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Retro Deluxe Plus 5A3C 

 "Classic 1950's Les Paul Tones"

Frenzel Retro Dleuxe Plus 5A3 Guitar Tube Amplifier
Frenzel Retro  Deluxe Plus 5A3 Guitar Tube Amplifier


  • Model No. FM-5A3RDP

  • Push-Pull 6L6 Guitar & Bass Amp

  • Classic "Big Bottle" 6SL7 Preamp Tubes

  • 4-8-16 Ohm Speaker Switch

  • Multi Power Level  1/4 - 1/2 - Full

  • Dual Channel Deluxe & Plexi Preamps

  • Separate Gains With Bright Switches

  • Deep Bass Switch

  • 3 Band Tone Stack

  • Presence With Edge Boost

  • 6L6-EL34 Bias Switch

  • Solid-State Rectifier

  • Post OT Line Out With Level

  • Tubes: 3 -6SL7, 2-6L6

  • Custom Upgrade Options

MSRP: $1385.00



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Guitarist Description:   We are talking meticulous perfection.  The octal tubes sing with bell like clarity...and  growl like nobody's business. I married this to a pine cabinet with a Jensen black bird 40, 12" speaker and it's perfect. Sounds better than an original tweed deluxe.  James E. (California) 


The FRENZEL "Retro Deluxe Plus 5A3"  is the retro version of our Deluxe Plus 525 which has rave reviews from all over the world. It was "INSPIRED" by the  Classic 1949 Fender 5A3 Deluxe...but it is a much more than a clone. The "Retro Deluxe Plus" uses vintage 6SL7 "big bottle" octal tubes in place of  12AX7's and it has two separate preamp channels, one voiced like  the Fender 5A3 Deluxe and one voiced like the Marshall Plexi.  The F and M channels have separate input jacks and gain controls which allows you to use an AB/Y switch to select one channel for Clean and one for Boost...or blend them together for your own unique tones.  The voices are contoured by a modified Bassman style three band tone stack accentuated with a modified Presence control which has an "Edge" boost pull-switch to contour the negative feedback for dynamic soaring leads. We also  added a Master control which allows you to control and shape the preamp and output stage overdrive tones.  We  replaced the 6V6's in the original Deluxe 5A3 output stage with 6L6GC's to give you more overhead and to boost the power. For those that prefer the Marshall tones, we  added a EL34/6L6 bias switch that allows you to use EL34's in place of the 6L6's. The  output transformer is a heavy duty  extended range type with 4-8-16 ohm outputs designed to produce with crystal clarity all the high, mid, bass the harmonics that your instrument creates.  The output transformer feeds a passive three power level attenuator that provides a selection of 1/4, 1/2 or FULL power.  All these features allow you to create your on unique tones. The F channel will give you the great mellow jazz and blues sounds that the Fender amps were famous for in the late 40's and early 50's. Think Les Paul tones...oh yeah! The M channel will give you dynamic Super Lead Plexi rock sounds like you have never heard before. It works great with guitar, mandolin, bass, organ, piano, harp and strings. Think of it as a 5A3 on steroids! 

Standard Features:

  • Normal (Type F) Bright (Type M) inputs with separate preamps and Gain controls for the unique smooth Fender 5A3 Deluxe warm tones or the Marshall Plexi great high mid-tones....or you can use an AB-Y switch and create your own distinct tones.

  • Pull Bright Switch on Gain Control  - This switch enhances brightness at lower level settings of the  Gain control.  As the control is turned up, there will be less effect . At the max setting of the  control there is no effect.

  • Pull Deep Switch on Bass Control – This switch enhances the Bass and attenuates the Treble.

  • Classic Bassman 5F6A style 3-BAND TONE STACK for extended flexibility in shaping your tone.

  • Master level control so you can crank the GAIN's up and overdrive the preamp without overdriving the output tubes.

  • Presence control  - used to adjust the high-frequency response and damping factor of the power amp section.

  • Boost - Unique NNFB "Edge" boost switch on the PRESENCE control that transforms the power amp section into a No-Negative-FeedBack style amp for soaring dynamic leads. 

  • Line Out - post output transformer LINE OUT with LINE OUT LEVEL control for recording or driving a power amp, Auto switched internal load to simulate speaker if speaker is  not plugged in. Inject great tone directly into the PA system with the Speaker Simulated Direct Interface.

  • Custom heavy duty output transformer for extended low frequency performance with 4 - 8 - 16 ohm outputs selectable by a rotary switch.

  • Three Power Level Selector Switch - Provides three power levels. 1/4 -1/2  FULL.

  • EL34/6L6 Bias Selector Switch - Allows you to use either 6L6 or EL34 power output tubes.

  • Ultra fast heavy duty high voltage solid-state rectifiers provide sharp pick attack and dynamic bass.

  • Standby Switch - Protects tubes from cathode stripping during warm-up.  

  • Tube Complement: comes standard with 3 - 6SL7,  2 - 6L6. You can also use 6SN7's in the preamp and driver for different tones and overdrive sounds. You can also substitute 5881's, KT66's or EL34's and KT77's when using the EL34/6L6 Bias Selector Switch  in the output stage for different sounds.

Electrical Specifications: 

  • Input Power  120 VAC 50-60Hz - 155 Watts Standard IEC plug-in three prong grounded power cord. (230 - 240VAC available. See Upgrade Options) 

  • Output Tubes - Class AB Push-Pull 6L6's - Fixed Bias

  • Output Power  - 25 watts

  • Output Power Selector Switch - provides three power levels. 1/4 - 1/2 - FULL power. 

  • Speaker Output Impedance - selectable by switch 4-8-16 ohms.

  • Line Out Impedance - 10K ohms

  • Instrument Input Impedance - 1 Megohm

Physical Data: 

  • Open Chassis Dimensions - 12" Wide x 8" Deep x 2" High. (Add 6" clearance for tubes)

  • Weight - 15 lbs. 

  • Chassis - Heavy gauge aluminum with welded corners.

  • Retro Vintage Cage Mini Head - heavy duty lightweight steel mesh cage provides protection and excellent ventilation for tubes. Comes with easy carry Fender style strap handle. Overall Dimensions - 12" Wide x 10" Deep x 10" High (RETRO DELUXE PLUS 5A3C MODEL ONLY)

  • Rock solid point-to-point hand wiring with military style tie-wrapped wiring harnesses for long life and reliability.

  • DC on filaments to eliminate 60 hz hum.

  • Star ground system to eliminate induced current chassis noise.

  • Input and Output Jacks isolated from chassis for low noise, eddy currents, and hum.

  • Components:  Only the highest quality parts are used including heavy duty transformers, low noise tubular polypropylenes capacitors, metal film resistors, Micalex sockets, Neutrik jacks. All parts are rated for commercial high use conditions. Wherever possible we use parts made in the USA.

  • Front Panel:  F Input Jack, M Input Jack, F Gain with Bright pull switch, M Gain with Bright pull switch, Bass with Deep pull switch, Middle, Treble, Presence/Edge Boost Pull Switch, Pilot Lamp, On-Standby-Off Power Switch

  • Rear Panel:   Power Cord Connector, Fuse,  Line Out Level, Line Out Jack, Speaker Output Jack, Output Power Level Switch, Speaker 4-8-16 Impedance Selector Switch

Upgrade Options:

These options allow you to  customize your amp to meet your special individual requirements.

EFFECTS LOOP -  pure tube buffered serial effects loop designed to perfectly match the low impedance solid-state pedal levels with high impedance tube levels..  Add $75.00.  

"SURFER"VINTAGE TUBE TREMOLO   - pure tube tremolo for those vintage vibe tones. Great for surf music! Comes with Depth and Speed controls on front panel and footswitch pedal. Add $95.00 

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DUAL RECTIFIER POWER SUPPLY - Power supply has a 5AR4 tube rectifier mode for that "saggy" smooth compression on peaks and a solid-state bridge rectifier mode for sharp pick attack and dynamic bass. Switch on rear panel selects mode of operation. Add $105.00


Review by  Jim Roberts & The Resonants

"I have  two Frenzel Tube Amps. One is a 25 watt 2008 Retro FM-5E3 Deluxe Plus and and the other a 40 watts 2011 FM-5E3 SD Super Deluxe. Jim Frenzel makes the real deal....and at fair prices that all can afford.. I used the 25 watt in the studio exclusively to record our "Devil on a Dirt Road CD." You can hear how I used my Frenzel at  All the CD songs are there and free to listen to. I couldn't be happier!!! I never go anywhere without my Frenzels! Thanks Jim!" — Jim Roberts (California). 

Review by "Clyde the Slyde" !

Jim, I was experimenting in my studio this morning with my FRENZEL FM - 5E3 Deluxe Plus. I flipped on the recorder, slipped on my slide and this jumped out of the speakers on the first take. I will use this as an intro for another song I will record soon. Equipment used…Frenzel FM - 5E3 Deluxe Plus using Marshall input ,1x12 speaker cabinet with Celestion vintage 30, Reverend Avenger (semi hollow with 3 strat single pole pickups) customized for slide, Shure 57 microphone , 20’ guitar cable.....Not a single pedal…what an amp!

BADSLYDE - Clyde The Slyde
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Frenzel On Fire - Clyde The Slyde
00:00 / 00:00

Jim,  The more I play this amp the more I love it. I was cutting a track for my new album this morning and this just slipped out. Feel free to use it on  your website. I've been jumpering the two inputs and blending the two. Just a touch of the F-Channel adds the bottom end I love and I crank the M-Channel to keep the mids sweet and punchy. I've beek playing live like this lately and have received a number of comments from folks about how good the tone is. Loud, crisp and clear, cutting through the mix but never too loud. Here's the specs on the clip. 

1. 5E3 Frenzel Deluxe using M-Channel and F-Channel jumpered using Y connector.
2. 8 ohm 2x12 Speaker Cabinet with 1 Red Tone Tubby Hemp Cone and 1
Celestion Vintage 30
2. 1972 Gibson SG with DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups
3. Shure 57 Microphone
4. 18' Guitar Cord (No effects)

Clyde's personal testimonial... 

Jim's amps are alive! The notes sing, scream or whisper - all depending on your touch. I've never played a more soulful, musical and responsive
amplifier. The quality is first rate and Jim stands behind his products 110%. You must have one!

For more of Clyde's music, check out his  MySpace page at

Sound Clip by Dalibor Jurasin

Cool Jazz 1 - Dalibor Jurasin
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Cool Jazz 2 - Dalibor Jurasin
00:00 / 00:00

Frenzel Retro Deluxe 5A3 Customer Review - I love my Frenzel amp and cab.  I'm sure this will be my main amp the rest of my life. Thanks, Bill K. (Indiana) 

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Frenzel Retro Deluxe 5A3 Customer Review --  Hey guys, just wanted to let you know my little 15 watter y'all built me a dozen years ago is still running strong. I gig with it regularly. Seems like the tones just keep getting better. I also blow harp through it with a hall of fame reverb pedal. Wow. Warmth and grit. Love the line out, works great for larger rooms. Keep up the great work. Thanks for being there for us. I have attached a photo with my 1940 Gibson EH-125. Thanks for all you do. Timothy

timothy-bbcurtis 5a3 combo with1940gibson 125 eh.png

Customer Reviews  We have listed a few of our customer reviews below. Please visit our  Customer Reviews page for more reviews.


Dear Jim,  Safely, it reached home. Thank you. It is a wonderful jazz amplifier. It is a loved tone. Thank you. m(__)m! Kitagaki M. (Japan)


Hi - We are talking meticulous perfection. After owning just about every amp possible and chasing tone...for years. I finally came across a Harmony five watt octal tube hand wired amp that nailed the sound I was looking for all those years. But, unfortunately it did not have enough oomf to gig with. So I set about searching for something equivalent. Then I heard a friend's original fender tweed deluxe and I was smitten again, but who can afford an original tweed deluxe 5a3. So my search led me to Frenzel. And that was a lucky day indeed...because the Retro Deluxe Plus 5A3 amp that they built is tonal perfection. The octal tubes sing with bell like clarity...and  growl like nobody's business. I married this to a pine cabinet with a Jensen black bird 40, 12" speaker and it's perfect. Sounds better than an original tweed deluxe.  James E. (California) 

Thank you, Jim. My Retro Deluxe arrived today and it is an awesome harp amp. I tried out two vintage microphones with it and it sounds great! It delivers the tone I want. It’s loaded with numerous extras. It’s priced right. And it was shipped in the most secure container I have ever received,I appreciate your attention to detail in every aspect of the amp. I appreciate you sharing your commitment to outreach work as well.Frenzel embodies integrity.Thanks.May you have joyous abundance in everything you do, Best regards,Vin (Massachusetts)

Hello Frenzel,  I am VERY pleased with the  "Retro Deluxe" Guitar Amp that I recently received!!!  AWESOME SOUND AND TONE!!  Chaz P. (Colorado)

Jim - I have received my amp the Frenzel  Retro Deluxe. All I can say is WOW WOW WOW what a spectacular amp, a true classic, thank you thank you thank you, I LOVE THIS AMP!  Bill S. (Indiana) 

Hey Frenzel Team  - I would like to thank everyone involved for the outstanding workmanship, professionalism and care you show in doing things right for the people who do business with you. The way you packed the amp so it would arrive in perfect condition is truly impressive.  I believe that of all the companies I have ever dealt with, regardless of field of expertise, your company is the one that has stood out the most. I tried the amp (5A3RD/Surfer Upgrade) as soon as everything was ready to go and the sound is full and well defined. I will make sure people know about Frenzel amps among the musicians I know here in Montreal.  I'm very happy and I can't wait for my next gig.  Michel P. (Montreal, Canada)

Hi Jim,  I had never heard a 1949 5A3 Deluxe in person, but what I noticed on internet demo's was quite how ‘fat' they sound when cranked in comparison to later Fender amps. The Frenzel Retro Deluxe does this really well, almost like a fuzz. I have only cranked the master and gain fully in its 5 watt mode, and the overdrive is different from a Blackface or Silverface style, darker, more compressed, richer. It’s versatile too. In 20 watt mode it’s loud and has enough head room, it does jazz very nicely with a hollow body, clean or slightly broken up, and it also sounds great with a Telecaster. You can do Wes Montgomery or Punk with this head. I ordered a Tremolo on mine, which is lovely and has a load of sustain. It is a dark amp, I tried it with numerous different cabs I own before I found the perfect match (for me at least), an open back 1x12 with a 70s Fane/Hiwatt ceramic speaker. It is a bright speaker so I guess that makes sense. The Retro Deluxe also works well with an old school Alnico speaker for a 50s sound. I am impressed but not surprised how nice this amp is (it’s so quiet it’s almost silent), as I have had one of Jim’s 5E3’s for many years and it is the most reliable and well used amp in my studio, wonderful cleans, nice low gain drive on the Marshall channel. This new Retro Deluxe has already received several compliments from other players who have tried mine, it is a different amp to the 5E3 in a good way.I have lots of guitar amplifiers, from famous brands, boutique makers, cheap ones and oddball ones; this Frenzel is great and will get lots of use, highly recommended. The power scaling does what it should do (3 modes), you could definitely use it as a bedroom amp if that is your need. Lastly I should mention the Frenzel service, which is always as good as it gets. I am in the UK, and yet I knew what was going on during the build via constant email updates, and it was delivered perfectly and very quickly. Super friendly people, great service, great pro amps. Thanks Jim.   Rupert Latimer (Sussex, UK) 


Hey Jim and crew! - I am really enjoying the amp. The best part of all this is the flexibility and ease of changing the tubes. I now have the exact tube compliment of  Don Helms the steel player for Hank Williams!   TC - (Florida)  


Hi Jim, I can not say enough about the quality and sound of the Sweet Little 15 and the Retro deluxe that you recently made for me. Every time I plug these in and get such inspirational tones with ease, and the value provided, WOW, Thanks, Mike H. (Victoria, BC Canada)


Hello, I received my Retro Deluxe (5A3RD) amp today. I plugged it into my Weber Minimass and then into my computer audio.  I added some of my favorite pedals to the mix.  I soon found out I don't need some of my pedals nor do I need the Minimass.  The amp sounds great and has a good range of possible tone settings with the two pull controls on the gain and bass parametric eq knobs.  Thank you for throwing in the pull deep switch on the bass control.  This amp sounds the way I hoped it would and then some.  I plan to order the Sweet Little 15 next. Dan R. (DC suburbs)


Jim- Another big thanks... your amps are fabulous, and even more than my high absolutely loving both amps (twin rev., and custom retro), and they have been used on most of my gigs, and sessions... the smaller sized retro fits in my case/seat, and makes it easier for the packed van tours...cheers, and hats off to you Jim... Charlie H. (Canada)


Hey Jim, Pheeeew....just received my 5A3RD, amazing tone!  With just a little boost pedal to push those 6SL7 tubes over the top you get a really fuzzy, thick and unique overdrive unlike any other amps i've had.  Also has a great big round clean tone that i'm loving too.  From the way it was shipped to the build quality everything was AAA, was definitely worth the wait.  You can tell you guys take pride in what you do.  Mick B. (Illinois)


Hi Jim, Got the amp 5A3RD  yesterday.  Your care in packing was as good as I have seen. I let the tubes warm up for about an hour and have played it for about an hour.  I am VERY impressed with the old school Jazz tones I am getting on my Mann 5 string electric mandolin. I will write a more complete review in a couple of weeks.  Let me say thank you for this wonderful piece of gear! Pete M.(Washington)

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