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Dating Rivera-era Fender amps

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by UKStratopastor, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    hi all - newbie member here...

    I can give a rough date for your all 14 amps in the 1982-87 Rivera-era, if you'll let me know the serial number.... been collecting serial numbers since 2004. I know, I should get out more.

    Post here, or email me via my website

    http://www.stratopastor.org.uk/strato/amps/prii/PRII_hub.html

    The amps are

    (tube)
    Bassman 20
    Champ II
    Super Champ (not XD, X2 or whatever)
    Princeton Reverb II
    Deluxe Reverb II
    Concert (nicknames Concert II; eleven knobs on black face)
    Twin Reverb II

    (solid state)
    Yale Reverb II
    Harvard Reverb II
    Studio Lead
    Stage Lead (only 'made in USA', not the Japanese version)
    Montreux
    London Reverb
    Showman (solid state only, not earlier tube amps)
     
    Ooba Tooba and Bendyha like this.

  2. Bendyha

    Bendyha Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Northern Germany
    Hi Andrew...

    I've mentioned your good work (at least that to do with amps) here on TDPRI several times.
    Thanks for your efforts. Great work!
    Ben.
     

  3. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    hi Ben - thanks, I've seen some of that. Your analysis of the Super Champ is amazing....
     

  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    MY two Super Champs' serial numbers happen to coincide with their production year.
    SC #414544....PT 606411, OT...606431, Reverb driver....606426, Cap can....2358431
    SC #326708.....PT...606339, OT....606339, RD....606344, Cap can...2358340.
    Those fit right in with your charts.
    From looking at your gathered and collated material, it appears that Fender did at least keep the usage of the chassi in sequential order. This assured some semblance of order at least. Overruns at the end of the year extended into the next year. That is understandable. there are a number of ways of avoiding that, but they all cause more work in comparison to the application of the serial number during the manufacture of the chassi. They could have applied the numbers as the chassi were pulled for construction of the amp. They could have set a limit on the production so as to never have an overrun of the serialization in to the next year. OR...they could have tossed the over-run chassi....and that is a waste of money, right?
    It appears that the large majority of numbers are correct for the indicated year. Good work there.
    Personally, I always check component dates for originality before I look at a serial number. This is the way we had to do it with the pre-196 Fender numbers anyway. In other words, serial numbers don't matter much to me UNLESS they and the components date codes do not synch up.
     

  5. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    hi there Wally - thanks for this - I've had your codes and numbers for some time but can't remember how! I've got Wally (guitar garage) logged against them...

    ...and yes, I agree with your points about numbering the chassis - it did give a semblance of order for Fender's purposes - but not for mine! (Inconsiderate, or what?) ...which is why I ended up gathering all this stuff simply to find out how many Princeton Reverb IIs were made...
     

  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    UKSP, I guess I gave you those codes the first time I ran across your site...probably through a link in the SC club here.
    When we compare this system to the usage of serial numbers for Fender guitars, these numbers are very orderly, ime. The guitar numbers get really random. The usage of the serialize amp chassi of the amps seems to have been much more sequential. There are guitar serial number ranges that can span 3 years.
     

  7. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    yes... I salute anyone who's brave enough to go into the guitar s/ns...
     

  8. Ooba Tooba

    Ooba Tooba Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    214
    Jul 10, 2017
    Toledo Ohio USA
    Reminds me of a fella on the vintage drum forum who painstakingly sorted through pictures and literature for years to determine Zildjian cymbal dates by what was stamped on them. I found I have many rare 1940s and 50s cymbals with my old WFL kit because of his research. Musical archeologists. Thank you for your work.
     
    UKStratopastor and Wally like this.

  9. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    hey Stratopastor - it's good to see you here. I have been a follower of your PRII page for many years, and have recommended it to many members of this forum. Keep up the excellent work.
     
    UKStratopastor likes this.

  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    If it's fairly comprehensive and well-documented it would be good to send a copy to Vintage guitar Magazine. They have taken over maintenance of (and owns the copyright over) Greg Gagliano's exhaustive "Dating Fender Amps by Serial number" list:

    http://www.ggjaguar.com/fendamp6.htm
     

  11. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    Thanks Silverface... I do copy Greg in on my info now and then and God bless him, he gave me a namecheck in his Vintage Guitar article and on the page you've linked to. I sent Vintage Guitar what I had a few years ago... no reply, hence the web page!

    edit - I should have added that Greg was a _huge_ help to me at the start of this project.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017

  12. GGJaguar

    GGJaguar TDPRI Member

    27
    Oct 6, 2006
    Skylands
    Bumping this thread for Andrew's work with the Rivera era amps. His work is comprehensive so please consider "donating" serial numbers and info to him. Plus his work means I can focus on tweed, brown/blonde, BF and SF amps. :)
     

  13. UKStratopastor

    UKStratopastor TDPRI Member

    22
    Sep 16, 2017
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    thanks Greg! everyone else with a Rivera-era amp , you heard the man....
     

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