Where is the Serial Number on my Mesa® Amp?
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 have remained fairly consistent.
Serial number 005 on an Original Mark I combo that guards Randall Smith's office
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.
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.
On almost all post-1988 guitar amp heads and combos, 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.
Depending on the amp model and cabinet, the serial number decal can sometimes be 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.
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.
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.
More recently built Mesa bass amplification has its serial number decal placed either on the rear panel near the IEC AC receptacle...
...or the back underside middle of the chassis itself.
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 dis-assembly. 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.
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.
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.
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 its 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 its new home and owner.
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, birth date information may be available on the outside of the chassis near preamp tubes (as shown above) or, inside the chassis which requires dis-assembly to see the inside) but these dates are not always available on every model. 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!
If interested in getting a time frame for when your MESA gear was made, please click here.