I decided to see if a Weber 5F2A chassis would work for this. I knew the tube sockets would, but was more concerned over the third input jack. If it wouldn't fit, then I would just leave it out, but,
it turns out you can wedge the third jack in with 1/16" clearance on each side:
Here they are all mounted (you can see an early draft of the circuit drawing in these, too):
Next, I moved on to the extra tube socket holes:
Yes, I'm using the 6AV6 preamp tubes, I scored 5 RCA NOS 6AV6s for 99 cents! I've got the 7-pin socket going in the chassis (the 12AX7 shield base is just resting on the chassis, nothing is planned to go there):
I've got a set of Allen/Heyboer iron for it (TP25 and TO22) and here it is with all the hardware mounted before the circuitry work begins:
Here's everything else wired in:
And some final shots:
Here's the initial impression...it's REALLY clean compared to a 5E3. It's definitely very touch sensitive, though, and it picks up all the little finger noises on the strings...it feels great. Of course,
it could be that the NOS RCA 6AV6 preamp tube is helping in that department. The 12AX7 is a Tung-Sol RI and I have an NOS Tung-Sol 5Y3GT for the rectifier. I have JJ 6V6s in the power slots and I got it settled in at
68.5% max plate dissipation (measured against 14W max).
Man, I'm really impressed with this guy. I love the grunge of the tweeds, don't get me wrong, but I prefer them cleaner overall, so that the wide-open grit is still tight.
I will listen as the speaker gets some break-in time, but so far, I really really like it! I also plugged my OD pedal in at one point (MI Audio Blues Pro) and it really sounded nice! The amp really liked the pedal and it did what it was supposed to do to a 'T'. More so than with my Tweed Pro clone.
I'm wondering if the speaker break-in will affect a lot or just a little. I settled on the Weber Sig 10S Alnico for this amp.
I have been hearing a lot about how underrated these amps are, and now I believe it. I think that the clean tone is right on par with the 5E3, as is the feel, but the clean headroom is amazing for such a little tweed. This is the perfect grab'n'go amp for recording and practice. Especially considering how well it responded to the OD pedal.