Dating fender tube amps serial number
First, to get a general idea,there’s the appearance/style of the amp.
There are some exceptions and some overlap, but the general idea is this: Tweeds (early 50’s to very early 60s), Browns (1960 – 1962), Blondes (1962 – 1963), Blackface (1963 – 1967), and Silverface (1967 – 1981).
These are marked with EIA code “831” and are most prevalent during the 1966-68 time period.
Some examples include a '66 Princeton Reverb and ’66 Pro Reverb with Better Coil output transformer, a ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and ‘67 Twin Reverb with Better Coil reverb transformer, and a 1968 Vibro Champ with Better Coil trannies.
It would be more accurate to say that approx 650 of each of these models were produced in ’60.
There are some easy ways to find out when your vintage Fender was manufactured.
For instance, he confirmed our assumption that the amp chassis were put into stock after being stamped with serial numbers and that the chassis were pulled from the stock bins randomly (just as with Fender guitar neck plates).Other things to look for include chasses placed in cabinets from a different year, “doctored” tube charts, non-original control plates (usually reproductions) on silverface amps, original transformer bell ends (they have correct date codes, of course) on non-original transformers, and non-original knobs (either repro or silverface knobs on blackface amps).unusual things can be found such as the empty “Pulse Adjust” hole on the rear of early ’60 brown amps, the “middle” volume control, use of tweed style grill cloth, strange non-documented transitional circuits, and changes in tolex color including the super-rare cream colored “brown” tolex that is found on some late ’60 amps. Given that people may refer to this information seeking specific production quantities of amps they are curious about, it should be pointed out that the serial numbers apply to chassis types, and not specifically to amplifier models.Looking at serial numbers next to the ’60 5G5 brown Pro Amp for example, we see numbers ranging from 00001 to 02000, suggesting that there are 2000 of these amplifiers made in ’60.These units look, and apparently sound, just like the Schumacher-made units so it’s easy to overlook that “831” code.Working at FMI – I was able to interview a fellow (who wishes to remain anonymous) who worked at Fender in 1972-73 in the amp department.