Dating a fender

27-Feb-2017 05:33

Then I became aware of the amazing work Greg Gagliano had been doing since the 1990s - the summary of his latest results are here - and that his research didn't take in the Rivera-era, or anything later. However for this range of amps at least, I reckon it's not just a policy of withholding company-confidential information. It's no criticism of Fender to suggest that they were too busy making great amps to keep records just so some amateur could use them thirty years later.

I run a couple of websites making the schematics for these amps easily accessible.

Then the terrible truth dawned on me: they WERE all mixed up; Fender had decided to change their 35-year-old system of serial numbering so that, starting in 1982, every amp had a unique number.

I would have to collect data for ALL the amp types, just to work out how many were made of mine.

Meanwhile I've offered this info to Fender US, Fender UK, and a US magazine.

Fender never replied, and the magazine showed polite disinterest.

For the batches labelled "date codes needed", I haven't got any loudspeaker or transformer date codes, or (gold dust) the 4-digit inkstamp on the metal chassis, which is usually only visible when out of the wooden cab.

However the dates for these batches are certain to be later than the batch shown immediately above, or earlier than the batch shown below.

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If you've got one of the 14 amp models in this range you can get a rough idea of its date-of-manufacture from these tables.

If you've got an amp in this category and can supply any of those codes as well as the serial number, I would Also, things got a little crazy during Fender's last few months in the Fullerton factory, and when the management buyout was complete (March 1985) they had some parts but no factory.

According to Tom Wheeler's excellent book about the Stratocaster, it may be that they had no factory after December 1984!

As people download them, I'm hoping they'll respond to my request that they send me their amp's serial number for this project, and many do.

For a while I also had automated searches running on e Bay for these 14 amp types - whenever one appeared for sale I would contact the seller, asking for the serial number.Eventually, I thought, I'll get a rough idea what the highest and lowest s/ns were.Subtract one from the other and I'll have a rough-cut figure for how many were made. PRII owners were kind enough to start sending their serial numbers in.If you see any data that is not listed here or notice any errors, for 1970’s and earlier Fender amps, please send us an email and we will update the chart.