Another 1956 Fender Deluxe

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Posted on March 12 2014

Another 1956 Fender Deluxe
The Fender Deluxe (5e3 circuit) is the quintessential vintage amplifier.  If you're a gear head then a 5e3 Deluxe is probably somewhere in your future, if not your present.

Why the 5e3 Deluxe (other than that badass tweed look)

When the Deluxe was introduced in 1946, the goal of an amplifier was very simple: make the signal from an electric guitar louder without coloring the sound.  The early Deluxes did a right poor job of that.  While it did make the signal louder, it didn't have much clean head room before it distorted the signal.  Fender amplifiers progressively got more head room until the silver faced, master volume amps of the 70s.  By that time many electric guitarists had decided that they didn't want a clean signal all the way to high volume.  They wanted an expressive and responsive amp that let them choose a nice jangly clean or a raunchy crunch.  The 5e3 Deluxe of yesteryear did just that.

Clean headroom?

Not much.  Of course, your guitar/amp combination has a lot to do with that.  If you are playing a Gibson Les Paul with humbuckers then you can pretty much kiss clean headroom with any kind of volume good bye.  You will get a great rock crunch at high volumes and a nice bluesy break up at medium volume.  A Strat or Tele will give you a little more clean headroom but will still begin to distort at low volumes.

Guitar/amp combination
Remember that manufacturers designed amplifiers to compliment their own product.  Gibson voiced their amps to compliment high output humbuckers so they have lots of clean head room, especially with a lower output guitar (Strat or Tele).  Fender was just the opposite.  They were selling strats, Telescope, music masters, duo sonics, etc with lower output so their amps distort earlier with different guitars.

The great rock guitar/amplifier combination is the Gibson Les Paul standard and the Fender 5e3 Deluxe.  Throw those pedals in the junk pile and plug directly in to great tone.

Do you have one of these that you would like to sell?  I'm looking for another.  Please email me about what you have for sale.

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