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The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from 1976 to the present.
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.
Neck dating is useful in determining the age of a guitar, but is not definite.
The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.
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.
Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.For example, a 1990 made in India Squier II serial number would start with N0 plus 5 digits.The serial number is printed on a sticker located on the back of the neck, close to where the neck attaches to the body.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.