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For years, serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments, such as the top of the neck plate, the front or back of the headstock and the back of the neck near the junction with the body.
Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early `50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.
It can be stamped or marked on any product to identify the production source (vendor) and date of manufacturer.
Source-date codes have been published by the EIA since 1924. Consideration and exceptions: Source-date codes weren't an industry standard until after WWII.
The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from 1976 to the present.
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.The source-date code found on pots and speakers gives the manufacturer and date (roughly) when the components were made.It may have been some time before the part was installed at the factory, but it still provides a good approximation of when the gear was made.The best way to date your vintage guitar or amp is from the manufacturers serial number and then use this guide as a reference to date the parts that make up said guitar or amp.Dates and source codes to help aid and determine the age or year of production of your vintage guitar,amp or other electronic instrument. Source-Date Codes On American made vintage guitars and gear, the pots and speakers provide an excellent opportunity to date a piece of equipment by referencing their "source-date code".
Consequently, some 1990 guitars bear 1999 "N9" serial numbers."Z"-prefix serial numbers denoting the new millennium appeared on U. As always, there is typically some number prefix overlap and carryover from year to year.