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5e3, 5c1, 5F1? Newbie question, what do these numbers mean?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by joel_ostrom, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm new to amp building in general, but i've seen a lot of these numbers and codes thrown around on amp building sites but i'm wondering what it is that they refer to? I realize that they're obviously referring to different types of amps with different specs but i just wanted to know if anybody could explain them or give me a link to an info site that categorizes them and explains the differences and meanings of these codes.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bsnow17

    bsnow17 Tele-Meister

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    5e3 is a 50s fender deluxe, 5f1 is a 50s champ and a 5c1 is a earlier 50s champ with am octal preamp tube. The 5 means 50s the letter is the version of the model a being the earliest through g ( in the 60s) I believe. The last number is the model so: 1= champ, 2= Princeton, 3= deluxe, etc...
     
  3. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

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    5 = 50's
    e = circuit version (c is older than e)
    3 = model
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is essentially correct, but here are the finer points of what is essentially a schematic notation that is model specific.
    Yes, 5 = '50's.

    YEs 3 denotes the model in order of origination
    1 = Champ, 2 = Princeton, # = Deluxe, 4 = Super, 5 = Pro
    6 = BAssman, 7 = Bandmaster, 8 = Twin, 9 = Tremolux, 10 = Harvard,
    11 = Vibrolux, 12 = Concert, 13 = Vibrasonic, 14 = Showman,
    15 = Reverb unit, and 16 = Vibroverb
    Some of these models were not produced in the tweed format but rather in the Blonde/Brown era....Concert, Showman, REverb; and all of these carry the 'G' designation....odd, but that is the way it is.

    Concerning that letter designation, yes in alphabetical order A is the earliest....and denotes that the schematic was drawin in 1951, B for '52, C for '53, D for '54, E for '55, F for '56 and G was used for 1957 and on through the end of that decade and through the Blond/Brown era amps through 1963.
    so...5E3 is a Deluxe (3) with a circuit that was designed in 1955. A 5C3 is a Deluxe designed in 1953. IN this system, there can be a suffix letter that indicates a secodn rendition of the schematic. Ex: 5F6 is a BAssman circuit designed in 1956. The 5F6A....the most famous tweed BAssman, is the second rendition of that circuit that was drawn up the same year....as I understand it.

    The BF era saw the end of this system. IN the BF/SF era, the schematic designation does not necessarily indicate a model. AB763 is a schematic that was drawn in July of 1963....763. The AB indicates that it is the second rendition of this schematic. The first rendition would have been AA763. The AB763 is good for all Fender amps that were desinged/drawn up that month....DR, SR, TR, Pro, etc.....for example. There are some of these designation that are model specific simply because no other amp model was designed that month of that year. Examples...the AA371 is a SF BAssman that was drawn up in March of 1971. IIRC, there is no other FEnder amp with this schematic designation. AA964 is the non-reverb model of the PRinceton, while AA1164 is the reverb model of the PRinceton. NO other amps have these designation...so one can simply say AA1164....and IF the person hearing that knows these schematics well enough, they will know that it is the PRinceton REverb without hearing 'PRinceton REverb'. IN other words, the BF/SF era designations are not as definitve as the tweed and Blonde/Brown era designation whereby one knows which model of amp one is talking about just by hearing use of the schematic designation.

    I hope that isn't TMI.
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    ONe other note.....
    One cannot always depend on the tube chart to accurately indicate what the amp or the circuit is. FEnder used what was there. I once owned a 1957 5E3 Deluxe that had a tube chart indicating that hte amp was a 5F6A bASsman????? YEs, it was an original tube chart. I also owned a 1968 Dual Showman that had an AB165 Bassman chart in it.
    IN the BF/SF era, one can have an amp with a tube chart of an earlier version of the amp. I have a 1969 SFTR sitting here with an AB763 BF tube chart. A csutomer ;brought in a '69 DR yesterday that has the saem..AB763 tube chart. You have to know some details and be aware that there are anomalies of which one should be aware. FEnder didn't throw anything away.....and would use it whenever.
     
  6. ludashoeless

    ludashoeless Tele-Afflicted

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  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Luda, if you study the info I gave above you will know much more about FEnder circuits and amp designations than anything in that thread you linked has to inform you.
     
  8. NastyMojo

    NastyMojo Tele-Afflicted

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    This explains alot! ...I always wondered myself what those meant. :)
     
  9. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

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    I knew I couldn't be the only one.

    This forum is great. So helpful!:D
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    HEre is a link to the definitive articles on vtinage FEnder amps. These fellows are theones who collected, analyzed and collated data form thousands of old Fender amps in order to help us understand things better....and also enabled us to date these amps by the serialnumbers. Before these articles, FEnder amp serial numbers were meaningless except for legal identification of the object.

    http://www.superchamp.dk/papers/dating_fender_tube_amps.htm
     
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