First use the cosmetic features to get a range of possible years.
Next, (if applicable) look for the date code on the tube chart.
Remember, many components could have been changed over the years, speakers blow, caps dry out, transformers melt down, and pots wear out.
Here is a cool link to a Vintage Fender Amp price history chart that tracks sales data for specific amp models by the month.
(see chart below) YY = is a one or two digit code indicating the year.
If it’s a one digit year you need to determine the correct decade of the amp some other way.
Serial Number: There is no information readily available for dating Fender amps by serial number but there are people working on it. Circuit Code: In 1963 Fender stoped using model numbers to identify schematics and began using the model name and an assigned circuit number.
Date Code: Wide panel, narrow panel, brown, blonde, and black face amps have a date code hand-stamped on the tube chart. The first letter translates to the year and the second to the month. Example: FG=July 1956, QA=January 1967, and a reissue CG=July 1992 EIA Source-Date Codes: Electronic components such as transformers, potentiometers, speakers, and some capacitors are often stampted with a date code indicating who manufactured them and when.
The code follows the format: XXXYY ZZ where: XXX = a two or three (possibly four on newer amps) digit number indicating the manufacturer.
People snatch the pickups and dome knobs off of these to pick on Telecasters. Came in a original hard case that is still in great shape.
GE Smith was highly inspired by his very early 1948 Fender Champion Lap Steel and his signature Fender Telecaster shows this.