Buying a Fender kit - need help determining which one

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

  1. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    A vote here for a Princeton
     
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  2. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    I built the Tube Depot version 5e3. It wasn’t period correct specs, had blackface style transformers. It was also very muddy. I ended up using the Mojotone board and iron to rebuild it. Sounds great now but you might consider a slight mod to it. All those .1 caps add a ton of bass. I changed out the first 2 in the preamp for .022’s I also notice that Fender did that instead with the second two in the PI section for their Edge (U2) signature model. So, yes, go with the Mojotone kit.

    This pic shows the Mojotone board but was before replacing the iron or changing out the .1 caps in the preamp.

    A8DA1812-4638-4353-B6BC-F78FD02CAAF9.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  3. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice job and good to know about the caps. I'll check the parts list to see what they're including these days.

    What did you end up doing with the ground switch? I've read that a lot of people building these wire it as a standby.
     
  4. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    I built a Mojo Tone 5e3 kit and love it...
    It's like Fender & Marshall had a baby.
    The fat bounce of a Fender, and grinding distortion of a Marshall.

    Warning: These amps favor single coils.

    Buy a kit.
    If you try to alacart a build, the shipping cost of individual parts from different places will kill you.

    I just went through this, and decided to just order a '64 Fender Princeton handwired.
    All the work is done, and I can just get on with playing for the same price as building one the way I want.
     
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  5. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    I didn’t wire a ground switch due to the 3 prong power cord. I eliminated the standby switch because the amp made a crazy screeching noise when I turned it off using that switch. It has a single switch for off and on. But there is an empty hole in the control panel. I believe that the design of that tube rectifier makes a standby unnecessary.
     
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  6. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Build a BF Bassman into a 1x12" combo, it'll do everything.
     
  7. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    That's a good point.
     
  8. Garrett

    Garrett Well-Known Member

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    The PCB is thick as well as the traces. Not a great picture but you can see the PCB. Very easy to work with and can change components easily due to the thick copper traces. It's not totally period correct but you can change them easily enough. Use to come with a Classic Tone transformer but who knows what they ship with now. The cab is made by Mojotone, very nice.

    The Jensen speaker with it sucked. Love the WGS G12Q in it. Knocks off the loose flubby low end. Some people like the flub others don't and easy enough to mod.

    They don't give you carbon comp resistors but also easy to change to taste.

    And if no one mentioned it yet, the volume knobs are crazy touchy on this circuit. 0-1 on the dial can be finicky. Full volume is around 3-4 on the knobs and after that it's just saturation. It is loud but a classic for a reason.

    The old champ is also another great one too in the tweed family.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know that I'd want carbon comp resistors anyway. Even though they are period correct, they can be noisy so that's one area I wouldn't mind having a more modern touch :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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  10. Garrett

    Garrett Well-Known Member

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    I'm not advocating The Tube Depot Kit over any other, just me experience. If you're ever in the Detroit area let me know and bring your favorite guitar and you can give it a whirl.
     
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  11. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I appreciate the offer - thank you. Being in Detroit have you heard about the Bruce Egnater build class that he does? That's what got me started on this path as I was first thinking about doing that one. The problem for me is 1) his build is very much like a Marshall and I'm looking for something else (e.g. 5E3), and 2) his class is in person, and while they are limiting the number of people due to COVID, I'm immunocompromised so I don't want to sit in a class with other people no matter how small it is.

    Thanks again for the offer.
     
  12. lshindel

    lshindel Member

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    If you want reliability go with a black face or silver face fender. You might look into a super Reverb, there are 40 Watts using four 10 inch speakers but whatever Fender you choose you really got to crank them to get any kind of distortion. Now if you want distortion look into a hot rod DeVille or a blues DeVille. They are PCB but do have distortion.
     
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  13. dna9656

    dna9656 Active Member

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    I had a Vibro Champ amp black face. Paid SIXTY FIVE US Dollars for it in 19(never mind) couldn't get it to over drive to save my life. Got a Fuzz face, totally cool except it received WCUE AM; the local station across the Gorge in OH. USA. It made me nuts; no reverb! But the Vibro Champ sure sounded nice playing along with John Fogarty....
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  14. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    Actually...Joey Voltage once commented that modern CC resistors have better specs than some metal film.
    I'll religiously use CC's at the input, and for all grid stopping positions...and that's about it.
     
  15. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    input is the absolute worst place for noise, especially that 1M to ground. use the highest wattage metal film practical there
     
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  16. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think I'm going to go in a different direction - at least for now. I picked up what looks like a brand new Hot Rod DeVille IV last weekend that wouldn't power on for $250. My intention was to fix and resell it thinking on the high end it might need a new power transformer. Turns out the power switch was bad and $7 later I have a fully functional amp. Then I played it and was really surprised how much I like it - especially the drive channel. I read that a lot of people only use the clean channel and pedals for dirt, but apparently Fender updated the drive channel on the IV series and it sounds really good.

    So I'm thinking I'll keep the DeVille and hold off on the 5E3 build for now. I don't want to do both as I'm not interested in building up my amp collection again. I know they're two different types of amps, which is why I may change my mind sometime in the future.

    I appreciate everyone's input and recommendations.

    Here's the DeVille
    HR DeVille.jpg
     
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  17. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    You could always gut that Deville later and turn it into a 5E3 if you want.
     
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  18. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    :funny:
     
  19. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Not a bad idea but I could get a lot more money selling this amp and buying a tweed cab than converting it. Either way I would need to buy the guts so the cab is the only difference. Plus I'd want a Tweed cab if I have a 5E3. Thanks though
     
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