The source-date code on a speaker

Dating vintage gretsch guitars instruments

Which of course means

It's worth mentioning since a lot of people rely on pot dates. In other words, try not to obsess over this stuff too much. Early labelled Gretsches will usually have a printed serial number and a handwritten model number.

Furthermore, some less popular models may have sat on the shelf either at the factory or at the dealer for years before being sold as new. On the white part, the serial number is printed, and the model number should be handwritten. So they made some early to do this. On less popular Fender instruments, such as LapSteels, pots can be as much as two years earlier than the actual date of the instrument.

On hollowbodies, the label is usually visible through the f-hole. These pencilled-in numbers often fade and become illegible, or even disappear.

Which of course means those and serial numbers probably came earlier. Reserved for prototypes, samples, one-offs, and other special things. 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. This was superimposed on a gray over white label.

On other models such as solidbodies, it should be inside a control cavity. That batch was when the Hilotron pickup first appeared on the Clipper. Finding your serial number In the beginning, Gretsch simply wrote serial numbers inside the guitar in pencil.

Reserved for prototypes

Regular production all models combined. Of course this all assumes the pot or speaker is original.

On solidbodies, it's usually inside the control cavity. The specs may have been changed over the years, as well. Several guitars have appeared that seem to use the new dating scheme from as early as Feb. And many people ask me to try and determine the year of their old amplifier, or to help them with the year of their older off-brand electric guitar.

The next digit is the month. The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date roughly when the components were made. How the Source-Date Code Works.