In this next video, Darren is playing a Tokai Silver Star. The cleans on this next video show how this amp can sound really chimey when combined with the single coils of the Tokai and the openness of the oversized Fargen cab.
In this next video, Darren is playing a CIJ 2006 vintage re-issue Fender Telecaster. This time the speaker cab is a 300w 2×12 Hiwatt loaded with Fane speakers. The Hiwatt cab is closed at the back, which I found really compressed the sound of this amp and chokes the clean sound to the point it becomes a bit muddy, so we don’t do a clean demo. But as you can hear, when mixed with a little distortion, the tight and compressed signal makes for a fantastic Rock amp. The distortion used is a ProCo Rat2.
In this last video, I played the amp clean, still using the Hiwatt cab, but this time I removed the back, letting the cab breath a little more allowing for a little more openness and chime of the amp to come through.
Even though many would consider the 5E3 to be a one trick pony, this amp does do that classic slightly broken up brown sound really well. But, you either need to use an attenuator or play really loud to get there.
I found using different speaker cabs made a huge difference with this amp. Running through the Fargen cab and combined with single coils, this amp produced a big, open and roomy sound that was quite chimey and very Fenderish. The Fargen has a single 12″ Celestion G12H positioned in an oversized cab.
At low volumes using single coils, the dry sound was very clean and full which reminded me of a big ol’ Twin.
The simplicity of this amp certainly has both Pro’s and Cons. It’s a two channel amp with both high and low inputs. One channel is for the instrument, the other for a mic. The only controls you have is the one tone and a volume for each channel.
Although it does break up early in relation to what volume levels this amp is capable of, the breakup volume is still LOUD. For a bedroom rocker, to hear this amp hit it’s sweet spot and begin to break up, you would definitely need to use an attenuator.
The head cab is extremely well made from marine ply and their is plenty of ventilation, allowing for the amp to keep cool. The back panel of the amp is also very simple, with an ohm selection switch and two speaker out jacks. There is no effects loop on my amp, but I think the newer models come with an effects loop as a standard feature now.
With the back panel off, you can see there is plenty of room inside of the head cab, so doing a tube change or pulling the amp chassis out of the cab is no problem.
With the amp out of the cab, you get to see the extent of the quality of these Ceriatone amps. The wiring and workmanship is impeccable.
The Alpha pots are extremely smooth and touch sensitive.
The transformers are stock Ceriatone.
The Tweed Deluxe takes pedals very well, and it matches up perfectly with a TS type overdrive for a classic old school rock tone. It does have a lot of tonal capabilities, and would suite Jazz, Blues and Rock musical genres.
It is an honest amp, very much a case of what you see is what you get, and it is quite responsive to whatever guitar or speaker cab is being used. I thought that as a rock amp the closed cab sounded great, for a nice and clean open tone you would probably want to use an open back cab.