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This information original was found on The Unofficial Ampeg Page http: I pulled this information from Google's cache of the site. It has a note at the top of the page that they were reprinting with permission from the authors of Ampeg: If anyone feels this page should be taken down, please feel free to contact me. Ampegs can be divided into six distinct groups for dating purposes: 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.
Electronic Industries Association EIA codes can also be very useful for giving clues as to an amp's age. These codes can be found on speakers, transformers, pots, capacitors, and multi-section electrolytic "can" caps. Of course, these codes are only applicable to original components, not replacement parts. Ampeg amplifiers, especially the high-powered amps such as the SVT and V-series, contain lethal voltages even when unplugged and turned off.
Therefore, do not poke around in your old Ampeg if you are unfamiliar with amplifier electronics or their operation. A brief summary of the EIA system follows. Shortly after World War II, American electronic component manufacturers began to stamp a semi-standardized code into the parts they produced. The code contained information regarding the manufacture and date of production. These codes have been used on components including potentiometers potstransformers, capacitors, tubes, and speakers.
The code usually consists of 6 or 7 digits such as where the first two or three Dating ampeg svt cl is the EIA code for the manufacturer denotes CTSthe fourth digit and sometimes fifth digit denotes the year in this case it could be66, or 76and the last two digits denote the week of the year. It is important to note that parts do not always contain EIA codes, especially those parts from the late s and early s.
Some common manufacturer codes for parts used in Ampegs include: PyramidCornell-Dubilier 34 Transformers: These amps used a serial number system that was not used by any Ampegs. Unfortunately, the serial numbers are of little help for dating one of these pre-Ampeg models and EIA date codes on components were used sporadically during the early post WW-II years. The only date codes that seems to be readily available is found on the speaker magnet located under the bell cover.
The Ampegs made between and did not have serial numbers and must be dated in the same way as the Michael-Hull models, specifically, by finding the EIA date codes on pots, transformers, multi-section "can" capacitors, and speakers. The serial numbers are 6 digits in length with the following pattern: The Nth unit, however, may not have started with Ampeg may very well have used or as the starting point during slow production periods. Nevertheless, for dating purposes, the serial number provides adequate information during this period.
For example, a Duette with serial number was made in 7during October 10and was possibly the st amp made that month. A Super Echo Twin with serial number was made in 4during April 04 and may have been the th amp made that month Caution is needed for dating amps from,and The serial numbers from these years were duplicated in,andrespectively. Taking the example Super Echo Twin above, its serial number alone could denote April or April A Mercury with serial number could be from September or it could be from the second serial number system implemented in Luckily, it is very easy to determine which year the first digit denotes.
The key is the model and the cosmetics. For instance, the Super Echo Twin was made inbut not in Likewise, an Ampeg from would not be covered in blue check vinyl whereas an amp from would have this covering. An Ampeg from would be covered in navy random flair vinyl whereas an amp from would be covered in blue check vinyl. Another check for a versus a or later serial number i. Therefore, a serial number where these two digits are greater than 12 must be from the second serial number system - A final cross check with EIA dated components should remove any doubt about an made during the - 65 period.
Early through The second serial number system was implemented in January and used until the end of This system overlapped with the previous serialization scheme for a period of about 6 months. These are also 6-digit numbers, which appear to have been applied sequentially, but they are not date encoded. 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. The EIA date codes of original components should be used to confirm an approximate date of manufacture.