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Below is a list of date formats and how they were marked on the neck-butts: 1950-1954: Hand-written below the truss rod adjustment at the butt end of the neck.
From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the previous “XX MMM-YY W” format.How to date and identify your Fender instruments using serial numbers and production date stamps.No one likes it when you forget their birthday and neither does your Fender. For most of Fender’s production history they have applied serial numbers and production dates that can help you determine their production date (within a few years’ margin, at least).It is important to remember that Fender serial numbers are NOT conclusively chronological. Back in the day, Fender made their serial number plates in big batches and the assembler simply grabbed a decal or more from the crate and slapped it on the guitar. To get as close as possible to determining the age of your Fender, make sure to check all dates on both body, neck and pots.The locations of the serial numbers and dates change from model to model and in some cases they have simply been omitted.