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  1. #1

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    I borrowed a Tweed Deluxe for a month. It's a Fender 57 reissue.
    It sounds amazing with my Stratocasters. I can say I like the sound of the Tweed Deluxe better than my Deluxe Reverb WITH the Strats. One of my Strats is chambered and it's brighter. Especially with that Strat, it's the perfect pairing.

    However it's just way too bassy with my ES 175 with humbuckers. The bright and tight sound of Deluxe Reverb seems to balance the ES 175 better. So far I like the Deluxe Reverb with the ES 175 more than Tweed Deluxe.

    The caveat is, I haven't had a chance to turn it up much yet. I have a gig next week but that won't help as it's a restaurant gig without a drummer. I'll be able to test it better in the rehearsal room I'll be using soon.

    Do you prefer blackface or tweed Fender with a hollowbody guitar? I know Greentone is the tweed expert here, I'm hoping he will chime in as well.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-04-2020 at 05:02 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Definitely blackface for me, especially w humbuckers, but keep in mind that all those 50s early 60s lps were made w tweeds as blackface amps didnt exist yet.

  4. #3

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    I use to play a hollowbody, L5 clone with a paf humbucker with a Fender Blues deluxe, it was fine. But Tweeds are about sound that's breaking up a bit, and i don't see it working with a hollowbody? Then again they are about mid range, which is good since there's not much bass, so less feedback.

    I've tried both types with a semi hollow 335 for jazz though, and it sounds good through both. But, when you reach the end of clean headroom area, the blackface seem to be more controllable.

    The Fender 57 must be a great amp! I 'm having severe gas for one since i bought the Pro Junior!

  5. #4

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    One thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple tweed circuits and of course they will have different characteristics. I have three tweed era circuit amps that I prefer across the board to blackface amps, two are fantastic with electric archtops as is, and one is with an EQ in front.

    I have a 5C3 (Deluxe) and had a 5D3 for a while. They’re no slouches, but I’ve never really found any of the Deluxe amps, blackface or tweed, much to my liking with an archtop.

    The two that don’t need the EQ are a 5F8-A (high power Twin) and the other a 5F6-A (Bassman). They are usually at their best with an archtop when the tone controls are all set to zero. Although most guitars sound better in the normal channel, a few are better in the bright channel if they are on the boomy side.

    The third is a 5F11 (Vibrolux). That one is a little monster when overdriven through a solid body or semi-hollow. It sounds a little boxy to me with an archtop, but just a little tweak with an EQ pedal and it sounds fantastic. It doesn’t have a huge amount of clean headroom, but it has plenty for home playing.

    As to the edge of overdrive sound, that can be a good thing. Charlie Christian was clearly pushing his Gibson octal based amps at that edge and it sounds amazing.

  6. #5

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    I've played my 1961 ES-175D principally through blqckface amps. Princeton until very recently, when I moved to the ToneMaster Deluxe Reverb, which is an excellent clone for the 1965 DR with added benefits (attenuator, 3 impulse response outputs via XLR.... and weight). I've been more than happy with the performance of both with the 175 (as well as a 1962 CS strat, gretsch, various vintage ibanez....)

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    One thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple tweed circuits and of course they will have different characteristics. I have three tweed era circuit amps that I prefer across the board to blackface amps, two are fantastic with electric archtops as is, and one is with an EQ in front.

    I have a 5C3 (Deluxe) and had a 5D3 for a while. They’re no slouches, but I’ve never really found any of the Deluxe amps, blackface or tweed, much to my liking with an archtop.

    The two that don’t need the EQ are a 5F8-A (high power Twin) and the other a 5F6-A (Bassman). They are usually at their best with an archtop when the tone controls are all set to zero. Although most guitars sound better in the normal channel, a few are better in the bright channel if they are on the boomy side.

    The third is a 5F11 (Vibrolux). That one is a little monster when overdriven through a solid body or semi-hollow. It sounds a little boxy to me with an archtop, but just a little tweak with an EQ pedal and it sounds fantastic. It doesn’t have a huge amount of clean headroom, but it has plenty for home playing.

    As to the edge of overdrive sound, that can be a good thing. Charlie Christian was clearly pushing his Gibson octal based amps at that edge and it sounds amazing.

    Yeah I also have a 57 Champ. It doesn't have the "too much bass" problem Though it is a warm amp. I'll compare it with Tweed Deluxe using a 12inch cabinet to see if it gets as bassy through 12 inch speakers.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-04-2020 at 09:52 PM.

  8. #7

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    The 5E3 Deluxe tweed amp used 0.1mfd coupling caps in both the preamp and power amp stages. The shelf point on the low end of the spectrum with these caps in the circuit is about 10hz. The little amp passes all bass frequencies from infrasonic on up right through to the output transformer. Whatever the limitations of that transformer happen to be will determine the bass frequency response of the amp--and the speaker, of course.

    As such, the Tweed Deluxe has a huge amount of bass on tap _and_ no bass frequency roll off knob/circuit. This can be "too much bass" for some archtop guitars, although I haven't found this to be a problem, myself. I think the amp sounds outstanding (played clean) with an ES-175 or L-5. I do, however, like the 5f11 Vibrolux Tweed amp more in this application, with its 10" speaker.

  9. #8
    One thing I like about the tweed amps is the soft attack. It's not sag. It happens even in the lowest volumes. Just very mellow attack. If you get too used to hearing that, you may start perceiving blackface amps as harsh and brittle (they are not IMO). I'm curios what design element of the tweed amps cause that? Can you simulate that with a compressor pedal through blackface amps (by dialing out the attack)?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    The two that don’t need the EQ are a 5F8-A (high power Twin) and the other a 5F6-A (Bassman). They are usually at their best with an archtop when the tone controls are all set to zero. Although most guitars sound better in the normal channel, a few are better in the bright channel if they are on the boomy side.
    There's fans of Fender's new Tone Master amps (Deluxe and Twin) here in this forum. I'd love for them to do a Tone Master 5F6-A Bassman.

  11. #10

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    Raising your Tweed amp off the floor will de-emphasize the bass and improve projection of the mids+, allowing you to play with less actual volume, increasing overall clarity while retaining warmth. Worth a try.

  12. #11

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    This is a very worthwhile thread. Interesting observations on tone and affecting the tone. So, the present ToneMasters are "blackface based". I wouldn't be surprised to see Fender do some "Tweed" versions. It seems that everyone has wanted a Tweed Bassman. Wouldn't it be great to have an affordable "clone" version without the weight, and with allll the benefits of the ToneMaster pedigree!

    Which reminds me, isn't the Blues Cube Artist based on a Tweed circuit, with less weight, solid state, and with an attenuator? Or must we have Fenders?

  13. #12

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    My view on these kinds of questions is, the one you like is the right one.

    Great sounds are made by people who try lots of things, find what they like and learn to get the most out of it. There are no rules, and other peoples' opinions really aren't all that helpful. The only thing that matters is what your ears like. Besides, the thrill is in the chase. Good luck with your journey.

  14. #13

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    I tried dual humbucker basswood guitar via Fender Hot Rod Deluxe clean, pretty much like cheaper and less quality version of Bassman 59. Similar clean sound.

    I did love it. I absolutely adore it.
    For some, sound was too dull, and too warm and too undefined with basswood humbuckers.
    I guess some would prefer Strats on it.

    But I did dig sound, a lot.

  15. #14

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    I find the 175 bass a bit of a monster to deal with with bassy fender amps.

    After years wrestling and frustration with a a Princeton I have put a 12 Celestion Gold in it which really does tame the combination and it is much much louder. The extra mid, tight bass and extended high of the Gold I really dig.

    The cream of my journey was having a bass knob put in the back and now the eq is excellent for the 175. My sound is probably now more Tweed sounding than Brown face even though the amp is a Blackface clone, yes that much extra mid.

    Still the best amp I have heard my 175 through was a Tweed Deluxe clone I am just nervous of the head room for jazz. Certainly on 2 volume it was the Midnight Blue sound and I ain't talking Lou Gram although that sound was in there with volume at 2.5.

  16. #15
    There have been some improvements. I raised the amp. I also realized that the channel I was using that was marked as "Mic" is the normal channel. I switched to "Instrument" channel and turned to tone up. Made a huge difference. Now the bass is much more acceptable with the ES 175.

    I was surprised how much the two channels sound different. Another surprising thing is the tone knob. It's very effective and it sounds good throughout it's whole range. It never gets too harsh (up) or muffled (down). There are a lot of tonal variations in that amp. I didn't even do the jumper thing yet.

    I still like the sound of ES 175 through the Deluxe Reverb quite a bit more. May be I'm too used to that sound. With the tweed deluxe to me it sounds a little dull and a bit too colored by the tweed sound.

    On the other hand, Tweed Deluxe sounds phenomenal with my chambered strat. It's so good that it's almost tempting to sell everything and just have a strat and tweed deluxe. But I won't give up my archtops.

    So my conclusion is, I seem to like Tweed's with single coils and Blackface's with humbuckers. I almost never play my strats with the Deluxe Reverb. Just don't dig it.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-05-2020 at 01:13 PM.

  17. #16

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    I find that this video of a 5e3 tweed deluxe clone pretty helpful at demonstrating some of the possibilities for finding a bit of variation in that circuit. I've got no experience with the builder, but I find the video matches up pretty well with my experiences with vintage tweed deluxe and tremolux (5e9 and 5e9a) amps.



  18. #17

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    The "Instrument" input and the "Mic" input sound markedly different on the tweed amps. I prefer the Mic input when using solid-body Fender guitars, but I like the Inst input with an archtop with a set-in humbucker(s).

  19. #18
    Instead of getting a Tweed Deluxe I'm thinking about getting a 2x10 cabinet for the Champ at some point. I'm guessing Champ through 2x10 would be just as loud as Tweed Deluxe with 1x12.
    Internal speakers of 57 Reissue tweed amps can be unplugged (one difference from the originals). Of course you have to make sure not to turn the amp on by mistake when no load is present. So I played my Champ through the cabinet of the Tweed Deluxe. It sounds very close to the Tweed Deluxe through the same cabinet even though there is a small impedence mismatch. It's certainly within the range of sounds you can get from Tweed Deluxe. At least the clean sounds. Overdriven sounds may differ more, not sure.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Instead of getting a Tweed Deluxe I'm thinking about getting a 2x10 cabinet for the Champ at some point. I'm guessing Champ through 2x10 would be just as loud as Tweed Deluxe with 1x12.
    Definitely, especially if you choose sensitive 10s.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Instead of getting a Tweed Deluxe I'm thinking about getting a 2x10 cabinet for the Champ at some point. I'm guessing Champ through 2x10 would be just as loud as Tweed Deluxe with 1x12.
    Internal speakers of 57 Reissue tweed amps can be unplugged (one difference from the originals). Of course you have to make sure not to turn the amp on by mistake when no load is present. So I played my Champ through the cabinet of the Tweed Deluxe. It sounds very close to the Tweed Deluxe through the same cabinet even though there is a small impedence mismatch. It's certainly within the range of sounds you can get from Tweed Deluxe. At least the clean sounds. Overdriven sounds may differ more, not sure.
    I have my Silverface Vibro Champ connected to a 60's Gibson/Epiphone 2x10 speaker cab loaded with CTS AlNiCo speakers. I'm not sure how loud a Tweed Deluxe is, but my Champ sounds wonderful through this ext. cab.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Instead of getting a Tweed Deluxe I'm thinking about getting a 2x10 cabinet for the Champ at some point. I'm guessing Champ through 2x10 would be just as loud as Tweed Deluxe with 1x12.
    Internal speakers of 57 Reissue tweed amps can be unplugged (one difference from the originals). Of course you have to make sure not to turn the amp on by mistake when no load is present. So I played my Champ through the cabinet of the Tweed Deluxe. It sounds very close to the Tweed Deluxe through the same cabinet even though there is a small impedence mismatch. It's certainly within the range of sounds you can get from Tweed Deluxe. At least the clean sounds. Overdriven sounds may differ more, not sure.
    One of my Champs is a 5f1 circuit with two, parallel single-ended 6v6 tubes in the power amp section. It's basically a Champ with two parallel finals. It generates not double the output of a 5f1 Champ, but more like maybe eight watts. It's definitely louder than my other Champs. I have a 4 x 10, 4-ohm cabinet for it. The setup is a little beast. Honestly, though, I don't think the amp--even with the multiple 10" speakers--is louder than my 5e3 Deluxe amps. The "big" Champs sure does sound nice, though.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    One of my Champs is a 5f1 circuit with two, parallel single-ended 6v6 tubes in the power amp section. It's basically a Champ with two parallel finals. It generates not double the output of a 5f1 Champ, but more like maybe eight watts. It's definitely louder than my other Champs. I have a 4 x 10, 4-ohm cabinet for it. The setup is a little beast. Honestly, though, I don't think the amp--even with the multiple 10" speakers--is louder than my 5e3 Deluxe amps. The "big" Champs sure does sound nice, though.
    Makes sense. My thought process was, 5 watts to 12 watts could be only a few decibel difference but it could be more I'm not sure. If it is, than may be larger speaker area, more efficient speak etc can make up for it. But may be that's too much a gap. Either way, I'm more interested in the tonal differences with the larger cabinet than the power.

  24. #23

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    I think you will like the tonal differences

  25. #24

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    My 5E3 is a Mission Amps kit that I built up. I'm using a Cannabis Rex speaker with it. It is quite bassy which, as you know, works well with Fender solid body guitars and single coil pickups. Bruce of Mssion Amps offers a mod for the amp called the Humbucker I and Humbucker II mods. These are switched so that you can bring them in or out of the circuit as desired. The cool thing is that when engaged, if you plug into the bright or instrument channel, then the volume knob for the mic or normal channel becomes a high pass filter- rolling off the bass very nicely. I found this mod made that amp work very well with my archtop guitars.

  26. #25

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    Funny... when I think my experiences with Silverface Princeton Reverb and Tweed Deluxe clone are quite different but both have one common thing: too much bass.

    Princeton had too much treble too. And too little mids. I always wondered, why do I play with an amp which’s eq must be adjusted 0 and 0.

    Tweed has a pleasant upper and mid register, I like also the soft attack.

    But the bass department needs serious cap work.

    One must remember that almost all the time I have had a ’70s/’80s Polytone to compare to. That has saved me often from the unperfectness of Fender circuits.

  27. #26

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    Greentone: that's interesting. However, I found that my Sebring L-5 with HB pickups reached feedback levels very quickly in the normal input of my tweed 5E3 Deluxe, even in my studio, but switching to the Mic input seemed to resolve the problem producing a clean, warm tone. Why is this? Is the Mic channel a lower input channel?
    Last edited by mmdavis; 02-08-2020 at 11:30 PM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Funny... when I think my experiences with Silverface Princeton Reverb and Tweed Deluxe clone are quite different but both have one common thing: too much bass.

    Princeton had too much treble too. And too little mids. I always wondered, why do I play with an amp which’s eq must be adjusted 0 and 0.

    Tweed has a pleasant upper and mid register, I like also the soft attack.

    But the bass department needs serious cap work.

    One must remember that almost all the time I have had a ’70s/’80s Polytone to compare to. That has saved me often from the unperfectness of Fender circuits.
    I had similar EQ issues with my vintage '68 Silverface PR and solved it by having the amp serviced immediately after purchasing it. Then I swapped out (and stored) the original speaker, replacing it with an Emi Legend. Now it has a strong, tight bass and crisp highs.

    These are great amps, but like many of us, are old and need special TLC!
    Last edited by Gitfiddler; 02-08-2020 at 08:26 PM.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    I had similar EQ issues with my vintage '68 Silverface PR and solved it by having the amp serviced immediately after purchasing it. Then I swapped out (and stored) the original speaker, replacing it with an Emi Legend. Now it has a strong, tight bass and crisp highs.
    These are great amps, but like many of us, are old and need special TLC!
    Swapping the speakers is needed in many cases, that’s true. I have had tens – or tons – of them. Some have tighter bass, some have it tighter and louder.

    DIY Tweed Clone is best because changing the capacitors to different values is easy, because it is DIY.

    Luckily I have a Quilter TB202 too which sounds close to perfect with almost any speaker.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    As to the edge of overdrive sound, that can be a good thing.
    Do you mean Wes Montgomery's sound like here:



    or going past that? I love his sound in that clip; very warm and broody, but you still hear every note distinctly. Lovely playing too, of course.