Dating a fender
Dating a fender - online dating research warnings
latest updates; small changes to a few amp batches dates, Dec 2015, Feb 2016, July 2016, Sep 2016 small changes to 4 amp batches, Nov 2015 typos found, two edits, thanks Ben H, June 20 info updated, totals unchanged Oct 2014 really nifty table design Aug 2014 small data and totals updates Jan 2014 (info updated In 2002 I acquired a Princeton Reverb II. Fender don't part with that kind of information*, so as part of the website I developed for this amp's care and feeding, I put out a call for serial numbers.
It might not sound like much, but quite a lot can be deduced from such a sample.
Could Fender make so many PRIIs, considering they were making another 13 amp types in the range at the same time?
Then Soren in Denmark started showing serial numbers on his excellent Super Champ website, recently gone off the web - some of those numbers fell in between some of 'my' PRII numbers.
I would have to collect data for ALL the amp types, just to work out how many were made of mine.
Then I became aware of the amazing work Greg Gagliano had been doing since the 1990s - the summary of his latest results are here - and that his research stopped just before the Rivera-era. However for this range of amps at least, I reckon it's not just a policy of withholding company-confidential information. It's no criticism of Fender to suggest that they were too busy making great amps to keep records just so some amateur can use them thirty years later.
In addition I had automated searches running on e Bay for these 14 amp types - whenever one appeared for sale I would contact the seller, asking for the serial number.
9 out of 10 did - many thanks to them for their trouble and good will.Advertisers and politicians make decisions based on smaller percentages!I'm guessing amp-owners like to know when their amp was made, if it's old-ish.Subtract one from the other and I'll have a rough-cut figure for how many were made. PRII owners were kind enough to start sending their serial numbers in.I was puzzled to see how some of them were separated by over 100,000.Certainly the hundreds of people who have helped me seemed keen to know.