Blackface faceplate question white paint vs raw aluminum lettering

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by nikonmikon, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys, long time lurker first time* poster here. As the title of my post suggests, I am curious about the blackface faceplate lettering color. I've seen it mostly as a white paint (silkscreen I assume) but in my search for answers I am seeing some that appear to be aluminum lettering (no paint just raw metal exposed under the black). This includes the index marks for the controls, the bright switch box outlines and the input jack ring outlines (barely visible behind the nut that holds them to the front panel). The logo (and everything else on the faceplate that isn't black) also appears in a similar fashion.

    I just recently purchased a 1965 Pro Reverb and it has what appears to be raw silver metal as the lettering instead of white paint. Was this something they did on some faceplates or is this a replacement?

    As you can imagine this is a really hard topic to search for, being that any searches with the world "silver" bring up a plethora of silverface questions so I apologize if a thread exists already.

    I'll post a pic and video to demonstrate what I mean

    Be sure to check the gear icon settings for the video quality. The striations may not appear in the low 480p quality setting



    [​IMG]
    (clickable for a very large fullsize)

    I have a feeling it's a reproduction but if it is, it seems to be VERY old. If any of you guys have any insight about these faceplates I would be forever grateful. It's always great to learn new things about these old fender amps and I am new to all of this!
     

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  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It seems I have seen the silver before, not sure it's bare or just silver paint. I'll have to check my amps.
     
  3. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    I've seen white and what is on your Pro. There may have been a change over with the CBS ownership. Rest assured, that is faceplate is stock and not a repro. Welcome aboard!
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a ‘63 Pro here, a ‘64 Showman, and a 1996 Pro Sonic. The old amps’ ‘white’ looks like the Pro Reverb above while the modern amp’s white lettering is ...well...it is whiter. I have never wondered about it before.
     
  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    '63 Deluxe-Amp, all the lettering appears to be white paint. '65 Champ-Amp, the script "Champ-Amp" is white but the rest of the accents look like aluminum, including the "Fender Elect. Inst. Co.".
     
  6. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    I've a pair of what I guess are the last of the production blackface era, "T" numbers date to 1967, pots and speakers to 1966. Both (a Deluxe Reverb and Super Reverb) sport white screened lettering over black.

    I don't recall ever seeing bare metal on any from the blackface era.
     
  7. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, let me know what you find out!

    Thanks! I am curious if you own any of similar design?

    Would you mind sharing some photos?

    It's really hard to capture in photos, the silver reflects light in a way that is very distinct so I opted to post a video of it. It's probably the horizontal lines in the finish that give it away... Do you have any pics that you can share?

    I'm very new to this but I had another 65 pro reverb briefly (stupidly returned it not knowing what I had) and it had white paint for the legends. I miss it dearly.

    I'm just hoping it's not a repro, but apparently some of you guys are saying it isn't so that's a plus. I must say, I prefer white to raw metal... Kind of bummed this one doesn't have it.
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here is a picture of the 1964 (Dual) Showman....it sits in a Pro Sonic cab. I’ll try to get you a picture of the 1996 Pro Sonic, which has very white lettering. A87DB147-86D8-43B6-A4B5-D16A53C436F6.jpeg
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    My 64, 65 amps are white on black. The backside of a real Fender will have a logo on it usually. I forget what that logo looks like.
    The other consideration is that Fender had some variations over the years. Maybe it's due to suppliers. In the Brown era some faceplates were quite brown and others were so dark they looked black except up close.
    I wish I could remember where I've seen the silver/what amp.
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    schmee, is this the ‘logo’ you are remembering?
    F3911FD3-96B7-45F7-98A8-DBBE91AF0684.jpeg
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    No Wally, I'm talking about an ink stamped one on the reverse side of the front faceplate.... on the bare aluminum... :>)
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Okay...on the backside of the front panel....I never look there. There are tells on the face side that are good enough for me. this is literally the first time I have heard any discussion of the color of the lettering. What is shown on the Showman above is white lettering that is consistent with all white lettering on the blackface amps that I have seen. I will,put my Pro Sonic right beside this Showman because the 1996 amp does have whiter lettering....as perhaps all,of the reissue BF Fenders in the modern era. The new amps are not my source of ‘normalcy’....I really don’t care too much what they look like...so I don’t measure vintage amp faceplates by modern color design.
     
  13. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I see that the font looks similar but can't quite make out whether it's paint or metal. Another minor detail I noticed on my amp, the bright switch screws have a hollow dot at one of the 4 corners of the phillips interface. From my experience this is a JIS screw but it seems odd that Fender would use these. Here's a pic of them:

    20191020_124239.jpg 20191020_124249.jpg

    I know what you mean, I seem to feel like I've seen this raw metal instead of white paint on some fender and can't recall what it was. Maybe it was the 80s era amps? i.e. super twin reverb or the like?

    This is the first time I've ever seen silver instead of white but I am very new at this vintage fender thing. I've only experienced a handful of amps and have only owned 2 (returned the first one). Thank you for taking the time to investigate this with me. I kind of just want to know if there are others out there similar to mine since the only ones I've seen in person are all obvious white paint text/legends/logo.

    What do you think about those fasteners though, would Fender use JIS screws back in the 60s? Oh also, your reverb is backwards! :eek:
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those fasteners look normal to me. I dont think I've seen plain metal, but I have seen what I think is more silver paint in lieu of white. Are you sure it's plain metal? Aluminum oxides a lot... unless it's anodized.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I know what you mean, I seem to feel like I've seen this raw metal instead of white paint on some fender and can't recall what it was. Maybe it was the 80s era amps? i.e. super twin reverb or the like?


    This is the first time I've ever seen silver instead of white but I am very new at this vintage fender thing. I've only experienced a handful of amps and have only owned 2 (returned the first one). Thank you for taking the time to investigate this with me. I kind of just want to know if there are others out there similar to mine since the only ones I've seen in person are all obvious white paint text/legends/logo.

    What do you think about those fasteners though, would Fender use JIS screws back in the 60s? Oh also, your reverb is backwards! :eek:[/QUOTE]


    Re: those reverb cables......that is not my amp. That is a picture I found online. I don’t hVe a vintage BF Reverb amp at this time.......and probably won’t in the future. That market is screwed up in so many ways it is unreal from my point of view. Ommv...but it would have to be a very good deal for me to put money in any BF Reverb amp....as much as I like them.

    As for the color on your plate...IF it had bright, pure white lettering, ime, the black paint would also show a non-originality because there is a different texture to the paint surface between the real deal and all of the fakes I have seen. from here, it appears that the faceplate on your panel is correct, and there would have been no reason to fake a BF faceplate way back in the day because the amps were not worth going to that trouble. there were some fakes out of the Philippines during the Vietnam era, but they are obviously fakes......we would not be discussing it. Unless.....how about a full pictorial review of all aspects of your amp?? Let’s start knowing what it is you have, right? Transformers, tube chart, speakers, caps, all components inside.....give us a peek. if the faceplate is fake, the rest may be also.
     
  16. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    Well funny you should ask for this, curiosity got the best of me this sunday afternoon and I pulled the faceplate! (I have no idea how I'm going to reinstall it, as I used the faceplate as a "wrench" of sorts to loosen it...)

    There's no fender logo on the back of it from what I can see so that's curious...



    The amp is an Oxford 12L5-1 equipped 1965 Pro Reverb with a replaced PT (F022798 part number, any info on the F prefix?) and the EIA code is 606935 and it has the CSA TEST roll mark as well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    PT.jpg
    20191015_174022.jpg
    20191020_161443.jpg 20191020_161455.jpg

    The inside of the chassis is smoke-stained on the left side from what I assume was a spectacular lightshow :eek:. The inside of the cabinet reflects this as well. Interestingly the tech put a note on the replacement transformer with a date and a warranty of 90 days re: 5881's being removed in lieu of 6L6GC's.
    photo_2019-10-20_16-04-24.jpg 20191019_111717.jpg 20191015_173943.jpg



    The tube chart seems to have a double date stamp or something and the cabinet has a odd stamp I've never seen before (again my experience is very limited). The reverb tank bag has torn through at both screw ends allowing it to flop around completely free in the cabinet and the springs have beaten the label off the inside of the tank and the cardboard has the telltale black lines from the springs hitting it (no photos of this, it's all tucked back in and larger washers augment the original to help hold it down until I decide a more permanent solution). It still works and sounds good though! Above the strange stamp in the cabinet are staples with brown paper under it, I'm not sure what that was but it seems to have been a long time ago that it was torn out.

    20191020_161419.jpg 20191020_161346.jpg 20191020_161410.jpg

    A note about the components video, there's a manual switch I added to the tremolo circuit yesterday. I just ran a switch out of the actual jack hole for the trem pedal since this amp didn't come with one. I just wrapped the wires around ground and the appropriate tremolo circuit point. It's completely undo-able which was my goal being that I am probably going to attain a pedal at some point (the vintage ones are absurd! 200 bucks...) so this is a temporary solution to turn it on and off without soldering.



    It sounds great despite the issues it seems to have had



    Shoot I forgot to include the PT/choke/reverb transformers. I'll follow up with those. They're dated 65.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  17. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    1.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg

    2.jpg
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nikonmikon, you probably have an amp that was tfinished in very early 1966. It is hard to see that stamp, but it is known that the first week of 1966 saw some errors with the date stamp. Someone forgot to roll the stamp forward. I know of a Pro Reverb around here that has the P stamped at an angle between the O and the second letter. This situation has been documented in the 5 articles written by Greg Gagliano, Greg Huntington(RIP), and Dave Riebe and published in 2001. They can be found listed at Greg Gagliano Bibliography...Dating Fender Amp’s. This is must reading for anyone who wants to start dealing with vintage .fenders. A sixth article has been added.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Regarding the "No Logo" on the back of the faceplate; I'm not sure all of them have a logo, and I can't remember if a Fender Logo or a supplier logo. So I guess that's not conclusive. And it may be just SF amps .. I just cant remember.
    Cabinet: There is often an ink stamp in the bottom of the cabinet that indicates date code, usually under the reverb bag.
     
  20. nikonmikon

    nikonmikon TDPRI Member

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    Ah yes the date code hangup between 1965 and 1966, I forgot about that!

    My chassis serial is A02378 which is 1965 according to Greg
    Pro Reverb AA165 (blackface)

    A00100 to A02700 – 1965
    A02700 to A06200 – 1966
    A06200 to A10200 – 1967
    serial.jpg
    (Any idea what that magic marker "W" shape is?)

    Here's another picture of the chart, I think it's an OL which would be December of 1965. The transformers have year markings of 1965 and weeks from 39th and 47th
    (September 26, 1965 to October 2, 1965 and November 21, 1965 to November 27, 1965) The reverb driver and output transformer having the earlier dates and the choke being the later one.
    tubechart.jpg

    [​IMG]
    (clickable to see fullsized version)

    This is very interesting though, I hadn't thought of the double stamp as a factory date correction... I figured it was just stamped twice for good measure because the first one was off the chart and onto the wood but now I'm wondering what that mysterious missing letter is...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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