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. Unlike Gibson, Leo found did everything the cheapest and fastest way possible. Unfortunately, the serial number placement is sporadic and many ID numbers over lap between years and models. Some Fender guitar bodies and pickups also have dates written on them. They never really did that consistently. Most of the time this question can't be answered specifically. It all has to do with how Fender produced guitars. Almost all Fender guitars have a dated neck. That's how the Fender production line worked. After the entire guitar was assembled, the indentification number was stamped in place.
Few Fender guitars have dates written on the bodies under the pickups, in the routed out cavities, and near the wiring harnesses. 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. They decided that it would be easier to decipher the serial number code than just write the year on the guitar. That is why I decided to write this article. Almost all Fender guitars have a dated neck. The number and date on the neck is simply the date that the neck was finished--not the date that the guitar was completed. That's how the Fender production line worked. The Fender numbers tell the story of the company over the years. Leo Fender was a genius with minimizing the costs of production. Most manufactures don't actually write the production dates on the guitar in plain view. Remember, these serial and neck numbers were never really intended for historical dating. He made a bolt-on neck, so the neck and the body could be manufactured at the same time. I want to help you understand how to tell the age of your Fender as well as any Fender you see. Modern Fender production guitars, to the present, have their ID numbers on the front or back of the headstock near the Fender decal. From to Fender stamped its guitar's serial number on either the top or bottom of the neck plate. True to form the reissue guitars have their indentification numbers stamped in the neck plate. After the entire guitar was assembled, the indentification number was stamped in place. In order to tell how old your Fender is you will have to find the indentification number or neck number. Necks could sit for days, weeks, or even months at a time before being matched with a body. Fender Serial Number Guide Now that we have talked about where to find your Fender guitar ID number and what it means, here is the Fender serial number database that I have compiled. Most of the time this question can't be answered specifically. They never really did that consistently. The serial numbers on the outside of the body are not the only way to date a Fender guitar however. Unlike Gibson, Leo found did everything the cheapest and fastest way possible. I say this only joking.
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