Vintage amp dating
Note the removal of the voltage selector switch and hard-wiring. I just discovered that the silverface Bandmaster speaker cabinet (the big, tall one without tilt-back legs) is ported (see photo). I guess this is what the 1969 catalog refers to as “large, individual specially designed baffles.” And all along I thought the big n’ tall silverface cabs were just a macho thing to compete against the awesome looks of a Marshall half stack or full stack.
Also note the vertical black lines on the control panel (found on earliest silverface amps) and the large ceramic power resistors coming off the power tube sockets which indicates the AB568 circuit. But really, these cabs were large because they were of a “special design” that “greatly improves tone and volume without distortion, and permits optimum performance of the speakers.” At least that’s the reason according to the ’69 catalog.
Some examples include a '66 Princeton Reverb and ’66 Pro Reverb with Better Coil output transformer, a ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and ‘67 Twin Reverb with Better Coil reverb transformer, and a 1968 Vibro Champ with Better Coil trannies.
These units look, and apparently sound, just like the Schumacher-made units so it’s easy to overlook that “831” code.
I remember two 'suits' from upstairs standing behind me occasionally doing time studies.
Besides, no article in the Dating Fender Amps by Serial Number series would be complete without some interesting information, n’est ce pas?
I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading.
Also, another thing I’ve never seen before is a what appears to be a shipping tag of some sort (see photo).
Note the check boxes for DOM (domestic US model), EXP (export model), CSA (Canada model), STD (standard) and SPEC (special).
They actually held clipboards and stopwatches to measure how long it took for me to attach various parts.