Buying a Fender kit - need help determining which one

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by KraftyBob, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm looking to build my own amp and having never owned a Fender I'd really like to build one. I'm heavily leaning toward the the Mojotone 5E3 kit as I really like what I hear with those amps, but truth be told I have no idea about Fenders and want to make sure I'm getting the right amp for me.

    For example, I don't know the difference between a Blackface vs Brownface vs Tweed. Within the Tweed's, what's the difference between the 5e3 vs 5e5 vs 5f4 vs 5e8 vs 5f11...?

    Here's what I'm looking for:
    • Something that nails that edge of break-up tone, but can also be pushed into a nice over drive - but not a Marshall type of OD.
    • I'm less concerned about cleans.
    • I don't play in a band so I'm not worried about keeping up with a drummer, but it would be nice to have that capability if my situation changed.
    • I prefer a combo vs head because the only speaker cab I have is loaded with a G12T-75, which I don't see as a good fit for a Fender amp. And I don't want to get another cab as I'm limited on space.
    Thanks for you input.
     
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  2. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    if you're looking for a "fender-sounding" fender build is shy away from the tweeds and look at the black/silverface models. what sort of features are you interested in? reverb? tremolo? differently-voiced inputs? how much power?
     
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  3. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't particularly care about reverb or tremolo. While I'm sure some of the reverb units in the Fender kits sounds great, that's not my priority. I run a Helix and have plenty of reverb and tremolo options with that. If the amp doesn't have an effects loop I've been reading that a lot of people mod these kits so I'm sure it's something I can always add later if needed.

    20w +/- is probably where I'm at power-wise.

    I'd like to start out with just guitar to amp and and basic plug-n-play. I'm intrigued by the 5E3's simplicity and interaction between the two volume knobs. I'm not looking for a bunch of features/knobs to turn. I have plenty of that with my DSL and Helix.

    I guess to sum it up: bare bones, raw power.
     
  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    If you never built a amp before the fender champ is what you want . One of the best sounding fender amps out thar
     
  5. RCM 800

    RCM 800 Well-Known Member

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    if you want around 20 watts a tweed deluxe (5e3) or deluxe reverb may be the way to go. I dont know if his are stock but Don Felder uses Deluxe Reverbs now and in the past.
     
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  6. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I buy broken amps, fix them and then resell them as a hobby so I'm not concerned about which amps may be easier/harder to build. Probably should have mentioned that in my first post. But I will check out the Champ - thanks!
     
  7. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    silverface champ/vibrochamp is a hell of an amp. had an early (68) model, loved it but couldn't justify playing an almost thousand dollar amp (really!) at a church where a large portion of the congregation is homeless... seemed excessive. so i built my own vibrochamp with a few improvements (beefier transformers, proper CLC filter i feel all single-ended amps should have since you don't get the cancellation a push/pull amp would have, james tone stack, 10" speaker) and it's running a 6L6G. sounds awesome

    if not a champ, a princeton (non reverb) is a great amp. if you're rolling your own you could opt for a 12" speaker instead of the stock 10". the standard cabinet may even be big enough (i've built a combo using the same dimensions as a princeton with a 12" speaker but it's got a smaller chassis mounted like the tweed/blues junior style

    i believe there was a non-reverb blackface deluxe if you're looking higher power than the princeton. heck even a 6g2 would be an improvement over the tweed.... sounds like wet farts to me
     
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  8. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    @KraftyBob
    A 5E3 Tweed Deluxe can get you very close to Marshall-ish sounds, while still having a bit more of the "clarity" (not necessarily "clean-ness") that Fenders are famous for. Once you get into the Blackface models (especially Deluxe Reverb) you get scooped mids and the build becomes a bit more complicated, getting the reverb and it's circuit correct. A lot of folks really love the Brownface 6G3 Deluxe with tremolo, but no reverb. The tones tend to be in between a 5E3 Tweed and a Blackface. Then there is the Brownface 6G2 Princeton, which is highly revered for its glorious tremolo and its lower powered tones, although Mojo doesn't over a kit for this. I would likely suggest either a 6G3 Deluxe or a 5F2-A in lieu of a Champ. On the other hand, my 5E3 Tweed is one of my main gigging amps that sometimes gets swapped out for a DSL20CR. I put a passive effects loop in the 5E3 and it works great with high ends effects units!

    Many Choices!
    Gene
     
  9. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    Princeton's are freaking sweet. but its gotta have verb.
     
  10. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    If you're already re-building amps, I'd suggest scratch or semi-scratch building something, albeit along the lines of one of the classics. Source all the parts yourself. It's more fun, more time-consuming, and you'll learn more/get a lot more out of it IMO. I built a single channel AB763 W Reverb and it's awesome.

    Doug Hoffman of EL34World has premade eyelet boards for a bunch of single channel Fender type builds, or you can create one in DIY layout creator. Really nice fiberglass boards which he will add eyelets or turrets to for you.

    That said, if I was going to build a kit, it might have to be either a 5F6a or an AB763 Deluxe. Two totally different animals, but the Bassman is a great platform for modding and I probably leave the Deluxe as per the schematic.

    Also: the 20 dollar spring unit in my AB763 build BLOWS MY HALL OF FAME REVERB's frikkin doors off- don't underestimate the power of the spring.
     
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  11. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    Here’s my AB763 w 70’s chassis, transformers, and cab from a Silverface Twin. I also used a clothes iron and a wet towel to steam the top joints of the cab open to removed the trash particle board 2x12 baffle. I cut a new baffle out of found 13mm Birch ply. Eminence Guv’nor 8 ohm speaker sounds titty.
     

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  12. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Gene - this gives me an idea of the differences in these amps. I appreciate it.
     
  13. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I did think about building one from scratch, but thought for my first build it might be better to go the kit route. You’ve got me re-thinking this now
     
  14. Garrett

    Garrett Well-Known Member

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    I built a Tube Depot 5E3 kit a few years ago. Since you want more of the Fender sound you may want something from the Blackface or Drip Edge era's. This is more of the big round warm cleans that they excel at and are known for.

    The 5E3 is a GREAT amp but it is a bit of a one trick pony. It's an awesome trick but lends itself towards a Marshally tone when it's wound up.

    The 5E3 Tube Depot kit is a bit closer to 18 watts and as with any amp, it's loud. And if you want the goods you gotta crank it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Looks nice! I looked at the Tube Depot Kits but was not sure about the PCB vs the eyelet board that Mojotone uses. I also prefer the Jensen C12Q speaker that comes with the Mojotone over the Jensen Mod 12 in the Tube Depot. But, the Tube Depot is $200 less than the Mojotone so there's that.

    Any conners with the quality of the components - did you feel you needed to upgrade anything?
     
  16. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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  17. Madfinger

    Madfinger Well-Known Member

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  18. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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  19. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'
    l didn't think they made kits but after a quick check I see they do. I'll go through in more detail. Thanks
     
  20. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    A lot of Ceriatone fans. And not just for the amps themselves, but for the quality and support, if/when needed!If I weren't designing my own Frankenstein, I'd be building a Ceriatone! I may still do so, just because building amps is fun and rewarding in so many ways. All the time testing and tweaking forces us to play our guitars even more than normal, as well moving outside of our boxes to see what the amp can and can't do. Once the list of "can'ts" gets nearly as long as the "cans" its time build another! If you do a nice job and dot all the "I-s" and cross all the "T-s" you can likely get most, if not all your $$$ back in a sale! Not always the case, especially if you do a lot of "upgrades" to NOS components, PEC pots, Mercury iron, etc!

    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     

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