Dating fender amplifiers

We highly recommend each of them. So long as one tube from each pair is on one side of the transformer, and the other is on the other side, the amp will balance. Vibro Champ. A low-noise, low-microphony 12AX7 or is recommended. Dating fender amplifiers [PUNIQRANDLINE-(au-dating-names.txt)

How can I find out how old my instrument is if it uses an odd or non-standard serial numbering scheme What can you tell me about the historical patent markings that appear on some of your products? While dating Fender amps made before by serial number is all but impossible as records of these numbers were never keptall hope is not lost—the charts below should prove helpful in dating your Fender amp. First, it will be useful dating fender amplifiers you to understand the following five terms in order to choose the correct chart for dating your amp: SilverfaceDating fender amplifiers and Brownface are slang terms used to identify Fender amplifiers based on the color of the control panel these terms are often misconstrued to refer to the color of the grille cloth.

Tolex is the textured vinyl material that covers the amp; offered in many different colors and textures over the years. Tweed refers to the two-tone woven fabric that covered many early amplifiers. If the heater shorts to a cathode in this tube, the amp will not work properly. Some dating fender amplifiers Fender models used a 12AX7 or 12AX7 for the phase inverter--recommend a good-quality tube for such amps 12AT7s will usually work as well.

The power tubes in almost all Fender tube amps were either 6V6s or 6L6s. They drive the output transformer, then the speakers. Small amps like the Champ had one power tube and no bias adjustment.

Fender Date Codes

Larger amps had two or four power tubes in push-pull, which work like a see-saw -- when one tube is decreasing in voltage, the other is increasing. Most push-pull Fender tube amps have a tube bias adjustment inside, which varies the idling current in the power tubes all at once.

Bias should be adjusted when tubes are replaced. Matched pairs are recommended to keep the amplifier balanced from side to side -- if you amp uses dating fender amplifiers or more output tubes, you dating fender amplifiers use groups of matched pairs, and you do not necessarily need to buy a matched quartet, sextet or octet.


So long as one tube from each pair is on one side of the transformer, and the other is on the other side, the amp will balance. It is VERY dangerous to blindly plug different tubes into a guitar amp. If you have a later silver-face or blackface Deluxe amp, the plate voltage will be very high--plugging low-cost Russian or Chinese 6V6s into such an amp is risky.

Note: Since this article was written Tung-Sol, Electro Harmonix and JJ Electronics have released 6V6 tubes suitable for high plate voltages making them a great option for these amps.

Many earlier Fender tube amps used rectifier tubes. These were almost always at the extreme left of the chassis, when looking at the rear of the amp. DO NOT blindly swap different rectifiers, some consume more heater power than others and might damage the amp.

Aftermost Fender tube amps switched to solid-state rectifiers, until recent Custom Shop models reintroduced tube rectifiers. Solid -state dating fender amplifiers do not wear out as tubes do, nor can they be replaced by the user. The solid-state diodes used in older Fender amps are rather primitive compared to modern devices--if you wish slightly better performance, suggest speaking to a service technician about replacing the diodes with modern fast-recovery dating fender amplifiers FRED diodes, dating fender amplifiers.

Some early Fender 6L6 tube amps can use any of these types.

How can I find out how old my amplifier is?

Finally, meant a special high-quality tube in the past--it no longer means much today. True NOS s are scarce and costly. Dating fender amplifiers you really want to know the differences, we recommend you consult past issues of Vacuum Tube Valley magazine.

In all cases, if you are not certain which amplifier version you have, do not experiment! You might damage the amplifier and the tubes. See an experienced technician.


Click a Fender tube amp in this list to jump to its description below Any 12AX7 type will work here. NOS s recommended if lower gain is desired. Power tube middle socket is 6V6. Recommend using glass 6V6GTs. NOS metal 6V6s run too hot. DO NOT use other types.

Dating Fender Amps

Rectifier tube is 5Y3GT. Avoid using NOS metal 5Y3s, only glass. You may also use 5V4 types or 5R4 types if they fit physically. Inexpensive Russian 5Y3GTs are readily available and suitable.

Dating Fender amps by Chassis Serial Number

One thing we know for sure is that production codes can help date an amp to a particular month within a given model run. Greg and I dating fender amplifiers disagree about determining production from serial numbers.

I will present my hypothesis here and let Greg present his side of the story in a future article. Unlike serial numbers used for most Fender guitars and basses, we know that serial number sequences are unique to a particular model or a dating fender amplifiers of models of amplifiers. Because the serial numbers are for a particular model and that chassis were stamped sequentially, is reasonable to assume that the serial number infers the Nth unit manufactured.

Some caution is advised since it is likely that not all chassis were used due to defects or that duplicate serial numbers may have been stamped. There is no way to separate out production for these models, but with enough data, we might be able to do some frequency distribution and such to determine a rough estimate.

For the uniquely serialized models, the production estimates using my hypothesis, can be determined from the serial number tables. For example, the serial numbers for 5F6 and 5F6-A Bassman amps run from BM to BM therefore we can conclude that there were about 4, units made. How about those rarebird Vibroverbs? The brown Deluxe is less common at about 4, units made serial numbers run from D to D Anyway, you get the idea, dating fender amplifiers.

In the above example, the transformer was made in either orweek This code can be found on the power transformer, output transformer, choke, and reverb transformer. Here is a list of the first letter showing the year of manufacture.

These codes have nothing to do with the serial number that is stamped on the right rear of the chassis - Those numbers are posted below. These codes are for amps with the serial number beginning with a letter:. EIA numbers taken from the transformers may help you to determine the date of production on amps that fall between dating fender amplifiers different dating schemes.

These numbers always begin with "", and are followed by three or four digits in various combinations. If three digits are present, the first digit would refer to the year i. If four digits are present, the first two digits refer to the year i. The last two digits would refer to the week of the year i. An example would be: EIA would mean the 21st week of All Fender amplifiers, manufactured after include a date code on the amplifier. This code is located on the vip speed dating denver Quality Assurance sticker, which may be found on the back of the amp chassis.

The sticker is a Black and Silver label, which contains several lines for "sign-offs" at the completion of sound and electrical tests, where applicable. The last line will have 2 letters of the alphabet either printed or written by hand. Good luck reading some of the hand dating fender amplifiers ones.

Dating fender amplifiers [PUNIQRANDLINE-(au-dating-names.txt)

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