NAD: Low Power Tweed Twin 5E8-A, Achillies Amps

Splattle101

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It's a hand made clone of a low power Twin, made in Melbourne Australia by a mob called Achillies (yes, it's spelled that way: see pic above). It was sitting in a hock shop in minty condition at a reasonable price, so I made an unreasonably low offer and they accepted it. Oops.

It's very nicely made. The cabinet is dovetailed pine. The tweed is very neat. All the electrical gubbins is high quality. I took its pants off and had a look before I bought it, and the guts seem unmolested and original, and very neatly done with high quality caps, switches, wire, resistors, etc. These ship with Jensen P12Rs, but a previous owner replaced them with Celestion Creambacks (65 Watts). In my book, that's an upgrade (although that didn't stop me using the 'non-original' speakers to knock another few hundred $ off it).

I need another amp like I need a hole in the head, but it does thump nicely. Two 12" Celestions, driven by a pair of 6L6s in fixed bias class AB: errrmmmapherkingherd, the BANDWIDTH!! Snap, sting and punch.

I'm not very familiar with this circuit, and this the first Twin I've owned. It's got three 12AY7s for the preamp and cathode follower, and a 12AX7 in phase inverter (which is a cathode biased cathodyne, not the long tailed pair of the Bassman and high power Twin). The power section is 6L6s as I said, but the recto is a PAIR of 5U4s. This power supply is sucking 6 Amps just to get out of bed! I dunno why Fender did this. Maybe they're arranged as a full wave bridge? Time to hunt out the schematic....

Anyway, it's a nice hand made clone. It sounds good. It liked overdrive, fuzz and clean boost, so I can use it. That's all I can say for now. It's a nice toy.
 

Splattle101

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I cannot tell a lie, there is a goodly herd of tweed clones grazing in my studio. I have a 5F1 Champ circuit in a 1x12 combo cab the size of a Deluxe; a 5E3 Deluxe clone; a 5F4 Super clone; a thing based on a V-front Super with a 5E9 Tremolux trem hiding in it; and now this thing.
 

Soul Tramp

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There's no doubt in my mind, the clones are better than the originals (other than in terms of collector value). Fender made many quality and design compromises that can be corrected in the clones.
 

JohnnyN

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Sweet! Congratulations and enjoy for long :)
 

Splattle101

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There's no doubt in my mind, the clones are better than the originals (other than in terms of collector value). Fender made many quality and design compromises that can be corrected in the clones.
Agree completely. My home made clones have been a learning experience for me, so I would hesitate to say they're better than the originals. My first amps were a bit...yeah, I wouldn't do it like that anymore. My later builds are much, much better. So I can see how an experienced builder who knows what they're doing could readily improve on the old Fenders.
 

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