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Why is the 5e3 circuit so expensive ?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by SilvaStrat, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. SilvaStrat

    SilvaStrat Strat-O-Master

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    I get that it is based on a icon amp , and fender sales for 2 grand , but let’s face doesn’t have much more components than a blues junior , and , if you buy the kit , guess what , the labor is on you ,
    Mojo tone kit is around 750.00 , If you want the amp alone , no tubes , no speaker , no cab it will run around 450,00 after tax an shipping .
    Funny thing is that even on the international resellers like AliExpress, as far I could see the price does not change enough to justify importing.
    I am not bashing , I really believe the amp is amazing , I want one , I really am questioning the value of the kit ? What makes it especial , that a components of a amp that you have to build yourself, costs more than a ready amp out of the assembly line ?
     
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  2. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    The magic is in the sum of the parts. The circuit, cabinet (huge factor in the magic) and the right speaker. I don’t mean this to be rude but if you play a proper 5e3 you will see, hear and feel the magic. I have the fender one but have played a very nice Boothill clone and an actual vintage 57 and all three were/are magical.

    One word of warning, a 5e3 is not an amp for someone who leaves the guitar volume on 10. By using the two interactive volumes and the tone on the amp and the one on the guitar you can get everything from mid scooped blackface fender to mid pushed Neil Young dirt. Oh and a big part of the cost (especially the fender) is they are handwired. Just look at the handwired version of the DRRI, it’s $2,400 vs about $1,100 for the regular version.

    And comparing it to a blues jr is like comparing a nice filet migon to a turd covered in A-1
     
  3. StillAlive&Well

    StillAlive&Well Senior Stratmaster

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    A-1, way to ruin a perfectly good turd.
     
  4. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Gold Member

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    My build is going to be pushing about $800. I guess I could have dug deeper into electronics catalogs to source parts. But is was very convenient to use a couple sources that specialize in parts for tube amps. So I may have paid a bit more. The transformers are not cheap. Those along with the speaker are at the top of the list in expense and are about half the cost. I am building the cabinet from scratch.
     
  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    It's simpler than a Blues Jr.. It's expensive because it's not mass produced outside of the US. Components become a small fraction of the price you'd pay for just 10 or 100 pieces when you buy 20,000 pieces. Even the expensive parts like transformers get to be only a few bucks at high quantity.
     
  6. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, the market says it is worth that price, though, you could totally source all the parts yourself independently and likely come out cheaper. I personally do not justify the price, therefore I do not buy one.
     
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  7. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I bought mine (a clone) used for less than 600$
    I bought my turd for 495$ , bottle of A-1 4.95$
    But I prefer to use ketchup o_O;).
     
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  8. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just to clarify I’m not saying the blues jr is a turd (even though I don’t dig them). I get they have their place. I have owned over 23 amps in the past 5 years including BF and SF Fenders (both RI and vintage), blues jr and deluxe, Marshall’s, Dumble clones, Friedman, Swart, Carr, Ampeg, Mesa, and several more I’m forgetting. Since buying my 5e3 I have not even watched amp demo videos or even thought about another amp. For me there is no other amp that can hold a candle to the 5e3 for dynamics, tone and joy to play. Of course if I was into heavy stuff or metal I’m sure I’d want something different.
     
  9. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    What we need is the Crown Prince of the 5e3 Mr. @fezz parka to add his knowledge and perhaps that awesome video of him showing what a 5e3 can really do to. I’m pretty certain that every time he posts that video another 5e3 gets bought or built.
     
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  10. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    The 5e3 has way fewer components than a blues jr (which is probably why it blows a jr away).

    Honestly, aside from the iron (transformers ) , and the speaker, there's a small handful of cheap components that make up rhe amp circuit.

    My guess is that's why it's a magical amp. Not a lot of parts to mess with your tone.

    There's no way I would pay thousands of dollars for one. Aside from sourcing a chassis, i could build one in a few hours. That is if I had the clean work space to do it.

    Kits are convenient, but you pay a premium for that convenience.
    Sourcing the stuff is work (easy work, but still work). Knowledge is expensive. You don't need it when you buy a kit, and have step by step instructions. You pay a premium for that.

    The actual circuit..... pretty simple.
     
  11. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    I tend to agree that they are way over priced. I can only guess that it is because they are not mass produced, they are handmade, they have expensive transformers, ... don't know?

    They are also a bit of a myth. Surely a great sounding amp but a bit of a one-trick pony. Not as your only amp - great alongside a BF Fender and a Marshall/Mesa.
    .
     
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  12. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    I agree that the small number of parts and simple circuit are major factors in the tone. What gets overlooked so often with this amp is the pine cab. The cab resonates and vibrates in concert with the amp contributing majorly to the sound. This is why most 5e3 players will tell you they have no need for reverb with this amp (unless you play surf stuff) unlike with BF Fenders.
     
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  13. SilvaStrat

    SilvaStrat Strat-O-Master

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    Is that right ? Man you made me more curious , I don’t like the hi gain stuff too , a have a couple of mesas and they get go , I am into old music , blues , jazz stuff , I try to to bond with metal stuff , sense I decide to play eletric , but is like make a cat eat tomato, is just not my thing ,
     
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  14. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

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    Chassis, iron, more iron, cab, speaker, and small parts = it costs more than mass produced stuff.

    I've got a pile of everything I need to build a good 5E3. I'll tally up the expenses and post here.
     
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  15. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    One trick pony if you don’t turn the knobs and are a leave the guitar on 10 player. If you use your guitar volume and the interactive volumes and tone on the amp you can get tones of different tones.
     
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  16. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Given the music your in to if you know how to ride the guitar volume knob then you will love the 5e3. In addition to selling two amps after getting my 5e3 I also sold all my dirt pedals except a boost and a fuzz. There was no longer any need for them in my rig. It’s really liberating and inspiring to just sit a delay and boost on the amp and rock out for a practice, jam or gig without having step on a bunch of pedals. Just turn the volume knob on the guitar and use the pickup selector and I get clean, slight grit, crunch and smooth lead tones.
     
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  17. aiaosu

    aiaosu Strat-Talk Member

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    The kit your mentioning is about $385 without shipping, which is expensive due to weight. The power and output transformers are about $150, the pre-drilled chassis about $75, and the eyelet boards with materials (caps, resistors, etc) end up about $100 (you may be able to source these cheaper but have to factor in shipping from somewhere else).

    Right there, you're looking at about $325 in materials alone, without tubes, cab, speaker, etc. Is there a mark-up, yes. Is it unreasonable, I don't think so, considering the fact that they source all of the materials and have them produced to their specs and include good instructions/support.

    As for what Fender charges, that is most likely labor, branding, and demand. I can't justify the cost from fender. As for a place like Mojotone, it seems pretty reasonable considering the support and materials, many of which aren't over the counter anymore.

    Just my 2 cents. I hope this isn't read with hostility or sarcasm, because I'm just trying to insert some thoughts into a friendly conversation.

    Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
     
  18. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Yep. Kits are a great option. The leg work is all done for you.
    The instructions etc.... everything is laid out for you.
    As a one off build, a kit is pretty hard to beat.

    If i was building a dozen or more of them..... i could come in way cheaper.
     
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  19. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    @Stratoskater
    Your comments are right on the money! I have an authentic clone and even have a fabulous attenuator to get it to the perfect volume while still allowing it to be at it's "Sweet Spot" for tone. It's "almost" the perfect amp! The only bummer for me is that I'm an echo junkie and like a bit of reverb, yet hate the way they sound at the input of the amp. And an effects loop installed into the simplicity of the 5E3 circuit just doesn't quite cut it! After a few months of rehearsin'/giggin' with a couple various great Marshalls for their loop, my 5E3 Tweed recently ended up near my desk when I needed to do a bit of personal practice and all I can say is OMFG! Now comes the quest for all that Tweed goodness/response while still having a properly functioning effects loop?

    And @esseff
    5E3 Tweed Deluxe is far from a "One Trick Pony" unless one modifies it or lacks imagination and tonal skills.

    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well said Gene. :)
     
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