Vintage fender amp dating
Okay, I know you’re all just dying to skip ahead to the serial number tables but try to contain your excitement and read through the article first.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
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.
Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.
It’s unknown if the tweed covering was a mistake (“Oops, I thought this was a 4x10 Bassman cabinet that I was covering”) or intentional, perhaps as a special order.
The ever-popular 40W Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, equipped with a 12" Celestion speaker, may be the world standard for gigging guitarists.
Additionally, Greg and Devin also had data that they had been collecting from Fender amps for years. Everything is confidential, we don't make record of who owns what amp in the database. Does not contain Fender logo, so it may be used on other brands of amps. Screws not included - order screw pack SC-402 separately (takes a pack of 4 screws). Pack of 6 stainless steel chassis mounting screws for Fender reissue "Tweed" series amps. SPEAKER BAFFLE MOUNTING BRONZE SCREWS AND STAINLESS STEEL KEPS NUTS (SET OF 4) FOR Fender TWEED AMPS.These screws connect the speaker baffle board to the cabinet on Fender tweed combo amps from the 50s, as well as today's reissue tweed amps such as the Hot Rod Deluxe and 59 Bassman Reissue. Fender 8 ft POWER CORD, 3-WIRE, 18ga, SJT type, .250 TAB ends.His particular area of expertise is in Fender amps made from about 1960 through 1967.
Devin runs Doc's Music in Springfield, Missouri and his interest lies in the woodie and tweed Fender amps made from 1946 through 1960.
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.