Dating early fender amplifiers
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. 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.
So it was made after 35th week of 1972 since that is when the pots were made.It could have been made as late as June 30, 1973 and still would technically be a 72 model since Fender model years at that time run on fiscal years not calendar years.Pity the neck heel code stamp is smudged as there were 3 different code formats used in 71, 72 through mid 73 and later 73. In the absence of the neck code I'd go with the pot code and I would also check for codes on the back of the pickups that would be informative if legible.I remember two 'suits' from upstairs standing behind me occasionally doing time studies.They actually held clipboards and stopwatches to measure how long it took for me to attach various parts.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.These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher.Well, this universal “truth” was debunked when we found a bunch of amps with transformers made by the Better Coil and Transformers company.“1378812” Decodes 137 = CTS ID, 88 = 1988, 12 = 12th week of that year“304-6237” Decodes 304 = Stackpole ID, 62 =1962, 37 = 37th week of that year NOTE: In 66 CBS placed a massive pot order. I have a couple of new irons in the fire so time is sparser now than I'd like. I decided to look at the pickups and see what I could find: The neck pickup clearly shows 1460. This one is more of a stretch, but it looks like 7461460 with the 1 being smudged. I'm pretty glad to find your thread because my 1971 Jazz Bass is a sibling of yours, serial #306808, and it also have these rare pots stamped "021857 250K AUD2-35 137".These pots all date to 66 & were used from 66 until 70! I would compare it to my 1969 Jazz Bass but it has EMGs so it won't help. What I found out might be of interest for you too: The pots are discontinued special taper pots for amplifiers with a special 2-35% taper, hence the stamping "AUD2-35", so this is not a dating information at all.