Other Amps

1954 Fender 5d5 Pro Amp


Anyone play one of these or similar in a band setting? I got to briefly do my usual awkward music store "playing with mittens on" through one today and it sounded great to me. Wondering how it does competing with drums, bass and another guitar, though. I could get away with a 5e3 (or something even smaller mic'd) in my old band, but this new bunch plays loud (blues, mostly, some funk, and rock, too) and doesn't want to mic anything but vocals.


FWIW, I have a '55 5E5 that is glorious.


Gotta love 15s. Tweaked, it should do well and sound great -- but still it might come up short in this scene you describe. Plus you'd want to save the original speaker if it has it and put in something modern.


Obviously I can't speak to the 54 model year but my 55 is very loud. Tons of bass too.


I've rebuilt a couple of the earlier TV fronted Pros and they're pretty loud. Like a 'grown up' version of my 51 Deluxe.

The 5D5 has 9 pin preamp tubes rather than octals, and I believe there's some negative feedback too, but I doubt Fender would have made it quieter than the earlier versions.

The TV Pro is a great amp - particularly with Telecasters and Gretsches. But it took ages to find a 15" speaker to do it justice, and a tired old 15" Jensen might not be the best choice if you want to use it in a band context.

Both the ones I restored ended up with alnico Taydens, but they're very hard to get hold of. Tried Jensen reissues, vintage JBLs, and a Celestion and WHS (both ceramic).

I've heard good things about 15" Webers, but I haven't had the opportunity to try one.


How would this amp differ functionally (volume, tone, character) from the 5e5A that all the reissues and kits use?


I have build a 5E5-A clone with the possibility to switch from fixed to cathode bias. The cathode bias added the magic 'shimmer' in the tone. This thing is loud enough. I use a Jensen P15N alnico reissue which took a while to break in though.


My favourite amp is close to a 5E5 Pro. And years ago i tried a real '59 Les Paul through a '55 Tweed Pro - the amp impressed me more than the guitar.

My main amp is based on a late '50s tweed Super/Pro/Bandmaster circuit but with a single 12" Celestion Gold. The Pro is a single 15" speaker but is almost identical to the Super (2x10") and Bandmaster (3x10"). Same circuit. I have built the amp (based on the 5F4 Super) as fixed bias and cathode biased - the fixed is slightly louder, is the stock configuration and is what i use mostly. The cathode biased version is slightly warmer and richer sounding - not better but very cool. The one I use now has KT77 tubes in it which are a little louder than 6L6s and have more mids and a less boomy low-end. The overall sound is fat and very tweedy with a hint of early Marshall. It's loud enough that I need to use a pedal for dirt at gig volumes. Cranked it sounds incredible but it's too loud for any stage I play.

The 5F4/5E5 circuit is one of my favourite circuits for gigging because it's loud but not too loud, full but clear and chimey, has loads of character and sounds great with every guitar I use it with. I love the 5E3 but it's not quite as rich a sound and can sometimes get too compressed at gig volumes. And as much as I like the 5F6-A Bassman ('59 tweed Bassman) it can be a bit much for gigs these days.

These are all simple amps which can be tweaked to suit your style. You can get fancier but you don't get much better sounding amps than these.


"These are all simple amps which can be tweaked to suit your style. You can get fancier but you don't get much better sounding amps than these."

Amen to that Jimmy


If you install a D130, replace the field coil with a choke, and install a 6600ohm HiFi output transformer, you have the Cliff Gallup sound.


Billy's suggestion is interesting, but first check how your field coil speaker is wired.

Field coils can be connected in a couple of different ways. Most are wired into the power supply, where they can energise the magnet and act as a choke. In that case, the field coil resistance will measure in the low 100 ohms and you can do as Billy suggests.

The Jensen F15Ns in the TV Pros I restored took a feed from the power supply and terminated to ground. This type of field coil will have a resistance between 5K to 8K.

In the latter case, you can simply measure the resistance of the field coil and install a high wattage resistor of equivalent value in its place rather than a choke.

Since one end will be connected to ground, it will act as a drain resistor for the power supply when you turn the amp off - a useful safety feature.


Forgive me, as I am not the expert by any means, but isn't the 5D5 after the field coil version of Pro? I thought it only came with the P15N.


I'm pretty sure the one I looked at had a Jensen with a permanent magnet. I'll go back and look at it again.


Yes, I was referring to the TV front version in response to Billy's field coil comment. I'm sure you guys are correct about the later Pros having permanent magnet speakers.

Apologies for getting confusing/off topic


I went and looked at it again, and it does have a permanent magnet Jensen. The seller says it's all original except the 3 prong cord. The chassis is really clean, and the tweed is decent except for around the bottom corners it's pretty torn up. It sounds wonderful, but he wants $3500. Seems way too high to me, but I'm not really too up to speed on these things.


I've been considering selling mine - the 5E5 is a desirable circuit, and I think I'd be doing great to get 3k.

Reverb price guide is a very crude tool for approximating true market value, but it agrees with your skepticism about the ask in this case - Link


Thanks, Spike. That Reverb guide is what I was basing my value range on, too. I can see a small premium for buying in person instead of long distance, and supporting a local one man shop, but that seemed like a little too much of a charitable contribution to the shop owner, especially since I've dealt with him enough to know he buys real low and prices on the very upper end of the range or beyond.


Spike & Wyowill - I think you're both correct.

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