Return to the Main Index. Sometimes there just isn’t enough information on electric instruments and amps to allow them to be properely dated. And many people ask me to try and determine the year of their old amplifier, or to help them with the year of their older off-brand electric guitar. Since I primarily collect amps by Fender, and guitars by Gibson, Fender, Martin, National, Epiphone, Gretsch and Rickenbacker, I really can’t help them with these other less popular brands. As you have probably noticed, there is plenty of information here to help date the brands that I am interested in. But where does that leave everyone else? Well I’m not one to leave you out in the informational cold, so here’s something that I use quite often in dating amplifiers and electric guitars. It’s called the “source-date code”, and it can help determine the approximate age of an electric instrument by the date its components were manufactured. Source-Date Codes On American made vintage gear, the pots and speakers provide an excellent opportunity to date a piece of equipment by referencing their “source-date code”. The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date roughly when the components were made.
How old is my vintage amplifier?
The source-date code on a pot is a 6 or 7 digit code impressed into the casing of the potentiometer. For speakers this code can be 5, 6, 7 or 8 digits long, and it’s ink-stamped or paint-stamped on the “bell housing” of the speaker. In either case, the code works the same. The first 3 digits on a pot, or the first 2, 3 or 4 digits on a speaker are the source or manufacturer code.
DATING FENDER AMPS BY SERIAL NUMBER Very cool stuff! MARSHALL AMPLIFIER FAQ’s; MARSHALL TRASFORMER CODES “Date and source your older transformers” AKIEN’S TECHNICAL PAGE This is a fantastic technical page!! THE HIWATT STORY Great reading and informative; THE UNOFFICAL AMPEG PAGE This is the best Ampeg site we’ve seen; SPEAKER LINKS. WEBER.
This list is circa , and some codes have been reassigned or added since that time. Code formats were not completely standardized, but a little deciphering will generally yield the info of interest. Note that many makers also stamped OEM Original Eqipment Manufacturer part numbers above or below the EIA code, in some cases parts makers or the customer elected not to include the EIA codes, so not all parts have them.
They generally follow the following format: One alternate scheme is: Usually single digit date codes are from the ‘s, but have on occasion shown up in later decades, even up to the ‘s. If one has a general idea of the age of the piece in question, usually the decade can be divined from that. Another alternate is in the format following: And another is like this: KE The reason was purportedly to allow factories to track the dates of manufacture of defective tubes especially important in the case of OEM customers that might send back entire batches of tubes , but avoid possible consumer complaints about “stale” tubes.
This sounds perhaps a little silly since the shelf life of tubes is decades, at least indefinite in practical terms , but some OEM’s might have beenn a bit irritated by occasional consumer complaints such as “my model TV has model tubes in it!
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Anyone got an intuitive chart for Oxford speakers that went into fender cabs circa s. I have run into an anomaly, fender was screwy in the. I’ve got a Princeton, and it’s got a CTS speaker in it. Those numbers don’t look familiar but the frame looks like it’s a Utah or Oxford.
Links to electric guitar, bass, and amplifier repair resources, guitar pedal effects and stomp box resources, electric keyboard instruments and synthesizer resources, manufacturer downloads and manuals, schematics, reset instructions, vacuum tubes, musical instrument transformers, etc.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year. So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections. Change It wasn’t trendy , funny, nor was it coined on Twitter , but we thought change told a real story about how our users defined Unlike in , change was no longer a campaign slogan.
But, the term still held a lot of weight. Here’s an excerpt from our Word of the Year announcement in The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change? Has there been too much? Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome.
M Mexico, N Nineties s, the first number following the serial number prefix is the year. M Mexico, Z s, the first number following the serial number prefix is the year. For example, MN8 indicates that it was made at Ensenada, Mexico in CN5 made by Cor-Tek Cort in
All component date codes date to late , and the serial number is from very early Our working theory is that this is one of the first amps produced in , and the Fender worker that stamped the chart forgot to switch the year code.
Jack has hinted that he’s started writing – “I wrote a song yesterday, the last couple of weeks, i’ve just been endlessly thinking about this title: Let’s Play the Victim. I definitely have a lot, a lot of songs together for another White Stripes album. I just don’t know when we’re gonna record it yet. I just have to take a break from the band for a second, because it’s just been consuming — all-consuming, you know?
I need to take a step back, and get reinspired, and take a breath.
The Fender Amp Field Guide FAQ
The tube charts are not very useful for determining the circuit model. At the Fender factory they used old tube charts when new models came, probably because the tube layout was the same. Determining production date by serial number and transformer codes is better, and you should also inspect the circuit to be completly sure.
The picture below shows a transition model amp.
Describing the blackface Bassman tone is best done with establishing a common and well-known reference point, for example the traditional blackface AB amps such as .
If you’re not familiar with my site, it’s simple, and you’ll love it or hate it: It’s not a fancy site but it remains unchanged since ’98 so I figure, “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. Just click on any underlined text and it should open a picture; if you move your cursor over the pic and there’s a magnifying glass displayed instead of your cursor, click the pic and it will expand it to larger size. The latest and greatest reissue of the original early 50s black guard Tele, replacing the American Vintage ‘ This one has all the black guard era vibe with period correct hardware and pickups, but adds modern features such as pickup switching and the modern 9.
It features a solid ash body with gloss nitrocellulose finish, 21 tall vintage fret neck that’s also nitro-finished, chunky ’52 U-shaped maple neck with 9. The Tele has always been the workhorse guitar in the Fender stable and none more than the butterscotch black guard Strat. It has all the twang you know and love in a Tele and this 9. It is set up with very low action and sounds very alive, even when unplugged. Includes Fender black case and certificate.
These guitars already have a great vintage vibe with an authentic looking two-tone sunburst gloss finish, parchment parts, and tinted neck, so the vintage logo is icing on the cake.
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The progress of this type of work is slow, hence the long hiatus, however, a lot of new data have been collected regarding Fender amplifiers, including production numbers. Advances have been made with regards to the production of tolex amps and it appears that much of this information can be applied to late s tweed amps as well. In addition, the dating-by-serial number tables have been revised and are more accurate.
The bad news is that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the silverface amps.
Jul 19, · Dating Amps Discussion in ‘Amp Input – Normal or Bright ‘ started by I’m trying to figure out the age of my amps. Both fender and peavey have poor record keeping abilities. I read on Fenders website that you could get close on the by decoding the numbers on the transformer. inkedintville, Jul 17, inkedintville, Jul 17, #2.
E-H talking pedal I just earlier this evening found out that what I thought was a talking pedal was actually called a Golden Throat. What does a talking pedal do, and how does it work? Is it the same thing as a Golden Throat? They are completely different. The golden throat is a “talk box” like Frampton, Walsh, etc used. It is a speaker driver connected to a tube which goes in your mouth and needs to be miked through a PA to be used.
Your mouth acts as a filter. The Talking pedal is like a big wah wah pedal, but instead of saying “WAH” it says “eee aaaa iiii oooo uuuu” when it is moved, the vowel sounds. It goes in the path between the guitar and amp, much more useable than a talk box. But the talk box can make more different sounds. In the Bad Stone I can’t switch back and forth from auto to manual. Once I get it to be auto on the effect if I jar it too much it goes to manual so I have to jiggle the switch a bit.
On the Big Muff I can’t get it to go to tone bypass very often, when you switch it, it just loses all signal. I am gathering since I have a bit of a problem with both, it’s because of the old switch.
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Email us for information glp conwaycorp. YouTube Channel for Tube Amps previews, new product demos and more! Do you want to know more about how it works and how to keep it working? Are you interested in building your own tube amp?
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That amp worked pretty well with my Rick string. That amp turned out to be an early-production Pro-Amp. I started to investigate the world of pre-CBS Fender amplifiers. During that era Fender blackface amps, covered in black tolex with silver grilles, were everywhere. I combed through vintage dealer ads and began to pick up Fender amps in tweed, white, brown and blackface versions, trying to stick to or before. Some of the amps in my collection have their original tubes, capacitors and speakers; on some they have been replaced.
I have presented my amps in rough chronological order by era. The general information provided was obtained from books, online sources or personal observation. Other than the tweeds, where I am missing some of the high-end models, I believe you will find here a fairly good representation of Fender amp models in the brown, white and blackface eras.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hi Ronald uTracer works well!! I use it mainly to pairing tubes Hello Ronald, I finally completed the unit. The top has the switches, banana test points, tube sockets, and fan. All of the connections between the top and bottom are plugs so the top can be totally removed from the bottom for constructions and maintenance if needed. I tried to keep all the wiring, switch plates, banana plugs colour coded to help with the construction.
Serial numbers, speaker codes, transformer codes etc can all be used to get at least a general idea of when an amp was made. And FWIW some amps are made in the US, some in Mexico, some in=various locations overseas.
There is no reliable way to date amps other than to ask Fender customer support to look up the date from the serial number, although you may find a date code on the speaker. Early Tweeds The early green board tweed-covered amps were not lacquered. Once again, only the speaker is different. It is not old stock. It has the same cream board inside with the same components as every other current-production Blues Junior.
Other Variants The Blues Junior chassis has also been used in the Two-Tone, a large amp with a inch and a inch speaker. The chassis can also be found in the weird, plastic-cased Deco-Tone and in some Custom Shop amps with exotic wood cases such as bubinga. Other cabinet coverings include blond Tolex, dark brown Tolex with a wheat-colored grille custom for a Canadian music store chain , and the Texas Red Tolex.