How to Date your Fender Guitar by Serial Number
I often get asked, how old is my Fender guitar? Most of the time this question can't be answered specifically. The Fender numbers tell the story of the company over the years. Unfortunately, the serial number placement is sporadic and many ID numbers over lap between years and models. In many instances, there squieer no exact known date for a specific guitar. That is why I decided to write this article.
I want to help you understand how to tell the age of your Fender as well as any Fender you see. Fender dating fender squier Gibson has been producing guitars for many years. Certain styles and colors have come and gone over the years, but there is no real obvious way to tell how old a Fender is other than the indentification number. Unfortunately, Fender decided not to simply write tattooed singles dating site date of manufacture on the guitar.
They decided that it would be easier to decipher the serial number code than just write the year on the guitar. I say this only squler. Most manufactures don't actually write the production dates on the guitar in plain view. First let's take a look at where to find ID numbers on a Fender guitar. This article is intended to help you date your Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Precision Bass guitars all dating fender squier way back to the early s.
In order to tell how old your Fender you will have dating fender squier find the indentification number or neck number. The serial number ffnder has changed a few times of the years. From to Fender guitar unique numbers were stamped in the bridge cavity cover plate. From to Fender stamped its guitar's serial number on either the top or bottom of fendee neck plate.
Modern Fender production guitars, to the present, have their ID numbers on the front or back of the headstock near the Fender decal. In Fender decided to start making reissued vintage guitars. These guitars were replicas of the early feder s era guitars. True to form the reissue guitars have their indentification numbers stamped in the neck plate.
The serial numbers on the outside of the body are not fehder only way to date a Fender guitar however. Fender also dated the neck when it was manufactured. After the neck was finished, a Fender employee would either stamp or handwrite the date on the end of the guitar neck on its heel. 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 squieer pickups, in the routed out cavities, and near the wiring harnesses. Fender only decided to write dates on the daating 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.
After reviewing the ID number, you dating fender squier find out that the two corresponding dates don't coincide. It all has to do with how Fender produced guitars. 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, fendeer all the wiring could be finished before the body was even dry dating fender squier finishing. That's how the Fender production line worked. 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 fneder being matched with a body.
After the entire guitar squidr assembled, the indentification 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 squifr help with production. Now that we have talked about where to find your Fender fenser ID number and what it means, here is the Fender serial number database that I have compiled.
It includes most of the Fender serial numbers issued along with the corresponding dates sating a short history of Fender Guitars through the years. When Leo first started putting indentification numbers on his guitars, he segregated them by model. Each fende unique numbers started at 1 or a number close to it. That means that there could be a Tele, Dxting, and Precision bass with feneer exact same serial number.
He didn't stop doing this until after At some point inFender decided to stop grouping the guitar ID number by datinb. He started using one sequence of serial numbers xating all the guitars coming off of the Fender production lines including Teles, Esquires, Strats, and P-basses. Some of these indentification numbers are still out of sequence, jumbled up, or missing. You may notice that there is a great deal of over sqyier 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 dating fender squier most experts agree on. The low and high columns show the range of indentification 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 dqting zero or a dash in front of ID numbers periodically. Some guitars in these years have them and some don't. Toward the end of Fender's success kept on building. He was nearing his ,th guitar. Instead of adding another digit on to his 5-digit ID numbers, Leo decided to add an "L", dating fender squier for his first initial, in front of the serial numbers and start the sequence all over again.
This time all the indentification numbers under 10, fill the empty digits with zeros. For example, the th guitar's ID number would not be L Since this change wasn't until the end ofonly a few true Fenders have sqiier "L" serial number. In earlyLeo Fender sold Fender Musical Instruments, Dating fender squier.