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These say "Fender Electric Instruments." Depending on the model the use of these pre-CBS panels have been observed on amps as late as August 1965, except for Champs and Vibro Champs which had foil stickers on the back the chassis.
Therefore, amps from January 1966 have the date code "OA" (A denotes January) in green ink.The factory realized its mistake in February because these amps have a "PB" date code in black ink.Now, we obviously haven't looked at every amp made in January 1966 so this isn't set in stone.First I would like to thank everyone who responded to our request for data as outlined in the initial article that was printed in March 1997 issue of TCG.Most notably, I'd like to thank Jeff Lacio for his contributions to our research.Dating Fender Tube Amps By Serial Number, Part 2 by Greg Gagliano Copyright 1997, 20th Century Guitar Magazine.
It's been about 6 months since Part 1 of this series was printed so I thought it would be a good time to give an update on the Fender amp research that I am doing along with Devin Riebe and Greg Huntington.
Our evidence is that we are finding some serial numbers duplicated between models.
For example, serial number A00121 has been found on a Champ dated November 1964 and a Vibrolux Reverb dated February 1965.
I turned to the Internet to do some more networking which resulted in a major turn of events as I met two individuals who have become instrumental partners in this project: Greg Huntington and Devin Riebe.
Greg is a long time Fender collector who is very knowledgeable not only in the details, but in the circuitry as well.
We combined all of our information into a computerized database for this project and for the past 18 months have been slowly (sadly, very slowly) gathering information that we collect ourselves as well as from other people. What we need is the following: 1) Model name 2) Model number on the tube chart 3) Date code letters on the tube chart 4) Speaker codes (if speaker is original) 5) Transformer codes (if the amp doesn't have date codes on the tube chart) 6) Cosmetic features (flat/raised logo, tweed/tolex, blackface/silverface, rough/ smooth blond tolex, white/skirted knobs, TV-front/wide-panel, etc.) One very interesting and very important factoid has surfaced regarding the date code letters on the tube chart.