Be especially careful when it comes to Fender amps: brown tolex is currently available that looks old and slightly discolored, but the back has a thin fabric lattice and the original doesn’t.
Likewise, reproductions of Fender’s blonde tolex are much thicker than the original.
By paying attention to the following details, you can save yourself from fraud and a heavy dose of buyer’s remorse.
• Tolex Check the texture of the tolex and compare it to the covering on an original example.
• Grille Cloth Look at the staples used to attach the cloth to the frame.
New staples will look shiny, whereas original staples will almost certainly be tarnished, rusty or, at the very least, dull looking.
If the staples appear to be old, look for other staple marks under the grille cloth, which could indicate that the original cloth was replaced many years ago.
Two excellent resources include svvintageamps.com/and the historical database at Counterfeit amps used to be very rare, but now that many amps are selling for high four and even five figures, counterfeiting has become a much more common problem.
• Capacitors and Resistors Look online for amps of the same vintage and compare the circuit boards. Look for several examples, as many models can vary from year to year, especially when it comes to amps made in the U. For example, a certain well-known vintage dealer in the U. was caught building Marshall copies (and possibly others, like Vox and Hiwatt) and selling them as originals.