Vintage DeArmond R5T and R15T Amplifiers

Harry DeArmond is credited with bringing the first attachable guitar pickup to market back in mid 1930s. He went on to design a variety of products including different types of pickups, effects units and amplifiers. Harry’s products were manufactured Rowe Industries in Toledo, OH until the brand was sold to Fender in the 1990s. Two of the more desirable products that they made were the DeArmond R5T and R15T amplifiers.
Vintage DeArmond Rowe Industries Guitar Amplifier R5T

This 1960 DeArmond R5T may be my favorite amplifier I’ve ever had. It’s a single ended class A circuit that makes a about 5 watts through a 10″ Jensen speaker. It used a 12AX7 for the preamp and a single 6V6GT power tube. The amplifier and speaker were both built into a fingerjointed Pine cabinet. While this amp is similar to the Fender Champ circuit, it had a little more clean head room thanks to that 10″ speaker. These amps are perfect for recording or even to mic at a gig. It even came with a footswitch to toggle the tremolo on and off.

 

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The R15T was the big brother to the R5 and more closely resembles a tweed era Fender Deluxe amplifier. It featured a push/pull class A/B circuit powered by two 12AX7 preamp tubes, two 6V6GT power tubes and a 12″ speaker. Like the R5, the R15 was also built into a fingerjointed Pine cabinet just a like a good combo amp should. Both the R5 and R15 are very versatile amps that have a great mix of clean headroom and great tube saturation. They’re also very dynamic so it’s easy to toggle back and forth between the two tones- just find the gain sweet spot the use your guitar’s volume knob.

 

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Do you have a vintage DeArmond R5 or R15 for sale? I’m looking to buy. Click the link to this page and send me pictures of your amp. I’d love to check it out.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Stephen Kimberley Reply

    Hey
    I just scored an R15T – amazing tone, like a small marshall. Thanks for your info on these but as you know there is little known. It seems like the martin amp has 3 knobs and therefore no tremolo, but prices are insane. It kicks the ass of my tweed deluxe, brown deluxe but measures up to my Vox Cambridge (killer amp! tube version)

  2. Mike Ricca Reply

    You left out the R25T. It was the big brother of the R15T. It has two 10″ Jensen P10Q’s, a pair of 6L6GC’s in a cathode bias circuit for about 25-30 watts. I’ve only seen pictures. The rarest of them all.

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