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5E3 kit build

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
Messages
3,068
I received the kit last week and had a chance to start working on it over the weekend.

I ended up choosing the Mission kit after reading many reviews and looking at the quality of the chassis. In particular, I really like the use of the chassis mounted PEM nuts as opposed to nuts and star washers.

The first step was to lay out everything and check the parts inventory:
DSCN1570_zpsbec718ce.jpg


Bruce provides NOS rectifier and 12AX7 tubes:
DSCN1571_zps175b3362.jpg


I then double checked that the components matched values (all did)..and re-organize for easy access during the build:
DSCN1572_zps9a250432.jpg


I ordered additional green cloth-covered wire for heater wiring...and installed the sockets and transformers:
DSCN1576_zpsc281472b.jpg


DSCN1577_zps4c2f05a4.jpg


and wired up the rectifier socket:
DSCN1578_zpsf4d914f5.jpg


I like to tin the eyelets prior to soldering:
DSCN1579_zpsf352e3fe.jpg


Wiring the 'hidden' wiring on the back side came first. The wiring scheme uses a bit non-traditional colors which are coded for function:
DSCN1580_zps8a758f62.jpg


Then mounting the components..triple checking everything...then soldering:
DSCN1583_zps50ae58fb.jpg


I used the 'Fender' type technique of soldering from the back ...to create the neat solder buttons on the top of the eyelet board:
DSCN1584_zps04e55682.jpg


Break time for a bit and then start to install the board into the chassis....
 

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
Messages
5,699
Nice!

I always wondered how people got those nice little solder buttons!
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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Don,
You are my inspiration for this adventure !

The build that you presented for the Champ was very well done...
 

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
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5,699
Don,
You are my inspiration for this adventure !

The build that you presented for the Champ was very well done...


Oops! Sorry!

Just kidding. It's a great hobby!
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
Messages
3,589
toxpert, did you go with all 22's in the filter section?
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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3,068
toxpert, did you go with all 22's in the filter section?

Yes....I had 3 of the 22's and a single 16.

I was intrigued by your comment. What change in performance would have resulted from a mix of 16s and 22s and what positions would they have to be in ?

At some point this amp will have to be re-capped...that would be an opportunity to make further changes.

Let me know your thoughts on this.
thx
 

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
Messages
5,699
I have a 32uF first filter cap. It tightens the amp up a bit. I suppose it makes it quieter as well. I left the other two at 16uF.
 

Texas Blues

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Apr 13, 2008
Messages
4,641
I need a backup 5e3 but I don't have the dough for it.

This thread's got me stuck with a splinter in my mind that maybe I can do this too and for much more cheapness than buying another Clark.

Problem is that I don't know shit about electronics, circuit boards, schematic's or even soldering for that matter.

I am watching this.

Hard.
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
Messages
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As long as you visit this website...that gnawing sensation will only fester and grow. It will just get worse, trust me.

This is a simple build and a great kit to learn what components do. Just proceed slowly with the build and do one step at a time. Triple check before you clip wires or solder.

As far as electronics go...I think of electricity in terms of water flowing through those wires. Higher flow here, one way valves there...etc.
 

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
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5,699
I do it to save money and for the love of it. To me, enjoying the build is the most important part. I couldn't do it just to save money. I like the whole process- planning, ordering, building, tweaking...
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
Messages
3,589
Yes....I had 3 of the 22's and a single 16.

I was intrigued by your comment. What change in performance would have resulted from a mix of 16s and 22s and what positions would they have to be in ?

At some point this amp will have to be re-capped...that would be an opportunity to make further changes.

Let me know your thoughts on this.
thx

I wanted my 5E3 to be as humbucker friendly as possible (tighten up the bass) and since I had some success with beefing up the filter section of my Princeton Reverb I decided to take it even further with the 5E3. I also went with .022uF's across all five tone caps (some builders term my cap choices as "22's across"). To top it all off I went with a ceramic Celestion Heritage Greenback that I already had, so there's a little British flavor going on with my amp.

Overall I like the sound of my amp with humbuckers and P90's, tight and crunchy to grind to a really nice tweed clean, but I sometimes miss the looseness and breath of a stock circuit with a Telecaster. I plan on changing things around and having fun with the circuit once I fix this static issue I'm having.
 

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
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5,699
The change to a 32uF first filter cap is subtle.
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
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3,589
toxpert, I want to thank you for this thread. It got me to open up my 5e3 and track down an issue.

fyi - The erasure end of a pencil can not be overstated as an invaluable diagnostic tool!
 

toxpert

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Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
3,068
Some more pics...I was able to make time late last night to install the board and finish up the wiring.

The cabinets were backordered when I placed my order...hoping, hoping that it will come through soon so I can finish this up.


Overview of the installed board:
DSCN1606_zps9a44f695.jpg


DSCN1607_zpsafcd800c.jpg


close up of the power transformer and mains connections:
DSCN1605_zps2cd8fffe.jpg


power tubes and speaker jacks (since the chassis was not silkscreen for ohms values, I added a sticker to the outside as well as labeled the secondary leads from the output transformer):
DSCN1604_zpsfdb7380d.jpg


a little pre amp section:
DSCN1603_zps734bbd3e.jpg


a little better clarity:
DSCN1602_zps59e0c2b5.jpg


DSCN1601_zpsbaeb2aac.jpg


DSCN1600_zpsb13714ca.jpg


an external overview:
DSCN1611_zpsb95901c9.jpg



a close up of the input jacks - I added some thin washer shims to get the top of the threaded barrels flush with the nuts. Old style Fenders had that nice smooth feel to the input jacks...helps get the plug in without hitting the edge of the threaded barrel.
DSCN1612_zpsb06c6317.jpg


Next step is to apply some power and let the caps settle in...then check voltages. I have a variac and amp meter to use for that ...and also need to dig out my light bulb current limiter...just to be sure.
 
Last edited:

Don

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Dec 1, 2001
Messages
5,699
That looks great! Nice touch with the jack. I did the same with the amps I built.
 
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