Amplifier dating

Ampegs can be divided into six distinct groups for dating purposes: pre-1953, 1953 to mid-1965, early 1965 to 1969, 1969 to 1979, 1981 to 1984, and post-1984.Each group uses a unique serialization scheme that can be used to assist in dating the amps, but in many cases, it is the features and characteristics of the amps that determine the year of manufacture.A Super Echo Twin with serial number 404553 was made in 1964 (4), during April (04) and may have been the 553th amp made that month (553).

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A Mercury with serial number 009054 could be from September 1960 or it could be from the second serial number system implemented in 1965.

Luckily, it is very easy to determine which year the first digit denotes. For instance, the Super Echo Twin was made in 1964, but not in 1954.

Nevertheless, for dating purposes, the serial number provides adequate information during this period.

For example, a Duette with serial number 710201 was made in 1957 (7), during October (10), and was possibly the 201st amp made that month.

The serial numbers from these years were duplicated in 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1965, respectively.

Taking the example Super Echo Twin above, its serial number alone could denote April 1954 or April 1964.Enough information (serial numbers, model, date codes) has been gathered to prepare the following guide for dating by serial number.Note that the year associated with a range of serial numbers is very rough and will likely change as more information is gathered for refining the estimates.An Ampeg from 1960 would be covered in navy random flair vinyl whereas an amp from 1965 would be covered in blue check vinyl.Another check for a 1960 versus a 1965 or later serial number (i.e.These codes have been used on components including potentiometers (pots), transformers, capacitors, tubes, and speakers.