Guide to dating DOD FX-series pedals by serial number

Some early DOD FX-series pedals have stickers with the date of final assembly, but unlike Boss pedals, the month and year of manufacture is not encoded in its serial number. However, like vintage guitars and amps, the date of manufacture of almost any effects pedal can be estimated by examining the date codes of its components. Almost all IC chips have date codes, and other components such as potentiometers, transistors, and electrolytic capacitors can also have date codes.

After opening up 175+ different DOD pedals and examining the components of their circuit boards for date codes, we plotted serial number as a function of the latest component date code found in each pedal. The main limitation to such an approach is that the date of assembly of the complete pedal would necessarily lag the newest component date code, perhaps by 2-8 weeks. Because the exact lag time is unknown, we decided not to include a "fudge factor" in our plot below:

Plot of DOD serial number vs. component date

One caveat when using this plot is that when DOD rolled over from serial number 999999 to 1000000, the leading "1" was included in smaller text in the line above the rest of the serial number. Thus, be sure to include the leading "1" in your pedal's serial number when it is present.

Several features of the plot are immediately apparent:

Feel free to download this plot for your own private non-commercial use, to "date" your DOD pedals, but please do not post it elsewhere on the internet. We reserve the right to update the plot at any time, so it would be better to just link to this web page.

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