Dating fender tweed amplifiers

Okay, I know you’re all just dying to skip ahead to the serial number tables but try to contain your excitement and read through the article first.A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).Combined with what we saw with dating a tweed Fender Champ by the tube chart and speaker code, I’m feeling pretty good that all of the various dating methods point to early 1959 for my amp.I wish I could say that I figured all this out on my own. Besides, no article in the Dating Fender Amps by Serial Number series would be complete without some interesting information, n’est ce pas?

These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher.

All Fender amplifiers manufactured from 1990 to the present include a date code, printed on the quality assurance (QA) sticker on the back of the amp chassis.

This black-and-silver sticker contains several lines for “sign-offs” on completion of sound and electrical testing.

While doing research on Fender amps in general, and the Champ in particular, I came across the most amazing series of articles by Greg Gagliano on the subject. If you have any interest in vintage Fender tube amps, without question you’ve got to read them all.

The process that went into figuring all of this stuff out over 6 years and countless owners of vintage Fender amps is hands down an amazing story.

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