Stamped on every potentiometer (volume and tone pots) is a six- or seven-digit
source code that tells who made the pot, as well as the week and the year. The source
dating code is an element of standardization that is administered by the Electronics
Industries Alliance (EIA). The EIA assigns
each manufacturer a three-digit code (there are some with one, two or four digits).
When dating an instrument by the ‘pot code,’ keep two things in mind:
The potentiometers must be original to the piece (new solder, or a date code that
is off by ten or more years is a good giveaway to spot replacement pots); and the
pot code only indicates when the potentiometer was manufactured! If the pot is an
original, it indicates a date before which the guitar could not have been built
– so it’s always a good idea to have extra reference material around.
Finally, a word of caution: This method applies only to American made pots and not
all potentiometer manufacturers subscribed to
the EIA source code date. If the code does not fit the above criteria, don’t
force it and skew your dating results.
The Guitardater Project cannot verify the authenticity of ANY Guitar,
this site is simply meant as a tool to satisfy the curiosity of guitar enthusiasts.
This website possesses NO DATABASE of guitars made by manufactures,
instead simple serial code patterns that are available on this site and in the wider guitar community are used.
It follows that potential scammers can use this knowledge to try to trick unsuspecting buyers.
If you have any doubts as to a guitars’ authenticity please contact the guitar manufacturer before your purchase.