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3,143,028 the patent granted in August 1964 for Fender's adjustable neck construction. (Used since 1957 to the Precision Bass) The DES is the serial number. The serial number for these three models can be found at the bridge plate and is used until about early 1954. Until 1955, the serial number is applied to the bridge plate.
The table below shows the serial numbers as they were used from 1965 to 1976.(Stratocaster) Between 19 there were periods that this is not consistently done.Although a serial number is helpful for roughly determining the age of a guitar, this is often not the exact date.Due to a mistake at the factory in 1990 N9 decals (which were intended for use in 1999) applied to a several instruments that were built in that year. Deluxe Series have the same standard but with the addition of a D for the Z, eg. Also here some overlap of numbers, prefixes and year.As a result of this mistake, you will be able to get a guitar with a serial number N9 that was built in 1990. The following serial numbers stay somewhat outside the well-known Fender numbering.