Product dating fender stratocaster guitars
For example, let’s take a Stratocaster with the serial number 279515 and the code 22384109B.
Starting with the letter B, this is the same neck width code Fender has been using since 1962.
It is important to remember that Fender serial numbers are NOT conclusively chronological. Back in the day, Fender made their serial number plates in big batches and the assembler simply grabbed a decal or more from the crate and slapped it on the guitar. To get as close as possible to determining the age of your Fender, make sure to check all dates on both body, neck and pots.
The locations of the serial numbers and dates change from model to model and in some cases they have simply been omitted.
Also, labeling techniques have changed with Fender owners, slightly adding to the confusion. S.-made Fender guitars and basses from 1950 until today, since they are some of the predominant vintage guitars for sale on Vintageand
Typically the serial number is penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.
Only about half the guitars still carry any intelligible information here.
Sometimes a date is stamped or hand-written on the butt of the neck.
Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.
April 1973 to 1980: After March 1973, Fender dropped the old style date stamp and continued to use the new style, 8-digit code. 1976 to present: All non-vintage reissue instruments have the serial number printed on the decal on the face of the peghead.
The approximate production year can be determined from this (more about serial numbers will follow).
Determining the date can also be important from a collector’s perspective, since the pre-1966 vintage Fender guitars are generally considered the most valuable.