Dating a mexican fender stratocaster
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 1954 to the beginning of 1963, though there are some areas of inconsistency in this era: 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.Through much of Fender's production history, Fender workers would print or write a production date on both bodies and necks where the two pieces meet.These dates will tell when the original part was manufactured, but are not exact indicators of when the guitar was actually put together and finished.Here is what the neck date and body date look like from a 1952 Telecaster: If you're not comfortable removing the neck of a guitar to peek at the date marker, I encourage you to take it to a local tech or luthier.I will also mention briefly pot-codes as a resource (numbers on the internal potentiometers of the guitar).
There are certainly plenty of exceptions, so again, using serial numbers in conjunction with other dating methods is always the best bet.
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.
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.
We also have some other blog posts related to Fender that can hopefully be of some help.