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Session 5E3_EXTRA Combo

EX22 & EX45 Guitar Amp
- Chassis Only Page -

5E3-EXTRA Front_View

5E3-EXTRA Front_View



5E3-EXTRA Power Transformer

A bonus for all single coil & P-90 pickup equipped guitars
Most tube amps don't have them!



A well-known guitarist said to us… “I love my Fender® Tweed 5E3 Deluxe® amp.  It gives me that classic old warm tone, but I just can’t use it at gig volume levels because it gets 'mushy' quickly and I’m not lugging two amps around!  So I bought a ‘black face’ RI Deluxe Reverb… although, with its ‘sucked' mid-range tone, it lacks the same warmth.”

OK, let's imagine the Tweed Deluxe tone, with 22 or 45 watts of truly clean headroom power, an Effects Loop and Speaker Emulated DI Out.  It's equipped with ample controllable distortion if required and vintage looks too!  Imagine too, a much louder 1950s voice, but usable on today’s louder stages... all from a chassis weighing under 2kg!

5E3-EXTRA® is that amp... because today's guitarists need EXTRA!

RetroTone Power Amp

EX22 & EX45
Chassis Only Page

Will fit a Fender Blues Junior® cabinet...

Two Chassis Versions...

  • SESSION's 22W or 45W 'RetroTone' solid state design awarded 9/10 for Tweed tone (2016)

  • 2nd harmonic vintage warmth, chime and dynamics!

  • Humbucking Power Transformer - A bonus for all single coil & P-90 pickup equipped guitars!

  • 7W Power Limiter for 'micro gigs'

  • Optional FX LOOP - Standard Line Level 0dB

  • Optional White Or Black Chichenhead knob

  • PERFECT as a 'pedal platform' amplifier

  • High CLEAN HEADROOM to full output power

  • LIGHTWEIGHT - Under 2kg


  • Guitarist/Designer Created

  • High reliability & low maintenance

  • No digital (computer) modelling... SESSION's 'old school' analogue 'EasyFix' design philosophy

  • Amp chassis only from: £179.00 inc UK delivery>

  • Comes with all mounting hardware too!


BluesBaby Rear Panel

Front Panel Controls: L-R: Input, Volume, FAT Switch, Master (Volume), 7w Power Limiter Selector, Tone, Mains Indicator and 'toggle' Power Switch


BluesBaby Rear Panel

Rear Panel Facilities: L-R: Amp Details, External Speaker Output, FX Loop Return,
FX Loop Send, G12T DI Output


Reckless tube amp tone...
but so much more versatility!

Although based on a classic 1950s amplifier, 5E3-EXTRA is not quite as simple as it may first look!  It has a number of features which can be extremely useful, when considered along with ‘where’ they are strategically placed in it’s circuitry.  Therefore, this page is very important to the player in order to get the very best out of 5E3-EXTRA.  Certainly, the fact that 5E3-EXTRA is solid state, makes these features possible and versatile additions.

Input: Where guitars and electronics meet.  It’s designed to have a 1M Ohms impedance (Z) and 150pF input capacitance, exactly like ‘good’ ECC83 or 12AX7 tubes do, so your tone is guaranteed to have the same level of sparkle and warmth.

VOLUME: Located near the amplifier’s input - It regulates the gain of the input section and is suitable for matching widely varying modern guitar pickups to the amp for the absolute ‘highest clean headroom’ sounds. 

It can also be used to provide various amounts of ‘front-end’ distortion too.  This ‘front-end’ distortion’s character can be modified by the TONE control. 5E3-EXTRA has two types of built in distortion available. The second is the 7W alternative described later.

MASTER (Volume): Towards the output of the preamp, post tone control.  It is used to set up the output level of the amplifier according to the sound that has been set with the other controls.

TONE: Situated post ‘front-end’ distortion.  A single knob tone control which boosts and cuts the high frequencies only - by about ±10dB @ 5kHz.  Unlike the 2 & 3 band ‘mid-cut’ EQs used in classic 1960s American & British amps, this circuit is able to provide a ‘flat’ response when set to around 7 on the dial.  There is ‘no mid cut’ at any setting.
This is where the musician’s fabled ‘6V6/EL84 tone’ or ‘tweed tone’ description emanates from… and where 5E3-EXTRA’s clean tonal character is created.

FAT: This is placed pre-distortion (VOLUME control) and can be used to boost or cut the bass signal prior to distortion.  This helps to match high bass output pickups to the amp better.  Or, if required, to give its ‘front-end’ distortion sound much more ‘low end rumble’ for classic style ‘slide’ blues sounds, or just use it creatively.

PWR (HI/7W): Situated post MASTER volume.  Switching it to 7W limits the output power to about 7 Watts.  Its distortion is very ‘even-harmonic’ in tone.  It can be heard to ‘slip’ into saturation without any harshness.  Unlike the ‘front-end’ distortion, this alternative 7W distortion’s tone is completely unaffected by the TONE control’s settings.  It’s for those who really like the renowned 5E3 early distortion sound! (7W is much too loud for home use!)

Optional FX LOOP: This, if fitted to your amp, is located between the preamp and RetroTone:22™ or RetroTone:45™ power amp.  The FX SEND has a 1.6k Ohms output Z which suits it to driving professional studio FX units with typical 10k Ohms input Z (tube FX LOOPS cannot do this).  The FX RETURN has a 1M Ohm input impedance to avoid loading the output circuits of some ’iffy’ FX pedals.

Optional DI OUT (G12T): When fitted, is driven from the FX LOOP output so that all effects being used in the FX LOOP can be captured in any recording or sound reinforcement activity.  Incorporates our G12T speaker simulation used by The Hellecasters.  Output impedance: about 1.6k Ohms.  5E3-EXTRA’s internal speaker can be safely silenced by plugging an ‘empty’ jack plug into the EXT SPEAKER socket. 

RetroTone™ Power Amp: RetroTone™ is SESSION’s modern analogue solid state power amp design, which is able to provide our amps with all the chime, warmth and dynamics guitarists expect from their guitar amps. They are as loud as any similarly rated tube amp... confirmed by our customers!

Toroidal 'Humbucking' power transformer - for 70% less hum radiation than any tube amp! Perfect for all single coil pickup, especially P-90, equipped guitars! Stand nearer to your amp and pickup far less hum!

5E3-EXTRA™ is your ‘Stairway To Heaven’


This is the 5E3-EXTRA Chassis Only version
It's exactly the same as we fit in the combos



Sorry, there have not been any reviews yet.

But look out for one lined up with
Guitar & Bass Magazine later in 2020

What 'The Guitar Magazine' Said
About Our BluesBaby 22 Amp!

G&B Quote 2


When you order 5E3-EXTRA, your card will
NOT be charged until 7 days prior to shipping

Chassis Only - Please Order Here:

Want to build your own custom combo or head and use an EX chassis to power it? No problem... order it on this page!


5E3-EXTRA 22W Chassis Only:

EX22-CH - Chassis only 230VAC.
Price: £179.00 Includes £10 UK delivery - Add to Cart

US 115VAC version available by request
Price $249 Delivered to US Mainland - Customs taxes not included


E3-EXTRA 45W Chassis Only:

EX45-CH - Chassis only 230VAC.
Price: £199.00 - Includes £10 UK delivery - Add to Cart

US 115VAC version available by request
Price $279 Delivered to US Mainland - Customs taxes not included

Choose other options:

FX Loop with G12T DI Out (FXL) is not available at this time

Passive EFFECTS LOOP ONLY (No DI OUT) - £25.00 - Add to Cart

Red* Power Indicator - FREE - Add to Cart

Blue Power Indicator - Price: £2.00 - Add to Cart

Black* Arrow (Chicken Head) knobs - FREE - Add to Cart

White Arrow (Chicken Head) Knobs - FREE - Add to Cart

* = Standard issue colours if not specified

Chassis only version comes complete with 4 x M5x30 mounting screws & 6 x M5x20 for the back panel - inc cup washers!

All amps are assembled to order only. Please allow up to 4 weeks
for your custom order to be built & despatched

Make sure you do this before ordering EX45...


The maximum speaker depth must NOT exceed 123mm!


Control panel cut-out: 320 x 55mm

Chassis Dimensions EX22 & EX45 - its mounting locations enable it to fit directly into a Blues Junior® cabinet - 415W x 160D x 65H mm (inc 15mm side mounting lugs) - OK with standard BJr speaker in place.

Build Method and Progress Reports

When you place your order, a confirmation is automatically sent to you. There is no further contact until your order is ready to ship. Further, we do not send 'progress reports' as there's nothing much to report until it's finally ready

All amps are built in small batches of 5, 10 or 20 units. Each batch goes through the system together, therefore, it is not possible for us to give an exact date of despatch

We collect payment approximately 7 days prior to your order being ready for despatch. Earlier if it has an uncommon cabinet covering. So checking your card account could give you a very good indication that it's nearly ready to be sent to you


UK & European Delivery Times & Charges

UK - Takes 3-5 business days from day of despatch

Europe - Takes 4-7+ business days depending on destination.

Mainland UK Delivery Cost - The purchase price includes £10 towards shipping to Mainland UK. Certain remote UK destinations are likely to attract a £5 surcharge. We will let you know before we collect your payment, or you can enquire by email

Delivery to Continental Europe & Outside Europe Cost -
Please email us for a quotation before ordering!

USA, Can, Aus, NZ & many others: We will happily send amplifiers nearly anywhere in the world. But sadly, we are not able to offer a universal shipping cost to every country. Therefore, customers resident outside Europe, PLEASE email us for a shipping quotation & online ordering instructions. It's really easy & safe. Thank you



Every cabinet is wood, hand assembled and finished. Therefore, there will be finish variations from one example to another. The pictures are for guidance only

Returns Policy

UK Customers: You are entitled to return the product prepaid within thirty days if you are not satisfied with it's performance - Except custom orders with special cabinet coverings. We offer this on the strict proviso that the product has not been modified in any way, misused, damaged or defaced.

Customers Outside UK: All returns must be prepaid. If the reason for return is the fault of Award-Session, we will credit your card with the reasonable shipping amount paid. Please send a copy of the receipt to us by email.

Placing an order with Award-Session indicates that you have read and understood all our Terms and Conditions of sale, published on our CONTACT page. The conditions published on this page override those published anywhere else.

Back to ordering

Our administration & returns address:
Award-Session, 34 Belvedere, Basingstoke, RG24 8GB, UK
No stock is held at this address

Sound clips: Sadly it is impossible to convey any meaningful measure of the amp's tone over the Internet. Please refer to what we have already provided in videos & audio clips. If you want to hear the amps, then please Email us to make an appointment to try one out at Basingstoke

Due to continuing product improvement, the features and the design are subject to change without notice

All trademarks acknowledged. Award-Session has no affiliation with their owners.


Since 1979

Session amplifiers

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100% money back Guarantee

We understand that ordering an amp without trying it first IS a tad worrying. That's why we give you 30 days to change your mind. However, we work harder than the other brands to ensure its performance meets ALL our claims.

Thank you for your support. Stewart Ward, Designer since 1967.

Session Users

Eric Clapton/August Album + Tour - Rockette:30 x2
Dave Stewart/Eurythmics - Many recordings
Sessionette:75 x3
Stuart Adamson/Big Country Sessionette:75 x2
Dave Gilmour/Pink Floyd
Mike Rutherford/Genesis Most recordings + tours
Sessionette:75 x7
Jerry Donahue/Will Raye - The Hellecasters All recordings & tours - Retrotone + JD10 DRP
Gordon Giltrap
MB11 & GG10 Acoustic Preamps
Geoff Whitehorn/Billy Ocean Sessionette:75 1st Prototype + 15:30 Tube Studio Combo

1980s Hits Sample


Unintentional Bonus...

Because of its circuit similarities to the VOX AC15 that the Shadows used in the late nineteen-fifties, 5E3-EXTRA® has proved itself great at replicating the early sounds of Cliff & The Shadows... coupled with the right echo chamber of course!

100% money back Guarantee

Demo Click Image

Got A Spare
Fender Blues Junior® Cabinet?

If you've upgraded your Fender Blues Junior® into a larger or better built cabinet, then you'll be left with an empty cabinet!

Install a 5E3-EXTRA™ chassis into it... it will be a perfect fit and you'll probably find it's much sweeter sounding than the original BJr tube based chassis!

One guy did this, and then put the 5E3-EXTRA™ into the upgrade cab instead!


As A Powered Speaker Cabinet

Playing via your selected multi-fx preamp directly into the FX RETURN bypasses everything else, so 5E3-EXTRA will NOT colour the tone in any way... apart from the tone of the speaker fitted. You'll need two 5E3-EXTRA amps for real stereo reproduction

5E3-EXTRA’s RetroTone™ power amps are designed to add the warmth and chime that players usually associate only with a tube guitar amp.  But surprise, RetroTone™ will easily impart the same ‘tube amp’ vitality to your modeller's tone as well.

All these uses and vintage stage appearance too!


Chassis Dimensions

EX22 & EX45 - its mounting locations enable it to fit directly into a Blues Junior® cabinet - 415W x 160D x 65H mm (inc 15mm side mounting lugs) - OK with standard BJr speaker in place.

Chassis customers - Please check your intended speaker will fit before ordering an EX22 or EX45 chassis! The maximum speaker depth must NOT exceed 123mm!

Control panel cut-out 320 x 55mm

View Dimensions Doc Here


EX's Designer on...
Why a 5E3 style amp?

Stewart Ward

“Plug in a Strat, select the middle pickup, set the amp’s tone to 7… and a classic 1950s sound will appear that will make you think of 'That'll Be The Day' by Buddy Holly.

How about some early Shadows, Duane Eddy? Dig out that Gretsch for a spot of Eddie Cochran, maybe an ES-350 for Chuck Berry, or a GoldTop Les Paul for some Carl Perkins and other rock-a-billy... yeah, it's all there!"

For today’s players, a true reissue tube amp is not so well appointed and tends to spend its life at home, un-gigged! And an original Deluxe® is certainly a huge investment, just sitting there gathering dust!

I always loved the old sounds and wanted that kind of tone, but ‘gig-able’, with some modern attributes and starting well under £500. 5E3-EXTRA™ is exactly that!

There's NO 'snake oil', No digital simulation and NO iffy PCB connectors to tarnish and fail! NO Class D power amp circuitry or 'surface mount components' which are deemed 'return to maker' for even simple repairs.

No, 5E3-EXTRA is entirely ANALOGUE and can be serviced by your local competent service techician!

I hope you'll love it as much as me!”

Stewart Ward, guitarist, amp designer & regular family Joe

Stewart is a working guitarist who designs all products from scratch and from a gigging viewpoint. Seen here with his favourite guitar, a 1963 Fender Telecaster which he bought in 1971 for £70.


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