At many points in Fender's history, serial number usage overlapped again owing to the modular manner of production. After 2009, the letter changed to a format starting with US then two digits that tell the year of the current decade. Below we'll go into detail about the various serial number schemes employed by Fender as far back as 1950. For Fender during the turning point era of the mid-'60s, check out Fender and the CBS Takeover. Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. This period also saw a switch from the orginal four-bolt neckplate of the '60s to a three-bolt neckplate in just one example of cost-saving costs introduced under CBS. It's tough to say without taking the neck off and looking in the pocket to see the stamp, if there even is one. As mentioned above, many reissue models use serial numbers that don't really correlate to their age. I will also mention briefly pot-codes as a resource (numbers on the internal potentiometers of the guitar). I'd steer clear of this. Here are a couple of nomenclature guides: GuitarNucleus Fender. Perhaps the best place to start when dating your Fender is to get an approximate idea of the era based on the instrument's design and components. At some point, Kennis Russell bought a used Stratocaster at his local guitar shop. Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early ’50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars. Perhaps the best place to start when dating your Fender is to get an approximate idea of the era based on the instrument's design and components. His guitars were built en masse by an entire factory, not a single luthier toiling over one instrument at a time. Serial numbers since this transition have continued the same sequence as the "CIJ" era. $1350 is a phenomenal bargain for a 50's or 60's strat. Also, most MiM strats only have 21 frets. Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters: And here are the ranges for the original Precision Basses: Also, for the first half or so of 1954, the inaugural run of Stratocasters had a distinct number sequence all under number 6000. Esquires, Broadcasters and Telecasters shared a serial number sequence, while the landmark Precision Bass had its own system. Hey! By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the processing of my data in order to receive emails. Like Henry Ford, part of Leo Fender's genius was in optimizing the company's production efficiency. Once you have the information you need, if you're interested in selling your Fender, you can use Reverb to get it in front of the largest audience of musicians in the world by clicking on this link. This scheme is not 100% consistent due to a number of production factors, such as Fender producing more serialized decals than needed in a given year. Fender serial number date decoder (v2.1) Enter only the serial number. For example, a top-end Made in Mexico model will sell for as much or more than a base model American Standard Stratocaster. Fender Japan serial numbers can usually be found on the back of the neck near the neck joint. Oops, looks like you forgot something. A Brief History of the Stratocaster Part I. REFERENCE MATERIALS FOR DATING FENDER INSTRUMENTS "Someone had rubbed off the Squier logo from the headstock and put a fake Fender waterslide on it,"; Russell says. Made in Mexico strats should start with MN or MZ (depending on the year). There is some overlap with the earlier "MIJ" serials, so it's important to note if your instrument carries the "Made in Japan" or "Crafted in Japan" decal. The neck dates on these guitars, however, are usually reliable. So you need to figure out the year of production for your Fender guitar or bass. These have serial numbers starting with V and do not strictly correlate to years. The serial number tells you the year. Secure Transactions and Shipping ProtectionDedicated Team of Gear Experts. Please check the fields highlighted in red. It is impossible to say if $1350 AUS is a good value or not, without knowing what model it is. no pictures were provided but i am going to see the guitar soon and i want to know if there is a way i would be able to tell what particular model it is. One starting with Z5 would be from 2005. Well, for starters, it'll say on the headstock where it's made in. Here the range of the L-series serial used each year. Up until 1997, the serial was paired with the words "Made in Japan.". There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet.
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