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.
Dating Fender Tube Amps by Serial Number, Part I by Greg Gagliano Copyright 1997, 20th Century Guitar Magazine. Well, we'll get to good parts, but first a little background information is in order.
After reading Teagle and Sprung's excellent Fender amp book, I took them up on their challenge that maybe someday someone will compile enough serial numbers so that Fender amps can be dated that way. I contacted several Fenders collectors and dealers who were kind enough to supply me with data.
The Fender musical revolution started before the birth of rock music, just after the end of WW2.
It seems as if everyone has used them at some point, including Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Strokes, Radiohead and White Stripes, to name but a few.
The type of face, grille cloth, type and number of speakers, type and number of knobs, etc.
only come into play when you’re trying to value the amplifier in the Blue Book for Guitar Amplifiers per the model description that is provided.
Several different types, in vertical and diagonal weaves, were used.
Please note that it’s quite difficult to precisely determine the production date of early Fender amps.