If you’re searching for a vintage amp to add the richest and warmest tunes to your melodies, then consider the StewMac build your own ’59 Tweed 15W amp kit.
Built to exactly match the original ‘59 model by Fender, this amp is considered a true marvel in the rock-n-roll world. And now you can put it together, piece by piece, on your own.
I wouldn’t say that it’s the “best guitar amp”, as everyone judges differently based on their experiences and preferences. However, we can all agree on one thing; we appreciate an amp that’s genuinely vintage.
In this article, I’ll discuss its features, shortcomings, and its overall performance. Let’s see!
The Most Authentic You Could Get
This amp doesn’t only share the looks of our beloved classic, it actually has everything exactly similar to the 1959 original model by Fender.
For starters, the interior of the cabinet is made from 3/4″ North American pine with the same specifications applied in the Fullerton factory back in the 1950s. This is far better than those lifeless plywood sheets found in today’s amps.
An Exceptional Set of Vacuum Tubes
Start diving in the electrical components and you’ll find top-notch vacuum tubes responsible for that genuine, warm sound you love. StewMac used two 5Y3 tubes as rectifiers, the component that transforms AC into DC.
For the preamp, they used a 12AY7 tube that’s known for its faint noise. They topped these tubes with a sturdy 6V6 tube to power up this beast in the most efficient way possible.
I absolutely like how they used a 12AX7 tube as an oscillator to add a low-speed signal to vary the gain of your guitar.
The Rest of the Parts Are No Different
Moving up to the rest of the components, you’ll find all the transformers made by Heyboer. If you’re unfamiliar with their products, they have been designing and manufacturing high-quality transformers since 1958.
To deliver the best sound possible, this amp is equipped with an original 12″ Jensen speaker.
It’s worth noting that Jensen P15N speakers were exclusively used in the first products of Fender, Bassman, and Bandmaster. That should tell you how much value will be added to your melodies.
All of these components sit atop a sturdy, authentic fiber eyelet board. Never worry about melting this even after years of use.
Anyone Can Build It
Taking a quick look at the disassembled parts of this ‘59 tweed amp might intimate you, especially if you have limited electrical experience.
If this applies to you, you shouldn’t worry at all. This DIY project comes with a fully-detailed step-by-step guide that anyone could easily follow.
They broke down every task in small, clear steps. This way, you can stop and resume any time without getting confused.
Even if you can’t tell each component apart, you’ll be able to seamlessly identify them. This is possible thanks to the full-color photographs and illustrations included.
I also like how they added several bits of humor here and there to keep you entertained through this lengthy process.
Simply put, if you’re passionate enough about the music euphoria this amp provides, you’ll definitely enjoy building it from scratch. At least now you’d be able to take pride in your music and craftsmanship!
- Power: 15 watts
- Dimensions: 16” x 20″ x 9.5” (H x W x D)
- Features 6V6, 12AX7, 12AY7, 5Y3 tubes
- Input voltage: 100-240 V
What Else Is Great?
If you’re connected to the first channel, controlling the volume of the second will surprisingly affect your tone. StewMac doesn’t have a clear explanation behind this. But how cares? All that matters is that nice extra distortion.
The tweed cabinet feels truly authentic and vintage, making it an exact copy to the original ’59 amp by Fender. It’s not only about the looks, though. One customer says that it also has the same warm, rich sound of the original model, which he also owns.
The original Fender model, alongside other famous ones, had a major problem. If someone living outside the US decided to use it, he’ll have a hard time dealing with the difference in input voltage.
Luckily, StewMac was able to bypass this problem by renovating some of the circuit components without affecting the sound quality. As a result, this amp accepts voltages from 100 all the way up to 240 volts.
I haven’t found any review complaining from the shipment of any broken item, however small or fragile. This shows how much effort StewMac puts in ensuring quality control to please its customers.
Although the step-by-step guide includes everything you’ll need, StewMac is more than willing to receive questions at any time. Reviews say that they typically reply within hours.
What Could Be Better?
Due to the many small parts shipped with the product, it’s fairly common to find some missing or wrongfully sent.
For instance, several customers complained about a 1-foot-short green wire that connects to the heater. Some customers had to buy their own wire while others contacted StewMac which responded quickly and shipped an alternative.
It doesn’t always happen with the small parts, though. A couple of customers said that they received an Eminence speaker instead of the promised Jensen’s. Then again, StewMac had no problem with swapping.
What Customer Reviews Say
As of now, no one has reviewed this product on Amazon. However, on the official StewMac website, a lot of reviews praise the superior, warm sound this amp provides.
On the downside, several customers complained of improper shipping of multiple items. But like I said before, StewMac will always be willing to correct such mistakes as soon as you contact them
To Sum Up
StewMac is well known for bringing our beloved classics back into life at more affordable prices.
If you want to buy the StewMac build your own ’59 Tweed 15W amp kit, rest assured. It exactly resembles the original model by Fender. They matched literally everything, from the vacuum tubes to the textured tweed exterior.
Don’t let those many small components intimidate you. Everyone would be able to put this amp together from scratch thanks to the fully-detailed manual.
If you were unlucky enough to receive a shipment with messing components, just contact StewMac and they’ll instantly send them.