Where is the Serial Number on my Mesa amp?

by Boogie on November 1, 2010

in Mesa Boogie Products, Mesa Tones & Tips, Troubleshooting

Photo of the serial number 005 on an Original Mark I combo that guards Randall Smith's office

Serial Number 005 on an Original Mark I Snakeskin combo that guards Randall Smith’s office at Mesa H.Q. (click to enlarge or for gallery)

If you’ve ever had a hard time finding the serial number on your Boogie, this info will help. Serial number locations have changed on the many different models over the decades but in the last 20 years the location and format has remained fairly consistent.

Post 1985 Guitar Amp heads and combos

As of the late ‘80s, Mesa began the use of a .75 inch x 1.5 inch decal that is often placed near the AC cord or IEC cable receptacle as shown in the picture above of this Dual Rectifier chassis.

Serial Number decal on a Dual Rectifier head

For those new to some of the terminology, the chassis is metal and houses of all the knobs, switches, transformers, tubes and sockets  etc. – the ‘guts’ of the amp. The serial number of your amp is always going to be attached to this part of your amplifier.

The cabinet is the wood enclosure in which the chassis gets mounted. The cabinet is most often covered in vinyl with the exception of cabinets that are custom and covered in leather or custom hardwood cabs, or, rack mounted amplifiers.

The Chassis and the Cabinet. Important to distinguish between the two when looking for your serial number

On almost all post-1988 guitar combo and head amps, the serial number decal will be on the underside of the amplifier chassis near the edge of the back panel, usually on one side or the other (not in the middle). Most of the time, the serial number is also close to the AC in jack.

Mark V Serial Number Location

Depending on the amp model and cabinet, the serial number decal can sometimes obscured by rear panels or other cabinet parts. Laying the amp on its face on a flat surface often provides a better angle to see the serial number decal.

Lone Star Combo laying on it's face for a better view of the serial number decal

Other amps may require the use of a flashlight, a small mirror held inside the cab or other visual aids to achieve a good enough angle to see the decal. Once you know the general area, do what it takes to get the numbers right.

Recto-Verb Combo serial number. Using a mirror to see the serial number decal without removing the rear panel

Removing the rear panel may be necessary on certain amp/rear panel designs if the previously mentioned ideas don’t provide enough access to clearly see the decal and make out the serial number.

Recto-Verb Combo with it's rear panel removed to visually access the serial number decal

Bass Amps

More recently built Mesa bass amplification has its serial number decal placed either on the rear panel near the IEC AC receptacle…

M6 Carbine rackmount unit with it's serial number on the back panel

…or the back underside middle of the chassis itself.

Walkabout rackmount unit with serial number decal on the underside of the amp towards the rear

Some bass amps with serial number decals on the bottom of the amp AND built into head cabs will have to be disassembled from their head cabs to access the serial number. Assembly instructions for bass amp head cabs can be obtained from Mesa/Boogie Customer Service. The serial number is also printed on the quality control card (if available) which may allow you to avoid disassembly. In the case of the Titan below, the serial number is on the rear panel and is easily seen even when in the head cab.

Titan bass amp in it's head cab. Some bass amps built into head cabs with serial number on the bottom of the amp will require being removed from the head to see the serial number decal

Early Boogie Amps

Mesa amps built before serial number decals were in use (generally Pre-1987) have a variety of serial number locations and styles. Most common is a serial number that is stamped or punched into the metal rear panel and often under or near the speaker jacks.

Mark IIC+ serial number beneath the speaker jacks on the rear panel

And in the case of the amp that started it all, The Mark I serial number is made from the vintage DYMO labeling used to label the various rear panel features. Original Mark I chassis built between 1971-1978 will have a serial number that starts with the letter ‘A’ and follows with a number between 001-2999. Mark I Re-issue serial numbers begin with the letter H and stretch from 001 into the mid 2000s.

Mark I Re-Issue DYMO label serial number and location

Most pre-1990 amplifiers will have a specific month and year date written between the preamp tubes on the underside of the chassis OR, occasionally on the inside of the chassis (visible once the chassis is disassembled from it’s cabinet). Most of these amps will also include the initials of who tech’d the amp at that time before it went to final assembly  and ultimately shipped out to it’s new home and owner.

Mark IIB Amplifier with tech and assembly date on the underside of the amplifier between all the tubes
Some people like to know the ‘birthday’ of their amps and many will be pleased to find Mesa techs initialing and dating the amps in plain view very near the serial number decal on the amps since 2008-2009. For amps built before then, birthdate information may be available on the outside of the chassis near preamp tubes (as shown above) or, inside the chassis  which requires disassembly to see the inside) but these dates are not always availablew on every model. If, after reading this material you can’t find your serial number, see the Serial Number By Location table below for more specific detail per amp. If you still can’t find the serial number, consider the possibility that a previous owner (or thief) may have removed the serial number decal or obscured a stamped number. Feel free to call Mesa Customer Service at 707 778 6565 Monday-Thursday, 9AM-5PM Pacific time for further assistance if this hasn’t taken you right to the serial number information you’ve been searching for all this time!

Amplifier Serial Number Prefix
Location and Details
Mark I & Mark I Re-Issue
Original Mark I amps
A – 00xxx

Mark I Re-Issue
H – 00xxx
Both original and Re-Issue amps have a adhesive backed DYMO Label serial number underneath the speaker output jacks

Mark IIA, IIB, IIC and Mark IIC+ No prefix
Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.

S.O.B. (Son of Boogie) S-00xxx Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.

D180, M180, M190 D-180 – D-00xxx
M-180 – M-00xxx
M-190 – M-00xxx
Stamped into the rear panel near the Mesa Engineering logo on the back panel

Mark III No Prefix
Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.
Mark IV IV – 00xxx
Decal on the underside of the chassis near the power tubes and AC in.
Studio .22, Studio .22+
Studio .22
SS – 00xxx
Studio .22+
FP – 00xxx
Stamped into the rear panel above the FX Send & Return jacks

.50 Caliber, .50 Caliber +
.50 Caliber
SS – 00xxx
.50 Caliber+
FP – 00xxx
Stamped into the rear panel above the FX Send & Return jacks

Strategy 400
No prefix
Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.

Stereo Simul 295
No prefix
Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.

Quad Preamp
Q – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel

Midi Matrix
MM – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel
Studio Preamp
SP – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel
Bass 400
B – 00xxx Stamped into the rear panel underneath the speaker output jacks.
Bass 400 +
B – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel

50/50 FF – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel

Simul 395
S – 00xxx Decal on the rear panel

Strategy 500
S – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel

Triaxis T – 00xxx
Decal on the inside of the tube bay on the left vertical wall facing the rear of the amp
2:90
N – 00xxx
Decal on the inside of the tube bay on the bottom at the rear of the tube bay.
Dual Rectifier, Triple Rectifier, Tremoverb
R – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Amp Switcher
M – 00xxx
Decal on the underside of the chassis

V-Twin Pedal
V2 – 00xxx
Decal underneath the metal tube cage

DC-2, DC-3, DC-5, DC-10
DC – 00xxx
Decal on the underside of the chassis near the power tubes and AC in.

Blue Angel
BA – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.
Subway Blues
SB – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.
Subway Rocket, Rocket Reverb, Rocket 440 Subway Rocket
SR – 00xxx
Rocket Reverb
RR – 00xxx
Rocket 440
R440 – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

M-2000
B2K – 00xxx Decal at the rear of the chassis above the AC in.

20/20

TT – 00xxx
Decal on the inside of the tube bay on the left vertical wall facing the rear of the amp

Heartbreaker
HRT – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Coliseum 300
COL – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel

Baron
BRN – 00xxx
Decal on the bottom side of the transformer canTigris
TGG – 00xxx
Decal on the back side of the transformer coverSolo 50, Recto-Verb
Solo 50
S50 – 00xxx
Recto-Verb
R50 – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.Walkabout
WK – 00xxx
Decal on the underside of the chassis toward the rear of the amp

Big Block 750
BL – 00xxx
Decal on the underside middle rear of the chassis

RoadKing
RK – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Rectifier Preamp
RP – 00xxx
Decal on the inside of the tube bay on the bottom at the rear of the tube bay.

Lone Star, Lone Star Special
Lone Star
L – 00xxx
Lone Star Special
LS – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Stiletto Duece, Stiletto Trident
STL – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.Stiletto Ace
STL – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes in between the Rectifier and EL-34 power tubes.Roadster

VR – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Titan
SV – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel near the AC in.

Express 25
E25 – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.

Express 50
E50 – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.M6 Carbine (Fathom)
PH – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel near the AC in.Mark V
MKV – 00xxx
Decal at the rear of the chassis on the same side as the power tubes and near the AC in.M9 Carbine
M9 – 00xxx
Decal on the underside of the chassis toward the rear of the amp.

TransAtlantic
T15 – 00xxx
Decal on the inside middle of the amp between the preamp and power tubes.

M3 Carbine
M3 – 00xxx
Decal on the rear panel near the AC in.

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Dustin January 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hey Boogie-

I have taken the chassis out and no dice, no writing on it. Can you tell me what year Mesa made the 1000th Single Rectifier? My serial number is S50-0098x. So I know that at least 980+ were made before mine. Please let me know if you can provide a date or date range.

Thanks so much.

Boogie Boogie January 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Hi Dustin –

Apparently your amp falls under the “some don’t have date code writing inside”. Most, but not all of them do.

Your amp was likely produced between 1999-2000.

Hope this helps and hope the amp is working well.

Boogie

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