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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


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 'Easy-Access' design philosophy

  • 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


Nothing Like Conventional Solid-state Amps...

RetroTone Power Amp

Utilising Session's RetroTone™ class AB power amp means the bass and hi-frequencies appear to spring to life with clarity and detail... just as it would if using a tube amp design. Given the opportunity for comparison every human, regardless of age, sex, creed or colour can hear the difference over a conventional solid-state amp. Players are likely to choose RetroTone™ as the preferred listening quality.


Its Tonality, Headroom 'n' Stuff...

Like a typical 1950s 'single tone control' amp, 5E3-EXTRA has a dominating 'mids' tonality which, with its own built in distortion, can be very 70s in character.  The 22W version's overall tone and volume has the poke to compete with most amps, including Twin Reverbs, due to it's cutting mids ability.  This amp really shines at a good pub rock venue!  'Mott The Hoople' might have found it to their liking we suspect!

It's minus the ‘mid suck’ found with the later 60s Fender ‘black panel’ amps.  Most call it the ‘tweed tone’ and others call it the ‘EL84/6V6’ or ‘octal’ tone.  But the truth is, it’s all down to the single TONE control... not really the output valves.  The valves are merely the physical difference players can see, so they get the credit for the tone... incorrectly!  5E3-EXTRA should be able to amply provide a good 'Stones' tone... which is not 'black panel' orientated.

It can play clean right up to its full output power and is not allowed to 'fuzz out' like the usual Neil Young 5E3 Deluxe sounds do.  No, it's the old sound, but can be very clean and loud too.  Just like Leo Fender was looking for back then, but couldn't get due to the tube technology being unable to provide it.  5E3-EXTRA can though!

It can create 'front end' distortion, like most amps do... or a 'power tube' distortion by use of its built in 7-12W 'power scaling' facility.  This is plenty loud enough for a grungy kinda tone at pub gigs without need for micing.  But can tackle bigger gigs too... just plug it into the PA via its (optional) built in G12T DI OUT with speaker simulation direct to the PA.  The 'power-scaled tone' will be in the G12T DI'd sound as well!  G12T was used by the Hellecasters during recording - We are mentioned on their albums.

Its optional FXDI board (FX Send/Return with G12T DI OUT) makes it the ideal pedal platform.  She was designed with modelled sounds in mind too... especially those pedals that focus on 'classic amp sounds', because of it's rather neutral tonality which leaves the pedal to create the amp's sound.  Not like the usual pedal and the amp's 'mid-sucking' tone working against each other!

It's funny that a 1950s style modern amp could be total bliss for modern players... and it truly is... and light weight... and dependable!


Reckless 'tube-amp like' 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!)

Designed As A Pedal Platform amp: From the start, our design process built in 'pedal ability'. In today's world, pedals are an essential part of live music creation... it just had to do it!

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



Review: Award-Session 5E3-Extra 22

Guitar Magazine's praise - they really liked it! SESSION proves SS can do it... again! First BluesBaby, now 5E3-EXTRA!

G&B Quote 2


Because amps take about 21 days to build,
your card will NOT be charged until 2 days prior to despatch

Chassis Only - Please Order Here:

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


5E3-EXTRA 22W UK/EU Chassis Only:

EX22-CH-UK/EU - Chassis only 230VAC.
Price: £199.00 Includes UK delivery
Add to Cart

5E3-EXTRA 22W US/CAN Chassis Only:

US 115VAC version available too...
There are no Customs taxes or duties on items under $800 value
Price: £220.00 (approx $288.00) including delivery
Other options also available priced in UK £
Use UK-Amps in menu as shipping - £0.00
Add to Cart


5E3-EXTRA 45W UK/EU Chassis Only:

EX45-CH-UK/EU - Chassis only 230VAC.
Price: £249.00 - Includes UK delivery
Add to Cart


5E3-EXTRA 45W US/CAN Chassis Only:

US 115VAC version available too...
There are no Customs taxes or duties on items under $800 value
Price: £245.00 (approx $322.00) including delivery
Other options (below) also available priced in UK£
Use UK-Amps in menu as shipping - £0.00
Add to Cart

Choose other options:

FX Loop with G12T DI Out (FXDI) - £50.00
Add to Cart

Red Power Indicator

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 21 days
for your custom order to be built & despatched

Please make sure you do this before ordering...


BJr cabinets & EX45 - The 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

We collect payment approximately 2 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

The Home of Loud Lightweight Guitar Amps and Superb Analogue Tone


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Alternative 'BigDog' cabinet in 'Two-Tone Black' or 'Tweed'

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BigDog 2X10", 1x12", 2x12" 1X15" Cabinets - About the size of a Bassman amp.
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Bonus Uses...

Early British 'Two Eyes' R'n'R Tones

John Bell1

Sound Samples
John Bell - Reef Break
John Bell - Man Of Mystery
Recorded at The Shadders, Emsworth using: EX22-110 amp

Demoing these very old sounds is vital in showing that SESSION's solid state guitar amps are capable of true vintage tones! The sounds modern players pay a premium for when buying amps of that era. But it's here for a lot less!

Tone ability from one extreme
to another! Top players try instruments from all eras and adapt them to create their 'trademark tone'. 5E3-EXTRA can provide great rhythm tone too

Power Amp Pushing

You can even 'push' the power amp for 'on-the-edge power-tube-like' distortion! Although, better to just switch in its 7W power limiting for a more controllable experience at smaller gigs volumes

If you're a jazz guitarist, you'll love its 'sweet mid range' and 'on-the-edge' tones, especially with semi-acoustic cello style guitars. As Nigel Price found - Voted Britains top jazz guitarist

100% money back Guarantee



Celebrity 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
Nigel Price/Jazz Guitarist
NP22-112 Combo

1980s Hits Sample


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


RetroTone Logo

What does RetroTone™ do?

As many players know, there is a difference in tone between solid state (SS) and tube amps. It is heard as a low end warmth with a sweet high-end presence. This favoured tonality is created by any tube amp's output transformer.

Session's RetroTone™ power amps work with the speakers, like a tube amp does, to provide you with that same Class AB characteristic tone.

Anyone wanting old school tone, light weight and reliability should take SESSION's RetroTone™ equipped amps very seriously!  RetroTone™ is 'the cat’s whiskers' for achieving 'that' tone and volume without tube amp hassles.

RetroTone™ is a protected name.

Stewart Ward

Stewart Ward is a working guitarist who designs all products from scratch and from the gigging viewpoint. Seen here with his favourite guitar, a 1963 Fender Telecaster.


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