'59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit

'59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit

'59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit

Item # 10731
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'59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit

About This Item

The dirty little devil that shaped guitar history
With mysteriously fat saturated tone, this little monster makes it easy to achieve seismic distortion.

This amp's 5E3 circuit is an enigma. Why do the controls on the channel you're NOT using make your tone so great? Some say it's caused by defects in the circuit design, others dive deep into the nuances of the engineering ... but at the end of the day whether it was a happy accident or pure genius, this amp is one of the finest examples of vintage tone available anywhere, at any price.

Just listen to Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps. From the hint of crunch you hear on the opening note of "My My, Hey Hey", to the warm overdrive in "Powderfinger" and finally the gritty dirt in "Hey Hey, My My" you will see exactly what this little tweed amp is capable of … goosebumps.

StewMac has lovingly recreated this timeless amplifier in our '59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit. This is one of our Icon Kits: loving reproductions of vintage classics.

If building such an iconic classic sounds hard, don't worry. We've gone to great lengths to make this kit something a complete beginner can tackle. The '59 Tweed is a perfect place to start. It comes with all the parts you need to complete this project in just a few evenings.

  • The cabinet interiors are genuine 3/4" North American Pine (not plywood), just like the ones made in the Fullerton factory in the 1950s
  • Superior craftsmanship on the tweed covered exteriors with perfectly aligned seams
  • Premium quality hardware
  • Top-shelf 6V6, 12AX7, 12AY7, 5Y3 tubes and vintage spec Heyboer transformers to give your amp the perfect vintage tone
  • High-quality period-authentic resistors, CTS pots, Orange Drop caps, and Switchcraft jacks for their authentic tone and a lifetime of trouble-free use
  • Authentic fiber eyelet boards just like the ones used in the original vintage amps
  • Period-correct pushback wire
  • 12" Jensen speaker – just like the ones used in the originals
  • We created easy step-by-step instructions for each amp kit, breaking down every task into clear, bite-sized pieces. With hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations, these instructions make this an easy, fun and rewarding project—even for first-time builders.

Need Help? Our trained staff is standing by!
If you get stuck don't worry, we're here to help. Our amp team is just a phone call away.

You don't need a shop full of tools either!
The great thing about these amp kits is they only require a few relatively inexpensive tools.

Amp cabinet dimensions
Height: 16" (40.64cm)
Width: 20" (50.8cm)
Depth: 9-1/2" (24.13cm)



WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Instructions

Product Instructions

'59 Tweed 15W Amp Kit Instructions

The new StewMac '59 Tweed will be a blast to play through and even more fun to build.

Customer Reviews

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4.5
  • 4.54 average rating from 13 reviews
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4.0

Fun Project, Great Instructions, Great Support

By

Verified Buyer


First time amp build...no real electronics experience beyond guitar wiring. I was doubtful that I could assemble it without a mistake, but to my surprise it worked first time. The amp is super quiet, and the tone is great...really a fun amp and terrific knowing I built it myself. The tweed cabinet is well assembled and has a great vintage appeal.

PROS:

The instructions are superb, as others have noted. I quadruple checked everything, and the stewmac instructions made it easier to double check connections. If it weren't for the instructions I don't think it would have worked.

Shipping was quick, arrived in 3 days. Everything was well packed and arrived undamaged.

support was excellent. A couple parts needed replacing, and they were at my door in two days. I had a couple questions, and I got a call back within 3 hours.

The parts were well organized in a compartment tray.

The project took me about 12 hours, but I wasn't rushing.

CONS:

a few issues with the parts...the kit shipped with 5 shunting jacks instead of 4 shunting and one mono jack. It didn't matter, but I wasn't totally sure until I was able to talk to stewmac support. One of the tube shields was missing an internal spring, and the two 9 pin sockets were both defective...the pins fell out of the front of the socket when you turned it over. Stewmac replaced them with a higher quality Belton socket, which worked excellently.

I needed about a foot more green wire, which stewmac supplied.

Overall, excellent experience. Some tips that I gleaned from this first-time experience:

you can't double check connections often enough. Despite trying to be super careful, my final inspection revealed two unsoldered connections. I couldn't believe I missed it.

Check continuity of behind the board jumpers and ground points several times.

Somewhere online I saw the phrase, "pretend it's broken and you're trying to find the wiring error." I thought this was an good way to sharpen attention.

Another tip is to make a copy of the wiring diagram, and use a highlighter to highlight every component or wire after it is installed. If you're done, and something isn't highlighted, you missed it.

I used this experience to learn about how this amp works, what the components do, how the signal runs through the schematic, and how varying the values of the components can vary the tone. It's easier than you think, and greatly enhances the experience and ability to diagnose problems. c
carefully arranging the wires is key to reducing hum and being able to trace your wiring. There are online resources that explain "lead dress".

Good luck!

5.0

A dream come true for a guitar nut

By


After 55 years of playing guitar I decided to expand my passion to building both guitars and amps. The 59 tweed amp kit was a perfect project. A great way to learn about classic tube amps and end up with an awesome guitar amp for my Fender guitar collection. I admit that my soldering skills were a problem and there were a couple of cold solder connections that caused some grief. Matt at tech support did a good job guiding me, but ultimately a local amp tech had to help me out getting the tricky tube socket connections done right.
This is an excellent amp kit with clear step by step instructions.
Two suggestions: it would be interesting to get more information about what the different components actually do. Also, guitar nuts like myselt are not automatically skilled at the art of soldering. An expanded soldering tutorial would help addressing issues like oxidation of the tip, the use of flux, choice of tip, wattage settings of the iron, etc..

Overall a fabulous and fun experience.

4.0

Excellent parts, instruction and support

By

Verified Buyer


I have some experience with soldering guitars and working with my hands and this project some times needed all my attention, working in tight spaces within a small chassis. The only trouble I had was soldering the speaker wires into the plug housing. The wires are bigger than the eyelet tabs and I had to be careful to keep the connections separate in the tight housing space.

I called support and received professional and courteous assistance with testing to fix my issue. I had to wait for a call back or an email to talk with an amp tech.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow and the recommended breaks are appropriate to fend off the potential fatigue factor.

The reason this review is not 5 stars is that like a couple of other reviews here, I received about a foot short of green wire. And when I ordered online, the Jensen speaker was listed, but I received an Eminence. My instruction manual also listed the Jensen. StewMac arranged a swap without questions. So, no deal breakers with these two hiccups, but inconveniences.

The amp sounds amazing, as advertised, thanks StewMac!

4.0

Great Amp! A few kit annoyances.

By

Verified Buyer


I'd give this 4.5/5 if I could, but I can't give it a 5 because of a few issues.

• I'm a novice builder, only previous experience was some guitar wiring. Some of my annoyance was probably because of my inexperience.
• The kit was well organized and the instructions were great.
• The amp sounds great. It's worth digging around online to understand how the controls interact.

Issues:
• I had the same green wire issues noted in other reviews, I didn't get enough wire, And it was 18ga rather than the 22ga used in the rest of the kit. StewMac was very parsimonious in sending me extra wire, and the 18ga stuff didn't behave well when twisted. I ended up buying 22ga for the heater circuit which was easier to install. BTW, if you strip the 18ga green wire with the stripping tool recommended in the manual, you can nick the core, which then snaps when you bend it.
• One wrong tube was sent as well. StewMac replaced quickly.
• Speaker mounting studs were bent and needed to be straightened to get the speaker to fit.

Other info:
• I finished the tweed with a few coats of half-strength amber shellac, with some sanding in between coats. It makes the tweed look great, and it's way more durable.
• I had Mindy Hatcher in Post Falls, ID, make a custom name plate for the amp. $20, shipped in a day and looks great. Go to Etsy and search for AwardsEtc.

Response from StewMac


Hello Jim,
Thank you for submitting your review on our '59 Tweed amp kit. We truly appreciate your feedback. We apologize for the oversights with the kit that we have made up with the proper components. Customer comments like yours have been the catalsyt to many product changes and quality control enhancments. Thank you for the suggestion of applying shellac to the tweed and the sign-maker reference. We are happy that you are satisfied with your finished build. Have a great day!

4.0

First Look, packaging and initial assembly

By

Verified Buyer


Extremely well packaged. Shipped fast and arrived quickly. All parts are quality items. The cabinet is a work of art with the tweed pattern alignment near perfect at the seams and at the two rear panels.

I began assembly after doing a basic inventory of the parts and haven't found anything missing so far. The Manual is spectacular with all steps in a clear and concise format, easy to read and follow. I began at step one and continued step by step in the order specified in the instructions.

My only issue so far is with the mounting of the speaker (my kit came with the 50 watt 8 ohm Jensen). The mounting bolts for the speaker pre-installed in the cabinet for the speaker are not very well aligned. They come out of the baffle board a bit crooked and their spacing doesn't quite match the corresponding holes on the speaker frame. it took some bending of the bolts (I used a deep well1/4 inch socket on an extension) and after getting the speaker to fit on the bolts I still had to use the nuts to get it to pull make sure i to the baffle board. I had to work slowly and carefully to make sure I tightened everything evenly to avoid deforming the speaker frame.

That issue is why I only gave it a four star rating.

I finished the cabinet assembly, prepped the circuit and insulator boards and laid out the parts for the chassis and then called the session to a close. The bit with mounting the speaker was a challenge for a while but I am very satisfied so far. I am really looking forward to completing this build and I am confident that the rest of the process will go well. When I'm finished I will post a followup review and hopefully be able to add the 5th star to the rating. This kit really is very, very cool.


5.0

Addendum to earlier review

By

Verified Buyer


Great kit as stated before. Now that I have lived with the amp, here is my personal opinion. The Texas Heat speaker that is included with the kits is not a good match for this. It is 150W speaker. It just muddled with the lows. I swapped that speaker for a Weber 12" 30W. They have many options for 5E3 amps. This is their classic recommendation. BOOM! This amp is now fantastic! The 30W Weber speaker just makes it. This amp is really a rocker and sounds fantastic.

5.0

Excellent kit!

By

Verified Buyer


StewMac ’59 Tweed Deluxe review

First of all, my experience level is probably fairly high – I have some experience building electronics kits, wiring guitars, soldering, Arduino, all that, but I’ve never built an amplifier of any kind so this was a little bit new to me.

So, the review:

Packing - the kit arrived in beautiful shape, in two boxes, one being the cabinet and the other being everything else. All VERY well packed, and no shipping-related damage whatsoever.

Parts picking – a couple of minor issues with this. On the plus side, the kit came with a meticulously checked-off and signed/dated parts list. However, the kit calls for five shorting jacks and a plain mono jack, but I received six shorting jacks. StewMac support was quick to reply, and they’re sending me a mono jack. (I happened to have a mono jack on hand, so I kept on building.) Also, I found that I ran out of the lovely green cloth/pushback hookup wire early – I ended up using the extra yellow pushback wire to finish the tube heater circuit. Not ideal, but it works the same, of course. I think I’ve seen at least one other review here that commented on this issue.

Instructions – this is a strong point for StewMac. There are a number of other vendors in the tube amp clone business, but none of them seem to have instructions that are anywhere near this good. (Some of them just send you a circuit diagram – I guess that works if you’ve built a lot of amps.) Very clear instructions, suitable for a newbie.

Parts quality – nice! No skimping that I can see. Chassis and cab very well done. I did find that the speaker bolt premounted in the cabinet were pointing in all different directions, which made lining up the holes in the speaker frame with the bolts pretty tricky. I ended up having to bend the bolts to straighten them out, but it was still hard to get the torque right on all of them with that angled installation to keep the frame from warping. In retrospect, I should have used hollow-shaft nut drivers to straighten the bolts up.

Difficulty – not difficult, as long as you’re good with your hands and have a lot of things like hemostats and so on to help with bending the wires to wrap them to terminals, as there is some tight wiring, especially around the tube sockets. I’d recommend the aforementioned hollow-shaft nut drivers (SAE) for a few parts of the job, like mounting the power transformer, which requires tightening nut on some very confined spaces in the corners of the chassis.
Results – Worked the first time, and sounds great! A couple of the high-voltage reading came out a little lower than recommended (i.e., not within the 10% range they suggest), but it seems to work fine, and as far as I can tell, it sounds like a Tweed Deluxe, which is to say, sweet.

4.0

Great Amp Kit.  Few issues

By

Verified Buyer


I own an original 57 Tweed Deluxe. I have always wanted to build an amp and this was the one. There are a few minor issues but the kit is great and the sound is super although a little bit on the dark side.
The Good:
First of all the parts are packaged very well. I love the fact that they come in plastic divider boxes. That is a very nice touch. The cabinet is well made and beautiful. The instruction manual is top-notch and very clear. It takes you step by step. I learned a lot about voltages and the dangers of those. They really walk you through checking your work and using your multimeter. The amp went together beautifully and after checking everything, it worked the first time. The sound is just great although it is a bit dark even in the bright channel. It definitely sounds better with single coils.

The bad:
My kit had some wrong tubes included. I called Stew-Mac and they sent the correct tubes. Great service, but a silly mistake that delayed me a bit. Secondly, The green heater wire was short by about a foot. I had to go to an auto store to find similar gauge wire to finish the job. It works but it spoiled the "vintage" look and feel. Oddly, they sent about two feet extra of the yellow jumper wire.
A bit more attention to detail would have been nice. I was a little surprised.
The last bit that has been mentioned is the substitution of the Eminence speaker of the original Jensen. The Eminence sounds good, but maybe that is the reason for the darker sound. I may try a Jensen like my original.

Overall this was a very fun experience and I like the amp. I will definitely build one of their other kits. I can't say enough about the great instructions. If not for the missing parts, this is a definite 5 Star review.

4.0

Very good kit, with a couple of issues

By

Verified Buyer


Overall, this is a very good kit, especially for a novice amp builder like me. The instruction manual is well done, with clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations. If you follow the manual, you really can’t go wrong. There are a couple of very minor errors/omissions, but they don’t affect the build. The parts are all high quality, and the components come conveniently sorted into two divider boxes. The cabinet is well-built, with perfectly matched tweed seams. I don’t need to tell you how great the amp sounds when it’s done.

I’m giving this 4/5 stars for two reasons. First, when I ordered this kit, it was described as coming with a Jensen speaker “just like the original.” It actually came with an Eminence Texas Heat speaker, which is a very different animal. The description has since been changed on the website. I put a more vintage tweed sounding speaker in this amp and will use the Eminence somewhere else. Second, my kit was short about 10” of the green push-back wire used for the heater circuit. StewMac said they were out of the green wire and sent me something else that didn’t match. This probably doesn’t happen very often, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this kit to anyone for whom the speaker choice is not a deal breaker.

5.0

This amp sounds AMAZING !!!

By

Verified Buyer


Easy Build, instructions are geared more towards the beginners and are very detailed.
Being a experienced builder I feel a lot of the soldering could have been done along the way instead of being completed in the last steps.
My Amp is dead quite, no hum or noise, just pure tone. I immediately replaced my Fender Deluxe Reverb I use on stage with this Amp.
If you can solder, you can build this.
Loads of fun, for a ton of Tone

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