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Fender Serial Numbers, 1950 to Present (Identifying the Year).
Serial numbers compiled from several sources including myself, Gruhn, and Duchossoir.
Used on Telecaster, Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Jazz Bass, Precision bass, Duosonics, Musicmasters, etc. Considered Pre-CBS (even though CBS bought Fender in January 1965).
Sometimes an "L" serial number can be seen on a late 1962 model.
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.
Fender guitar and bass Serial numbers compiled from many sources including websites,databases, Gruhn, and Duchossoir.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.Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there (if you`re uncomfortable doing this yourself, please refer to an experienced professional guitar tech in your area). Serial numbering didn`t change immediately because instruments continued to be made using existing, tooling, parts and serial number schemes.