Dating fender guitars by serial number
These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number.Instead, the instrument’s country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number.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.Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.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.
This new scheme uses the letters “MX” as a prefix to designate an instrument made in Mexico, followed by an eight-digit number.Japanese Serial Numbers on Peghead Decal Note the lack of S, E, N series. Serial numbers may be useful in determining the year of production of a guitar.Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is... Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). Sorry, since I do not collect new Fenders, I don't really keep track of these things.The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a "J" serial number prefix). I believe this was a mistake on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.