A 1957 Fender Twin Amp - Model 5E8A, Serial No. A-00752, Chassis Number A-00752,2
Lot 92W
A 1957 Fender Twin Amp - Model 5E8A, Serial No. A-00752, Chassis Number A-00752,2
Sold for US$ 39,040 inc. premium
Lot Details
A 1957 Fender Twin Amp - Model 5E8A,
Serial No. A-00752, Chassis Number A-00752,
with a tape label inside the chassis inscribed Cesar Diaz 10-10-1986, top control style open-back cabinet with tweed covering, metal plate stamped Fender Twin Amp, brown grille cloth, leather handle, chrome-plated chassis with five black 'chicken head' style rotary controls, two toggle switches, voltage selector, four jack inputs, red jewel pilot lamp, fuse holder, four pre-amp valves, four 6L6GC power amp valves, solid-state rectifier, two 12-inch 1973 blue Fender ceramic speakers with annotations TM 9-30-95, TM 9-29-95, TM 9-30-95 and TM10-8-95, multi-voltage model, US plug, green earth-wire; with aluminum flight case (2)

Footnotes

  • Acquired by Clapton in the 1980s and extensively modified by Cesar Diaz in 1986, this amplifier was reputed to be his favourite amp, the sound of which helped him to shape the rich guitar tone of some of his most significant performances in the prolific 1990s. The highlights include appearances at the 1992 Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration, Nothing But The Blues/From The Cradle Tours of 1994/1995 and The Hyde Park concert in 1996.

    An extract from an interview with Eric Clapton by Dan Forte Guitar World magazine,1989:
    DF: A lot of Strat players, like Jimmy Vaughan and Buddy Guy, get a twangy sound without a lot of sustain, but you get a lot of sustain with a Strat. Is that a product of your vibrato?
    EC: It's that and a combination of that new active system in my particular guitar... and the old tweed Fender Twin, which is my number one amp in the studio. I found it at Pete's Guitars in Minneapolis, St Paul years ago. It's been rewired several times because it heats up. Cesar Diaz came in and insulated everything with this extra strong cable, because it would melt after you played it for a while.

    In an interview in Tonequest Report, August 2000, the late Cesar Diaz commented:
    "I took [Clapton's] low-power tweed Twin – the one with the 2 rectifiers, and I changed the transformer to a Fender export transformer. It's the same power transformer that went into the Showman for the first two years. I also took the two rectifiers out and replaced them with a silicon diode and installed two more 6L6s, just like you'd see in a later Twin. For speakers, we used the Jensen Gold Label 12s".

    Despite the concerns about its tendency to overheat, starting with Clapton's appearance alongside Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Albert Collins and Jimmy Vaughan during the blues segment of his 24 Nights shows in 1991, Clapton began taking this amplifier on the road. It went on to serve Clapton full-time until Fender Custom Shop created their clones, [see Lot 93] in 1997.

    In articles in Guitar World from 1994 and also in Tonequest Report from September 2001, the producer Russ Titleman and Clapton's guitar technician respectively confirmed that "about 99% of Clapton's broad palette of guitar tones on the album were achieved by an old Fender Twin [in this lot]" and that "Clapton used the same modified amp for the blues tour following the release of From the Cradle".

    Photo: a) Clapton first used this amp on stage during the Blues Nights in his marathon 24 Nights shows at the Royal Albert Hall, in February 1991. Photograph courtesy of Michael Sawin
    Photo: b) Clapton in the transitional period when he was using this amp for the earlier segment of the show for Blues numbers and the Soldano/Cornish system (lot 91) for the later segment of the show with rock numbers during his 1994 Royal Albert Hall season, February 1991. Photograph courtesy of the Where's Eric! Archive
    Photo: c) Clapton used this amp in his legendary performance of Don't Think Twice, It's Alright at the Bob Dylan – 30th Anniversary Concert, Madison Square Garden, 16 October 1992. (Top of this amp is just visible behind Clapton in this photograph). Photograph courtesy of Michael Brito
    Photo: d) Clapton using this lot as his main amp during his From The Cradle shows at the Royal Albert Hall, February 1995. Photograph courtesy of Linda Wneck

    Further background information about this lot is available by using the condition report facility at www.bonhams.com or by contacting the department.
Activities
Contacts
  1. Stephanie Connell
    Specialist - Entertainment Memorabilia
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3844
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