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Old 02-22-2015, 03:44 PM   #1
hansolo1106
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NAD - Palmer FAB5

Hi there!

So, I just bought my first real tube amp. It's a Palmer FAB5, a 5 watt, class A amp with a 10" Eminence Ragin Cajun speaker.



The tubes are: 12AX7 - preamp, 6V6 - power, EZ81 - rectifier.
It has a great attenuator built in, that goes from full power (5W), to room (1W), and then to bedroom (0,1W). The bedroom mode allows me to turn everything up to 10 at home, although it's still pretty loud!



It's a very simple amp, it has only 3 knobs: volume, tone and boost. The boost is footswitchable, but without a footswitch it's always on.
The sound is pretty vintage, great for blues and rock. It's not a high gain amp, with everything up to 10 it's great for AC/DC kind of stuff.

My other amp has a 12" speaker, so I miss that good old bottom end, that's why I'm looking for a 1x12 or 2x12 cab, but don't know which speakers to choose. Could you recommend something that has a bit more bass and treble, and a bit less middle? Because the amp is quite middle-heavy on the EQ.



I also bought a Harley Benton Ultimate Drive pedal, which is basically an OCD clone, but for way less money. It sounds quite good for the money.
As the amp takes pedals very well, I'm looking into buying some more, mainly a reverb, delay, maybe an EQ, and another drive pedal.

So, to sum everything up, I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I can recommend this amp to anybody who's looking for a nice vintage, tweed style amp with a great attenuator.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:48 PM   #2
Robbgnarly
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HNAD cool looking amp
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
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That thing looks cool as hell. I've actually never heard of Palmer before. I have the Joyo version of that Ultimate Drive. It sounds like shit thru my Jet City, but its pretty nice thru my roomates Deville, and my other roomates H&K.

HNGD!
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red.guitar
That thing looks cool as hell. I've actually never heard of Palmer before. I have the Joyo version of that Ultimate Drive. It sounds like shit thru my Jet City, but its pretty nice thru my roomates Deville, and my other roomates H&K.

HNGD!


AFAIK, Palmer makes some cabinet simulator DI rack units whoch I believe is what they're most known for. They seem to be pretty high quality stuff.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Very nice I'm aware of palmer but I haven't tried any of their stuff.

Do you like American or British-style speaker tones? It's kind of hard to recommend a speaker when I haven't tried the amp, though At best it'll be an educated (er, that's probably a stretch) guess

do you want the amp to be quieter or louder? the speakers won't make a massive ton of difference to the overall volume but they'll make a bit.

I guess you want them to take pedals well? Are cleans more important or OD?

What type of tones do you like (guitar players, bands I mean)?
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWACS
AFAIK, Palmer makes some cabinet simulator DI rack units whoch I believe is what they're most known for. They seem to be pretty high quality stuff.

Yeah, it's a german company, they're mostly famous for their speaker simulators. But they also have some nice cabs, and a couple amps.
This amp is really of high quality, that I can tell. And looks awesome too .
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
Very nice I'm aware of palmer but I haven't tried any of their stuff.

Do you like American or British-style speaker tones? It's kind of hard to recommend a speaker when I haven't tried the amp, though At best it'll be an educated (er, that's probably a stretch) guess

do you want the amp to be quieter or louder? the speakers won't make a massive ton of difference to the overall volume but they'll make a bit.

I guess you want them to take pedals well? Are cleans more important or OD?

What type of tones do you like (guitar players, bands I mean)?

Well, I don't really know whether I like british or american style speaker tones better. Right now my two favourite guitarists (playing and soundwise) are Joe Bonamassa and John Mayer. Joe's sound is a mix of Dumble-type amps and Marshalls, and John, well, he also uses Dumbles, Two Rocks, etc., so pretty expensive stuff.
Those sounds I like a lot.

I had the chance to try out this afternoon the amp with one of my friend's 4x12 cab, which sounded awesome. He's got a Fender Bassman head (he's a bass player), but unfortunately he doesn't know what kind of speakers it has. It's a custom built cab.
With the 4x12 it had more bass, and much more liveliness and air. It didn't sound so focused, boxy and mid-heavy. That's what I'm looking for.

To be honest right now my H&K solid state amp maybe has better cleans because of the built in reverb and the bigger speaker. But when it comes to distorted sounds... the Palmer wipes the floor with it.
So I really like how the amp breaks up, that's why I bought this amp, because I can achieve power tube distortion, but maybe I want a bit bigger, fuller sound, with more bass.
And then, if I have my base sound with which I'm satisfied, I can look for some different sounding drive pedals. So yeah, I want it to take pedals well.

As for the volume, I don't really care about that, it's fine as the way it is right now. On 5W mode it's pretty loud. Loud enough for band practice, that's for sure.

Cleans or OD is more important? Well... I didn't buy this amp for the cleans, but for the (slightly) distorted tones. But I want the cleans to be a bit better sounding. I think first I'm gonna need a reverb pedal.
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Last edited by hansolo1106 : 02-22-2015 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:21 PM   #8
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Joe B uses a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 that is mic'd off stage and all you see is the "good amps". He has admitted to this in interviews
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:59 PM   #9
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^^ I'm not sure. LOL. It might be worth putting a lot of what you said there into an email and sending it to the main speaker manufacturers- eminence, celestion, wgs, weber, etc. and see what they say. certainly with eminence you usually get a pretty good response pretty quickly, they're very helpful.

EDIT: it might even be worth emailing palmer too- as you said, they make speaker cabs too with a variety of speakers and maybe they've tried the fab5 with extension cabs and might have some ideas.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #10
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HNAD very cool looking little amp.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:57 PM   #11
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i want palm trees on my amp.

congrats! enjoy!
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I may just make you an honorary Aussie for that one greg.

if i've ever aspired for anything...
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:22 PM   #12
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So it's a modified 5F1?

HNAD
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:24 PM   #13
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:41 PM   #14
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And throw a JJ 6V6 into it. V1 deserves a NOS tube of some note too. Amperex if you can find one for a reasonable price, or just throw an old American 12AX7 into it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:08 AM   #15
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Just happened upon a few amperex bugle boy 12ax7's there very good in V1.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:12 AM   #16
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Bugle Boys are my favourite tube. They rock.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:14 AM   #17
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Cath check your Pm's.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
So it's a modified 5F1?

HNAD

Well, I don't really know what it's based on, but yeah, probably some kind of small fender tweed style amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
And throw a JJ 6V6 into it. V1 deserves a NOS tube of some note too. Amperex if you can find one for a reasonable price, or just throw an old American 12AX7 into it.

It came with JJ tubes. I thought those are the cheaper tubes.
My friend's got a 6V6GT and some different preamp tubes. We will try those out and see what difference they make.

By the way, I e-mailed Palmer about the cab/speaker question, and they told me that an open back 1x12 cab, with either an Eminence Cannabis Rex, or an Eminence Governor would fit my needs.

What do you guys think? Does anyone use the above mentioned speakers?
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:15 AM   #19
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JJ 6V6's are particularly good. Quite possibly the best thing that they make. Tough as nails.


Speakers, I'll leave to somebody else. I don't use 10's at all.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #20
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^ he's talking about getting an extension cab with 12s.

^^ I haven't tried either of those. the governor is the eminence v30-alike though, and that wouldn't be my first choice for a fendery circuit (if yours is a fendery circuit, I'm not sure if it is or not). of course, the eminence version might be a bit different.
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