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Posted by / 16-Oct-2019 19:50

Dating silverface

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.Although his job was somewhat limited, his recollections provided some really fascinating insights to how the amps were built.Remember, your amp is newer than the newest component.For example, if you find pots from late ‘64 and transformers from early ’65, you can be pretty sure your amp is a 1965. 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).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.

The code follows the format: = a number from 1 - 52 indicating the week of manufacture.Non-Schumacher transformers – It’s been universally accepted that Fender only used Schumacher transformers on amps made in the 1960s and 1970s.These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher. Besides, no article in the Dating Fender Amps by Serial Number series would be complete without some interesting information, n’est ce pas? I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading.

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