Fender Deluxe 5E3 Tube Amplifier (1957)

Fender  Deluxe 5E3 Tube Amplifier (1957)
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Item # 10964
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Fender Deluxe 5E3 Model Tube Amplifier (1957), made in Fullerton, California, serial # D-04267, tweed fabric covering finish.

The Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe is considered to be the most desirable version of this long-running model and undeniably one of the finest small combo amps ever designed. The revised model started production mid 1955, spearheading the launch of the latest circuit revision replacing its relatively short-lived 5D3 predecessor. Alongside the new 'Narrow Panel' cosmetic appearance the amplifier circuitry also evolved from the 5D3. The new circuit runs at higher voltages than the earlier models giving it more headroom and total gain. It uses the same 12AY7 and 12AX7 preamp tubes but with a cathodyne phase inverter, which is comparatively cleaner than the phase inverters used in other early Deluxe models, offering more balanced gain staging between the power and preamp tubes and has its own unique snarl when turned up.

The control layout also changed from the earlier Deluxe models, now featuring two channels (normal and bright) both having a high and low inputs with each channel having an independent volume control and sharing a single tone control. Typical of the Deluxe model, the amp sports a dual-6V6 power section putting out around 15 watts into a Jensen 12" speaker. This version of the long-running Deluxe was a world standard gigging and recording amplifier in the 1950s and has remained one of the most prized of all vintage amps since.
Height is 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.), 19 7/8 in. (50.5 cm.) width, and 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.) deep.

This is simply one of the nicest tweed Deluxes we have ever had. It is stunningly well-preserved overall, considering its 65+ year lifespan up until now! The tube chart is stamped GK, indicating assembly in November, 1957. Externally, the rather fragile Tweed cabinet covering is in fantastic shape, bearing an attractive light amber patina, with only light wear on the corners and edges, most notably on the bottom front corners as well as a notable larger blemish on the back panel near the input jacks. The grille cloth is original and in great shape with no notable fraying or tears. The faceplate is nearly mirror clean with practically all of the stenciled lettering intact. Even the original handle is still present, with plenty of life left in it, although there are signs of another set of brackets having been mounted at some point.

Electrically, this Deluxe is nicely original. The speaker is the original Jensen P12R, marked 220-740, dating it to the 40th week of 1957. It has been professionally reconed and sounds fantastic. Both the Triad power and output transformers are original and are marked 6452 and 50246, respectively. The pots all appear original. The amp has received routine maintenance, including the replacement of all electrolytic caps, a three-prong power cord, all sockets, pots and jacks cleaned and biased to spec. This amp was wired up by Lupe and bears her signature on a piece of masking tape inside the chassis.

This beautiful example of the iconic 5E3 Deluxe certainly sounds fantastic and is simply just about good as it gets for pure 1950s Fender tone! Excellent Condition.