Dating fender strat guitars
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.At some point, Kennis Russell bought a used Stratocaster at his local guitar shop.Within a few seconds, however, Russell—a guitarist who provides backing tracks, gear demos and reviews on You Tube—realized it was a fake."Someone had rubbed off the Squier logo from the headstock and put a fake Fender waterslide on it," Russell says."In this video I compare this fake Fender Strat to two 'real' U. Fender Strats, a Mexican Fender Strat and a Squier Strat.The serial numbers do not immediately reflect the change, as CBS continued to make instruments using existing, tooling, parts, and serial number schemes.The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
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..They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.But due to the modular nature of Fender's production methods, and the fact that most serial numbers schemes are not sequential and usually overlap from between 2 to 4 years, (from the early days of Fender, through to the mid 1980s), dating by the serial number is not an exact science.This chart contains If you are unable to place the approximate year of manufacture of your instrument using the above charts, there are a few great books available, which have invaluable information on the history of Fender instruments.
If you have serious interest in learning about the history of Fender instruments, or if you just want to try to establish the year of production of your own axe, we would highly recommend that you pick up one or more of the following books.The American Deluxe Series use the same dating code but add a "D" in front of the "Z", i.e. The following serial numbers are somewhat outside the more, well known Fender serial number schemes.