Other Amps

5E7 Bandmaster(Thanks Ethan)

1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted,just been busy as all get out helping my dad on some Allis Chalmers tractor resto projects and road burning chasing tractors.Along with my son & daughters music at church and school.My son is gone guitar and amp crazy and it’s tough as a parent to reign in but still encourage and feed the fire. But I did manage to feed a flame I’ve always had with the tweed 5E7 Bandmaster and it’s a dream Eathan (Powdog)@ CVA helped me out with.Something about 310’s and the tweed circuit always for as long as I can remember has intrigued me....and I absolutely love everything about this amp.I found a used tweed Mojo cab that was in really good shape and I used Gunstock oil on it that has turpentine as an ingredient so it hardens and tinted it pretty nicely.Then a stainless chassis from Weber and guts from Mojo to which Ethan made me a turret board swapped out the main caps.I already had two Eminence Ragin Cajun speakers so I figured what the hell,I’d buy one more to give it a go and it turns out with these three,it’s loud,punchy still breaks up where a tweed would just really bold not brash.What I really love is how,well not sure if the nature of the beast or speaker setup but it has this cool trail off on the notes that have a slight natural trem effect especially starting around the 4-5 spot on volume.Now if I can keep my son off it,would be great :)

3

I have two of them - one is my main stage amp, a Headstrong 5E7 that my buddy put a late 60's Super Reverb output transformer in so it's a little punchier and louder than stock, and it has one Celestion gold 10 and two Eminence alnico 10's.

The other one another friend built for me, has a regular (small) size classictone 2.6ohm OT, breaks up earlier and is not as loud, has a Celestion gold and two Weber 10A125's.

It's a great circuit with any speaker : tweed pros and supers are the same amp and are great too, sounds good with single or dual 12's too. (a low power tweed twin is almost the same amp with bigger iron).

4

I have a Tubeking Bandmaster that seems super loud to me but I love it. Amazing cleans and huge headroom. It's not a very forgiving amp, though. Not only it projects every detail of the used guitar but also the playing.

One more or less interesting bit is that the amp is very picky when it comes to overdrive pedals. I'm surprised that Tubescreamer-ish ODs sound fantastic - without the mid-overkill I expected - while a Lovepedal Purple Plexi and other "British" voiced ODs sounded harsh and scratchy.

5

Sascha, what kind of tubes (first preamp and rectifier?) and speakers do you have in yours? does it have a Super Reverb/Bassman size output transformer or the regular (much) smaller stock size?

6

Sascha, what kind of tubes (first preamp and rectifier?) and speakers do you have in yours? does it have a Super Reverb/Bassman size output transformer or the regular (much) smaller stock size?

– WB

I'll have to look later which tubes as I just played it as is since I bought it. Speakers are the Jensen P10Qs that I know you are not that excited about. They work for me clean and with several ODs. From time to time I hear a little fizzle in the sound that most AlNiCo speakers have. I think I tend to prefer Ceramic magnets and was considering a swap to something like WGS G10Cs or the Eminence George Alessandro 10-SC64.

7

I have two of them - one is my main stage amp, a Headstrong 5E7 that my buddy put a late 60's Super Reverb output transformer in so it's a little punchier and louder than stock, and it has one Celestion gold 10 and two Eminence alnico 10's.

The other one another friend built for me, has a regular (small) size classictone 2.6ohm OT, breaks up earlier and is not as loud, has a Celestion gold and two Weber 10A125's.

It's a great circuit with any speaker : tweed pros and supers are the same amp and are great too, sounds good with single or dual 12's too. (a low power tweed twin is almost the same amp with bigger iron).

– WB

Walter,do you have by chance a favorite speaker for this circuit? I really like these Emi Cajuns but I’m always curious too. The two Cajuns I had prior to buying the 3rd were in a friends Vibrolux that just sang for days then he sold it off but gave me the speakers.After trying a couple of 5e4 amp years ago I knew I had to have one of these ,now I’m just kicking myself for not doing it years ago.

8

Sascha something doesn't sound quite right there... I would suspect the speakers first, but are you using the bright channel or the normal channel? I rarely use the bright channel on these amps because, well, they're too bright! The only difference between the bright and normal channels is a cap on the volume pot and for me it adds a harsh treble spike that you don't really need.

I wouldn't worry if the Purple Plexi sounds scratchy because Love pedals often do sound overly bright to me.

I wonder if it's biased too hot? That can make it sound a bit brittle.

9

Gotta weigh in on this one! I have a Fender Bandmaster reissue. #13 of an initial run of 75. I don't believe Fender has ever issued another run of these, and I don't really care. In fact, I'm proud and happy to think I may be a member of a very select group. I've had it for about three years now and the thing just keeps sounding better and better - probably due to the gradual breaking in of the Jensen alnico speakers (10P-F I believe).

This amp is far and away the finest amp I've ever owned, and that list includes 60s issue Deluxe and Twin Reverbs, Mesa Boogies, Ampegs, Peavy's and a few others whose name I no longer recall. The 26 watts of power is perfect for clean jazz and country, yet still hits the classic edge of your seat distortion of blues and rock at the perfect level to play on stage with a band. I've used it in fairly large rooms without any need for help from the PA. And you can carry the thing around and still have enough back muscle to do the gig. The mojo out of this thing is actually beyond description for me. It is THE tone meister par excellance!

Can you tell I like it? Congrats on yours Michael. And I hope you get as much pleasure out of yours as I am getting out of mine...

10

Gotta weigh in on this one! I have a Fender Bandmaster reissue. #13 of an initial run of 75. I don't believe Fender has ever issued another run of these, and I don't really care. In fact, I'm proud and happy to think I may be a member of a very select group. I've had it for about three years now and the thing just keeps sounding better and better - probably due to the gradual breaking in of the Jensen alnico speakers (10P-F I believe).

This amp is far and away the finest amp I've ever owned, and that list includes 60s issue Deluxe and Twin Reverbs, Mesa Boogies, Ampegs, Peavy's and a few others whose name I no longer recall. The 26 watts of power is perfect for clean jazz and country, yet still hits the classic edge of your seat distortion of blues and rock at the perfect level to play on stage with a band. I've used it in fairly large rooms without any need for help from the PA. And you can carry the thing around and still have enough back muscle to do the gig. The mojo out of this thing is actually beyond description for me. It is THE tone meister par excellance!

Can you tell I like it? Congrats on yours Michael. And I hope you get as much pleasure out of yours as I am getting out of mine...

– General_Lee

Thankya sir and I agree the tone from this circuit is killer...I’ve not even glanced at my DRRI since I’ve had it.

11

Sascha something doesn't sound quite right there... I would suspect the speakers first, but are you using the bright channel or the normal channel? I rarely use the bright channel on these amps because, well, they're too bright! The only difference between the bright and normal channels is a cap on the volume pot and for me it adds a harsh treble spike that you don't really need.

I wouldn't worry if the Purple Plexi sounds scratchy because Love pedals often do sound overly bright to me.

I wonder if it's biased too hot? That can make it sound a bit brittle.

– JimmyR

Thanks, Jimmy. I'll definitely look into the amp on Thursday's rehearsal. So far I'm undecided and switching between the inputs. Mostly I use the bright channel / input 2 as it's simply not as loud as input 1. I was thinking of inserting my Weber Mini Mass attenuator as it gives the opportunity to find an even sweeter spot and just for the case it tames the treble it's not an overly bad thing here.

My Rockett Blue Note sounds great through it, the Barber Direct Drive (probably my all-time favourite) too. I was thinking of adding a 3rd sonic colour and really wanted to like the Purple Plexi. I tried this and several other drive pedals I still had. Fulltone PlimSoul, Nobels ODR, Carl Martin AC Tone etc. but nothing sounded right. I ended up selling those and put a trusty MXR Micro amp after the ODs. Maybe I should leave it like that. I'd really like to try a Bogner Ecstasy Blue since it offers all the features I want and everything I've heard so far sounded great to me.

@Michael: If you feel your thread hi-jacked just let me know. Play your amp in excellent health! Do you use a reverb pedal?

12

Walter,do you have by chance a favorite speaker for this circuit? I really like these Emi Cajuns but I’m always curious too. The two Cajuns I had prior to buying the 3rd were in a friends Vibrolux that just sang for days then he sold it off but gave me the speakers.After trying a couple of 5e4 amp years ago I knew I had to have one of these ,now I’m just kicking myself for not doing it years ago.

– Michael Williams

that really depends on what you're after - with three low wattage alnico speakers it's a blues amp, with celestions it'll be a pretty good rock amp, depends on what you want to hear. I'd think with three ragin cajuns you'd get maximum clean headroom from one of these, those are some pretty loud/efficient speakers, aren't they?

13

that really depends on what you're after - with three low wattage alnico speakers it's a blues amp, with celestions it'll be a pretty good rock amp, depends on what you want to hear. I'd think with three ragin cajuns you'd get maximum clean headroom from one of these, those are some pretty loud/efficient speakers, aren't they?

– WB

Ok,I gotcha and yessir they sure are loud,sensitive with a nice chime on the top end,no rubbery flubbery with these.I really like these speakers but was thinking of trying some alnico.Right now I’m digging it the way it is so I’m just open to options.

14

Hey Sascha I was going to suggest a Rockett pedal for you but didn't want to sound like a broken record! For a slightly thicker sounding version of the Blue Note the Majestic is great. Sounds amazing with all my guitars. For an even more ROCK sound I like to push a Rockett OD with a Red Rooster Booster clone or use something like a (modded) Angry Charlie or something like that.

The Bandmaster/Super/Pro circuit is a fave of mine and I use one with a single 12" Celestion Gold. And bigger iron and EL34s!

15

I'll have to look later which tubes as I just played it as is since I bought it. Speakers are the Jensen P10Qs that I know you are not that excited about. They work for me clean and with several ODs. From time to time I hear a little fizzle in the sound that most AlNiCo speakers have. I think I tend to prefer Ceramic magnets and was considering a swap to something like WGS G10Cs or the Eminence George Alessandro 10-SC64.

– sascha

Reason I'm asking about tubes is your comment about the amp being bright, harsh and stiff (?) makes me suspect you might have a GZ34 rectifier tube in there - I tried that for about a minute and went back to the original spec 5U4 in a hurry - makes the amp a little more relaxed, compressed and saggy and less strident and harsh. (another plus is that great NOS 5U4's that last are still plentiful and cheap, modern GZ34's are an accident waiting to happen at best)

And yes, (new) Jensen P10Q's won't help harshness IMO. WGSG10C's are overkill for that amp, they're a crazy efficient (LOUD!) speaker with a huge bottom end. WGS veteran 10's are a much better choice for that amp IMO, especially because you think it's loud already - and they're much sweeter on top than those Jensens. The Alessandro 10's are great too, little more expensive though and very similar to the WGS Vets.

I'm probably not the biggest help with pedals - I usually have a spring reverb in front of the amp and have the bass, treble and volume controls turned up about halfway. I use the odd clean boost set low, and for slide a kick in a Way Huge Red Llama, and for one or two tunes a Greer tonesmuggler - and those all work great with the amp.

16

Thanks guys, that's very valuable and helpful! I'll check and keep you updated.

17

Reason I'm asking about tubes is your comment about the amp being bright, harsh and stiff (?) makes me suspect you might have a GZ34 rectifier tube in there - I tried that for about a minute and went back to the original spec 5U4 in a hurry - makes the amp a little more relaxed, compressed and saggy and less strident and harsh. (another plus is that great NOS 5U4's that last are still plentiful and cheap, modern GZ34's are an accident waiting to happen at best)

And yes, (new) Jensen P10Q's won't help harshness IMO. WGSG10C's are overkill for that amp, they're a crazy efficient (LOUD!) speaker with a huge bottom end. WGS veteran 10's are a much better choice for that amp IMO, especially because you think it's loud already - and they're much sweeter on top than those Jensens. The Alessandro 10's are great too, little more expensive though and very similar to the WGS Vets.

I'm probably not the biggest help with pedals - I usually have a spring reverb in front of the amp and have the bass, treble and volume controls turned up about halfway. I use the odd clean boost set low, and for slide a kick in a Way Huge Red Llama, and for one or two tunes a Greer tonesmuggler - and those all work great with the amp.

– WB

This is helpful,thanks Walter!

18

I put my Bandmaster chassis into a 210 Super cab- the height and weight of the 310 was a bit of a nuisance. Now it's the size of a Hotrod Deluxe, but sounds much nicer!

19

I had a closer look today. The amp has modern Tung Sol 12AX7s preamp and 5881 power amp tubes. Rectifier is what looks like a NOS Sylvania 5U4. I tried the normal channel and it is indeed less bright (Who would have thought!) and sounds a little more balanced to me. I usually like 'bright' but maybe should ignore my habits here. Today it sounded very nice although I didn't experiment further with drive pedals. But...

... one thing drives me crazy. Sometimes I have an annoying noise that either comes from inside the amp or something outside like the power. It sounds like a cracker pea or a lash of a whip. Could that be a faulty cap? Here's some crappy phone pics I took.

24

I had a closer look today. The amp has modern Tung Sol 12AX7s preamp and 5881 power amp tubes. Rectifier is what looks like a NOS Sylvania 5U4. I tried the normal channel and it is indeed less bright (Who would have thought!) and sounds a little more balanced to me. I usually like 'bright' but maybe should ignore my habits here. Today it sounded very nice although I didn't experiment further with drive pedals. But...

... one thing drives me crazy. Sometimes I have an annoying noise that either comes from inside the amp or something outside like the power. It sounds like a cracker pea or a lash of a whip. Could that be a faulty cap? Here's some crappy phone pics I took.

– sascha

Did you build the amp? Do you like the Russian PIOs? Every time I’ve tried them I ended up taking them out. Too dark for my taste.

Pops or cracks can be something shorting out. If you play the amp in the dark sometimes you’ll see the arc.

25

The last time I had an intermittent cracking sound coming from my amp it was the power tubes crapping out. It sounded like a short or a power issue - but it was the tubes. A friend of mine had the same exact issue a couple of weeks earlier. We replaced the tubes and the noise was gone. With our amps it was infrequent then it became more frequent.

I notice that you have carbon comp resistors in there - sometimes they can develop a short inside. If you turn the amp on with the back panel removed you can use a wooden stick to gently tap each component - if one of them makes the loud noise when you tap it then it's probably the culprit.

But I would say it's probably power tubes. 90% of problems with tube amps are tubes.


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