Other Equipment

Pedals and Fender Narrow Panel Tweed amps


I have to say my tweedTremolux sounds so good I hate to even put my delay through it, but since I am not really a petals guy take it with a grain of salt. They just break up so nice at a reasonable volume and are pretty pick responsive to where an overdrive just seems a bit superfluous. If you really are a big effects fan and need them, just need to account for that.


I'd love to get a 5E3, probably just right for current playing. At one time I had a SF Princeton, SF Deluxe, BF Vibrolux, and BF Super Reverb to choose from. (I was buying and selling a lot of equipment then as a sideline.) So I've experienced the luxury of being able to select the right size amp for the room. Would love to experience the tweed version of that but my current circumstances don't allow for that.

If I had time I'd like to build a 5E3 from a kit.

Is the Tremolux fairly similar in characteristics to the Deluxe? I believe they're both around 15w with 12" speakers.


The tweed tremolux and deluxe are very similar, there are some differences in addition to the addition of tremolo, including a larger cabinet size for the 5e9. If you're looking to build one, kits and cabs are harder to come by.

The blackface tremolux (which I have, all '63 parts but an April '64 chart) is basically a vibrolux as a head. I have mine in a 2x10" combo cab for convenience, so really like a vibrolux. It's basically going to be about as loud as your 5e7.


The Tweed Vibrolux sacrifices some gain to run the tremolo, and has 10" speaker. I think it was rated at 10-12 watts.


There are two narrow panel tweed tremoluxes. The 5E9 is a 5E3 with a trem circuit, varying the paraphrase PI cathode bias. The 5G9 is a different animal, with fixed bias, long tail pair PI and a power tube bias vari trem circuit. A buddy of mine owns the 5G9 that's in the Aspen Pittman book, and says it has a lot more headroom than his 5E3s.


The Tweed Vibrolux 5F11 is indeed a lot like a 5E3 Deluxe, and if you make it with a 12" speaker it is a sweet amp. It's not as loud as a 5E3 as JB points out, but that's because it's fixed bias rather than cathode biased and uses NFB which the 5E3 doesn't have. It has a much milder range of dirt than a 5E3 but I really like it. In some ways it's more usable, as it doesn't turn to mush like a 5E3 can.

Build 'em right and they're all good!


Some interesting options. Like to try out those amps, maybe next time I'm in a large enough city you might find shops that carry examples, vintage or repro. My first amp was a wide panel Pro stripped of the tweed and painted grey. $50 from a pawn shop. Sounded bad at home volume but divine when cranked. (My parents hated it which made me happy at the time.) Have had a sweet spot for the tone of that type of circuit on the edge ever since.

It looks like Victoria offers both versions of the Tremolux circuit, 5E9 and 5G9 with the latter costing $5 more. Both over $2400. It seems like the 5E3 is most popular, more variants out there, and most likely to find a decent price on. I do have a friend locally with one I could probably swap for the 5E7 for a few days and get a feel for it.

For the time being I'll probably try some adjustments with tubes to the 5E7, see if that gets the tube saturation / volume ratio closer to where I need it. And see if I can get the Princeton Reverb sorted out for lower volume situations.

I spent two weeks in the hospital last month after a motorcycle accident. I have insurance but with deductibles and co-pays I expect my finances will be taxed for awhile so it will be awhile before I can think of adding another amp. Although if I sell the motorcycle and all the gear as my friends and family are encouraging me to maybe I could. Music is probably a safer pursuit.


Yeah but motorcycles can be so much fun! I am lucky that my wife encourages my motorcycling - maybe she has a life insurance policy on me I don't know about. For me motorbikes are equal parts riding and fettling. So if I'm not building amps or pedals or tweaking guitars I'm working on my bike. Plus we're a one-car couple so the bike is very handy.

I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I suspect that if I had spent two weeks in hospital I might feel differently about riding.


Thanks,I'm giving it some time anyway. 7 years of riding through Los Angeles traffic with out a scratch, several cross country trips and my first accident on an easy country road with no cars. Just lost my focus long enough.

I used to have a classic BMW from the 50's when I lived in L.A. I moved to Mississippi for a job and it turns out 'the' expert of vintage BMW restoration lives about 10 miles from here, has a collection of over 70 bikes going back to 1923. I visit his shop from time to time to geek out.


I built a 5F11 once with a 12" and three-know tube reverb. It wasn't loud or aggressive, but had a very sweet sound to it!


So reverb instead of the tremelo, or vibrato. Wondering if vibrato on that amp would be different from tremelo on the tremolux? I never considered it but Fender is using two different terms on those amps which I think are different variations of an idea.


I have a Weber attenuator (Mass 200) I use for my 100 watt Marshalls and I like it. But I've never even thought about using it for my Fenders (tweed or otherwise) so I can't really say.

Have you considered a BrownBox from AmpRX to cut the voltage? I have their Brownie and use it to cut the power from the 120 volt wall outlet to my 6B6-B bassman to 110 volts.


With the truly vintage tweed Fenders wasn't the wall voltage much lower back in the day? Like 112 ? I know I've heard of some studios using the BB to power up vintage equipment. My version was built mid 90's so I imagine designed to work with modern higher voltage. Whats the effect on your Bassman when you use the BB to lower voltage to 110 ?

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