55 Tweed Deluxe Suit My 52 Tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by aadvark, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,
    I have an opportunity to get a '55 Tweed Deluxe amp...
    has the original speaker and handle.
    When I got my original '52 lots of people were saying now I need a 50s tweed to go with it..
    I get that it would 'look' the part.
    I currently have a re-issue Princeton and an old Aussie made 60s goldentone Bassmaster 60..
    its in good condition but 600 miles away from here - oddly in the remote outback region where I grew up..
    a sign?

    what is the best amp for studio work, not on the road any more, to go with my old Tele? Should I just be getting a modern boutique tweed replica. Is there a better vintage FENDER?
    s-l1600.jpg
     

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  2. Flyboy

    Flyboy Tele-Meister

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    Is this an old two-prong or has it been converted?

    What part of the outback you from?
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Tweed Deluxe would be a marvelous amp for old skool country and blues.

    It's very different to your PR and Bassman
     
  4. stratwilly

    stratwilly Tele-Meister

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    Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to plug my tele into a 100% original '55 tweed deluxe - and it sounded and felt awesome.
    A few days later the filter caps passed away (first 60Hz hum, then blown fuses)... OK, new filter caps.
    Last week I played the amp again. It is still a fantastic feel but the amp now sounds a bit different. Not necessarily worse but different. To get the same sound and feel we had to change also the rectifier tube and lower the line voltage.

    Why I am writing this:
    If you have the money and if you have fun with vintage amps, then go for it. I am sure this will result in a "magic combination" together with your '52 tele with plenty of voodoo. If the player feels good, - he plays good ;-)

    But you should be aware (at least imho) that all these beasts sound different because of the tolerances and the drift over the years. These amps need some care and maintenance - but that is part of the fun game.
    If you just look for something reliable to create the 5e3 sound, there are also good clones available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  5. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I cried when I saw the picture. If you have to ask … :p
     
  6. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    A tweed deluxe and a tele are a great match!

    My first real amp was a 56 deluxe, and I had a 68 tele and then a 63.

    The deluxe can get pretty loud. I think it's around 15 watts? You'll probably want to use a dirt pedal to get a good rock sound at a lower volume. (But that goes for any tube amp, including a champ) The clean sound is to die for. :cool:

    I say go for it! :D
     
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  7. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a ‘54 Deluxe. It had to have new filter caps. Big deal, they all do.

    Sounds awesome with my Tele. They were kind of designed to go hand in hand after all.

    I’ve used mine for literally everything since I got it. At home, rehearsals, studio, every gig and it has performed flawlessly and makes me smile every time.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot...have a buddy in Arizona who bought a ‘55 Deluxe back about ‘90 for $150US. Still has it. I’ve been trying to pry it loose from him for years since he doesn’t play much anymore. Swears he’s going to be buried with it. He just can’t bear to part with it if that tells you anything.

    Make the drive, buy it, get it serviced and have an amp for life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  8. Tedzo

    Tedzo Tele-Meister

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    In my opinion, the ax is 80% of it.....I used to think that my '69 Peavy Classic was messed up and sent it back to the factory for a checkup....turns out it was my '53 Blackguard that a friend had changed the bridge PU on....the PU'S were out of phase! Problem solved. Check several guitars through the Tweed before making a decision.
     
  9. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    1955 is an interesting year for Deluxe amps, could be a 5C3 or 5D3 circuit. Some '55's had the old 8 pin octal preamp tubes and others had the 9 pins like today. Nothing wrong with either but I'd want to know before buying.

    The 5E3 Deluxe is the circuit most clones (kits) are made too, it was made in '56 & '57. All the models have different circuits, some minor changes but some major. You have testimony above from some actual owners.

    The only issue with an old amp in the studio you may have more noise than you want and making it quieter might be a task. But to sit a '52 Tele beside a '55 Deluxe are things most of us dream of.

    I have a '55 Pro (26 watts with a 15 inch speaker) and Tele's sound wonderful through it.
     
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  10. AtlantaSpike

    AtlantaSpike TDPRI Member

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    I have a '53 Blackguard and a '55 Tremolux. Brother, that's the running gear of a rockin' machine as ol Ronnie Dawson used to say.
     
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  11. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Afflicted

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    The amp in the picture is a 5e3. Octal tube 5c3 production ceased early in ‘54. The 5d3, like mine, with the same tube complement as the 5e3 but slightly different circuitry was produced from early ‘54 through May ‘55.

    Narrow panel 5e3 production began in June 1955. My buddy’s ‘55 has a July date code and a serial number indicating it was about the 170th 5e3 built. There are no narrow panel octal tube Deluxes. They are all 5e3 amps. However, there are subtle differences in them from ‘55 through ‘60.
     
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  12. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    If I had the cash and the opportunity, I would drive 600 miles for a '55 5e3 that was in good condition. Dover, DE is about 600 miles from where I am in Chattanooga. One very long day up, one very long day back. And then take it to a tech immediately. Yes, I'd do that!
     
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  13. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    no word back from the seller!
    not sure what the deal is with two v three prong.
    i'm from the Upper Murray in South Australia.
    still considering it.
     
  14. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    serial number looks like 001110 or D01110?
     
  15. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the correction, and my apologies to the OP for giving wrong info. I read what I wrote from one of Gerald Weber's books. I'll make a note so that doesn't happen again.
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Friends don't let friends change the pickups in their Blackguards.
     
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  17. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    Mate, this is Australia... I've barely ever heard one, let alone seen one or played through one.
    We don't have the embarrassment of riches that you good folk Stateside do... :)

    I take it you are saying go for it!
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Changing the original two prong to modern three prong suggests the amp has been serviced and updated.
    But it really means little or nothing, since the original cord probably cracked and crumbled years ago and could have been replaced by a vacuum cleaner repair man with whatever he had in the used parts bin.

    I had a '57 Deluxe and most of my Teles and Esquires are basic Blackguard spec.
    They are great amps but limited in sound, while they get lots of clean to distorted sounds, they lack bass clarity and feel squishy and compressed when turned up.

    You need to love and want that sort of sound.
    If you want tighter clear bass, you will not be very happy with the amp.

    Also as noted already, you likely need a tech who is familiar with working on really old amps, who will not remove vintage components that impact the tone of the amp and are not broken.
    The voltage issue is worth considering as well: modern wall voltage is higher that it was in the '50s, so the 12v heaters will have higher than spec voltage, and you may overheat the old power transformer. Not sure about Aussie voltages and what this amp has for a PT, you can get a extra external transformer that corrects supply voltage but it's another part to hunt down.
     
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  19. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    The Goldentone "Bassmaster" is Aussie made, sweet, but not a Fender...
    we do also have a blackface Fender Bassman (2x12) at the studio which gets used for bass.
     
  20. aadvark

    aadvark TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, the seller (seems legit - haven't heard back from him still) makes no mention of voltage other than 'its original US 110V". Here in Australia we use 230V/50Hz, so will need something.)
    There are good vintage amp techs here, so thats not a worry.
     
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