Fender lap steel dating
Our serial number guide shows approximate date of manufacture.For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise idea of the date of manufacture.SERIAL NUMBERS and APPROXIMATE PRODUCTION DATES 1950's to 1964 In early 1965, Fender was sold to the CBS.The old Fender serial number scheme did not change immediately as CBS to use up existing parts and use existing tooling however a large F logo was added to the neck plate shortly after the accquisition.SERIAL NUMBERS and APPROXIMATE PRODUCTION DATES 1965 to 1976 In 1982 the Vintage Series of guitars was introduced.The vintage series used a "V" prefix in serial numbers.As you can see from the photo below, the serial number of my amp is C 09556.Looking at the chart below we can see that there was a pretty consistent numbering scheme for the vintage tweed Fender Champs.
It is stamped into the chrome chassis with a white letter “C” (for Champ) and the serial number, also in white.
I wish I could say that I figured all this out on my own.
Champion 800 (green tweed)* 01 to 1000 – 1948-49 Champion 600 5B1 (two tone) 01 to 1300 – 1948-49 1300 to 1700 – 1950 1700 to 5000 – 1951-52 5000 to 5500 – 1953 Champ 5C1, 5D1 (tweed) 5500 to 6600 – 1953 6600 to 8000 – 1954 8000 to 9999 – 1955 Champ 5E1, 5F1 (tweed) C00001 to C00800 – 1955 C00800 to C03100 – 1956 C03100 to C06000 – 1957 C06000 to C08800 – 1958 C08800 to C12500 – 1959 C12500 to C15500 – 1960 C15500 to C16800 – 1961 C17000 to C19000 – 1962 C19000 to C21000 – 1963 C21000 to C23000 – 1964 So we can see that a serial number of C 09556 is pretty close to the lower end for serial numbers for 1959 5F1 tweed Fender Champs.
Combined with what we saw with dating a tweed Fender Champ by the tube chart and speaker code, I’m feeling pretty good that all of the various dating methods point to early 1959 for my amp.
Perhaps the best way to date the Vintage series is to carefully remove the necek and check the bottom of the neck for a production date.Another method of dating a tweed Fender Champ is by serial number.