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How to Date a Tweed Fender Champ Amplifier by the Speaker Code

2009 October 13
by Jason Isadore

If you are reading this there is a good chance that you are already familiar with the two letter date code used by Fender to date their Champs from 1950′s and 60′s.  But did you also know that you can get a good idea of the age of a tweed Fender Champ amplifier by looking at the code stamped on the speaker?  

It is usually six digits long.  The first three correspond to the manufacturer (several manufacturers supplied speakers for Fender amps in the late 1950′s).  The fourth digit is the year (a second digit was added here later to help distinguish between 50′s, 60′s and 70′s), and the final two correspond to the week.

1959 tweed Fender Champ Speaker Code

1959 tweed Fender Champ Speaker Code

So looking at the photo of the speaker on my tweed Fender Champ we see a code of 465-909 (we’ll cover the 8EV-29 code in a later post).  This tells us that this is an Oxford speaker (465 is the number for Oxford, 137 is CTS,  220 is Jensen and 328 is Utah).  The forth digit is 9, which tells us it was made in 1959 and 09 tells us that it was the ninth week of the year.  All of this corresponds to the two letter date code stamped on the tube chart, IC (I for 1959 and C for the third month of the year, March).  I’m feeling pretty good that the dates all line up on this amp and I have an amp made in March 1959 with an original Oxford speaker.

13 Responses leave one →
  1. October 22, 2009

    Really diggin’ the attention to detail here. I LOVE your blog!!!!! Really great info on one of the coolest amps ever made! ROCK!!!

  2. November 14, 2009

    Ya, you really know your stuff. Kudos to you!

  3. Bill permalink
    July 20, 2010

    I have a Transition amp (C-22872). The speaker has was replaced by the Fender Service Center in 1978. The numbers on the the replacement speaker are: 4657736 and R8EV-59. From some of your earlier posts I deduced that the speaker was replaced with a Sept 1977 Oxford speaker. The speaker has a Fender Service Center service tag that says it was serviced on 03/3/78, which is consistant with what the amp owner told me when I got it. Can you tell me what the “R8EV-59″ means?

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