Fender Super-Amp Model 5C4 Tube Amplifier (1954)

Fender  Super-Amp Model 5C4 Tube Amplifier (1954)
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Item # 10334
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Fender Super-Amp Model 5C4 Model Tube Amplifier (1954), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 5312, tweed fabric covering finish.

This revolutionary double speaker combo amplifier was one of Leo Fender's earliest and most important creations, and changed the world of instrument amplification (for the louder!) forever. Released in late 1946 initially named the "Dual Professional" this model followed the beautiful but fairly crude holy trinity of "Woodies", Fender's first full-production amplifiers. The twin 10" speakers, covered finger-jointed pine cabinet, eyelet board, on/off switch and jewel light were all firsts for the company's line-up that would set the pattern for future Fender product and up the ante on competitors. By late 1947, this model was re-named the "Super-Amp" and the covering was changed to a diagonal tweed fabric that became the staple look of Fender amplifiers throughout the next decade. The Super is said to have been Leo's personal favorite amp and the circuit he would most frequently tinker with in pursuit of tonal perfection.

This is the third aesthetic iteration of the Super, known as the "wide-panel". Interestingly, this design overall bears a closer visual resemblance to the earlier V-front models than its immediate TV-Front predecessors. The new aesthetic changes came with the 5C4 circuit revision, with earlier models still using the predecessors' 6SC7/6SL7 preamp tubes, and somewhere in late '53, "new 12 volt miniature glass tubes", aka 12AY7s and 12AX7s were implemented (this amp features the latter). The later models also feature the addition of a standby switch. The amp features four inputs, two labeled "microphone" and two labeled "instruments" and a volume control for each pair, along with a master tone control. Sporting a pair of 6L6 output tubes into the two 10" Jensen P10Q speakers, the Super puts out around 25-30W of power, and despite its relatively high power-rating (for the era), it offers a fair amount of compression and smooth breakup at a manageable volume.

The tube chart is stamped DG, indicating an assembly date of July of 1954. It also features hand-written corrections from the older printed tube spec for the newer 12AX7 and 12AY7 preamp and phase-inverter tubes. This amp was lovingly wired by Julia and her masking tape tag remains in the chassis. These 1950s Supers are fairly rare today. Although the Pro model was technically above it in the line-up, many players have always preferred the Super's twin-ten layout to that model's single larger speaker. By 1951 Leo's designs were changing the world of electrified music forever and this amplifier was the spearhead of the Fender revolution.
Height is 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm.), 21 3/4 in. (55.2 cm.) width, and 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) in depth at deepest point.

Externally, this amp is in great shape for being nearly 71 years old. The finger-jointed pine cabinet still sports its original tweed covering, which is in very good cosmetic condition considering its age and fragility and features a nice amber patina. The brown linen speaker cloth remains fairly taught and mostly unblemished. The chrome-plated control panel is shiny and in nearly mirror-clean condition save for a few minor scuffs; practically all the stenciled lettering is intact. The handle appears to be an older high quality replacement.

Electrically, this Super is nicely original. Both speakers are original to the amp and are marked 220-308, dating them to the 8th week of 1953. The output transformer reads 1848 and the power transformer 6516, both made by Triad and original to the amp. Two of the pots date to the 43rd and 49th week of 1953 and one to the 6th week of 1954. The amp has received our typical maintenance servicing, including replacement of all electrolytics, a 3-prong grounded power cord, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks and biased to spec. The amp still sports the original "firecracker" Astrons, all of which test and sound great, hence we left them in to sensibly conserve as much as possible of the amp's history. The Super sports a great set of vintage RCA tubes, including a "big bottle" 5U4 rectifier, two 6L6 power tubes and the aforementioned two 12AY7 preamp tubes and one 12AX7 phase inverter.

This rare early Fender creation is a truly phenomenal sounding amp and one of the few early Supers we have had the honor of featuring in our showroom! Excellent - Condition.