How To Identify Vintage Guitar Speakers

Do you want to learn how to identify vintage guitar speakers? Vintage guitar amps are prized for their older more real sound. There are many different ways to identify a vintage guitar amp; one of the most popular is by using source codes from the different parts on the instrument. This is basically just a code that tells when the guitar was made, and is the second best method to serial numbers, which were not as popular around the time to be considered “vintage”.

To identify vintage guitar speakers, you will need:

  • The amp in question
  • A good pair of eyes (sometimes the source codes can be put in some weird places!)
  1. Start by locating the source code on the vintage guitar speaker. This is what you are going to use to find the date of the speakers manufacturing. The number should be a six or seven digit number.
  2. Using the complex system that they made for dating these things, figure out when the thing was made! The first three digits of the source code will be the speaker manufacturing company such as Allen-Bradley (106) or Centra Lab (134), but this information isn’t of much use unless you like general knowledge.  The dating was the same among companies around that time, so keep that in mind.
  3. Now for the dating code! The last one or two digits indicate which week the speaker was made during the year it was produced, probably useless to you! The actual year of the product differs by the time period. Before the 60’s, the only number of the year that was actually in the code was the last one. For example, the source code 123446 was made in the 46th week of some year ending with a 4! This number could feasibly have been made in 1944, 1954, or 1964! That’s a pretty big gap!


  • Using some general knowledge, we can narrow down the year that the speaker was probably made. Source codes were hardly used during World War II, so that rules out 1944. As mentioned earlier, most source codes in the 60’s and above had two numbers for the year, probably so you didn’t have to go through this process!
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