Dating a fender champ dating old ink bottles
It makes sense that the amps that were not selling as well were the last to receive the new look, as they were the models for which the old black-face parts lasted the longest, and inversely the most popular models were the first to get the update, as their black-face parts ran out the earliest. It means that you may see a drip-edge Deluxe Reverb with a build date as early as mid-1967, and a black-face non-reverb bandmaster or Vibrolux as late as February of 1968. Once again, the most popular models were the first to lose the aluminum trim in mid 1969 and the least popular were the last to lose it in late 1969, with the Bandmaster Reverb (TFL5005D) as the very last.
By January of 1970 all fender amps being produced were the more common non-drip edge silverface models, those cosmetics continued on unchanged through the entire decade. Good, now let’s talk specifically about the earliest of the drip edge amps, the “black line” models.
You should be able to find a number stamped somewhere on the speaker’s frame.
The format may look like this: 220 637 Here the number 220 designates the speaker as a Jensen, and 637 indicates a production date of the 37th week of 1956 or 1966.
The most popular amps, like the Deluxe Reverb, were the first to receive the new look, which included not only the silver face-plate and aluminum drip-edge, but also a slightly different grill cloth with added subtle vertical blue stripes.
A few models during this early silverface period actually have the new silver face-plate and the old blackface style back-plate, and the earliest silver faceplates have the mysterious slim black vertical lines (more on this later).
I use this before buying a amp always-check all four transformers-will tell you if there has been problems along the way. On the bottom lower corner of the grill cloth was/is a 1×2 inch “JBL” plastic logo that Fender attached.
The only good thing about dating amps this way is Fender never deviated-still valid today. If your JBL says D120F on it(look for the “f”) certainly could have been stock.
There is no clear consensus as to why these lines exist; they appear just before the Volume controls and on either side of the amps name.
The last version had a super bright neon blue which held its tint.
Remember that Fender dealers could order any of the silverface amps with black faceplates and regular 60’s silver grill.
Whether it’s a vintage amp or a recent model such as this Fender Pro Reverb, hum can have several causes.
Possible culprits include the preamp tubes, the power tubes, the hum balance resistors, and the power supply caps.
In contrast to every other aspect of the silkscreen printing, they just don’t seem “right”.