Dating a vintage fender amp
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.
Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early `50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.
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.
Dates and source codes to help aid and determine the age or year of production of your vintage guitar,amp or other electronic instrument. 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".
While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.
Serial numbers are also helpful in determining an instrument`s production year.
Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.