Chris Fleming Tweed Deluxe 5e3

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by 6124Bassman, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. 6124Bassman

    6124Bassman Gretschie

    418
    May 20, 2018
    Tempe, Arizona
    The way the owner described it as was a “custom build by Chris Fleming” not a factory build. Said it was a project he did on the side and sold them. Same description of the Reverb ad I had found from a few years back
     
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    The 1750E is closer to the original 50s version at 15w so it should saturate nice and early, but a lower efficiency speaker would work well with it.
     
  3. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Looks very nice Bassman. If it sounds good and the price is right, buy it and turn it up. I don't know if you're familiar with how the funky controls actually control the tone but if not, find out before you decide if you like it or not. It isn't difficult but the changes are profound!
     
  4. 6124Bassman

    6124Bassman Gretschie

    418
    May 20, 2018
    Tempe, Arizona
    Alright so I got it. I’m pretty happy with it! It is still pretty loud. There isn’t much headroom at all which I like for this amp. That’s the reason I had to bring it home. The work done is very clean with authentic components. The larger cabinet does give the amp some more dynamic and not as small and boxy. Sounds like a big amp. The tweed was done very well and the laquer is even and professional work. Cheaper tubes in it that I may end up swapping. It runs extremely well and very very quite idle. No hum, crackle, or pops. Pictures to follow
     
    loudnlousy likes this.
  5. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    592
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Put a pair of Marconi-Westinghouse "Coke Bottle" 6v6 power tubes in if you want to hear some more heaven.

    Love these in a 5E3.

    Congrats on the amp
     
    JHowdy and 6124Bassman like this.
  6. 6124Bassman

    6124Bassman Gretschie

    418
    May 20, 2018
    Tempe, Arizona
    I'll consider checking those tubes out. I'm a fan of winged C tubes that I've had in previous amps. Maybe I'll switch it up this time around.
     
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    592
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    These Coke Bottles have such a nice break up when you do push them. Smooth and raw if that makes sense.
     
    6124Bassman likes this.
  8. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    The second stage dropping resistor, R22 on the schematic, looks under-rated for the job. It's supposed to be a 2Watt resistor, and the one in place looks like a 0.5 w.

    The mixture of wire types and cap types definitely makes this look like a home-brew rather than the work of a master builder. No matter, if it works and sounds good.
     
  9. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Amp looks very nice, love the Casino too!
     
  10. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    This! If you're not familiar, take the time to watch this:


    I have a 5E3 clone by Clark Amplification (Beaufort model). He built it to be true to the Fender Deluxe design. I found it had way too much bass, especially with a hollowbody Gretsch. I took it to an amp tech that swapped out caps to filter the bass. Love the results! I'm pretty sure someone on this forum did the same cap mods. I may have it saved.
     
  11. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    If you know how to drain caps and use a soldering iron, swapping the tone capacitors is really easy. The most common mod is to swap the first stage coupling caps from 0.1uF to 0.045, or better still 0.022uF
     
  12. 6124Bassman

    6124Bassman Gretschie

    418
    May 20, 2018
    Tempe, Arizona
    Well guys, something took a turn today. I was playing for about 20 minutes and I started to smell the amp getting really hot. I checked and the power tubes were red plating pretty hard. The amp started oscillating around volume 6 or 7. It didn't do this yesterday when I played it for about 10 minutes at the guy's house. He told me yesterday if I had any problems with it to call him. So I did. And now the amp is back with them. I'm lucky they were willing to take it back. They told me now today that they had the amp for a long time and only have turned it on about 3 times and they didn't know how it runs. Didn't tell me that yesterday, but at least they were willing to come pick it up. Seemed pretty genuinely surprised that the amp was having issues. I would have considered keeping it, however I don't have the time right now to troubleshoot with work and school starting on Monday, and all my "guitar money" is going to that '69 Country Gentleman that I have posted in the the other thread (if you've seen it). I definitely do not need another project right now.

    So long story short, the amp is back with the previous owner and I'm back where I was yesterday morning. Overall not complaining since everything went smoothly, just a little bit of a bummer
     
  13. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    That's a bummer.
    On the other hand, maybe you're lucky to be alive!

    ;)
     
    6124Bassman likes this.
  14. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Sounds like it needed a cap job and a set of tubes. Those blue moulded caps look like they'd already been recycled once, so lord knows how old they are. Nothing insurmountable, but a bit disappointing.
     
    6124Bassman likes this.
  15. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 16, 2013
    Finland
    I'm glad that they took it back. Anyway, these are great sounding amps and easy to use. I wouldn't hesitate to take any well known clone like Victoria. Says another happy 5E3 clone owner.
     
  16. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Victoria's take on 50s tweed is pretty respectable. Anyone with a bit of patience can knock up a kit in a weekend that sounds just as good, for way less cash. What kills us here in the EU is shipping and import duties, but I managed to source everything I needed for a good 5e3 in the UK for under 600 quid. For that I got a handmade pine cab, Hammond transformers, Mallory caps, CTS pots, Carling switches and Belton sockets. Got a used Weber 12a125a for another 80, and had all the fun of putting it together and modding it to my needs. Problem is, there's not much available apart from Champs or Deluxes. Other than those it's pretty much Tubeampdoctor stuff, which is not cheap.

    Chris Fontana from Rift amps is now running a series of one day workshops to build one of his 5e3s. A great way into building for the inexperienced.
     
  17. JHowdy

    JHowdy Country Gent

    Age:
    53
    Nov 16, 2013
    Finland
    About the same here. €349 for the basic kit (Hammond transformer costs 115€ extra, etc.). €435 for the cabinet. It'll go up to 1000 euros with the better parts. Maybe I could build one myself but would need much guidance to choose the proper "better" parts.

    TAD, isn't that just some bulk China part supplier?
     
  18. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    340
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    That was a home brew but he used very expensive vintage parts. So the mismatch is a good thing. The blue molded caps rarely go bad and sound better than anything out there. I doubt they were the culprit. Probably the filter caps or the tubes themselves. It’s an easy fix for amp tech. That was one super fine amp. Someone will get something special when it’s fixed.
     
  19. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    No. From my experience they are the European scource of authentic/good-quality amp parts.
     
    Uncle Daddy likes this.
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