Dating fender tube amps by serial number part 1. How old is my vintage amplifier?.



Dating fender tube amps by serial number part 1

Dating fender tube amps by serial number part 1

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. Unfortunately, there is some sad news to report as well. Fellow Fender amp researcher, Greg Huntington, passed away June 5, after losing his battle with cancer. Greg kept his illness very private, even from this author. His passing is a great loss to this research team and the Fender amp aficionado community in general.

Greg was passionate about Fender amps and his knowledge, insight and humor will be missed very much. Paul Linden has volunteered to fill in for Greg. Paul worked with Greg on their small box brown Twin myth busting research and is extremely knowledgeable about Fender amps in general with a specialization in the brown and blonde amps. Since , more interesting factoids of interest have surfaced and are presented here.

Interest in vintage Fender amps really took hold about years ago. As a result, there are a lot of amps out there that may look original, but are not. Some things are very obvious such as non-original or reconed speakers, non-original transformers, replaced pots, re-tweed, re-tolex, re-grill, etc. But other changes may be meant to deceive. These modifications are making this research more difficult for a couple of reasons.

The bottom line is to do your homework or enlist the aid of an expert. The machine that stamped the serial number into the back of the chassis got stuck on number A and a lot of pieces were stamped with this number. It would have been very costly to destroy these units so two remedies were implemented. First, a foil sticker containing a 4-digit serial number was affixed to the chassis over the A The second thing that was done was the addition of another number stamped into the chassis as a suffix to the A serial number, e.

So how many of these chasses were made? Well, for the 4-digit serials affixed on a foil sticker, numbers as low as and has high as have been observed. Assuming they were all used sequentially and starting at , there would be around non-master volume silverface Twin Reverbs and Dual Showman Reverbs out there.

The amps that received the stamped suffix must also be added to this sub-total. The lowest suffix observed to date is A and the highest is A Assuming the suffixes started with and went to , there would be around of these floating around. Of course, this is all hypothetical, but still plausible.

In addition to A, it appears the stamping machine stuck on serial number A as four distinct amps with this number has been reported. Could it be the machine also got stuck on A, , , and ? These have not been observed or reported so the answer remains unknown. Fender had a big transitional year for their amps in But changes took place in as well.

This was the first year for the blonde 6G9 Tremolux. To make things more interesting, there were two versions of the 6G9 6BQ5 circuit. The earliest version had 12 coupling caps. The best estimate is that about of these were made before the circuit was revised. The revised amp had 14 coupling caps and there may have been upwards of made. Since these amps are so rare, it is impossible to comment on the technical or tonal differences between the two circuits.

Another anomaly was observed in with the 6G6-A Bassman. Rather than waste those 8-ohm output transformers in stock from previous 6G6 production, Fender used them up on the first 6G6-A with 4-ohm speaker cabinets. Yes, Fender went with a deliberate mismatch, not unlike the 3x10 brown Bandmasters that shipped with 8-ohm output transformers.

Very few of these were and those who own one of these oddballs can either be happy with the fact that it is a rare amp or be sad that the mismatched impedance means the amp is less efficient. And now for an important update! The following charts are the revised dating tables for Fender tube amps. The revisions were made based on data collected since the tables were initially published. Some tables changed very little and others changed quite a bit. For some reason, folks are willing to poke their head into tweed, blonde, brown and blackface amps, but not into silverface amps.

For now, the dating schemes for these series are:

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Dating fender tube amps by serial number part 1

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. Unfortunately, there is some sad news to report as well. Fellow Fender amp researcher, Greg Huntington, passed away June 5, after losing his battle with cancer. Greg kept his illness very private, even from this author.

His passing is a great loss to this research team and the Fender amp aficionado community in general. Greg was passionate about Fender amps and his knowledge, insight and humor will be missed very much. Paul Linden has volunteered to fill in for Greg. Paul worked with Greg on their small box brown Twin myth busting research and is extremely knowledgeable about Fender amps in general with a specialization in the brown and blonde amps.

Since , more interesting factoids of interest have surfaced and are presented here. Interest in vintage Fender amps really took hold about years ago. As a result, there are a lot of amps out there that may look original, but are not. Some things are very obvious such as non-original or reconed speakers, non-original transformers, replaced pots, re-tweed, re-tolex, re-grill, etc.

But other changes may be meant to deceive. These modifications are making this research more difficult for a couple of reasons. The bottom line is to do your homework or enlist the aid of an expert. The machine that stamped the serial number into the back of the chassis got stuck on number A and a lot of pieces were stamped with this number.

It would have been very costly to destroy these units so two remedies were implemented. First, a foil sticker containing a 4-digit serial number was affixed to the chassis over the A The second thing that was done was the addition of another number stamped into the chassis as a suffix to the A serial number, e.

So how many of these chasses were made? Well, for the 4-digit serials affixed on a foil sticker, numbers as low as and has high as have been observed. Assuming they were all used sequentially and starting at , there would be around non-master volume silverface Twin Reverbs and Dual Showman Reverbs out there. The amps that received the stamped suffix must also be added to this sub-total. The lowest suffix observed to date is A and the highest is A Assuming the suffixes started with and went to , there would be around of these floating around.

Of course, this is all hypothetical, but still plausible. In addition to A, it appears the stamping machine stuck on serial number A as four distinct amps with this number has been reported. Could it be the machine also got stuck on A, , , and ? These have not been observed or reported so the answer remains unknown.

Fender had a big transitional year for their amps in But changes took place in as well. This was the first year for the blonde 6G9 Tremolux. To make things more interesting, there were two versions of the 6G9 6BQ5 circuit. The earliest version had 12 coupling caps.

The best estimate is that about of these were made before the circuit was revised. The revised amp had 14 coupling caps and there may have been upwards of made.

Since these amps are so rare, it is impossible to comment on the technical or tonal differences between the two circuits. Another anomaly was observed in with the 6G6-A Bassman.

Rather than waste those 8-ohm output transformers in stock from previous 6G6 production, Fender used them up on the first 6G6-A with 4-ohm speaker cabinets. Yes, Fender went with a deliberate mismatch, not unlike the 3x10 brown Bandmasters that shipped with 8-ohm output transformers.

Very few of these were and those who own one of these oddballs can either be happy with the fact that it is a rare amp or be sad that the mismatched impedance means the amp is less efficient. And now for an important update! The following charts are the revised dating tables for Fender tube amps. The revisions were made based on data collected since the tables were initially published. Some tables changed very little and others changed quite a bit. For some reason, folks are willing to poke their head into tweed, blonde, brown and blackface amps, but not into silverface amps.

For now, the dating schemes for these series are:

Dating fender tube amps by serial number part 1

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2 Comments

  1. These have not been observed or reported so the answer remains unknown. When we had filled our cart we'd wheel it over to the Chicano chicks. To make things more interesting, there were two versions of the 6G9 6BQ5 circuit.

  2. Also note the vertical black lines on the control panel found on earliest silverface amps and the large ceramic power resistors coming off the power tube sockets which indicates the AB circuit.

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