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Our Buyer’s guide to vintage Fender amps explains in detail how you can date your amp by looking at serial numbers, tube charts, transformer codes, speaker codes, Fender logo, etc.
Lots of different speakers were used in the blackface and silverface era Fender amps.
and these changes are often disclosed and of a non-malicious nature.
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.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
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.
In a BF Vibrolux Reverbs you could have either Jensen, CTS or Oxford, the BF Super Reverbs had Jensen, CTS, Oxford or sometimes JBL, the BF Pro Reverb had Jensen, Oxford or Utah, .
Here is an example: EIA 606-4-21 would mean the 21st week of 1964.The code follows the format: = a number from 1 - 52 indicating the week of manufacture.