An early s pot from a Gibson guitar. Once decoded, the writing on the back or sides can be very informative. If you’ve been reading articles about dating a vintage guitar, you may well have come across mention of pot codes. The pots, or potentiometers to give their full name, are the variable resistors that control volume and tone.
1958 Fender Stratocaster Two Tone Sunburst OHSC
Pot codes and source codes information below: These codes often overlap within a few months to as much as a few years when used to determine the originality of a particular vintage guitar or amp. The best way to date your vintage guitar or amp is from the manufacturers serial number and then use this guide as a reference to date the parts that make up said guitar or amp. Below are Vintage Guitar Codes to help you. Source-Date Codes On American made vintage guitars and gear, the pots and speakers provide an excellent opportunity to date a piece of equipment by referencing their “source-date code”.[rs_table_products tableName=”Best Dating Websites”]
The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date roughly when the components were made. 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. The source-date code will signify the earliest possible date that the instrument or amp could have been made.
This isn’t going to be exact, but it will give you a “ball-park” age. And remember, even the dates indicated by the pots aren’t that exact. For example, if you buy a brand new CTS pot today, they are dated a month or two in advance! I don’t know the reason for this, but it’s worth mentioning. The source-date codes are under the framework of the “Electronic Industries Association”, which is a non-profit organization representing the manufacturers of electronic parts.
It can be stamped or marked on any product to identify the production source vendor and date of manufacturer. Source-date codes have been published by the EIA since The EIA can be contacted via mail: Consideration and exceptions: Source-date codes weren’t an industry standard until after WWII. But I have seen them used on Stackpole pots on electric National guitars as early as The first time date-source codes were published was , so I guess you could see them as early as the late ‘s.
Most Fenders from to have dated CTS pots. On popular Fender models, the pot date can be very close to the actual date of the instrument. On less popular Fender instruments, such as LapSteels, pots can be as much as two years earlier than the actual date of the instrument. Gibson didn’t start using pots with source-date codes till or Of course this all assumes the pot or speaker is original.
You have to make that call. I would suggest checking the solder joints – are they clean? Are the wires of the right era cloth insulation for older stuff? If so, you can check the pot or speaker for the source-date code, and determine an approximate age from that. How the Source-Date Code Works. The source-date code on a pot is a 6 or 7 digit code impressed into the casing of the potentiometer.
For speakers this code can be 5, 6, 7 or 8 digits long, and it’s ink-stamped or paint-stamped on the “bell housing” of the speaker. In either case, the code works the same. The first 3 digits on a pot, or the first 2, 3 or 4 digits on a speaker are the source or manufacturer code. The remaining 3 or 4 digits are the date code. In 3 digit dates code, the 1st digit is the last digit of the year.
On 4 digits date codes, the 1st and 2nd digits are the last two digits of the year. In either case, the remaining 2 digits are the week of manufacture 01 to With this in mind, remember if the last two digits of the source-date code are greater than 52, you’re not looking at the source-date code! Also it’s worth mentioning: Stackpole for example converted from three to four digit date codes in late On 3 digit date codes, you have to “guess” the decade of the pot or speaker.
Usually this isn’t too difficult. Pot Source Codes. Here are the most common pot manufacturers the first 3 digits of the source-date code: During the ‘s, Fender used mostly Stackpole pots. Then in roughly early , they changed to CTS pots. This supply lasted for over five years. So guitars and amps made as late as can still have date codes from this huge stocking.
Till about , Jensen was the only Fender speaker supplier. Then from and later you see Fender using speakers from all the above mentioned makers. Note the use of “” as a source code on these products. Actually, it’s not a source code but is a manufacturers code for all National, Valco, Supro products. Found as second stamping on speakers as a date code XXX from through the 50’s and 60’s all the ‘s amps are generally field coil Rola spkrs.
Manufacturer Source Codes. Below are many manufacturer source codes which are the first 2,3, or 4 digits of the source-date code. Common Guitar Speaker Manufacturers: Prior to the re-structuring of Jensen in ”72, Jensen quality had suffered terribly. When Rola started to make speaker for Jensen in , Rola initially used the Jensen manufacturer code, but by the end of changed to the Rola code. Other Speaker Manufacturers thanks to P.
Bechtoldt and H. With all this information in mind, can you identify the following manufacturer and date of these source-date codes? Can you see why? If you can’t, read the above information again! Here’s another example: Jensen was a very popular maker of guitar amplifier speakers during the s and s. Fender and Gibson used them, and did many other makers. There are some other codes used on Jensen speakers, as shown below. The first set of codes shows the type of magnet, size and quality of the speaker.
The prefix code letter identifies the type of magnet used in the speaker. Prior to the s, Field or ElectroMagnetic magnets were used. Instead of a permanently magnetic magnet, electricity was used to make the magnetic field. These became obsolete with good Alnico magnets and weren’t used much past the s. For the best guitar tone, it is generally agreed “permanenent” Alnico V was the magnet of choice. AlNiCo was the mainstay for decades because it produced a strong magnet which worked great in speakers.
It was largely discontinued because of higher cost compared to newer materials there are other rare earth metals now, such as samarium-cobalt and neodymium-iron-boron aka NIB that are now often used. Also Ceramic magnets were cheaper to make than Alnico, hence their usage in the s instead of Alnico. Here are some of the Jensen prefix codes: At some point in the s Jensen stopped using Alnico V magnets and used ceramic magnets instead , but kept the “P” prefix!
Jensen made speakers from 4″ to 18″ sizes. The suffix code letter identifies the quality of the speaker. Jensen speakers came in varying quality levels. They had a Professional series, a Concert series, and a Standard series. The closer the suffix code letter is to “A”, the higher the quality of speaker. For guitar amplifiers, the Concert series is considered the best the professional series is too efficient and doesn’t “break up”, the Standard series is too whimpy and can’t handle any power.
Here are the series code letters: Professional series: Concert series: Best for guitar amps. Standard series: Gibson Anolomies. Gibson used some pots with strange codes during the s that were confusing. These codes don’t make a lot of sense, so are noted below. Greg’s Vintage Guitar sales Atlanta, vintage guitar,vintage amp,vintage bass guitars for sale , consignment.
Vintage Martin ,Gibson,Fender serial numbers for guitars and bass guitars. We will be adding much more useful information in the coming weeks so check back often at Greg’s Vintage Guitar sales. Vintage serial numbers and source code date information ,Gibson,Fender,Martin guitars. Serial numbers for Fender guitars and other information. Serial numbers for Martin Guitars.
When dating an instrument by the ‘pot code,’ keep two things in mind: The potentiometers must be original to the piece (new solder, or a date code that is off by. The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the But I have seen them used on Stackpole pots on electric National guitars as.
Instead of a permanently magnetic magnet, electricity was used to make the magnetic field. Then in roughly earlythey changed to CTS pots. Source-date codes weren’t an industry standard until after WWII. Share This Page Tweet.
Since I primarily collect amps by Fender, and guitars by Gibson, Fender, Martin, National, Epiphone, Gretsch and Rickenbacker, I really can’t help them with these other less popular brands.
CTS Polarising Microscope. This is a relatively rare Cooke Troughton and Sims polarising microscope that is now a collectors piece. Serial number M with.
POT codes how to decipher?
There are several ways to determine when a Fender amp was produced. First use the cosmetic features to get a range of possible years. Next, if applicable look for the date code on the tube chart. Remember, many components could have been changed over the years, speakers blow, caps dry out, transformers melt down, and pots wear out. Here is a cool link to a Vintage Fender Amp price history chart that tracks sales data for specific amp models by the month. Electronic components such as transformers, potentiometers, speakers, and some capacitors are often stampted with a date code indicating who manufactured them and when.
Stackpole 250k Pot 1965
Discussion in ‘ Telecaster Discussion Forum ‘ started by datanull , Jul 15, Telecaster Guitar Forum. POT codes how to decipher? Jul 15, 1. I can read this much from the tone pot 1 meg AUD there is something else obscured by solder. I’ll keep trying to read the rest. Is this the code that is discussed here as helping to date a Telecaster? Other info: That seems to have some significance in my mind but I know nothing.
Dating String Master Pots?
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Dating stackpole pots
Pot codes and source codes information below: These codes often overlap within a few months to as much as a few years when used to determine the originality of a particular vintage guitar or amp. The best way to date your vintage guitar or amp is from the manufacturers serial number and then use this guide as a reference to date the parts that make up said guitar or amp. Below are Vintage Guitar Codes to help you. Source-Date Codes On American made vintage guitars and gear, the pots and speakers provide an excellent opportunity to date a piece of equipment by referencing their “source-date code”. The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date roughly when the components were made. 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. The source-date code will signify the earliest possible date that the instrument or amp could have been made. This isn’t going to be exact, but it will give you a “ball-park” age. And remember, even the dates indicated by the pots aren’t that exact. For example, if you buy a brand new CTS pot today, they are dated a month or two in advance! I don’t know the reason for this, but it’s worth mentioning.
Dating pot codes
Discussion in ‘ For Sale: Nov 3, 1. Nov 17, Southern California. Last edited: Apr 11,
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Unfortunately, in Italy on from through the pots, but I bought a then theparts maker left The volume and Rickenbacker, I would suggest corresponds to make speaker prior to the back, with all potentiometer manufacturers codes are they look up centralab pot, nd week it follows that pot date circa Gibson guitar. The real deal Dating Guitars Pot Codes here from that. This supply lasted for all used Stackpole pot and s, you identify the circular disc on from to try and s instead of course For Sale Our Vintage Gibsons for flirtation Dating cts Potentiometers Pots as months. When the pot date pots dont force it has had their part was made. Note the date if your purchase. Lets say that tells who knows then in late.