Vintage amp dating
Getting the correct year is one thing, but getting the story behind an amp is the fun part.
The guide for that is much simpler: be nice, ask questions, offer beer.
Use the model codes and date codes below to determine the model and age of your amp.
For example, the number S/A 8481 E tells us that this is 50W amp (S/A) made in 1973 (E), production number 8481.
Marshall amps had such precedent-setting wattage and tone that their history can hardly be separated from the history of rock itself.
From January 1984 to September 1992, the three-part coding was used by Marshall but the date code letter was moved from the end to the middle. This would indicate a 100W Super Lead (SL/A) built in 1989 (X), production number 10059.
The same model codes from the previous section of this article still apply, although the model code "RI" is also seen for reissues. Starting in October 1992, Marshall moved away from stamped metal plate serials and began using stickers with a xx-xxxxx-xx format serial and a bar code. The sticker-based nine digit scheme lasted through July 1997.
If you have absolutely no idea whether your Marshall is old or new, a good place to start is the model name or series.
This will give you an approximate idea of the era during which your amp was manufactured.These are still found on stickers with a bar code on the back of the amp.