1956 Fender Deluxe 5e3
Posted on March 25 2020
The Fender Deluxe 5e3 is one of the most desirable vintage amplifiers on the market today. The Deluxe was initially introduced in 1948 but went through some changes until 1955 when the 5e3 circuit was developed. The narrow panel version was produced from 1955-1960 and is also one of the most widely copied circuits. The Deluxe's circuit, cabinet and speaker combine flawlessly together to produce nice driven cleans and gorgeous overdrive. There's not a whole lot of headroom for clean tone like a blackface era Deluxe so most players value these for the rich, organic and natural sounding overdrive that just can't be had from an overdrive pedal. There's nothing like the natural drive from pair of saturated 6v6 tubes, a finger jointed pine cabinet and a low wattage speaker.
This Deluxe is in fine condition but has had some updates and maintenance to bring it in to gigging shape. I took the amp to Joseph Dorough of Great Dane Amplification for new filter capacitors and a properly grounded 3 prong power supply. The original Jensen is included with the sale but I've installed a proper new Weber replacement speaker (Weber 12A100T) so that it can be played at its full potential. The power transformer is original to the amp but the output transformer was updated in 1966 with a properly spec'd transformer made by Merrit. The original handle was missing so I purchased the closest reproduction to the original that I could find. The rectifier tube is likely the original GE tube, the power tubes are a matched pair of RCA 6v6 tubes that test strong. The V2 preamp tube is an RCA 12ax7 and the V1 tube is a new EHX 12ay7. Lilly's signature is still visible on the piece of tape that she placed on the chassis to indicate that she was the employee who wired the amp at the Fullerton factory back in 1956.