Fender Princeton 5D2 Tube Amplifier (1954)

Fender  Princeton 5D2 Tube Amplifier (1954)
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Item # 11247
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Fender Princeton 5D2 Model Tube Amplifier (1954), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 4334, tweed fabric covering finish.

This is a nicely preserved and original, great sounding example of a wide-panel tweed Princeton model 5D2, the "upper level" of Fender's early 1950s student amps. Sporting one more knob than the classic younger sibling, the single-volume knob Champ, the Princeton features a nearly identical circuit with the added tone control allowing for a brighter or mellower sound at the twist of the knob (on a student amp! Such luxury!). The tube chart is stamped DK, indicating assembly in November, 1954. Fender had only made around 800 or so Princetons that year, barely half as many as their ever-popular Champ model! This is a very nice example of this small-but-potent tweed gem.
Height is 12 in. (30.5 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) width, and 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm.) in depth at deepest point.

Cosmetically, this amp is very nicely preserved. The tweed-covered exterior shows some scuffing and wear, mostly around the lower corners and edges as well as some wear on each side of the handle, but mostly intact and with a very attractive patina. The faceplate is clean overall showing a modest amount of corrosion and some cracking in the chrome plating. Some of the stenciled graphics have worn off as well, mostly surrounding the volume and tone controls. The handle has been replaced with a repro. There is an old speaker extension jack installed into the lower back panel which is currently disconnected.

Electrically, the amp is nicely original: the 8" Jensen 8J11 speaker appears original and bears the code 220-441, dating it to the 41st week of 1954. It still bears the original or older cone and still sounds fantastic (the cone is showing minor signs of deterioration but has plenty life left in it). Both the power and output transformers are original, made by Triad and marked 7787 and 265, respectively. The visible pot date is coded 304-4xx, where the last few numbers are obscured, but signifying fabrication in 1954. The amp has received our routine maintenance, including standard replacement of electrolytic caps, as well as a grounded 3-prong power cord and cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks as well as biased to spec.

The masking tape marker in the chassis reads Julia's signature, one of the ladies at the Fender factory responsible for the impeccable electrical assembly! We salute them every time we plug into one of their creations and are rewarded even nearly seven decades later with the fantastic sound they still put forth. Overall Excellent - Condition.