Dating old fender amps
The Fender musical revolution started before the birth of rock music, just after the end of WW2.
Since his early teens Leo Fender had an interest in electronics, and when he grew up, Leo made a career for himself fixing and building PA systems for musicians, opening his own shop in California.
Greg and Devin's experience meshed well with mine since I'm essentially the blackface/silverface amp guy (amps made between 19) in the group.
Additionally, Greg and Devin also had data that they had been collecting from Fender amps for years. Everything is confidential, we don't make record of who owns what amp in the database.
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They all had the classic features we're familiar with now: heavy steel chassis, chromed control plates, and heavy pine cases covered with tweed fabric.
The type of face, grille cloth, type and number of speakers, type and number of knobs, etc.
only come into play when you’re trying to value the amplifier in the Blue Book for Guitar Amplifiers per the model description that is provided.
Dating Fender Tube Amps by Serial Number, Part I by Greg Gagliano Copyright 1997, 20th Century Guitar Magazine. Well, we'll get to good parts, but first a little background information is in order.
After reading Teagle and Sprung's excellent Fender amp book, I took them up on their challenge that maybe someday someone will compile enough serial numbers so that Fender amps can be dated that way. I contacted several Fenders collectors and dealers who were kind enough to supply me with data.
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For most purposes, the vacuum tube has been replaced by the much smaller and less expensive transistor, either as a discrete device or in an integrated circuit.