After having listened to and played his music for some decades we are amused with how most players focus on all the minor details and tend to overlook the big important factors.
We will shed some new light on the case “How to achieve the SRV tone” – but not by listing all of Cezar Diaz’ amp mods.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year.
Serial numbers are also helpful in determining the year of production of a given instrument.
There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.
Neither will we dive into pickup specs and things that are just distracting details.
We will kill some of the myths and make this more simple for you as a player so you can spend more of your time playing the guitar.
As for the year built, look for an inspection sticker inside the cab, like the one in the pic below, for a two-letter code as shown.
The two letters denote year (first letter) and month (second letter) manufactured and can be deciphered here (first link below).
Stevie Let there be no doubt – the most significant factor to his tone is the man himself, his playing style and his passion.
Broken down even more – it’s what he plays, how he plays it and what equipment he used to support him, that produced his overall SRV signature style and tone.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.