Could Fender make so many PRIIs, considering they were making another 13 amp types in the range at the same time?
Then Soren in Denmark started showing serial numbers on his excellent Super Champ website, recently gone off the web - some of those numbers fell in between some of 'my' PRII numbers.
It represents ten years of hobby time, so if you quote it elsewhere, I'd appreciate a link and/or a name-check, either as "Stratopastor" or under my real name.
If you've got one of the 14 amp models in this range you can get a rough idea of its date-of-manufacture from these tables.
For the batches labelled "date codes needed", I haven't got any loudspeaker or transformer date codes, or (gold dust) the 4-digit inkstamp on the metal chassis, which is usually only visible when out of the wooden cab.
There are a handful of amp types for which I'm still running the searches because I have so little data (mainly in the solid-state range).
In addition Greg Gagliano sent me the Rivera-era-relevant numbers from his huge research info, for which, along with his friendly encouragement over several years, I thank him.
While it's anyone's guess how many of these were Champ II and how many were Bassman 20, they seem to come up on e Bay equally often. People keep on referring to this 'fewer than 500' thing, especially when they're trying to sell one as 'rare', but I'm still waiting for anyone to point back to the original 'fact' of the matter!
) If your amp's serial number falls into the second-to last batch then your best hope of dating it is if you've still got the original speaker.
I would have to collect data for ALL the amp types, just to work out how many were made of mine.
Then I became aware of the amazing work Greg Gagliano had been doing since the 1990s - the summary of his latest results are here - and that his research stopped just before the Rivera-era. However for this range of amps at least, I reckon it's not just a policy of withholding company-confidential information. It's no criticism of Fender to suggest that they were too busy making great amps to keep records just so some amateur can use them thirty years later.
A little light Googling revealed serial numbers for a few other amps in the range - they seemed all mixed up together.