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The following six digits are the unit identifier, although it should be noted that these final six numbers are not sequential and do not provide any other identification information about the instrument. S.-made Fender instruments, with exceptions including the American Vintage series and certain special-run instruments.

Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.

Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year.

While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.

Serial numbers are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production year.

Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted.

instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

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.

If, however, you’re interested in determining a relative value for your instrument(s), we recommend that you contact used or vintage instrument dealers in your area.

You might consider referring to magazine ( a great and helpful resource for those who buy, sell and trade vintage instruments.

The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.

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