Dating old fender amps

Dating early Fender amplifiers is sometimes quite challenging.

While dating Fender amps made before 1994 by serial number is all but impossible (as records of these numbers were never kept), all hope is not lost—the charts below should prove helpful in dating your Fender amp.

Although the dates derived using the charts below will likely be a good approximation, they should not be considered exact.All Fender amplifiers manufactured from 1990 to the present include a date code, printed on the quality assurance (QA) sticker on the back of the amp chassis.If you are unable to determine the approximate production year of your amplifier using the above charts, there are other means of dating Fender amps.Several excellent books are available that contain reliable and invaluable information on the history of Fender amplifiers. To use these books most effectively, you’ll need to get the date codes from the speaker frames and potentiometers, and as much other detailed information as you can find about the specs and features of your amp.In the table below, for example, a “CE” date code indicates a production date of May 1992.

On the inside of the cabinets of most Fender amps made after 1950 and before 1970, there might be a “tube location” sticker.

First, it will be useful to you to understand the following five terms in order to choose the correct chart for dating your amp: refers to the two-tone woven fabric that covered many early amplifiers.

On early amps, this material was varnished to make it a more durable covering.

These numbers always begin with “EIA 606,” and are followed by three or four digits in various combinations.

If three digits are present, the first digit refers to the year (i.e., a “7” would mean 1967).

On the inside wall of your amp cabinet, there may be a tube location sticker which shows the tube layout, model number, production location etc..