I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading. We also received a report of a tweed 5G12 Concert. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late and early 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. Working at FMI — I was able to interview a fellow who wishes to remain anonymous who worked at Fender in in the amp department. Although his job was somewhat limited, his recollections provided some really fascinating insights to how the amps were built. For instance, he confirmed our assumption that the amp chassis were put into stock after being stamped with serial numbers and that the chassis were pulled from the stock bins randomly just as with Fender guitar neck plates. The boss came around and said what we’d be building.
The Super Reverb can be really loud and even interfer with the bass guitar. Just two speakers are enabled 4 ohms with a 65 Super Reverb having tremolo disconnect mod and V1 tube pulled out. These tubes have different frequency responses than 12AX7, particurlarly when distorting. People describe these tubes to have less harsh and buzzy distortion.
This mod does not alter the tone significantly when amp is played clean or when only the power amp section distorts. It is so easy to enable and disable that it can hardly be called a mod.
Speakers. Fender sold these amps with several speakers. The first AA models in had Jensen C10r. Then there were CTS ceramics and alnicos as well as Oxford 10L6 in the blackface AB amps.
The progress of this type of work is slow, hence the long hiatus, however, a lot of new data have been collected regarding Fender amplifiers, including production numbers. Advances have been made with regards to the production of tolex amps and it appears that much of this information can be applied to late s tweed amps as well.
In addition, the dating-by-serial number tables have been revised and are more accurate. The bad news is that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the silverface amps. Unfortunately, there is some sad news to report as well. Fellow Fender amp researcher, Greg Huntington, passed away June 5, after losing his battle with cancer. Greg kept his illness very private, even from this author.
His passing is a great loss to this research team and the Fender amp aficionado community in general. Greg was passionate about Fender amps and his knowledge, insight and humor will be missed very much. Paul Linden has volunteered to fill in for Greg. Paul worked with Greg on their small box brown Twin myth busting research and is extremely knowledgeable about Fender amps in general with a specialization in the brown and blonde amps. Since , more interesting factoids of interest have surfaced and are presented here.
Interest in vintage Fender amps really took hold about years ago. As a result, there are a lot of amps out there that may look original, but are not.
The first Fender solidbody model, the Esquire , lasted in name only from June to October This model name was replaced by the “Broadcaster”, which lasted in name only from the October to January All Broadcasters have truss rods, where many Esquires often have no truss rod. In Gretsch had trademarked the name “BroadKaster” for a line of drums.
Later Fender blackface and silverface tube amps should NOT have 6L6, 6L6G, 6L6GA or 6L6GB installed, due to higher operating voltages and currents. If you wish to use modern tubes in such amps, stick to a true 6L6GC or KT
Submit your Guitar How old is my vintage amplifier? There are several ways to determine when a Fender amp was produced. First use the cosmetic features to get a range of possible years. Next, if applicable look for the date code on the tube chart. Remember, many components could have been changed over the years, speakers blow, caps dry out, transformers melt down, and pots wear out. Here is a cool link to a Vintage Fender Amp price history chart that tracks sales data for specific amp models by the month.
Wide panel, narrow panel, brown, blonde, and black face amps have a date code hand-stamped on the tube chart. This code is made up of two letters.
History[ edit ] The 5B6 Bassman[ edit ] During , the Fender 5B6 Bassman amplifier was introduced as a combo amplifier cabinet that included the amplifier chassis combined with one 15″ speaker. It was designed to generate 26 watts at an 8 ohm impedance load, and offered a cathode-based bias. In the cabinet designs were changed to the so-called “Wide Panel” design, with a 5 inch wide tweed covered panel above and below a wider swath of grill cloth.
Fender ceased production of 5B6 Bassman amplifiers during the spring of The 5D6 was a major departure from the earlier 5B6 Fender Bassman model.
Describing the blackface Bassman tone is best done with establishing a common and well-known reference point, for example the traditional blackface AB amps such as .
The tube charts are not very useful for determining the circuit model. At the Fender factory they used old tube charts when new models came, probably because the tube layout was the same. Determining production date by serial number and transformer codes is better, and you should also inspect the circuit to be completly sure. The picture below shows a transition model amp. Amp collectors and idealists often prefer the pre-CBS models but if we study the AB circuit it does have something very interesting for guitar players who enjoy cranked Fender blackface tones.
The AA is very rare and its circuit and tone is quite similar to the AA We will further focus mostly on the AB vs AA The normal channel in the AA Bassman is cleaner than in the AB since it has no additional gain stage. We usually start with explaining a mod from a functional perspective where we relate to components in the logical schematics diagram. Finally we point out location of components in the physical layout diagram.
Replacing speakers is the easiest and most effective mod of them all. The speaker is the most important component in your amp which physically produces the air waves that your ears detect as a tone. See page How to select speakers for speaker recommendations. Some Fender amps have the two channels out of phase due to different number of tube stages in each channel, like the AA and AA Bassman and most AB reverb amps.
The source-date code on a pot is a 6 or 7 digit code impressed into the casing of the potentiometer. For speakers this code can be 5, 6, 7 or 8 digits long, and it’s ink-stamped or paint-stamped on the “bell housing” of the speaker. In either case, the code works the same. The first 3 digits on a pot, or the first 2, 3 or 4 digits on a speaker are the source or manufacturer code. The remaining 3 or 4 digits are the date code.
In 3 digit dates code, the 1st digit is the last digit of the year.
Feb 20, · and from what i read, they started making the Silverface’s in late and in part 3 or 4 of the dating fender amps article there’s excerpts from an interview with a fender tech from back then talking about how there were these bins of parts and you would just go grab what you needed and the dates for when the parts were from was all over the.
Bass 6 , to Typical wear on a ‘s Fender maple fingerboard. Fingerboard Material Maple fingerboard, s: This was the standard neck on all models until when the Jazzmaster was introduced with a rosewood fingerboard; the rest of the Fender models changed to rosewood fingerboards in mid Rosewood fingerboard, “Slab” Brazilian , to That is, the bottom of the fingerboard was flat and the board was fairly thick. A picture of a slab board neck as seen from the “butt” of the neck can be seen in this picture.
Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks. The Musicmaster family also used slab fingerboards usually Indian rosewood for about a year from Sept to Oct Slab fingerboards are also identifiable from the peghead by their “hump” line humps toward the tuners , just above the nut.
You just gotta have that amp or that guitar. Even if you already own plenty. Man will never stop coming up with ideas and rationale for why he constantly needs to aquire more gear. Man convinces himself, the wife and all who stands in between the gear and himself — the only responsible thing to do now, is to go get that gear.
Fender Tube amp codes: – (look for a 2 letter code stamped on the tube chart inside the back of the amp)- the first letter is the year, and the second letter is the amp stamped NA would have been made in Jan. of Here is a list of the first letter showing the year of manufacture.
If you’re not familiar with my site, it’s simple, and you’ll love it or hate it: It’s not a fancy site but it remains unchanged since ’98 and I firmly believe, “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. Just click on any underlined text and it should open a picture; if you move your cursor over the pic and there’s a magnifying glass displayed instead of your cursor, click the pic and it will expand it to larger size. People are raving about these things as a way to recreate that vintage tape delay in a small stomp box.
It does a cool chorusing thing that I really dig. Check it out here. Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face Reissue.