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17-Aug-2017 06:23

A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).

Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.

Also note the vertical black lines on the control panel (found on earliest silverface amps) and the large ceramic power resistors coming off the power tube sockets which indicates the AB568 circuit. But really, these cabs were large because they were of a “special design” that “greatly improves tone and volume without distortion, and permits optimum performance of the speakers.” At least that’s the reason according to the ’69 catalog.

Also, another thing I’ve never seen before is a what appears to be a shipping tag of some sort (see photo).

Note the check boxes for DOM (domestic US model), EXP (export model), CSA (Canada model), STD (standard) and SPEC (special).

I have to wonder how often Fender used the SPEC check box and what features a “special” amp or cabinet would have?!

Since the new owner would have likely removed this tag immediately upon arriving home, I’m amazed that the one in the photo has remained intact since mid-1968!

Along with dating amps by serial numbers, we were interested in determining production totals, if possible.

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“I remember the circuit boards were pre-made, from Mexico, easy to screw into the chassis. When we had filled our cart we'd wheel it over to the Chicano chicks.They were something to behold, all chatting away while soldering so quickly, it didn't hardly seem like they were looking at the amps.