Dating a fender stratocaster by serial number

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

instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.

Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.

For years, SERIAL NUMBERS have been used in various locations on Fender instruments, such as the top of the neck plate, the front or back of the headstock and the back of the neck near the junction with the body.

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.

Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.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.Dating a Fender Guitar by it’s Serial Number can be a little tricky.In most cases you can only get a ball park range for your production date.

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