Dating fender strat pots

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).

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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.

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.

Below is a list of date formats and how they were marked on the neck-butts: 1950-1954: Hand-written below the truss rod adjustment at the butt end of the neck.

Date format is usually M-D-YY and often features the woodworker’s initials as well.The following three digits, here 384, could be a batch or lot number, or i could be the count for how many of this one instrument that was made within the month.Since Fender could probably produce more than 999 of any one type instrument in a month, it is more likely a batch or lot number.A example of this is “02033923” found on a Jazz Bass.From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the previous “XX MMM-YY W” format.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.

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