Fender Amps Serial Number Lookup

It is challenging to determine the precise date of vintage Fender amplifiers made prior to 1994 due to the lack of adequate documentation. However, an estimated date can be approximated. On the other hand, Fender amplifiers produced from 1990 to present have a date code that can be found on the QA sticker located at the back of the amplifier chassis. To determine the manufacturing year of a Fender amplifier, you can use serial number decoder and dating system provided below.

Where to find Fender Amp serial number (CHASSIS) Location?

In older versions, the serial number is stamped on the right-hand side of the chassis. However, in newer models, the serial number is presented on a sticker.

fender chassis serials
Fender Amplifier Serial Number Location

Fender Amps Serial Number Decoder

Fender amps Serial Numbers VINTAGE 1951-1969

On the inside of the cabinets of Fender amplifiers that were built after 1950 and before 1970, a sticker is generally attached. This indicates the type of the tubes used and their location on the chassis. Also on this sticker stamped 2 letters (sometimes handwritten) indicating a date code.

fender amp sticker
Fender Amps date code
fender Bassman serials
Fender Bassman Amp date code

Fender amps Date code from 1951 to 1969

Letter CodeYearMonth
A1951January
B1952February
C1953March
D1954April
E 1955May
F1956June
G1957July
H1958August
I1959September
J1960October
K1961November
L1962December
M1963
N1964
O1965
P1966
Q1967
R1968
S1969

Fender amps Serial Numbers since 1990

All Fender amplifiers manufactured from 1990 until now, have a date code printed on the quality assurance (QA) sticker on the rear of the chassis. This black-silver sticker shows signatures or initials of employees after the finished noise and electrical tests. The last line also has a stamped or handwritten 2-letter date code. Handwritten is sometimes difficult to read (see image). The first letter is the year and the second letter is month.

fender qa sticker

If no QA or tube location sticker is found or it is bad read, look at the rear of the chassis on the right side where a chassis number is punched. You can decipher the year of construction using the date decoder.

Fender amps Date code Since 1990

Letter CodeYearMonth
A1990January
B1991February
C1992March
D1993April
E1994May
F1995June
G1996July
H1997August
I1998September
J1999October
KNovember
LDecember
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S

Dating Fender Amps By Label and Logo

Some Fender Amps indications that you can also recognize the production year:

  • Before the CBS era (before 1965) Blackface amplifiers were feature labeled “Fender Electric Instrument“. Blackface amplifiers from 1964 and some from early 1965 did not have the Fender logo on the grill cloth.
  • After the acquisition of Fender by CBS in January 1965, amplifiers were labeled as “Fender Musical Instruments“.
  • The logo on the grill cloth of the amplifier also gives an indication of when it was produced. A logo with tail is from before 1973. After 1973 the logo was tailless. With few exceptions. As long as there was a stock with tail logos, they were used randomly in 1973. Amplifiers from that year and perhaps also in 1974 can therefore have the new or old logo: tailless (after 1973), with tail (before 1973).

fender amps logo
Fender Amps logo tailless (after 1973) and with tail (before 1973)

  • There are a number of amplifiers from ‘68 and ‘69 announced, including the Vibro Champ and Bassman, which also had a tailless logo. However, these logos are made of plastic and slightly smaller than the metals.

Dating Fender amps by components

If there are no sticker or chassis number at all, the the components can also offer a solution for dating the year of construction of the amplifier. Assuming the components is original and has not been replaced.

Dating Fender amps by Transformer

With help of the EIA (Electronics Industry Association) number on the transformer, the production date can be determined. This is not the production date of the amplifier, because the transformer has already been made before and may have been for a while in storage.

fender transformator serials

The EIA number on the transformer which Fender has used the most starts with 606, followed by 3 or 4 digits. 606 is the manufacturer (Woodward-Schumacher), but a transformer from another manufacturer may also have been used.

With 3 digits, the first digit is the last digit of the decade of the 20th century. The last 2 digits is the week of that year. At 4 digits, the first 2 digits are the year of the 20th century.

Example: 606 6849 is 1968 week 49. If the production date of the transformer is now known, add at least 6 months to the production date of the amplifier. From the example, the amplifier could have been built in 1969.

Dating Fender amps by Speakers

What applies to the transformer also applies to speakers.

Fender used Jensen speakers until 1972. In that year the Jensen production was transferred to Rola (Rola was already a part of Jensen). When Rola started making speakers for Jensen in 1972, Rola also used Jensen’s EIA code in the beginning (220). At the end of 1972, Rola changed the code to 285.

CTS Speakers

Sometimes Fender used CTS speakers in the 1960s. Between the mid 1960s and early 1970s, the CTS 10-inch Alnico was regularly used in Super Reverbs.

Eminence Speakers

Eminence (founded in 1966 by former CTS employee Bob Gault) made speakers especially for Fender according to those specifications. From the early eighties these were standard in almost all tube amplifiers.

Utah Speakers

Despite the fact that the Utah speakers from the 50s and 60s were of very good quality, Fender did not use them much during that period. It was not until the 1970s that these spaekers became more widely used.

But not all speaker manufacturers work with an EIA code.
For example, Celestion has its own date coding method that consists of 2 letters with 1 or 2 digits.

Examples:

GK12 is July 12, 1977;
23HA is August 23, 1956 or 1968.


Dating Fender amps by Potentiometers

In the 1950s, Fender mainly used potmeters from the Stackpole brand (304). Halfway through 1963, the switch was made to the CTS brand (137). In 1967 Fender bought a very large stock of CTS and was used for over 5 years. Amplifiers (and also guitars) made in 1973 can therefore still have the 1967 potmeters with EIA numbers from the stock that was purchased in 1967. From 1974 a potentiometer with pressure-pull switch was added to some amplifiers. More manufacturers can be found with the EIA factory decoder by searching on their EIA code or in the component list.

Please note, old Fender Amplifiers may look old, but are not. For example, speakers, potentiometers or transformers may have been replaced, or the coating of the amplifier/cabinet is renewed (re-tolex).

Tolex is the flexible and waterproof vinyl material with which the cabinet or amplifier is covered. These ‘adjustments’ do not have to have an adverse effect on quality, provided that the electronic components have been replaced with the correct values and requirements.

Fender amps PRODUCTION dates by models

ModelIntroductionDiscontinued
Bandmaster19531974
Bandmaster Reverb19681980
Bassman19521977
Blues Deluxe19921999
Blues Junior1990>
Bronco19671981
Champ19481982
Concert19601965
Concert II19801987
Deluxe19481966
Deluxe Reverb19641979
Deluxe Reverb II19821986
Harvard19551963
Hot Rod Deluxe1996>
Hot Rod DeVille1996>
Princeton19491979
Princeton Reverb19641981
Pro19461965
Pro Junior1993>
Pro Reverb19651982
Prosonic19962002
Reverb Unit19611966
Showman19601993
Super19471963
Super Reverb19631982
Tremolux19551966
Twin1948appeared in several variants until 2012
Tube Reverb19761978 (reissue 1994-2016)
Vibrasonic19591964
Vibrolux19641982
Vibro Champ19641982
Vibrosonic Reverb19721982
Vibroverb1963appeared in several variants until 2008
White Amp19541962

FAQ

What year my Fender Amp was made?

It is challenging to determine the precise date of vintage Fender amplifiers made prior to 1994 due to the lack of adequate documentation. On the other hand, Fender amplifiers produced from 1990 to present have a date code that can be found on the QA sticker located at the back of the amplifier chassis. To determine the manufacturing year of a Fender amplifier, you can utilize Serial Number Decoder or dating guides.

How do I find Fender Amp serial number?

In old versions of Fender amps , the serial number is stamped on the right-hand side of the chassis. However, in new models, the serial number is presented on a sticker.