I often get asked, how old is my Fender guitar? The Fender numbers tell the story of the company over the years. Unfortunately, Tele serial number dating fender serial number placement is sporadic and many ID numbers over lap between years and models. In Tele serial number dating fender instances, there is no exact known date for a specific guitar.
That is why I decided to write this article. I want to help you understand how to tell the age of your Fender as well as any Fender you see. Fender like Gibson has been producing guitars for many years. Certain styles and colors have come and gone over the years, but there is no real obvious way to tell how old a Fender is other than the identification number.
Unfortunately, Fender decided not to simply write the date of manufacture on the guitar.
They decided that it would be easier to decipher the serial number code than just write the year on the guitar. I say this only joking. This article is intended to help you date your Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Precision Bass guitars all the way back to Tele serial number dating fender early s.
In order to tell how old your Fender is you will have to find the identification number or neck number.
The serial number location has changed a few times of the years. From to Fender guitar unique numbers were stamped in the bridge cavity cover plate. Modern Fender production guitars, to the present, have their ID numbers on the front or back of the headstock near the Fender decal.
In Fender decided to start making reissued vintage guitars. These guitars were replicas of the early and s era guitars.
True to form the reissue guitars have their identification numbers stamped in the neck plate. The serial numbers on the outside of the body are not the only way to date a Fender guitar however. Fender also dated the neck when it was manufactured.
After the neck was finished, a Fender employee would either stamp or handwrite the date on the end of the guitar neck on its heel. This marking is only visible when the neck is removed from the body because it is covered in the neck pocket. Almost all Fender guitars have a dated neck. Some Fender guitar bodies and pickups also have dates written on them. Few Fender guitars have dates written on the bodies under "Tele serial number dating fender" pickups, in the routed out cavities, and near the wiring harnesses.
Fender only decided to write dates on the bodies for a few years here and there. They never really did that consistently. Many people think that the date on the heel of their Fender neck is the production date of the guitar. It all has to do with how Fender produced guitars.
Leo Fender was a genius with minimizing the costs of production. Unlike Gibson, Leo found did everything the cheapest and fastest way possible. He made a bolt-on neck, so the neck and the body could be manufactured at the same time.
He wired the pickguard with pickups, so all the wiring could be finished before the body was even dry from finishing. The number and date on the neck is simply the date that the neck was finished—not the date that the guitar was completed. Necks could sit for days, weeks, or even months at a time before being matched with a body. After the entire guitar was assembled, the identification number was stamped in place.
Being many months later, the serial number date and the neck date might not match. Remember, these serial and neck "Tele serial number dating fender" were never really intended for historical dating. They were simply internal numbers to help with production. It includes most of the Fender serial numbers issued along with the corresponding dates and a short history of Fender Guitars through the years. When Leo first started putting identification numbers on his guitars, he segregated them by model.
Each models unique numbers started Tele serial number dating fender 1 or a number close to it. That means that there could be a Tele, Strat, and Precision bass with the exact same serial number.
At some point inFender decided to stop grouping the guitar ID number by model. He started using one sequence of serial numbers for all the guitars coming off of the Fender production lines including Teles, Esquires, Strats, and P-basses. Some of these identification numbers are still out of sequence, jumbled up, or missing.
You may notice that there is a great deal of over lapping numbers in these nine years. The only way to verify an over lapping date is to check the corresponding neck date and body date. This list is a little convoluted because there are so many over lapping serial numbers.
The number column represents the general number grouping that Fender and most experts agree on. The low and high columns show the range of identification numbers that have been positively matched to specific years.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlap. For some reason during, and Fender decided to place zero or a dash in front of ID numbers periodically. He was nearing his ,th guitar. This time all the identification numbers under 10, the empty digits with zeros.
A lot of changes happened to the company as well as the guitars themselves under the new ownership. The identification number sequences were no exception. CBS came up with a new numbering system to take advantage of the fact that Leo did not use 6-digit ID numbers. CBS continued the sequence Fender started in These era guitars are commonly referred to as Tele serial number dating fender F series because of the neck plate design change.
The new neck plate only had the Fender F logo stamped in place. InFender decided to stop stamping ID numbers in guitar parts and started Tele serial number dating fender decals for the guitar peghead or headstock. Along with the new location a new series of serial numbers were instituted. Fender apparently was thinking long term because they developed a serial numbering system with one-letter codes preceding the indentification numbers.
The letters referred to the decade that the guitars were produced.