Fender’s Twin-Amp model debuted at the NAMM conference in 1952 and remained the top of the tweed era Fender amp line until 1960. The circuit went through many changes and upgrades throughout the 1950s until 1958 when Leo introduced the 85 watt 5F8-A circuit. The 5F8-A Twin became known as the High Power Twin and is regarded as one of Leo’s finest achievements and the most collectable standard production Fender amp ever made.
This July 1959 Fender Twin-Amp 5F8-A has just come out of the Nevada desert after decades of neglect. While the exterior wears its age proudly, we were baffled to find the interior circuit unmolested including all transformers, all capacitors, all resistors, all solder joints, etc. Lupe’s tape signature is still present on the chassis. Not only that, but all the parts were in proper working condition except for one failed grid resistor. Our tech replaced the failed resistor, resoldered two ground wires, and reattached the original power cord that had been improperly spliced. We installed a fresh matched quad of 5881s and were floored at the result. This High Power Twin held strong throughout our 10 minute test of the available range of gain.
We wanted to leave the circuit as untouched as possible as long as it performed properly. The exterior tweed, however, had been poorly painted brown when we acquired it. We carefully stripped the paint off of the original tweed. The tweed is very worn and does show evidence of having been painted before. The original Jensen P-12N speakers appear to have been reconed long ago. The standby switch has a crack and will need to be replaced.
We recommend that a buyer have a qualified technician update the electrolytic capacitors since they are prone to failure and install a three prong power cord for safety before the amp is played for significant periods of time. We’re confident you’ll love the tone, aesthetic, and vibe from this recently resurfaced 1959 Fender Twin-Amp 5F8-A.