Dating ABU Multipliers A Basic Guide
Most people have questions about ABU reels, and one of the most often asked is the
meaning of the numbers that are stamped on the reel foot of ABU multiplier reels. The
number will usually refer to the approximate date of manufacture of that reel. The
numbers are not usually serialized or unique to each reel except in some of the limited
edition models. The numbers themselves usually indicate the production code of the
reel, which will mean a change in the design of the model, manufacturing process or a
different material used in the manufacture of the model. But also associated with the
numbers will be the reels year code (example, number 710020 is different from
number 751120). Abu have no consistency in the way that they numbered the reel
feet, with however a little experience combining a few different things like the design,
then the approximate age of the reel can be determined.
The following is a very useful rule, that will help you determine the age of the reel.
The FOUR figure numbers that are found in the 5000 De-luxe's and also on the
5000C De-luxe's spanning a longish time span from the early 1960's right through to
the 1970's and these models had a smooth foot The FIVE figure numbers found in
the middle 1950's on the record Ambassadeurs and the very early Ambassadeur
5000's. are also to be found in reels that were made in the late 1960's and into the
early 70's and the 5000C. that had a Smooth foot
The SIX figure numbers found in the late 1950's through to the 1960's, with
numbers running all the way from 1?????? right through to 9??????. that were
found in the early Ambassadeur 5000's and the 6000's (with the ribbed side-plates)
and again also with a smooth foot.
The SIX figure numbers of the late 1960's through to the early 1970's. On these
the middle two digits indicated the year, for instance ??07?? indicated a reel
manufactured in 1967 it also has a smooth foot
Now on the 1970's SIX figured numbered reels, first 2 digits or middle the 2
digits read 71???? or ??71?? on a checkered foot read that the reel was
manufactured in 1971.
In the 1980's they were numbered the same as in the 1970's but the first 2 digits
82???? on a checkered foot represented a reel manufactured in 1982.
By the late 1980's and into the 1990's the reels appeared with THREE PAIRS
of numbers and these were separated by a dash and again had a checkered foot.
Come the late 1990's again SIX figures and with a checkered foot, but now
the last digit for, example 060007 or 040007 now refers to a reel that was
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