Dating a silverface fender
These units look, and apparently sound, just like the Schumacher-made units so it’s easy to overlook that “831” code.
Working at FMI – I was able to interview a fellow (who wishes to remain anonymous) who worked at Fender in 1972-73 in the amp department.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.
Oddlings – Yet another printing error has surfaced, this time from the FEI (pre-CBS) days.
I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading.
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.
These are marked with EIA code “831” and are most prevalent during the 1966-68 time period.
Some examples include a '66 Princeton Reverb and ’66 Pro Reverb with Better Coil output transformer, a ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and ‘67 Twin Reverb with Better Coil reverb transformer, and a 1968 Vibro Champ with Better Coil trannies.
It’s unknown if the tweed covering was a mistake (“Oops, I thought this was a 4x10 Bassman cabinet that I was covering”) or intentional, perhaps as a special order.
Non-Schumacher transformers – It’s been universally accepted that Fender only used Schumacher transformers on amps made in the 1960s and 1970s.