Dating a fender bandmaster

These are marked with EIA code “831” and are most prevalent during the 1966-68 time period.

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.

Remember, your amp is newer than the newest component.

For example, if you find pots from late ‘64 and transformers from early ’65, you can be pretty sure your amp is a 1965.

It’s unknown if the tweed covering was a mistake (“Oops, I thought this was a 4x10 Bassman cabinet that I was covering”) or intentional, perhaps as a special order.

Non-Schumacher transformers – It’s been universally accepted that Fender only used Schumacher transformers on amps made in the 1960s and 1970s.

These are marked with EIA code “606” which is the company number for Schumacher.

Well, this universal “truth” was debunked when we found a bunch of amps with transformers made by the Better Coil and Transformers company.

Working at FMI – I was able to interview a fellow (who wishes to remain anonymous) who worked at Fender in 1972-73 in the amp department.

He recalled, “We just went to a big bin every morning and loaded our wheeled rack with a batch of whatever chassis we were working on that day.

The boss came around and said what we'd be building. Probably the same as the pots and transformers that we just dug out of the boxes.

I promise the tables will still be there after you finish reading.

Okay, I know you’re all just dying to skip ahead to the serial number tables but try to contain your excitement and read through the article first.

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