Pioneer Dates of Manufacture

Discussion in 'Pioneer Audio' started by Dr. Strangelove, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    To determine the date of manufacture of your Pioneer component, look at the serial number. The first two characters will give you the year and month of manufacture. The first letter is the year, the second letter is the month. For example, taking into consideration the age of the equipment:

    ZA would be 1979, January
    YL would be 1978, December
    KK would be 1964, November

    Code:
    [b]
    1st			2nd
    Char	Year	Year	Char	Month[/b]
    
    A	1954	1980	A	January
    B	1955	1981	B	February
    C	1956	1982	C	March
    D	1957	1983	D	April
    E	1958	1984	E	May
    F	1959	1985	F	June
    G	1960	1986	G	July
    H	1961	1987	H	August
    I	1962	1988	I	September
    J	1963	1989	J	October
    K	1964	1990	K	November
    L	1965	1991	L	December
    M	1966	1992
    N	1967	1993
    O	1968	1994
    P	1969	1995
    Q	1970	1996
    R	1971	1997
    S	1972	1998
    T	1973	1999
    U	1974	2000
    V	1975
    W	1976
    X	1977
    Y	1978
    Z	1979
    
    It appears that Pioneer began coding the year in 2001 as follows:

    A 2001
    B 2002
    C 2003
    D 2004
    E 2005
    F 2006
    G 2007
    H 2008
    I 2009

    Not all Pioneer components followed this rule. For example, the Pioneer SE-700 headphones had a two letter prefix, but did not follow the table above. For these components, it is rumored they were made by another company, possibly Azden or Stax, for Pioneer.

    But, generally speaking, most all of Pioneer's components from 1954 followed this table.

    Doc
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  2. axel

    axel Super Member

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    Thanks Doc for this!

    It reminds me of the (my) Hasselblad cameras and their similar 2-letter prefix... I sure wish Sony and Kenwood were as crystal clear as those :D
     
  3. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    I figured it would be helpful.

    Maybe we can get Retro Stereo to make it a sticky.

    Thanks,
    Doc
     
  4. Unican_Eric

    Unican_Eric Pioneerious Collecticus

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    Thank you very much. I needed this. :thmbsp:
     
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Nut house of the Universe

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    Canon Cameras from the early 60's through at least 1986 used a very simular Build Code stamped in black ink on the balck surface where the film cassette goes. The date coding is different then Pioneers but the format is exactly the same.

    THANKS DOC. Glad you wandered back here try not to get lost again OK?
     
  6. axel

    axel Super Member

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    So my PD-1 was made in february, 1983: DB8403115
    As I very much doubt Pioneer made 8.403.115 P-D1s, would the "84" here stand for product id?
     
  7. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    The numbers following the first two letters are somewhat of a mystery. I have looked at these to determine a pattern. I am convinced there is a pattern, however the number does not indicate the number of units made. Well, at least without understanding the full number. It seems that the number may include a "family" or group, and a sequential numbering of components produced in that group, which may have included other components. Sounds complicated, right?

    Let's pick on two components that I previously owned:

    SA-6700 Stereo Amplifier 40wpc YA 3606248F
    TX-6700 FM/AM Stereo Tuner YD 3606479M

    These two components were from January and April of 1978.

    Notice that both numbers begin with 3606, yet they are entirely different components. And, the 3606 prefix occurs in other components from around the same year. This coincidence seems to happen with great regularity across the component lines, especially when the year and month are relatively close. It may be nothing more than just a sequential numbering of components, and the luck of the draw when the inspector grabs a tag from a string of tags. Also, has anyone noticed how the serial tags changed (paper, aluminum w/screws, aluminum w/plastic fasteners, etc)?

    Any ideas?

    Doc
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2006
  8. axel

    axel Super Member

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    hey Sherlock!
    so "8403" would be a production id (lineup #84, 3rd month into production for instance?) and "115" the... serial number itself?
     
  9. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    Sounds plausible. If we had a larger collection of serial numbers, and model numbers, we might be able to solve this mystery, Mr. Watson. Regarding your last 3 digits (115), and my two examples (248F, 479M), I have also observed that a letter may or may not follow these last 3 digits.

    Does anyone have a friend/contact at Pioneer, in Japan, that can help? I had put the issue of the number itself aside for the past couple of years. Now that Axel has addressed it, I will consume all of my time, not leaving my office, ignoring my wife and family, allowing my grooming standards (such as they were) to decline, until this mystery is solved.

    Doc
     
    DaveWho1 likes this.
  10. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    Damn you, Watson!! Now I am focused on this again. Here is a list of models and serial numbers of some of my components (past and present) plus Axel's P-D1, in order by date code:


    Code:
    Model		Serial		Date Code
    MXA-1		IF 74834	Jun-62
    SM-Q300		IF 75952	Jun-62
    SD-1100		TH 1000617	Aug-73
    SA-6700		YA 3606248F	Jan-78
    TX-6700		YD 3606479M	Apr-78
    SE-700		MA 7438		Aug-78 (**)
    CT-F1250	ZE 3600464	May-79
    TX-9800		ZE 3605139	Jul-79
    PL-600		ZG 13562	Jul-79
    SA-9800		ZL 3602950M	Dec-79
    HPM-700		AJ 11007U	Oct-80
    DT-500		AJ 2604970U	Oct-80
    DT-500		AJ 2912441S	Oct-80
    HPM-700		AK 14374U	Nov-80
    DT-500		BB 2921042S	Feb-81
    HPM-700		BC 06303	Mar-81
    HPM-700		BC 06324	Mar-81
    SG-9800		BC 3614862K	Mar-81
    RG-2		BE 3611780K	May-81
    RT-909		BE 3612002	May-81
    U-24		BG 1006819M	Jul-81
    P-D1		DB 8403115	Feb-83 (Axel)
    P-D70		EG 3607074T	Jul-84
    
    ** The SE-700 do not conform to the Year/Month convention. I just happen to know when this particular SE-700 was manufactured. Also, both Azden and Stax have denied being the manufacturer of these headphones.

    Anyone see a pattern? Look at the two DT-500s (both from Oct 1980). Hard to see a pattern there. We can come up with theories, but without more data, we would be merely guessing at how the numbers were derived.

    Doc
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  11. axel

    axel Super Member

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    Don't.

    I only had my P-D1 in mind when I wandered the above - a maximum of 999 P-D1s produced sound quite plausible (way less than that anyway) but I'm sure there was much more than 999 SA-6700s and TX-6700s produced... Was there?
     
  12. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    I am sure there were more than 999 of the SA and TX 6700s produced. I agree with you, however, on the limited production of the P-D1.

    One thing that could help is if Pioneer kept production records for the numbers of components produced by year, or total production of a specific component.

    Doc
     
  13. axel

    axel Super Member

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    That would help indeed. Would even wipe the work from under our feet :D

    Unfortunately, I believe Pioneer to act like Kenwood, Luxman or Sony - 100% mute. Which doesn't mean they haven't kept records but actually reaching them and letting us disclose the info is quite high an expectation.
     
  14. foetusized

    foetusized Guest

    I need to record my serial numbers anyway; I'll check my Pioneer gear when I get home. I got a set of Pioneer 'phones from my secret santa; any ideas where to look for a number?
     
  15. 240 Volts

    240 Volts Strange, yet oddly normal

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    Just out of interest :boring: - on most of my Pioneer cassette decks there is a date of manufacture label on the motors which corresponds very well with the method outlined by Dr. Strangelove. :thmbsp:

    For example on my CT-F1000, serial number XK 9301388, the capstan motor is dated 05-Sep-77 and the reel motor 30-Sep-77. The XK serial number would make the date of manufacture of the deck sometime in November 1977, i.e. a couple of months after the motors. This sounds about right to me, the motors would not be on the shelves for too long before being used.

    I wonder if dating the motors was just a Pioneer thing or if other manufacturers did the same - if so then perhaps it could be the key to decoding their serial number system. :scratch2:

    - Richard B.
     
  16. Dr. Strangelove

    Dr. Strangelove Super Member

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    On my SE-700s, the number is on the inside of the left slider that goes into the headband.

    Doc
     
  17. foetusized

    foetusized Guest

    Here's what I found on my Pioneers:

    A-27: YJ2900713M
    SA-9800: ZK2602896M
    TX-9800: ZK2601977M
    SA-608: AD2905928D
    TX-610: AK3602207Y
    SA-610: AI3606106F
    DT-500: BA2919312S
    SA-510: BI3625315F
    DT-510: BI2907746G

    I can't find a SN on the SE-L40 cans, and the one on my RG-2 is unreadable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2006
  18. Mark W.

    Mark W. Nut house of the Universe

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    foetusized How many of those Pioneers have the <EP> mark on the back that tells you to thanks a Soldier, Sailor, or Marine for buying it the first time.

    The <EP> mark means the unit was sold through a US government military store a Post Exchange or Navy Exchange.

    All of my Pioneer units except the newer CD players have this mark. That's 10 units out of 10 units (if you count my HPM-100's) with the <EP> mark (I'm not counting the Newer CD players as they aren't even close to vintage. Bought from CL, Ebay, and a friend.
     
  19. foetusized

    foetusized Guest

    All of the items I listed above (including the RG-2 but not the cans) have the <EP> mark, except for the TX-610 tuner. The TX-610 is also the only one of the bunch that was made in Korea instead of Japan.

    [edit] I also have a PD-F907 CD changer with a serial number that starts SJ, and says it was manufactured in October 1998 above the serial number. No <EP> mark.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2006
  20. siamac

    siamac PIONEER VINTAGE

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    Pioneer SR-202 - QH 66764
    Pioneer SC-700 - QH 13451
    Pioneer SM-700 - RD 15891

    [​IMG]
     

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