Superior Music - Fender Amp, Amplifier Serial Numbers
Reissue amps also use stamped Date Codes. Examples of FENDER AMP Chassis Serial Number DATE CODES . Deluxe Reverb AB, AB ( silverface). The Fender Deluxe Reverb is a guitar amplifier made originally by Fender Electric Instruments The Deluxe Reverb II was introduced that same year. Output on the amp was diminished to 20 watts and a solid-state rectifier was used . Named for their black control panels, Blackface Fender amps are one of even fondly refer to their Deluxe Reverb as their “desert island” amp.
Silverface cosmetics do not necessarily denote silverface circuitry, however. Leo Fender was notorious for tweaking his designs. These changes took some months to finalize, as Leo worked through some designs, and happened after the cosmetic changes.
Furthermore, the schematic and tube charts that shipped with these models did not always reflect the actual circuitry. Fender had many leftover AB blackface tube charts left over well into and shipped these charts with silverface models.
Save for a few series such as HotRod seriesa majority of modern Fender amplifiers sports blackface cosmetics. They are often referred to as Silverface or Chromeface because of their brushed aluminum face plate.
The Fender Amp Field Guide
The first Silverface amps, manufactured between andhad an aluminum frame trim, known as a "drip edge" around the grillcloth, mids "tailed" amp logo and the AB blackface circuit. An even rarer feature were the vertical, narrow black lines, which separated knob groups in the control panel. This cosmetic detail later referred to as "blackline" was quickly abandoned. All of the Silverface amps generally had blue labels on the face plate, but in some rare exceptions such as the Bronco the colour was red instead.
Some transitional models produced before the "tailless" period in featured the AC circuit, still retaining the tailed Fender amp decal introduced in In CBS changed the "tailed" Fender amp logo to the modern-looking "tailless" style which was first introduced in on the student Bronco amp.
A master volume knob and a pull-out "boost" pot were added on some amplifiers, followed by ultralinear output transformers and a "scripted tailless" amp decal featuring a "Made in USA" script in the bottom in ; the power was increased between 70 and watts on certain models.
The Silverface control face plate was discontinued in and the second series of the blackface amps designed by Paul Rivera were produced. Fender made a limited-edition Mini-Twin practice amplifier modeled after the mids Twin Reverb models in The Silverface Edition MT had the authentic look right down to the grillcloth. This 1-watt Twin featured 3 in. InFender released the silverface '68 Custom amplifiers as a part of their Vintage Modified series, modeled after the original drip-edge silverfaced amps of Each amp incorporates reverb and tremolo on both channels.
Other features include a Custom channel which has a modified Bassman tone stack giving modern players greater tonal flexibility with pedalsquicker gain onset and reduced negative feedback for greater touch sensitivity. Early solid-state models[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message Fender's first transistor amplifiers were introduced in At the time they were the company's "flagship" range and aimed to make the tube-based designs obsolete.
The amplifiers were naturally given traditional Fender model names, earliest including 'Dual Showman', 'Twin Reverb', and 'Bassman'. The amplifiers were mainly designed by Robert "Bob" Rissi, Sawa Jacobson and Paul Spranger, who came up with the novel idea of making a heatsink to operate like a chimney to achieve increased and non-restricted airflow.
Paul also designed the distinctive angled chassis and overall cosmetic styling.
Fender Deluxe Reverb - Wikipedia
He was granted patents for both accounts. In more transistor amplifiers were introduced, including the 'Zodiac' series and the behemoth 'Super Showman System'. Seth Lover, the legendary designer of the Gibson "P. The head featured three cascadable channels, a "Dimension V" oil can delay effect, reverb, vibrato, and a fuzz. The powered cabinets could switch between normal and "tube-emulated" operation.
Zodiac-series amplifiers consisted of 'Capricorn', 'Scorpio', 'Taurus' and 'Libra' models. Aside from being covered with fake alligator skin, they were cosmetically very similar to Super Showman. However, these were smaller combo amplifiers with fewer features and aimed for the lower end of the market. Fender's early transistor amplifiers had an extensive marketing campaign but in the end they proved to be a major disaster. Many key executives of Fender had resigned after the CBS purchase and quality control of the PCB-constructed amps was rather sloppy during the times.
Reputedly many of the early solid-state amplifiers failed simply because employees didn't bother to clean up the soldering machines or attach the semiconductors properly to their heat sinks. The infancy of semiconductor technology also meant that many designs failed due to thermal runaway caused by insufficient cooling or lack of knowledge concerning "safe" power ratings of transistors.
The cascaded effects from all this created a very poor reputation for the transistor products and the entire solid-state line was discontinued already in Additionally the experience also scared Fender away from solid-state amplifier technology for the next ten years.
One well known player who took to the Fender Solid State amps was Jan Akkerman who used Super Showman full stacks during the early years of Focus, favouring their clear sound. He used them well into the seventies, often in conjunction with Marshalls to add low end. Second series blackface[ edit ] The Silverface amplifiers were succeeded by a new breed of Fender designs.
Fender was now competing with manufacturers who were more in tune with the market; specifically, many guitar players were interested less in "cleanish" country amp and instead wanted more versatile tone controls and, perhaps more importantly, greater amounts of distortion. This market was dominated by companies such as Marshall and later Mesa Boogie —both of which had gotten started modifying Fender amps the Bassman and the Princeton, respectively.
Certain elements of the Blackface cosmetics were reintroduced in the mids on a series of amplifiers designed by Ed Jahns. The first amplifiers in this new line included the infamous W 'Super Twin' and 'Super Twin Reverb' amplifiers which featured active tone controls and a built-in distortion circuit that blended between clean and distorted sounds. Some bass amplifiers with similar architecture were also released, namely the 'Studio Bass' and 'PS'. These amplifiers didn't yet render obsolete the Silverface series and manufacturing of both co-existed for years.
In fact, many Silverface designs were revised to the ultra-linear architecture to step up their output power from watts to watts. Also, existing Silverface Princeton Reverb and Deluxe Reverb circuits were offered in a slightly modified Blackface cosmetic package from roughly tothe difference from the s versions being that the model designation on the faceplate did not include the word "Amp" after the script typeface model name, as the earlier versions had.
The new Blackfaces came in varying cosmetic styles. All of them had a black control panel and traditional knobs, but they no longer featured the Blackface-style lettering to depict the model name and the traditional control panel layout was partially redesigned.
Some of these amplifiers had a silver grillcloth typical to previous BF and SF series amps, but more often the amplifiers sported a black grillcloth. Some amplifiers also had an aluminum trimming running around the grille.
The styling didn't become consistent until the early s, at which point all these designs were already discontinued to make way for the very similar looking "II Series". In the late s and very early s the "Supers" were followed by the tube-based '30', '75 Lead ', and '' tube amps with reverb and overdrive features and two solid-state 'Harvard' amps one with reverbwhich were 15W practice amplifiers.
Design-wise the tube amplifiers were quite different from their predecessors, as the active tone controls and blending distortion circuit had been removed and the latter feature replaced by a crude version of the channel switching concept. A new feature addition was a crude insert-style effects loop.
I just discovered that the silverface Bandmaster speaker cabinet the big, tall one without tilt-back legs is ported see photo. I thought they were completely sealed units.
- Fender Deluxe Reverb
One thing we know for sure is that production codes can help date an amp to a particular month within a given model run. Greg and I also disagree about determining production from serial numbers. I will present my hypothesis here and let Greg present his side of the story in a future article.
Unlike serial numbers used for most Fender guitars and basses, we know that serial number sequences are unique to a particular model or a family of models of amplifiers. Because the serial numbers are for a particular model and that chassis were stamped sequentially, is reasonable to assume that the serial number infers the Nth unit manufactured.
Some caution is advised since it is likely that not all chassis were used due to defects or that duplicate serial numbers may have been stamped. There is no way to separate out production for these models, but with enough data, we might be able to do some frequency distribution and such to determine a rough estimate. For the uniquely serialized models, the production estimates using my hypothesis, can be determined from the serial number tables.
For example, the serial numbers for 5F6 and 5F6-A Bassman amps run from BM to BM therefore we can conclude that there were about 4, units made. How about those rarebird Vibroverbs? The brown Deluxe is less common at about 4, units made serial numbers run from D to D Anyway, you get the idea.
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For instance, the serial numbers for tweed Bandmaster 3x10 run from S to S Remember, this model shares a chassis with the narrow panel tweed Pro and Super. Therefore, the only thing we can infer is that there were 3, tweed Bandmasters, Pros, and Supers made in total. DATING The tables are pretty much self-explanatory, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using the tables to date your amp.
First, the tables should be used as a guide only. Large overlaps in years may be due to lack of sufficient data late s to mid s or simply that the stamped chassis were used way out sequence mid s to early s. Thankfully, these aberrations are pretty rare. Some serial numbers have a letter prefix plus 4-digits instead of the usual 5- or 6-digits.
Likewise there are some serial numbers with an extra digit usually a zero after the letter prefix. Again, these are rare and exceptions to the norm. Same goes for Princetons made after Case in point; we have documented two factory-original non-reverb blackface Deluxe Amps from January