1957 Fender Deluxe 5E3

tannerjthomas

Member
Messages
22
I have an original 1957 Fender Deluxe 53E tweed amp that my grandfather owned from new that he gave me when I was 14 with my first new electric guitar. I know what I have in this thing and it’s been taken care of and almost looks like new. As usual though time has not been kind to the internals and the sound has degraded just like with any original tube amp components. It still has pretty decent sound just with quite a bit of background buzz and it has started shocking me when I touch the power switch. I don’t play it often but would like to keep it playable. Looking for some opinions on what the best course of action would be. I am trying to find a reputable place to give it a look over and see what they can do. Definitely want to keep original sound but clean up the issues with it.
 

charliechitlins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,020
Those amps have components that have a SHELF LIFE of about 15 years.
Even if you don't use it, they wear out.
If a capacitor blows, it could take a transformer with it.
They are made of unobtainium.
There is also something called a "Death Cap" that can live up to its name if you don't remove it.
Find a good amp tech.
Awesome amp.
I've had a '56 for about 35 years and it's seen hundreds of gigs.
We need pics!
 

tannerjthomas

Member
Messages
22
Post your location and ask for recommendations of exceptional amp techs in your
Those amps have components that have a SHELF LIFE of about 15 years.
Even if you don't use it, they wear out.
If a capacitor blows, it could take a transformer with it.
They are made of unobtainium.
There is also something called a "Death Cap" that can live up to its name if you don't remove it.
Find a good amp tech.
Awesome amp.
I've had a '56 for about 35 years and it's seen hundreds of gigs.
We need pics!
Sweet!! Thanks for the input. I’m amazed with original components that after 65 years it even sounds as good as it does now. My grandpa used to play it at gigs all over when it was new and all the way through the 60s then it basically sat in a closet for the next 35 years until I got it. With the actual value of it plus the sentimental value I’m searching for someone local who is really reputable to work on it.

I’ out of town today and tomorrow but I’ll post a reply with pics of it to you on Friday when I get home.
 

59Jazzmaster

Member
Messages
719
Those amps have components that have a SHELF LIFE of about 15 years.
Even if you don't use it, they wear out.
If a capacitor blows, it could take a transformer with it.
They are made of unobtainium.
There is also something called a "Death Cap" that can live up to its name if you don't remove it.
Find a good amp tech.
Awesome amp.
I've had a '56 for about 35 years and it's seen hundreds of gigs.
We need pics!

I have tweed amps with all original components which have been in service since the 50s. The capacitors degrade when they are not used.

OP, you need a cap job is all, maybe some tubes. Find a good amp tech who knows vintage amps. I don't know anyone in NM unfortunately.
 

tannerjthomas

Member
Messages
22
I have tweed amps with all original components which have been in service since the 50s. The capacitors degrade when they are not used.

OP, you need a cap job is all, maybe some tubes. Find a good amp tech who knows vintage amps. if you say your town maybe I can recommend one.
Albuquerque. What about it shocking me? Any idea what component might be causing that? Or just a wiring short to the power switch?
 

59Jazzmaster

Member
Messages
719
Albuquerque. What about it shocking me? Any idea what component might be causing that? Or just a wiring short to the power switch?

Not sure, I'm not a tech, but it could be a few things. I would stop playing it until its serviced, as dude said, if you blow a cap, which is likely, you could take a transformer with it. I don't know anyone in NM unfortunately. If all else fails, you can ship it to a great tech, just make sure you pack it in such a way as it can be dropped from waist level with no damage.
 

charliechitlins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,020
Albuquerque. What about it shocking me? Any idea what component might be causing that? Or just a wiring short to the power switch?
You have a 2-prong plug.
Try flipping the ground switch.
What we used to do is touch the guitar strings to the mic; if there is a pop and a spark, flip the ground switch.
If you forget to do it, that pop and spark might come from your lips when they touch the mic.
There is also something lovingly known as the "death cap".
Amp builders no longer use it.
Certain faults can send voltage through the cap and to the chassis...which will come through the cable, your guitar and you.
Get it serviced.
 

charliechitlins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,020
I have tweed amps with all original components which have been in service since the 50s. The capacitors degrade when they are not used.

OP, you need a cap job is all, maybe some tubes. Find a good amp tech who knows vintage amps. I don't know anyone in NM unfortunately.
Have you checked if they are leaking?
IMO, you have a ticking bomb.
 

tannerjthomas

Member
Messages
22
Not sure, I'm not a tech, but it could be a few things. I would stop playing it until its serviced, as dude said, if you blow a cap, which is likely, you could take a transformer with it. I don't know anyone in NM unfortunately. If all else fails, you can ship it to a great tech, just make sure you pack it in such a way as it can be dropped from waist level with no damage.
For sure. I haven’t played it in a few years for this reason. If I can’t find anyone local I am willing to get it to someone good. Thanks.
 

59Jazzmaster

Member
Messages
719
Have you checked if they are leaking?
IMO, you have a ticking bomb.

I have a few like that. They were all checked, not leaking much. Playing them every day keeps them alive. I used to get them checked every year or two, but eventually I stopped. If I had to bet money on one of them failing in my lifetime, I'd bet against it.
 




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