It’s been a while since I last posted as I’ve been busy lately, but I hope to be posting a lot more in the days ahead… Happy New Year! Anyway, I thought I’d share something a little different from my effects pedal projects – a guitar amplifier build that I started back around Thanksgiving. In this case I’m just building a little something for my own personal enjoyment… a clone of a 1950′s Fender “Tweed” Deluxe Amplifier, one of the most revered blues/rock amplifiers of all time. The particular circuit/model was dubbed the “5e3″ so you’ll often see it referred to by amp builders in that manner.
An Original 1950s Fender "Tweed" Deluxe
U2/Edge gearheads will no doubt recognize this amp as one of the several beat up old Fender amps that Edge has had on tour with him since the Vertigo Tour, alongside his trusty Vox AC30s. It has been mentioned in magazine articles that this amp was used in the studio to record the song “Vertigo”. (Note: FWIW Edge used a Line6 DM4 distortion pedal on that song as well, so the sounds are rather too distorted to apprecate the sound of this amp IMO…) The amp is more famous for it’s use by those such as Neil Young, and many blues players, etc., etc…. I had the pleasure of to playing a 1950′s vintage Deluxe that was in my local guitar shop over the summer, fell in love with the tone on the spot, and this really had me itching to get one. Not just for U2-related sounds, but just for the good ol’ rock’n’roll vibes these things put out. The price of the particular vintage amp I played was around $1800, with new caps and speaker. I knew there were some kits around for this amp, so I started thinking it would be fun little project, and also a more economical way to go. After pricing out the cost of sourcing the various parts on my own vs. buying a kit, I decided to go with the Trinity Amps kit and then add a few different parts to it. Going with a kit costs a little more but it saves some time and hassle, and in the case of the Trinity kit, you get some nice documentation.
A couple of weeks after ordering here’s the jumble of parts that arrived in the mail: