How can I find out when my American-made instrument was manufactured?
Introduction and General Specs. So black pegheads during the s will usually have just a "Fender" logo, without the model name and in a different font style. Note the initials before the date were consistent till about , and were sometimes there till they completely stopped around
The interior burnt-orange plush used from stayed until about when the interior of the cases changed to a dark orange plush. Year, Model Description Hardwood Amplifiers Tweed Amplifiers June, Esquire 1 or 2 pickups October, Broadcaster replaced the 1 or 2 pickup Esquire December, "NoCaster" as it is called since Fender clipped-off the name "Broadcaster" from its decals as the name was already in use by Gretsch. Indeed, we use these same books here at Fender when researching historical and date-related issues. The Low-end Fender solidbodies such as the DuoSonic, MusicMaster , and the Mustang are not collectable and are considered student models. The first generation rectangle case used in was called the "center pocket tweed" case.
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 Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years. Fender was sold to CBS in January The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from to the present.
Once again, there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years. As seen in the overlap of numbers and years, even these references to actual production dates are rather loose.
The only way to definitively date U. CBS sold Fender in March The numbers and decals were produced far in advance, and some N9 decals denoting were inadvertently affixed to some instruments in Z0 denotes ; Z1 denotes , etc. As always, there is typically some number prefix overlap and carryover from year to year.
Only the seven-digit suffixes were actually entered into the database. These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number. Instead, the instrument's country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number. Even though I did some research this may be wrong on some points. I took the specs from the Vintage Guitars Info site and added some more info.
If you have additional info or if you see something totally wrong, please contact me. When Fender introduced the Jazzmaster in , it was designed to replace the Stratocaster as the top model. The Jazzmaster was an attempt to enter the jazz market, too, so it was equipped with newly designed pickups with a mellower sound than the Stratocaster or the Telecaster, rather like a hollow body guitar. Unlike the single coils of the Stratocaster, the single coils of the Jazzmaster are wide and rather flat, covered in a white rectangular housing.
Leo Fender designed an all-new vibrato system floating tremolo and bridge with individually adjustable barrels and a new electronics circuit for the Jazzmaster: The circuit allows the player to preset two different tone- and volume settings and to change between the two settings simply by flipping one switch. One circuit controls only the neck pickup the rhythm-circuit and the other the lead-circuit has a three-way toggle switch that selects the two pickups alone or together.
The guitar has brass-shielded cavities and a aluminium covered pickguard because the wide singlecoils are very sensitive towards hum and circuit-noise. Additionally, the two pickups are mirrored coil winding and polarity so when played together, a hum-cancelling effect is achieved.
The Jaguar pickups are more powerful and better shielded, which eliminated some of the hum problems associated with the Jazzmaster.
The Jaguar shared the rhythm circuit with the Jazzmaster, but the lead-circuit works different: Three two-way slider switches operate like this: Like the body and neck dates, using serial numbers to date a Fender is not a sure bet.
At many points in Fender's history, serial number usage overlapped again owing to the modular manner of production. Below we'll go into detail about the various serial number schemes employed by Fender as far back as There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet. Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument:.
Four digit serial number on the bridge, - Four or five digit serial number on the neck plate with no letters, - Serial number on neckplate starts with an L, - Big F on the neckplate with a six digit serial, - Serial number starts with a letter followed by six or seven digits, - present.
Made in Japan serial numbers. Made in Mexico serial numbers. In the early years, Fender serial numbers schemes were specific to the model. Esquires, Broadcasters and Telecasters shared a serial number sequence, while the landmark Precision Bass had its own system. In this early period, the serial number can be found on the bridge of the instrument see image. Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters:.
Also, for the first half or so of , the inaugural run of Stratocasters had a distinct number sequence all under number By mid, Fender began using a universal serial number sequence for all its instruments. At this time, the location of the serial number also shifted from the bridge to the neckplate the metal plate located on back of where the neck meets the body. Here's how the serial numbers break down from to the beginning of , though there are some areas of inconsistency in this era:.
At the very end of and into , Fender changed to a system where serial numbers began with an "L. Here the range of the L-series serial used each year. Some of the earliest ones actually popped up in late as well:. After the CBS purchase of Fender in , the factory switched to a new serial sequence with numbers that continued the same general format used prior to the takeover.
These are generally referred to as F series due the large Fender branded F on the neckplates of the era. This period also saw a switch from the orginal four-bolt neckplate of the '60s to a three-bolt neckplate in just one example of cost-saving costs introduced under CBS. Starting in , Fender transitioned to a new serial number scheme and moved the placement of most serial numbers to the headstock of the instrument. Depending on the era and model, the number can be found on either the front or back of the headstock.
After a short period of overlap with the old system, the post numbers will start with a letter that indicates the decade, followed by a number that indicates the year of that decade. The decade letter codes break down like this: In the s, you'll also see serials starting with a DZ which indicates the Deluxe series, but the format is otherwise the same. For example, a serial number with N4 would be from One starting with Z5 would be from
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Sometimes a date is also stamped or pencil written on the butt of the neck.
For example, a serial number starting with MN2 would be Now a added "shoulder" was left in the electronic route to accomodate one of the extra pickguard screws. They were made for the export market and have Made in USA stamped on neck heel.
If Fender used the coding system as early asthen we should see more and guitars surfacing with the green stamped code. Click here to see a comparison of vintage versus reissue Kluson tuner bushings. The "W" is dating jazzmaster neck width where "A" is the narrowest, "B" is normal, and dating jazzmaster is the widest. Tinder dating indianapolis handle was a smooth plastic-leather over metal. The Stratocaster was like no other guitar ever produced.
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