Katana? Kemper? Mustang? Bah, humbug

Paul G.

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New build -- Narrow panel Tweed Deluxe (5E3). Mojotone kit, WGS Speaker. Revoiced the Bright channel for my Gibsons, left the Normal channel stock. 12 Watts on a good day. Loud as hell, more tone than you can use in a week.

Light, small, cuts through beautifully. Don't need no damn computers.

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Clifdawg

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I like computers too, but there ain't nothing wrong with this!
 

Sweetums

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Hey, how easy is to put together the kit? Do you just need soldering skills or more involved like advanced amp knowledge / equipment? That looks great by the way.
 

Gahr

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I SO want a 5E3 style amp! How does this compare to the real thing?
 

Paul G.

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Hey, how easy is to put together the kit? Do you just need soldering skills or more involved like advanced amp knowledge / equipment? That looks great by the way.

Soldering skills are a plus, but easy enough. I highly recommend getting a soldering station with thermostatic control like the Weller WES51 (~$100). Weller and Hakko make ok units for about $50. You will also need a digital multimeter, but it doesn't have to be fancy.

Mojotone has a pretty good instruction book, as do some other kits. If you're just starting, I do recommend a kit with instructions. Go slow, double-check everything, then check it again.

Read this to understand what's what and how it all works: https://robrobinette.com/How_The_5E3_Deluxe_Works.htm#Artificial_Center_Tap

Find out where the filter caps are, and understand that the hot side will have hundreds of volts DC on them once you're plugged in. Capacitors hold a charge for a long time, so learn to avoid and discharge those caps.

Making a simple amp like the 5E3 is not complicated, and it is fun and can be relaxing if you let it be.

I SO want a 5E3 style amp! How does this compare to the real thing?

I've played real 5E3s and 5D3s, and a couple of boutique clones. The thing I built is pretty damn close, with all the glory, and all the warts. What make a Deluxe a Deluxe is the undersized power transformer, channel interaction, and big coupling caps -- all easily replicated today.

After playing my build for a while, I remembered the farty bass with Gibsons. Fortunately, it's not a valuable vintage piece, and I revoiced the Bright channel for Humbuckers (swap 1 coupling cap). Now I have vintage goodness, plus a bit more useability.
 


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