ToneQuest: Fender 57 Deluxe and Mercury Magnetics Features

After a hiatus of 45 years or so, Fender has been carefully re-entering the business of building hand-wired tweed amplifiers with the resurrection of the narrow panel ’57 tweed Twin and the ’57 Deluxe. Of course, there are scores of small amps that have been inspired by the Deluxe, and many more 5E3 knock-offs being built today in the “subbooteek” cottage industry comprised of solo solderers who build in their spare time and often put their work up on eBay. For some cost-conscious players, a tweed Deluxe for $600–$800 is a deal that cannot be refused—even if the amp was wired up by an unknown tonehead on a basement workbench in Akron. But Fender is Fender, and while they chose to ignore the thriving boutique market for hand-wired tweed circuits that blossomed in the early ’90s with the appearance of Victoria, they have not forgotten how to put an amp together, and in the case of the Deluxe sent to us for review, it stands apart from all the rest with a very unique voice.

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