After Months in Development - the Speed Shop 5F4 Super is Here!
This is no off-the-rack, run-of-the-mill repro Super. This is a seriously tuned and dialed-in machine that makes single coils sound huge and humbuckers gigantic. (The classic 5F4 DNA is rather similar to the JTM45.) With a super smooth frequency response and lots of tonal variety on tap, this combo covers a lot of ground; from classic Tweed cleans to singing, stinging leads and tight focused rhythms. No overdrive pedals necessary. Great for gigging (and reasonably lightweight) with two AlNiCo 10s at 40 watts RMS. The Speed Shop 5F4 is also a wonderful studio amp, providing lots of colors from a mid-centric palette that will sit in a mix.
To get here required a ton of tweaking, playing, and listening, and repeating, repeating, repeating, etc., to get the best out of this circuit. (Several months in my spare time.) The stock Super is an amp that was founded in the 50s, but honestly is still stuck in the '50s as far as tonal versatility is concerned. Granted, the vintage Supers have a mojo that is all their own, but starting from scratch I wanted to see if the circuit would respond to mild tuning to open it up.
The result is a Super that really lacks nothing compared to it's [expensive and rare] vintage brothers, but simply excels when you crank it up while offering a much wider range of tonal options. The original 5F4 Supers (and twin-circuit 5E7 Bandmasters) are often cited for their bass-heaviness and treble control taking too large a range out of the signal, as well as a frequency response that is scooped to the max. What I did to remedy this included rolling-off some of that bass response, and spreading out the bass and treble shelves while bringing up the midrange a bit. However, the amp remains a true Tweed Super as this tuning was accomplished through only the adjustment of component values, so Fender's original Super circuit has not been modified. Add to that my A10Q speakers, which rival the best vintage Jensens P10Qs in performance, as well as a rare and unique vintage output transformer, plus EL34 power - and you get a Tweed Super amp that is very special with tone and performance like no other 5F4 - repro or vintage.
Of course, this amp will also run 5881s, 6L6GCs, and more. Just re-bias.
Please note: I try to ensure there is always room to successfully dial in an instrument's tonal response as it is important that amplifiers respond well to different guitars and pickup selections. I use several guitars to accomplish this, each one fitted with completely stock and/or original spec (not overwound, etc.) pickups. The primary guitars I use to develop my amps are: 1968 Gibson ES-335, 1998 Fender AVRI '57 Strat with Lindy Fralin Vintage Hot pickups (all under 6 ohms DCR), 2010 LSL T-Bone (Don Mare Hayride bridge pickup) 1960 Gibson Les Paul Jr. These guitars are all stock unless otherwise mentioned. Strings are 10s. Also, to provide the most accurate representation of my amplifiers tone and performance, pedals are never used in my demos; likewise, no EQ or other processing is used. I try to make sure that what you hear in my demos is a very close representation of the sound of the amplifier that I am hearing in the room. (Although it's not hi-fi, I often use a small Canon camera to record demos because it conveys the sound and feel in the room so well.)
In closing, I want to relate that I'm not here to build Tweed era amps by the book, cobbling together the most common or cost effective parts, then absolving myself of mediocre results with the excuse, "that's the way Fender made them." Rather, I'm doing this to take what Fender originated, keep it as original as possible, but uniquely take it to a higher performance level - with utmost care and attention to detail, using the finest new and NOS components I can source; using my own speakers and transformers when applicable.
I endeavor to build the best possible amplifiers I can, with no excuses. I am a lifelong guitarist continuing to strive to be the best player I can be; and I require that my amplifiers deliver inspiring tone and response toward that end. I rely that directing the development of my amplifiers through the filters of my experience as a guitarist, my ears, and my musical sensibilities result in the optimization of the performance of my amplifiers, such that my work will continue to resonate with other players searching for inspiring amp performance.
If you're interested in the finest Super or other Tweed-era amp, please give me a call at 239-689-5941. It would be my pleasure to build a great amp for you.
Prototype Super (featured in the demo videos and photos) configuration: RCA preamplifier (12AY7, 12AX7, 12AX7) and 5U4 rectifier, New Tung-Sol EL34B power tubeset. Heavy relic cabinet. 2x 10" A10Q AlNiCo speakers. NOS PIO and film/foil signal caps. Allen Bradley resistors. Mercury Magnetics power transformer, Hammond choke, vintage Schumacher output transformer. NOS sockets. CTS and AB pots. Carling switches and switchcraft jacks. Heavy-duty steel chassis. This One-off custom build prototype is currently available. Contact Rondo for more info.
August 2020: New studio track "Wired" from Rondo
Notes: Funk rhythm guitars: Strat though RecPro Audio Tube DI / Ashley SC-50 Compressor, First lead fills / solo guitar at the fade: Strat through Speed Shop 5F4 Super, Heavy verse guitar riff (doubling the bass guitar): 335 through Speed Shop 5F4 Super, Verse guitar double stops: 335 through Speed Shop 5F4 Super, Chorus guitars: 335 through Speed Shop 5F4 Super, Solo guitar: 335 through Speed Shop 5E3-P2P, No pedals or EQ used on any guitars, all guitars are straight in , Compression, reverb and harmonizer (solos) used on the mix. Download the MP3 here: Wired
Tweed 5F4 Super w/5881s / Stock Tele:
Tweed 5F4 Super w/EL34s / 40 Watts - Stock Strat:
Tweed 5F4 Super w/EL34s / 40 Watts - '68 335:
All amplifiers are built to order with current lead times of 4-6 weeks. A deposit of $1000 is appreciated with all orders and the balance payable prior to shipping. Please contact Rondo for a complete quote. PayPal is preferred, check and wire transfers accepted. International orders welcome.
All amplifiers are guaranteed against defects in workmanship and materials for a period of 1 year, parts and labor, with shipping costs the responsibility of the owner. This warranty is voided in the event of abuse, misuse, or any modifications to the circuit performed by third parties or otherwise unauthorized personnel. Vintage components provided on an as-is basis.
All Tweed Deluxe Speed Shop amplifiers are fully tested and auditioned by Rondo prior to shipping.
Tweed Deluxe Speed Shop | PO Box 855 | Sanibel, FL 33957 | 239-689-5941
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