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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.
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.
TUBE SHIELD, BAYONET "PUSH AND TWIST" TYPE, ALUMINUM, 1 15/16" TALL. If you have a cherished octal power tube or rectifier with a broken keyway, here is a great solution. STYLE MICALEX TUBE SOCKET FOR MINIATURE 9-PIN TUBES. Values available include 10u F/500V, 16u F/475V, 22u F/500V, 47u F/500V, 80u F/450V, 100u F/100V, 100u F/450V, and 220u F/300V. Ruby Gold Capacitors are rated at 105 C for longer life, improved stability in the hot environment of tube amplifiers, and increased protection against electrolyte deterioration.
Perfect for Twin Reverb, Showman and Dual Showman, Quad Reverb, Bassman 100, etc. F&T Caps are known for their great stability and reliability.
Oddlings – Yet another printing error has surfaced, this time from the FEI (pre-CBS) days.
Besides, no article in the Dating Fender Amps by Serial Number series would be complete without some interesting information, n’est ce pas?
An economical alternative to more expensive tube dampers. Fender Vintage Amp (60s Blackface and 70s Silverface) Power Tube Socket replacement kit. ) from the original blackface and silverface eras which have two power tubes (6L6 or 6V6). Because there is no warm up of a rectifier tube when using this solid state device, it is absolutely necessary that a standby switch is used in conjunction with this device. Do not install in an amplifier that does not have a standby switch - always use the standby switch in amps so equipped when using the 5SSR. Contains 5 each of the following values in 630V Axial Metal Film (similar to Mallory 150 style): .001u F, .0022u F, .0047u F, .01u F, .022u F, .047u F, .1u F, .22u F, .47u F and 5 each of the following values in 630V polypropylene radial (similar to orange drop style): .001u F, .0022u F, .0047u F, .01u F, .022u F, .047u F, .1u F, .22u F, .47u F.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.Other sources to date your amp may include serial numbers and overall look and visual components on the amp as well.For example, the logo on the amp or materials used during a certain time period of production.