Dating a fender bandmaster
Remember, your amp is newer than the newest component.
For example, if you find pots from late ‘64 and transformers from early ’65, you can be pretty sure your amp is a 1965.
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.
One has to wonder where all those factory original export back panels are! Another interesting tidbit is that a lot of Fenders were imported into Australia in the late 1950s and early 1960s that were stock 110-volt (domestic US) units.
The Australian Fender Distributor then installed 240V - 110V stepdown transformers in the bottom of the cabinets.
Oddlings – Yet another printing error has surfaced, this time from the FEI (pre-CBS) days.
leftovers.” Regarding production he recounted the following information: “I think I remember being 'pushed' to come up with 30 of the simpler chassis (Super Reverb? But it wasn't always 'cool guitar' amps, sometimes I was making Fender Rhodes Satellite amps on bent aluminum, sometimes only Champs.
I remember two 'suits' from upstairs standing behind me occasionally doing time studies.
They actually held clipboards and stopwatches to measure how long it took for me to attach various parts.
It’s unknown if the tweed covering was a mistake (“Oops, I thought this was a 4x10 Bassman cabinet that I was covering”) or intentional, perhaps as a special order.
Non-Schumacher transformers – It’s been universally accepted that Fender only used Schumacher transformers on amps made in the 1960s and 1970s.Of course I tended to hurry more when they were there, and I would fumble more, too.” Another really interesting fact was that he recalled that the eyelet boards were loaded/wired/soldered in Mexico!