Dating a fender bandmaster validating gridview for rowcount in
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.
Even at we struggle with keeping a correct amp and speaker model overview.
There are also exceptions to the rules where Fender delivered non-standard speakers in special orders, Christmas campaigns etc. See our Buyer’s guide to vintage Fender amps for a guide and picture gallery of the known original speakers in the blackface and silverface amps.
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, .
In the silverface era Eminence, Oxford, Utah and Rola were more often used and Jensen was phased out.
The blackface head had a diode recifier, one normal channel and a vibrato channel with no reverb.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
Non-Schumacher transformers – It’s been universally accepted that Fender only used Schumacher transformers on amps made in the 1960s and 1970s.
These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher.
You may compare these with your own speakers to determine what you have.
Dating Fender Amps 1951-1967 – Tube chart on the inside of the amp is stamped with two letters (A – Q): The first letter designates the year and the second letter designates the month. Besides, no article in the Dating Fender Amps by Serial Number series would be complete without some interesting information, n’est ce pas?