Dating an ampeg reverberocket
Enough information serial numbers, model, date codes has been gathered to prepare the following guide for dating by serial number. The key is the model and the cosmetics. These amps used a serial number system that was not used by any Ampegs. That amp would be a great indie-rock machine.
As for gigging with them, I have used them for solo gigs, but have not tried my Rocket or Jet with a louder band. The code contained information regarding the manufacture and date of production. Therefore, do not poke around in your old Ampeg if you are unfamiliar with amplifier electronics or their operation.
One thing I've done that sounds tremendous though, is run my Jet and Rocket simultaneously. Owner indicated in the ad that it didn't work but for that price I figured I'd pick it up and see if I couldn't get the old girl running again and know its maintenance history to boot. At this point, Lore was figuring his find might be an amp that was modded by an Ampeg factory worker for their own use. When I first got mine I did what I always do when I get new amps - bring it to my tech for a look and for general maintenance. Put single coils through it and the Reverberocket retains decent clarity and a crystalline bite up to a usable club volume, then juices up as you roll the Volume on past noon or so.
Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited. The original resistors and capacitors do exist in the reverb sub-chassis, however, other than two large filter caps that were added by a second tech to replace the dried-out originals. This Reverberocket also harks to an earlier age in the looks department, holding on to an aesthetic that was rapidly vanishing at the hands of other makers. The reverb sub-chassis has the hallmarks of a factory job, but the work is crammed into a small space in rat-nest fashion. Another check for a versus a or later serial number i.
Oh well, he got it working. An Ampeg from would be covered in navy random flair vinyl whereas an amp from would be covered in blue check vinyl. Likewise, an Ampeg from would not be covered in blue check vinyl whereas an amp from would have this covering.
But if they had marketed them as a rock-and-roll amp they probably would have been very successful. Nevertheless, for dating purposes, the serial number provides adequate information during this period.
Luckily, it is very easy to determine which year the first digit denotes. Ultimately, the amp has been verified by enough Ampeg experts that we have no reason to doubt the veracity of its supposed prototype status, and the story simply adds up no matter you look at it. The only date codes that seems to be readily available is found on the speaker magnet located under the bell cover.
Schematic on is back panel dates May and these were introduced in July of that year. Note that the year associated with a range of serial numbers is very rough and will likely change as more information is gathered for refining the estimates.
Ampeg is frequently credited for being not only one of the first makers to put reverb in its amplifiers, but also for producing what was one of the consistently best-sounding reverbs of the s. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. The reverb adjusts from subtle to gigantic.
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