Dating a fender guitar serial number

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This information is courtesy Fender.com, republished here for your convenience. instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

Hit the jump to see just how old that guitar or bass really is. Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted.

Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.

There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.

While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.

Serial numbers are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production year.

While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.

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Other areas that contain Serial Numbers are on the top of the Neck Plate and the front or back of the Head Stock.If you have a guitar serial number that is before 2010 you can try the Guitar Dater Project link below otherwise read on.From late 1965 to sometime in 1976 the neckplate had a Fender logo F as well as the serial number.Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.

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