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