Dating a fender stratocaster

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There is quite a bit of overlap of both numbers and years.The following charts detail the most common Fender serial number schemes used from 1976 to the present.The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.There is quite a bit of overlap of numbers and years.The serial numbers do not immediately reflect the change, as CBS continued to make instruments using existing, tooling, parts, and serial number schemes.

Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.Neck dating is useful in determining the age of a guitar, but is not definite.

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