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I built an amp! 5e9-a Tremolux.


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 I decided it was time to dive in and make it happen. I love the 5e9-a so that was what I set my sights on. My wiring isn’t the most beautiful but everything worked on the first try. I had to run some caps in parallel because I didn’t have what I needed. I also used an OT that can handle 6l6 tubes and 35 watts. I haven’t calculated the output yet but I did measure the voltage at the plates with a 5u4 rectifier at 371. My guess is it will have about 15 watts with 6v6 and 25 with 6l6 tubes. The video clip is with 6v6s and a 5y3 and 12ax7s. The volume isn’t very high in the clip because it was too much for the iPhone. I did crank it up and it is a beast! I also put some 6l6s in and the 5u4 and with a 15” Legend it is really loud. The clip is going through a Scumback M75. 

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1 hour ago, TalismanRich said:

It sounded pretty nice in the video.

Was this a kit that you grabbed, or did you just get a board and start soldering parts to it based on the schematic?  

I built this from parts and a schematic and a layout diagram. The chassis was from a Blues DeVille I bought back in the mid 90s. The transformers I bought used a few years ago and about 5 boards came with them and I used one of those. All the caps and resistors were new as well as the the pots. The sockets were scavenged off another old amp.  I have a bunch of pieces and parts I’ve collected over the years. My wife sometimes questions why I keep all them, now she has an answer! 

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Well so far so good. I have about 10 hours on the amp now and no issues. I did about 3 hours of practicing with the band then a gig last night so that is another 3 hours of playing with the volume up around 75%. I think now with that much playing at pretty high volume it would have failed if there was going to be a failure. Of course the traveling and loading in and out will be the real test for survival. 
I’m using a 5u4 rectifier for a little less sag, it’s still there but way less than a 5y3. I should be able to use a 5ar4 with this because the OT can actually handle 6l6 tubes and up to 25 -30 watts which is what a pair of 6l6 tubes would deliver. For now it’s all 6v6 and I think that is the vibe these amps work and sound the best with. 
I didn’t have a 12ay7 so I have an ax7 in the v1 and as a result headroom isn’t very high. I was playing more classic rock last night so it was perfect for that. With an ax7 the amp sounds much like a mini Marshall. I think I’ll get an ay and au7 so I can have options for headroom and be able to use the amp for older blues tunes. The amp is louder than I thought it would be with a single M75 Scumback but I’m used to gigging with my Champ, the 5e9-a is still decently quiet enough not to get a bar owner mad. 

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How about a picture of that puppie?

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Gut shot!

1DBFADE3-4031-4E21-853A-979740768B66.jpeg
 

I have the chassis in a makeshift box until I build a real cabinet for it. I’m going to make it so I can change the baffle board for 1x12, 1x15 or 2 and 4x10. 

Edited by zguitar71
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You may see an oddity in the amp where there are doubled up capacitors. That is what happens when you order twice as many .1 caps as you need and forget to order .2 caps.  The solution is to run 2 .1 in parallel. I had to do it 3 times. 

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71BE462B-BDEB-426F-97A6-7F665AE4CEAD.jpeg.78414c8cc53314252ddd71b803f89f4a.jpegCFDF2D1E-CB54-4F0A-943E-8DD1AF0B9C8B.thumb.jpeg.a1a2530bbf0b2d728f5bd0d7e2d6dd38.jpeg
 

Here is the temporary cabinet for the head. It is pretty big because the chassis I used was probably about twice as big as it needs to be but it was very forgiving to get my fumbling fingers into. 

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That looks pretty cool! I like the idea of using a 15” speaker too. I rarely see anyone using one. I always liked the sound of them.

BTW, I may be up your way in a couple of weeks doing some acoustic stuff and will let you know.

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I got a couple of 12ay7 tubes today a JJ and an Electro  Harmonix. I put them in the v1 position and immediately realized that the amp really needs them over the ax7. It still gets way nasty when cranked but it is clearer and more complex while the ax7 is so saturated you loose some of the beauty. I think I like the JJ more but both sound good. The EH is a little hotter than the JJ and that may be why I like the JJ more. I’ll take it to practice this weekend and get a much better feel for which one I like more. 

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Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

...another low gain v1 tube rec:  search eBay for Tungsram 6085/e80cc.  They are the most affordable and also IMHO nicer sounding than their Philips family cousins from amperex valvo or siemens gold pins or not, the Tungsies are more lively overall and sparkly on top.  Twin triode low gain (18 compared to 40 12at7, 75 5751, 100 12ax7) factor but high current and just freakin' gorgeous clean, still enough oomph to get a bit of grit out of that preamp with the knob cranked to around 75% ish on up.  That tube designation means good for 10,000 hours of use.  They do sound spectacular compared to any 12a_7 you might be used to.   No biggie if they wont fit under the normal tube shield, find an IERC tube cooler shield for el84's,on eBay,  the perfect solution is there.

I love the vintage 15 inch speakers, spent a lot of time and money in that rabbit hole.  Altec 418 family has the unicorn... 418-8 H Series II Musical Instrument Speaker.  The 418's that don't have the boat anchor cover on the magnet are similarly constructed for a bit less watts and the best part is that any 418 can handle anything sweetly sparkly clean to rasty nasty with insane harmonic content from a single ended el84 5 watter through a pair of 6l6s effortlessly, both efficient and good at sounding the same tones from soft to loud sound pressure levels, in clubs with volume limits, they deliver full, great tones at those levels, those Altecs do. Cloth surround with a paper cone is their recipe.  Tone Tubby is building amazing sounding 12 inch speakers with cloth surround/hemp cone construction today for big money and worth that money kind of sound.  Other faves with massive ceramic motors that sound great clean or tossing black metal off the walls of the room like what they were designed to do...are JBL MI-15 8 ohm and G135-8.  MI-15 simply outstanding when driven by low watt setups, sings nicely with boutique-y housed pairs of el84 or 6v6 driving them.  They so rock hard acoustic clean to filth, all of these old 15's are nicely constructed.  The Altecs will deliver more tooth in the dirt.

Edited by 212Mavguy
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