If you have interest in establishing a relative value for your instrument,it might be helpful to contact any of the used or vintage instrument dealers in your area. Instead, the instrument's country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number. Between 1985 and 1987 Fender instruments were only constructed in Japan while a recent new owner took over Fender and was building a new plant in America. While these policies offer an indication of what year they refer to, they are typically specific to the component they are attached to. Bullet Series plywood , followed by 2-digit year. Once again, there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years. Numbers 1000 to 2000 were used between 1953 and 1955.
Serial numbers are also helpful in determining the year of production of a given instrument. The numbers and decals were produced far in advance, and some N9 decals denoting 1999 , were inadvertantly affixed to some instruments in 1990. When was my Fender instrument made? So, they ordered neckplates that were supposed to have numbers above 100,000. Leo Fender never intended for his guitars to become collectors items. American Deluxe series start with a D before the Z in the serial number.
Accurate dating of musical instruments is a very easy and useful skill to learn. For more videos by Russell, be sure to drop in on his YouTube channel, which you'll see. From 1950 to 1956, Fender stamped serial numbers up to 10,000 on the butt end of the neck heel. The serial number can only generalized the age of the instrument within a few years. Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years. Vintage Series, check neck date for specific year E8 + 5 5 digits E9 + 5 5 digits V + 5 or 6 5 digits U.
These are good for dating amp potentiometers and speakers. Unfortunately, there is also some overlap in serial numbers between years -- again due to the fact that neckplates were re-ordered various times from various manufacturers. Before the later 1970's Fender never expected the guitars to be collectable or for serial numbers to be important. 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. Some recent Squiers are being made in India.
The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced. This new scheme is now used on the majority of U. Fender used parts bought as early as 1964 in huge bulk and used them through the mid and late 60s. Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little if at all throughout the lifetime of the model. Indeed, we use these same books here at Fender when researching historical and date-related issues. Vintage Series, check neck date for specific year E4 + 5 digits E8 + 5 digits V + 4, 5 or 6 digits U. From 1950 until 1976, Fender guitar serial numbers ran up into the 700,000s, with some overlap between years.
Reference Materials to Help Date Your Guitar If you are unable to place the approximate year of manufacture of your instrument using the above charts, there are a few great books available, which have invaluable information on the history of Fender instruments. Vintage series guitars have a prefix of V. In case of no serial or poorly to read, the electronic components of an electric guitar can be a clue. Not all schemes are covered here. Vintage Series, check neck date for specific year E8 + 5 digits E9 + 5 digits V + 5 or 6 digits U. You can also check with your local pawnshops, as most refer to this book, or one like it, to establish the values or used instruments.
So, the company just used the L Plates not wanting to let them go to waste. But the company immediately set about construction of Fenders flagship domestic factory in Corona, California. The company has employed several serial number policies over the years. We highly recommend each of them. But it took a while to manufacture and number the plates.
And the first number following is the year. So, the information on the peghead could be off as much as two years. So, post-1996 models only would have this form of serial number. From 1976 until 2009, serial numbers started with an S, E, N or Z, depending on the decade of production. It's not available on line unless you pay for it. The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
Vintage Series, check neck date for specific year E3 + 5 digits E4 + 5 digits V + 4, 5 or 6 digits U. They are detailed reference resources with a wealth of information for helping to either establish the vintage of your guitar or bass or for just learning more about Fender history in general. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes. Japanese Squiers: For Japanese serial number dating see Fenders site. Just keep this in mind. Lastly, one of the best measures of value may be completed Ebay Auctions for similar guitars. The numbers for each year typically overlap by a few months, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and because necks and complete instruments that are made and serial numbered late in any given year will be used on instruments assembled and sold in the early months of the subsequent year.
Six-digit serial numbers with no preceding letters, with the first number being the year. I thought it might be cool to have a thread which features links and info on how to track and date guitar serial numbers for different brands. Vintage Series, check neck date for specific year E2 + 5 digits E3 + 5 digits V + 4, 5 or 6 digits U. Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year. So, initially, Fender imported guitars from Japanese manufacturers who had proven their ability to produce affordable, viable and well made instruments. But once again, due to the modular nature of Fender's production methods, and the fact that most serial numbers schemes are not sequential and usually overlap from between 2 to 4 years, from the early days of Fender, through to the mid 1980s , dating by the serial number is not an exact science.