Japanese telecaster dating

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). instruments with “V”-prefix SERIAL NUMBERS 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.

SERIAL NUMBERS with an “S” prefix denote the 1970s (signifying a CBS attempt to use SERIAL NUMBERS to identify production years); an “E” prefix was introduced in 1979 to denote the 1980s. Vintage Series instruments and “V”-prefix SERIAL NUMBERS. * NOTE: “N”-prefix SERIAL NUMBERS denoting the 1990s were introduced in 1990.

The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.

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.

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

Therefore, while helpful in determining a of PRODUCTION DATES, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.

SERIAL NUMBERS are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production 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.

On my MIJ 72RI Thinline, the serial number is under the "fender" on the headstock.

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.

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