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11-Nov-2017 08:43

New panels made after the CBS acquisition were used beginning in April 1965 and say "Fender Musical Instruments." So, if you have January 1965 amp, it will have a Fender Electric Instruments panel whereas a January 1966 amp (even though it has that green "OA" date stamp) will have Fender Musical Instruments. Although the database doesn't have thousands upon thousands of entries, we are seeing some interesting patterns emerging that will help date amps by serial number. The early amps (woodie and tweed) had serial numbers handwritten on the tube chart.These appear to be used sequentially independent of model.The biggest tip off would be the control panels which brings us to interesting factoid #2.After CBS bought Fender in January 1965, there were still plenty of control panels for various models that were in stock.The 4x10 Bassman used the prefix "BM" while the piggyback Bassman used the prefix "BP." The reverb units have the prefix "R." In addition, the tweed Super, Pro and Bandmaster sometimes have the prefix "S" in the serial number.The blackface and silverface amps (late 1963 to 1980) generally have serial numbers begin with the prefix "A." However, it appears that these were not used sequentially across all models.We combined all of our information into a computerized database for this project and for the past 18 months have been slowly (sadly, very slowly) gathering information that we collect ourselves as well as from other people. What we need is the following: 1) Model name 2) Model number on the tube chart 3) Date code letters on the tube chart 4) Speaker codes (if speaker is original) 5) Transformer codes (if the amp doesn't have date codes on the tube chart) 6) Cosmetic features (flat/raised logo, tweed/tolex, blackface/silverface, rough/ smooth blond tolex, white/skirted knobs, TV-front/wide-panel, etc.) One very interesting and very important factoid has surfaced regarding the date code letters on the tube chart.In the fall of 1965, Fender switched from stamping these numbers in black ink, to dark green ink.

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Still, I wouldn't be too quick to just glance at that tube chart and accept an "OA" as a January 1965 amp.

Likewise, the brown/blonde Tremolux, Concert, Vibrasonic, Twin, Pro, Super, Vibrolux, Showman, Dual Showman, and Bandmaster used a sequential numbering independent of model, but as with Fender guitars, these were not used consecutively. The 1956 to 1963 Champ, Harvard, Princeton, Deluxe; the 1956 to 1960 Vibrolux, the 1956 to 1964 Bassman, and all the tube reverb units have their own serialization scheme.



In the absence of the rubber-stamped date codes, EIA numbers taken from the transformers may allow you to determine the date of production of your amp. These numbers always begin with "606", and are followed by three or four digits in various combinations. If three digits are present, the first digit would refer the units of.… continue reading »


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Electronic components such as transformers, potentiometers, speakers, and some capacitors are often stampted with a date code indicating who manufactured them and when. The code follows the format XXXYY ZZ where XXX = a two or three possibly four on newer amps digit.… continue reading »


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FENDER AMP Chassis Serial Number DATE CODES. DATING FENDER TRANSFORMERS, SPEAKERS & POTENTIOMETERS USING EIA CODES. For example a transformer code of 606432, in a Blackface era Fender amp 1960's, would be Schumacher 606, manufactured in 1964 4 in the 32nd week 32… continue reading »


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Oct 14, 2017. TRANSFORMER DATE CODES Another way to get a close estimate of when your amp was made is to read the codes on the transformers. Most post tweed Fenders had trannys manufactured by Schumacher. They used a code like this 606 – 645. The date is in the last three digits, after the 606 –. The first.… continue reading »


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