Dating vintage fender bass
On early ’50s Stratocaster guitars serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate.On some Telecaster guitars the serial number is found on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles.The following three digits, here 384, could be a batch or lot number, or i could be the count for how many of this one instrument that was made within the month.
Since the neck is only a component of the guitar, it could have been produced a number of years before the actual instrument was assembled, hence the date on the neck is not necessarily the production date of the whole guitar.A example of this is “02033923” found on a Jazz Bass.From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the previous “XX MMM-YY W” format.1980: Little glued labels with MM-DD-YY date stamps appear in the neck pocket, pickup cavity and/or back of the neck.The neck stamps on Fenders from 1969 to 1971 can be most logically translated by reading from right to left.
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For example, let’s take a Stratocaster with the serial number 279515 and the code 22384109B.