Fender Harvard Model 5F10 Tube Amplifier (1956)

Fender  Harvard Model 5F10 Tube Amplifier (1956)
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Item # 11957
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Fender Harvard Model 5F10 Model Tube Amplifier (1956), made in Fullerton, California, serial # H-00458, tweed fabric covering finish.

This practically gleaming tweed beauty is a stunningly well-preserved Fender Harvard 5F10 -- the Princeton's collegiate big brother and one of our favorite amplifiers. This is a near museum-quality example of the big-sounding "Steve Cropper Classic". It looks like it has seen only very light use over 60+ years, unlike its brethren that worked for decades in recording studios and club and roadhouse stages. The tube chart has a stamped code of FJ, indicating assembly in October of 1956. Save for the handle, it remains entirely original including both transformers, all caps, speaker, speaker cone, power and preamp tubes, grill cloth. The piece of masking tape inside the chassis denoting which of the ladies at Fender wired it up is signed by Lily, who seems to have been queen of the Harvards -- her masking tape signature is present inside the majority of these!

The Harvard was introduced in 1955, filling the gap between the 5-watt Princeton and the 15-watt Deluxe. The 5F10 circuit uses two 6V6 tubes in push/pull, yielding about 10 watts, with a 12AX7 phase inverter and a 6AT6 input tube. Its fixed-bias power section was only shared at the time by its nearly identical sibling of the following year, the Tweed Vibrolux. This gives the amp a tight low-end and more clean headroom than most Tweed Deluxes and a roaring and distinctive breakup.

Steve Cropper, Memphis session guitarist and member of Booker T. and the MGs famously used his Fender Esquire (or Telecaster) through a tweed Harvard amp on nearly every Stax hit of the 1960s. These ranged from the mellow arpeggios on Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" to the biting distorted riffing of "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MGs. The Harvard remains one of Fender's less well-known gems and a shop favorite. This is easily one of the most beautifully undisturbed Harvards we have had, and one of the cleanest examples of this fairly rare amp we have ever seen.
 
Height is 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.), 17 3/4 in. (45.1 cm.) width, and 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm.) deep.

This nearly 70 year old Harvard is simply stunningly clean, both externally and under the hood. The old-style tweed covering is superbly crisp and very clean, with some lightly "smoked" amber patina towards the top of the cabinet. It only shows VERY light wear on the bottom corners. The faceplate is mirror clean with unsullied plating and very crisp graphics. The grille cloth is taut and shows no notable signs of fraying or tearing. The original handle has been replaced with a high quality reproduction and the amp comes with a non-original black vinyl cover.

Electrically, this little Harvard remains all-original; the factory Jensen P10R speaker bears the code 220-639, dating it to the 39th week of 1956 with the original cone fully intact. Both the power and output transformers are the original Triads, 5396 and 50246, respectively. Both pots appear original with the factory solder joints intact. The original brown two-prong power cord is intact and in very good shape as well.

DISCLAIMER: While we normally service all amplifiers for use, this nearly 63 year old amp is COMPLETELY original and untouched so we have elected to leave it that way as this is becoming extremely rare now well into the 21st century. As such it is offered in AS-IS condition, not because of any damage or perceived flaw but due to its age and untouched state. The amplifier powers up and actually sounds great but if is to be used more than casually we would recommend it be professionally serviced to the level desired; we would be happy to do so upon sale. Many of the capacitors are aged to the point we cannot guarantee continued functionality many decades past their expiration dates, but this is a museum-quality unaltered example so some would prefer to keep it that way.

This is a truly superb untouched example of this relatively unsung classic Fender amp, a very rare find in the 21st century. Excellent + Condition.