How the Source-Date Code Works

Dating mallory capacitors

The source-date code on a speaker. The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date roughly when the components were made. It's worth mentioning since a lot of people rely on pot dates. Though they are one piece of the puzzle and something to consider, don't put too much faith into a pot date. Sometimes there just isn't enough information on electric instruments and amps to allow them to be properely dated.

Note the font style of the source-date code number always seems to be the same, for all speaker manufacturers. On popular Fender models, the pot date can be very close to the actual date of the instrument.

It can be stamped or marked on any product to identify the production source vendor and date of manufacturer. The decade, though not directly shown by the source-date code, was easily determined because this particular amp was only made during the s. If so, you can check the pot or speaker for the source-date code, and determine an approximate age from that. The reissue amps also made use of this code. What I'm saying is that pot and capacitory date codes are not a reliable indicator of guitar build dates.

This seems silly, as we're talking about electronic parts not eggs. Well I'm not one to leave you out in the informational cold, so here's something that I use quite often in dating amplifiers and electric guitars. It may have been some time before the part was installed at the factory, but it still provides a good approximation of when the gear was made.

As you have probably noticed, there is plenty of information here to help date the brands that I am interested in. Note the different position of the markings, even on pots from the same maker. Electronic components such as transformers, potentiometers, speakers, and some capacitors are often stampted with a date code indicating who manufactured them and when. On less popular Fender instruments, such as LapSteels, pots can be as much as two years earlier than the actual date of the instrument.

There are several ways to determine

This code is made up of two letters. There are several ways to determine when a Fender amp was produced. Wide panel, narrow panel, brown, blonde, and black face amps have a date code hand-stamped on the tube chart.

This code is made up