Beginner: which amp to build?

Gene Ballzz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
3,535
Reaction score
3,990
Location
Las Vegas, NV
So whats the main differences betwen a 5E3 and say a Blues Jr? Blues Jr seems to have more features going on. How do they compare tonally?

I'm really not sure how I can answer that without offending avid, happy Blues Junior users and owners, other than to say that the BJ uses EL84s for power tubes and both amps "amplify" guitar signal with a similar number of watts. I personally dislike nearly everything about the BJ, except for the concept of being a convenient to carry package! There are many very valid reasons that folks still fawn over the 5E3, 60 years after Fender stopped making them and the fact that they are the most often cloned/built/used amps on the planet! Of course, a few years back, even Fender started making them again, for those very same valid reasons! You won't really understand until you own a bone stock one, with all its warts, etc!
Just The Way It Is!
Gene
 
Last edited:

Timonew

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
How about a N5X British Overdrive amp from https://www.ampmaker.com - a 5W single ended Class A amp with VVR (lowers the voltage to the power amp stage) so you don’ t need an attenuator to get bedroom levels.


The build guide is fantastic and explains the components and schematic then guides you step by step in building and testing the amp.


£220 in the UK - a little more than an overdrive pedal.
 

Caleb Thacker

New Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
5E3 or Champ circuit.. it's the proverbial training wheels to amp building. And virtually verything we have now came by way of those lights at the beginning of the tone driven tunnels..

* Just a tip.. if you want to accelerate your abilities.. get the guitar amp handbook ..and as you become more adept .

SPECIFICALLY BUILD PARAMETRIC EQ KITS THAT YOU CAN FIND.. PAIA COMES TO MIND... this will be ESSENTIAL TO YOUR ABILITIES LATER ON WHEN YOU BEGIN TO BRANCH OUT IN CREATIVITY IN REGARDS TO THE TONE STACK/EQ PHASE OF YOUR CIRCUIT
 

RJW

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
39
Reaction score
91
How about a N5X British Overdrive amp from https://www.ampmaker.com - a 5W single ended Class A amp with VVR (lowers the voltage to the power amp stage) so you don’ t need an attenuator to get bedroom levels.


The build guide is fantastic and explains the components and schematic then guides you step by step in building and testing the amp.


£220 in the UK - a little more than an overdrive pedal.

Thanks for the suggestion. This seems like a good option for me. I would want good instructions. I noticed some companies have kits that purposely don’t come with step by step guides. I get it but I’ll be needing some good instructions. I’ll check these guys out some more
 

RJW

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
39
Reaction score
91
5E3 or Champ circuit.. it's the proverbial training wheels to amp building. And virtually verything we have now came by way of those lights at the beginning of the tone driven tunnels..

* Just a tip.. if you want to accelerate your abilities.. get the guitar amp handbook ..and as you become more adept .

SPECIFICALLY BUILD PARAMETRIC EQ KITS THAT YOU CAN FIND.. PAIA COMES TO MIND... this will be ESSENTIAL TO YOUR ABILITIES LATER ON WHEN YOU BEGIN TO BRANCH OUT IN CREATIVITY IN REGARDS TO THE TONE STACK/EQ PHASE OF YOUR CIRCUIT
Already got the book. He starts with the Princeton circuit iirc. That is part of why I thought to ask about the Princeton initially.
 

myersbw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
849
Location
SW Ohio
Already got the book. He starts with the Princeton circuit iirc. That is part of why I thought to ask about the Princeton initially.

Should you happen to go a 1x12 style Fender (even Matchless) build...consider a WGS G12Q speaker if looking at the 20W style of power or less. One Nashville friend commented to me as it being the closest modern speaker matching vintage Jensen tone. I have one on order.
 

ibmorjamn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
11,301
Reaction score
11,654
Location
North
Not trying to spoil this but most of the amp parts sites are out of stock on many of the popular items.
 
Last edited:

neikeel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
7,102
Reaction score
6,535
How about a N5X British Overdrive amp from https://www.ampmaker.com - a 5W single ended Class A amp with VVR (lowers the voltage to the power amp stage) so you don’ t need an attenuator to get bedroom levels.
The build guide is fantastic and explains the components and schematic then guides you step by step in building and testing the amp.
£220 in the UK - a little more than an overdrive pedal.

If you are in the UK these are a great deal and excellent back up from Ampmaker too.
 

Soundmasterg

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2022
Messages
10
Reaction score
11
Agree with many of the others. You can't go wrong with a tweed deluxe 5E3. They sound great, you will learn a lot by building it, and they aren't a super difficult amp to build first time out. Simple is better until you get the hang of it.

Greg
 

Matthews Guitars

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
6,147
Reaction score
9,745
What is your skill level with regard to electronics knowledge and troubleshooting ability?

More complex amps would require a greater ability to understand the circuit and troubleshoot it in the event of a problem. And ALWAYS expect a problem.


My next build, which will start when I have a suitable chassis for it, is a Trainwreck Express clone. I've got all the major parts for it, except the chassis.

It's a simple amp with great tonal possibilities.
 

StrummerJoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
3,649
Reaction score
11,228
Clue #1 "Beginner" - it's in the title of the thread.

Clue #2, the actual first post. Read it.
 

Latest posts



Top