_7 circuits. But the 500pF coupling caps from V3 and V2b would probably be undersized for a 12AX7.  
    I think it is cool how the amp could be set for 100% reverb... wouldn't that be slick to have a second 5E3 maybe 12 feet away just putting out the reverberated signal? :D  
    My idea was to keep the voicing of the 5E3 (stock or with your mods) but to add reverb and/or tremelo to the design. Are there other ways you'd recommend for doing that?  
--Thanks a million!  
Steve Ahola
1/21/2006 7:18 PM
Bruce /Mission Amps

Not sure about 25 words or less, as they probably aren't worth that effort either, but when someone comes in the door with one to refurbish, I want to tell them to deposit the amp in the green receptacle across the alley with the big WM on it. ;)  
1/21/2006 8:56 PM
Carl Gigun
All gibsons? I don't run an amp repair biz so I never see any, but didn't vox swipe the ac-30 TB from a gibson amp? Bad iron, speakers? just curious in case I suddenly win money and start building a vintage amp collection ;)
1/22/2006 2:41 AM
Bruce /Mission Amps

I still have some customers who love them but I don't want to work on them and I think there's a real love hate relationship with these amps when it comes to ownership vs maintanence.  
They hold no facination with me and I honestly can't remember ever hearing a great sounding one, where as I've heard hundreds of great sounding tweed, brownface and blackface Fender amps, early Marshall amps, VOX amps and even old Ampeg amps that were stellar.  
I have no idea if VOX stole anything from Gibson but to me, all AC50s, AC100s, AC30 top boost amps, (minus the vibrato/tremolo stuff) and most early Marshall amps, look like warmed over tweed Bassman amps with gain/balance modded PI drivers and different power tubes.  
I think this particular period Gibson amps were very cost driven and lazily built.  
Maybe they used poorly modified jazzy circuits, still trying to be a little different them everyone else when most amp companies were going for that rock and roll sound. (Read that as dull IMHO)  
However, it's still amusing to watch the reaction of die hard owners when poking fun at these. ;)  

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