How to Date your Fender Guitar by Serial Number

How to Date your Fender Guitar by Serial Number

Check it out! Use this website for research as many of your questions about your guitar will be answered here! Strat Plus Series was introduced by Fender in and was the highest end production model next to Fender’s Custom Shop guitars. Production was stopped in July of While some were sold as a “Plus” they were sort of a hybrid have Fender’s new Noiseless pickups, yet retaining the locking tuners, roller nut and American bridge. These went on to be the American Deluxe Strat Series. There has always been a mystery surrounding the creation of the Fender Strat Plus series.

Fender Stratocaster

The story of how Rory came to own his Fender Stratocaster is somewhat interesting in itself. Jim allegedly ordered a red Stratocaster from the US but this sunburst came instead, so he had to use the guitar for around half a year until the red one would arrive. The previous owner was a guy in a showband.

How to Date Fender Pickups. By: Dave N. Updated Connect the multimeter probes to the end of the leads on the pickup. Conrads were inexpensive guitars made in Japan in the mids through late s. Locate the.

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 to , for example or simply omitted. Neck-dating can be useful in determining the approximate age of a guitar, but it is certainly not definitive because the neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component 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.

Therefore, while helpful in determining a range of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference. Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little if at all throughout the lifetime of the model. 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.

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

Dan Smith Stratocaster 1981-1983

Inside a Fender Jazzmaster. Inside a to Fender Telecaster video. Inside a to Fender Stratocaster video. For most collectors, pre-CBS pre Fender vintage guitars and amps are the desirable ones. Although CBS purchased Fender officially on January 3rd , it took some time till the guitars changed though by mid , six months before CBS bought Fender, things were already “on the way down”.

In the late 70’s, the David Schecter Custom Shop (not yet mass producing its famous In the early 80’s, the idea of the super strat had evolved into a strat that usually To date, a PT model is still offered as part of the Schecter Diamond series.

Site Search. Bob Leggitt Thursday, 24 December Today, Fender Stratocasters made in the s are generally regarded with affection, and have become sought after by many guitarists for their historical interest and vintage kudos. Back in , the Stratocaster was suffering the backlash from a long period of ‘consensus blindness’ on the part of CBS Fender. The period between and — and in particular the s — had turned a dream electric guitar into a product which discerning players found much harder to eulogise.

The late ’70s Strat had also to an extent become a victim of its own success, exhibiting an increase in production flaws as pressure to produce more units saw workers cutting corners. This was not just heresay. It was illustrated to Fender in some pretty dire dealer feedback, which eventually became a catalyst, or at least part of a catalyst, for change.

Another major part of that catalyst was the way in which Fender’s lack of remedial action had handed Japanese copyists a lucrative opportunity to muscle in on company profits. And by the end of the ’70s, Fender also had to take seriously the threat from the higher echelons of the copy market, which was taking shape as custom parts manufacturers such as Schecter began offering finished instruments.

These were extremely good guitars, and whilst a little more expensive than the Fender equivalent in the UK not to mention limited in availability , they did show that Fender could be attacked from above as well as below. Fender could not afford to come second to anyone.

Vintage 70s Fender Stratocaster ???

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Ronnie used a crafted in late s tokai guitars were clones of 35 of the haggard tokai. Scott carefree and tokai tst-’56 ’65 re-issue stratocaster not exact.

I often get asked, how old is my Fender guitar? The Fender numbers tell the story of the company over the years. Unfortunately, the serial number placement is sporadic and many ID numbers over lap between years and models. In many 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.

Under the microscope: Fender 1954 Stratocaster

Wiring colors in are usually yellow and blue, or white and black. Black bobbins pickups often had no date if they did it was pencil hand written. Nice missmatch of light grey and purple-ish bottom, from a mustang model. Still three black bobbins, yellow and blue wire.

In late Fender hired Dan Smith to head up marketing and help turn Examples of the letter/digit code follow like this: S for the ’70s, E for the ’80s, N for Serial Number and Approximate Date of Manufacture of Fender Guitars Made in.

So you need to figure out the year of production for your Fender guitar or bass. You’re not alone. Fenders rank as the most frequently bought and sold instruments on Reverb , and finding a precise date of manufacture can be key to determining the value and specifics of an instrument. The most important thing to keep in mind when dating a Fender is the highly modular nature of the designs.

Like Henry Ford, part of Leo Fender’s genius was in optimizing the company’s production efficiency. His guitars were built en masse by an entire factory, not a single luthier toiling over one instrument at a time. Features like bolt-on necks and pickups wired into the pickguard all helped the Fender factory churn out guitar after guitar, day after day. This also means that various parts used on a particular guitar may have come from different points in time, so no single number can absolutely define when the instrument was built.

Instead, the best approach to dating a Fender is to combine indicators from the design of the instrument, the dates found on the neck and body, along with the serial number. Once you have the information you need, if you’re interested in selling your Fender, you can use Reverb to get it in front of the largest audience of musicians in the world by clicking on this link. Perhaps the best place to start when dating your Fender is to get an approximate idea of the era based on the instrument’s design and components.

This can be a tall order for someone less versed in guitar history, but we do have some resources here on Reverb to help you out. For starters, there’s the Reverb Price Guide which has thousands of entries with pictures and details on various guitars and other gear. Some browsing around the Fender section of the Price Guide can definitely help you find which model you have.

‘Seventies Fender Strats: Good, Bad or Ugly?

In order to verify the history we contacted Stan Webb and he confirmed that he owned two pre-CBS Strats, one in Fiesta Red that he traded in , the other in a Brown wood or Sunburst he thinks re-finish which had a toggle switch fitted, he used that one at the Pop Proms in the Albert Hall and later sold it on to Robert Plant. Phil writes a monthly column on vintage guitars in Guitar and Bass Magazine, and has provided the history of the guitar up until this point.

The following is an inventory of what we believe to be original and non-original parts, and other essential information about this Stratocaster Serial Number — printed on the bottom of the neck plate as per historical accuracy for some instruments in Original Parts: Body, Neck, Green guard and foil insulation underneath, bridge, pickups, jack plate, tone and volume controls, string tree, tremolo bar, neck plate, switch tip, two x pots no: dates 46th week of

Formanta made at Borisov, USSR in the late 70’s and during the 80’s. The latest Formantas date back to Leo FenderAl GreenMusic GuitarVintage.

Vintage Fender pickups are highly sought after. Just finding these pickups is a challenge all its own. Even if one is purchased online at a hefty cost, how can you be sure of its vintage value? Up until , Fender did have several processes that can be measured to determine the date of their pickups. Even if you’ve never really used a multimeter, don’t be intimidated by it for this project.

All we are going to deal with is measuring the ohms of a pickup, written as such on your meter or by the? Turn on the multimeter and set it to the 20k ohms setting. At the beginning of , Fender was sold to CBS. Pickups that are found to be built prior to are considered extremely valuable. Pickups built after are still highly desirable and offer unique attributes in each year they were built as the pickup design and manufacturing process was enhanced and perfected.

The dating guidelines in this how-to editorial stop after This is due to the fact that little has changed since then. Identifying pickups after is less simplistic and requires a level of research that goes beyond the scope of this how-to.

Dating Your B.C. Rich Guitar

So, you can’t afford that ’54 Strat, or that ’64, or even that ’74 for that matter. Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late ‘s. You spot a ’79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a ’79?

DATING FENDER GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS on the cover plate of the vibrato (Stratocasters), or at the end of the heel of the neck. The S stands for the decade of the seventies, an attempt by CBS to identify serial​.

There are some easy ways to find out when your vintage Fender was manufactured. Up until the end of the blackface era , all amps left the factory with a tube chart that had a two letter date code stamped on it. Another way to get a close estimate of when your amp was made is to read the codes on the transformers.

Most post tweed Fenders had trannys manufactured by Schumacher. The date is in the last three digits, after the —. The first of the three digits tells us the last digit of the year unfortunately not decade specific and the last two numbers tell us the week. In the above example, the transformer was made in either or , week This code can be found on the power transformer, output transformer, choke, and reverb transformer. They are all usually within a few months of each other.

Use the latest one to give you a good idea of when it was made. For example, if your silverface super reverb has transformer codes all from , it was made in ! Many silverface and some blackface amps have the exact week, month and year stamped insie the chassis. Cart 0.

Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster

All right reserved. Specifications of Fernandes Stratocasters. I’m guessing that the most of Fernandes guitars sales were by their Stratocasters in 70’s and 80’s. Well, these guitars were very good even against original Fender Guitars.

Like the body and neck dates, using serial numbers to date a Fender is not a sure bet Some of the earliest ones actually popped up in late as well: The decade letter codes break down like this: S = s, E = s.

Yet look closely at an original Stratocaster and you realise how different it is to the Strats of today. So, we put a pristine original example under the microscope to uncover the intriguing spec details that set the earliest Strats apart from their latter-day descendants…. Read more: Anderson Guitarworks Guardian Angel. From Buddy Holly to Mark Knopfler, so many celebrated guitarists have used Strats over the years that the sleek, twin-horned outline of the Strat is as familiar as the back of your hand.

For example, mids Strat bodies have a svelte kind of greyhound slimness, while as you edge into the CBS era they appear to become a little stockier and more purposeful-looking. Those differences are not illusory but reflect small but significant changes in the way the guitars were made — and each change tells a story about the way guitars used to be made, compared to how they are now. With a little trepidation, we took up our screwdriverto peer under the hood of this elegant first-year-of-production example.

But by and large, this has been kept in its case for the majority of its life. The finish has not faded at all. This is number Although the prices commanded by rare vintage guitars have stabilised somewhat in recent years, the most sought-after vintage Fenders and Gibsons are still worth a lot of money in pristine, original condition.

So very careful examination of construction details needs to be made before one can be sure that a guitar remains in the original state in which it left Fullerton. Some of these clues can be gleaned from the finish.

Limited Edition American Vintage ’70s Hardtail Stratocaster®



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