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.
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 1950. There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet.
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).
By mid-1954, 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).
At the very end of 1962 and into 1963, Fender changed to a system where serial numbers began with an \"L.\" According to some accounts, the L was supposed to just be a 1 to mark the cross over into the 100,000 range from the previous scheme, but an L was used by mistake.
After the CBS purchase of Fender in 1965, 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 1976, 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-76 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: S = 1970s, E = 1980s, N = 1990s, Z = 2000s. In the 2000s, you'll also see serials starting with a DZ which indicates the Deluxe series, but the format is otherwise the same.
This scheme is not 100% consistent due to a number of production factors, such as Fender producing more serialized decals than needed in a given year. This is particularly pronounced in the transitional period of the mid-'80s, though the system has been pretty much on point since about 1990.
The major exception to all of this is the American Vintage Reissue (AVRI) series. These have serial numbers starting with V and do not strictly correlate to years. The neck dates on these guitars, however, are usually reliable.
Fender Japan serial numbers can usually be found on the back of the neck near the neck joint. Though examples also exist with the number on the headstock or the neck-plate in the case of certain early reissue models. Up until 1997, the serial was paired with the words \"Made in Japan.\"
In 1982, Fender expanded operations with a series of instruments produced in Japan by the Fuji Gen Gakki company. Like the US serial numbers, MIJ (made in Japan) serials start with a letter or pair of letters that indicate the rough year of production. This system, however, is notoriously inconsistent and incomplete, which makes dating by serial number even less reliable for MIJ Fenders.
Fender opened a factory in Ensenada, Mexico in the late '80s and instruments started coming off the line in 1990. Mexican-made (MIM) Fenders carry a serial number on the headstock starting with an M. Some exceptions include a handful of special editions and signature models as well as the split US/Mexican-made California series which all have a \"AMXN\" at the beginning of their serials.
The MIM serial number scheme is actually very straight-forward. For Mexican Fenders made in the 1990s, the serial will start with an MN followed by a number that indicates the year of the decade. Instruments made in the 2000s follow the same form but start with MZ. For the 2010s, the prefix is MX1. For example, a serial number starting with MN2 would be 1992.
There are a number of exceptions to all these serial number schemes. As mentioned above, many reissue models use serial numbers that don't really correlate to their age. Additionally, there have been plenty of artist models, limited editions and other rare models that use a unique serial number. Examples include the 35th anniversary series, many of the uniquely finished Strats from the early '80s, as well as various export-specific models which carry a serial number starting with FN.
Again, the serial number alone in any of these cases is not definitive and the best approach is to combine that with other methods like the neck and body dates, as well as just the features of the specific instrument. If you have any questions as to what Fender you're dealing with, I encourage you to seek out a local guitar shop or luthier to help figure it out.
Finding your serial number on your Fender should be very easy. They are almost always on either the top of the neck plate (the piece of metal on the back of the guitar near the neck), on the headstock (the top part of the guitar where the strings attach), or close to the body at the bottom of the neck.
The reason why they made their serial numbers for production purposes rather than to date their guitars is because Fender has used an assembly line method to make their guitars since almost the beginning. Even when they changed owners, they still used the same methods and tools as well.
Your guitar was made in 2009 per the first 2 digits of the serial number. Although, the serial number you provided is not recognized by the database. Are you sure it has that many numbers in it after the CC serial number prefixHope this helps some,kcbuck - Texas Boy
Ant:The actual Fender serial number prefix \"CC\" is a Made in USA Walnut Stratocaster that was made from 1981 to 1983. However, you indicated that yours was made in China. Per my references there are no Chinese guitars made with a CC serial number prefix. Therefore, I gave you the date that is consistent with Fender's serial number scheme.
If you disagree, you can e-mail Fender the serial number from their web-site at via the \"Contact Us\" option and ask for the specification sheet which will have all kinds of information including the date it was made.
many chinese fenders have \"cc\" at the beginning of the serial number ... the label inside the guitar says \"Manufactured in China\" ... the model number given by the person asking the question is a chinese fender acoustic guitar as advertised ... it is hard to find the origins of these fenders because the decoders don't list the chinese fender acoustic guitars
To get the date, the only way to do so is to remove the neck. In cases where the year cannot be read, it may be written on the body or in the cavity where the pickups are located. The serial numbers cannot be used to determine the year of construction of fender models manufactured prior to 1955.
Fender used serial number schemes from 1950 to 1964. There is some overlap between numbers and years. If you want to narrow down the date range, you can only do so by removing the neck and inspecting the butt end of the neck heel. The new millennium appeared on U.S. instruments in 2000 with a Z prefix, a combination of serial numbers. The American Deluxe Series instrument uses the same dating convention as other instruments; in this case, D in front of the Z is added, i.e., DZ1, DZ2, etc. A new serial numbering scheme was implemented at the end of 2009. 153554b96e