This marking is only visible when the neck is removed from the body because it is covered in the neck pocket. Almost all Fender guitars have a dated neck. Some Fender guitar bodies and pickups also have dates written on them. Few Fender guitars have dates written on the bodies under the pickups, in the routed out cavities, and near the wiring harnesses. Fender only decided to write dates on the bodies for a few years here and there.
They never really did that consistently. Many people think that the date on the heel of their Fender neck is the production date of the guitar. It all has to do with how Fender produced guitars.
Squier-Wiki says it , but I'd love to find out some more. The headstock logo and that plug for the truss seems weird. Log in or Sign up. Fender admits that there is little to no information about the serial numbers from Justsinn , Mar 23, That means that there could be a Tele, Strat, and Precision bass with the exact same serial number.
Leo Fender was a genius with minimizing the costs of production. Unlike Gibson, Leo found did everything the cheapest and fastest way possible. He made a bolt-on neck, so the neck and the body could be manufactured at the same time. He wired the pickguard with pickups, so all the wiring could be finished before the body was even dry from finishing. The number and date on the neck is simply the date that the neck was finished—not the date that the guitar was completed. Necks could sit for days, weeks, or even months at a time before being matched with a body.
After the entire guitar was assembled, the identification number was stamped in place. Being many months later, the serial number date and the neck date might not match. Remember, these serial and neck numbers were never really intended for historical dating.
They were simply internal numbers to help with production. It includes most of the Fender serial numbers issued along with the corresponding dates and a short history of Fender Guitars through the years. When Leo first started putting identification numbers on his guitars, he segregated them by model. Each models unique numbers started at 1 or a number close to it. That means that there could be a Tele, Strat, and Precision bass with the exact same serial number. At some point in , Fender decided to stop grouping the guitar ID number by model.
He started using one sequence of serial numbers for all the guitars coming off of the Fender production lines including Teles, Esquires, Strats, and P-basses. Some of these identification numbers are still out of sequence, jumbled up, or missing. You may notice that there is a great deal of over lapping numbers in these nine years. The only way to verify an over lapping date is to check the corresponding neck date and body date.
This list is a little convoluted because there are so many over lapping serial numbers. The number column represents the general number grouping that Fender and most experts agree on.
The low and high columns show the range of identification numbers that have been positively matched to specific years. As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlap.
For some reason during , , and Fender decided to place zero or a dash in front of ID numbers periodically. He was nearing his ,th guitar. This time all the identification numbers under 10, fill the empty digits with zeros.
A lot of changes happened to the company as well as the guitars themselves under the new ownership. The identification number sequences were no exception. CBS came up with a new numbering system to take advantage of the fact that Leo did not use 6-digit ID numbers. CBS continued the sequence Fender started in These era guitars are commonly referred to as the F series because of the neck plate design change. The new neck plate only had the Fender F logo stamped in place. In , Fender decided to stop stamping ID numbers in guitar parts and started making decals for the guitar peghead or headstock.
Along with the new location a new series of serial numbers were instituted.
Fender apparently was thinking long term because they developed a serial numbering system with one-letter codes preceding the indentification numbers. The letters referred to the decade that the guitars were produced. Most guitars then had a number following the one-letter code that designated the specific year. For instance, ID number S would be a guitar produced in Some of these no prefix serial numbers have been found on guitars produced all the way through Fender did some crazy stuff back then.
Watch out for these! After , Fender really cleaned up their serial number process.
They switched to two different plants: Since Fender was using new plants to build their guitars, they decided the change the numbering system again, but this time they changed it to something more like the American guitars. Both the Cort and Sungham plants used unique numbers. So a guitar produced by Cort in would have a serial number of CN2 followed by five digits. These serial numbers were used until when Fender stopped producing guitars at the Sungham factory. Since all guitar production was moved to the Cort factory, Fender decided to change its numbering system again.
The serial numbers were a little messed up.