dating postal scales Dating a fender guitar serial number

Mid-1968 Super Reverb export model modified by Hagstrm for the Swedish market.

Note the removal of the voltage selector switch and hard-wiring. I just discovered that the silverface Bandmaster speaker cabinet (the big, tall one without tilt-back legs) is ported (see photo). I guess this is what the 1969 catalog refers to as “large, individual specially designed baffles.” And all along I thought the big n’ tall silverface cabs were just a macho thing to compete against the awesome looks of a Marshall half stack or full stack.

Since the new owner would have likely removed this tag immediately upon arriving home, I’m amazed that the one in the photo has remained intact since mid-1968!

Along with dating amps by serial numbers, we were interested in determining production totals, if possible.

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.

Although his job was somewhat limited, his recollections provided some really fascinating insights to how the amps were built.

For instance, he confirmed our assumption that the amp chassis were put into stock after being stamped with serial numbers and that the chassis were pulled from the stock bins randomly (just as with Fender guitar neck plates).

Of course I tended to hurry more when they were there, and I would fumble more, too.” Another really interesting fact was that he recalled that the eyelet boards were loaded/wired/soldered in Mexico!

“I remember the circuit boards were pre-made, from Mexico, easy to screw into the chassis. When we had filled our cart we'd wheel it over to the Chicano chicks.

One has to wonder where all those factory original export back panels are! Another interesting tidbit is that a lot of Fenders were imported into Australia in the late 1950s and early 1960s that were stock 110-volt (domestic US) units.

The Australian Fender Distributor then installed 240V - 110V stepdown transformers in the bottom of the cabinets.

I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading.