It's been a number of years now, since I received my first email from a man who was asking questions and theorizing about the Dan Armstrong · Ampeg instruments. Originally we exchanged our thoughts and ironically, independently, we reached much the same conclusions. The topic was the number of Dan Armstrong instruments that were actually produced. Years prior Bill Richardson and I had kicked the subject around a bit and found some answers, but now the subject was getting some serious attention.
We eventually began discussing the differences between the older - lower serial number instruments and the newer ones that followed. While I've covered some of these differences on this site I never really went into the excruciating details on certain topics, like the different potentiometers that were used on the earliest models. Eventually we discovered together that the earliest basses manufactured had the control cavities shielded. He has since gone on to make an incredible site all his own and has taken on an immense project - the arduous task of cataloguing each and every Dan Armstrong · Ampeg instrument in existence, whether online or not and has been a real sleuth at tracking down a great number of them.
After cataloguing a number of Dan Armstrong instruments he discovered that the serial numbers of both the guitars and basses from the 1600 to 2000 range were virtually non existent. With very few exceptions there were just none out there for sale, or that had been sold. He asked me my thoughts about such a peculiar phenomenon to which I replied that my best guess would be that Ampeg just moved the serial numbers up to the 2000 range so that they had a clear cut starting point as to which instruments were factory wired according to Ampeg's Product Bulletin #17 Procedures For Updating Armstrong Guitars and Basses. It was only a guess but it seemed logical given his data.
Ironically a day or two later he emailed me - stating the exact same theory to which I had emailed to him a few days prior. After reading it I replied that 'I agree, as per my last email.' He replied back stating that he didn't originally see my earlier email but now he had. This, to me, was actually a good thing because it told me that independently we reached the very same conclusions given his database, for it shows almost 400 guitars and basses that actually didn't get produced, or at the very least, are unaccounted for - which would be a rarity to say the least given his in-depth research.
The details of this theory and many others can be seen at his site. Aptly named the Dan Armstrong Registry it complements this site with new thoughts, theories and discoveries. While in the process of updating this site I've run across a few more Dan Armstrong instruments that were not in his database and provided him the URL so he could check it out himself and he has since added them.
In order to try and get as many of these instruments catalogued as possible, I would like to ask all of you to check the serial numbers of your Dan Armstrong · Ampeg guitar or bass. If its serial number is not listed in his database, then please email me (my contact information is available from the menu) and include photos of your Dan Armstrong acrylic guitar &/or bass - along with a photo of its serial number and I'll forward it to him so that your instrument(s) may be documented. For security purposes, no personal information will be posted.
Lastly, if you see a Dan Armstrong acrylic instrument online that is not in his database, please contact me about your find and provide a link to it and I'll get that information to him. With your assistance it may help us to answer any lingering questions that may be left over, and ultimately even prove new theories.
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Bass Guitar Serial Numbers
In order to determine the number of Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitars produced during the 1969 - 1971 production run, the key data points will be the serial number of the first guitar, the serial number of the last guitar, and whether Ampeg employed a strict sequential. What do the original Dan Armstrong guitar electronics look like? What do original Dan Armstrong bass electronics look like? How did Dan Armstrong instruments evolve between 1969 and 1971? What do the original Dan Armstrong guitar electronics look like? What do original Dan Armstrong bass electronics look like? How did Dan Armstrong instruments evolve between 1969 and 1971?