Dating Your Fender

Fernandes is the parent company that made most of the company’s Fender replica guitars under its own Fernandes name. Burny is the brand name or division that focused on the making of Gibson replica guitars. For their Fender copies, they were forced to change their headstock shape completely. The rare old Fender and Gibson “lawsuit” replicas that can be found are extremely accurate in their attention to detail that the original Fender and Gibsons had. The headstock logos were dead ringers from 15 feet away. On the Revival Stratocaster, the saddles were stamped like Fenders, except bore the F. Other details were uncanny, too, in their replication of the Fender Strat. The Tele was just as meticulously cloned as well.

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The Early Years: – 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.

Fender Serial Numbers, to Present more or less not always up to date Dating a Fender guitar with the serial number is a hit or miss propisition. It helps narrow things down, but in most cases is an inexact science. Leo Fender never intended for his guitars to become collectors items. He never invisioned a need to pinpoint the manufacturing date of any of his guitars. At least not while he was at Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. Before Fender guitars hd a serial number on the bridgeplate or neckplate.

Serial numbers are basically chronological, but there is some overlap in some years. The bridge plate or neckplate were applied to a guitar with no thought to keeping any kind of number sequence. Fender serial numbers were assigned like this: In the factory, there was a large container with serialized items such as neckplates and bridges. A Fender employee simply reached in and grabbed one or many and installed them on the instrument s as they worked.

As you can see from this over-simplified example, serial number assignment was fairly random. Just keep this in mind. The only truly definitive way to date a pre-CBS fender is to look at all the dates on the instrument body date, neck date, pot dates.

Dating a vintage Fender steel guitar

Choose the Fender Serial Number: Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses. There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, between and , and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted. While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.

The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced. Given the modular nature of Fender’s production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.

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Limited Edition Goldtop model M G , no longer in production but they still make them in sunburst and black. This model is based on the ‘s Aristocrat, with a hollow mahogany body, arched laminated spruce top, harp tailpiece and a pair of single-coil pickups. This model features a strong 3-piece neck, which are more rigid than single-piece necks and not as prone to warping as years go by. Since the necks are rigid you’ll almost guarantee a lifetime of very comfortable action and no dead spots along the fretboard.

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I believe such social norms were no different for our Stone Age forefathers, ensuring that only the strongest of men reproduced.

Serial Number dating?

Best Jump on these while they are still here and available!! The values have drifted a little measure about. In fact, I have sold over a dozen or so of these over the past year and these examples are by far the cleanest I have seen in a long time!!

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Bass 6 , to Typical wear on a ‘s Fender maple fingerboard. Fingerboard Material Maple fingerboard, s: This was the standard neck on all models until when the Jazzmaster was introduced with a rosewood fingerboard; the rest of the Fender models changed to rosewood fingerboards in mid Rosewood fingerboard, “Slab” Brazilian , to That is, the bottom of the fingerboard was flat and the board was fairly thick. A picture of a slab board neck as seen from the “butt” of the neck can be seen in this picture.

Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks. The Musicmaster family also used slab fingerboards usually Indian rosewood for about a year from Sept to Oct Slab fingerboards are also identifiable from the peghead by their “hump” line humps toward the tuners , just above the nut.

Rosewood fingerboard, “Veneer”,

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Tips and How-To’s So you need to figure out the year of production for your Fender guitar or bass. Fenders rank as the most frequently bought and sold instruments on Reverb, and finding a precise date of manufacture can be key to determining the value and specifics of an instrument. The most important thing to keep in mind when dating a Fender is the highly modular nature of the designs. Like Henry Ford, part of Leo Fender’s genius was in optimizing the company’s production efficiency.

His guitars were built en masse by an entire factory, not a single luthier toiling over one instrument at a time. Features like bolt-on necks and pickups wired into the pickguard all helped the Fender factory churn out guitar after guitar, day after day.

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The top of the cabinet was divided into two separate hinged sections. Raising the right side revealed the AM radio tuner — with illuminated dial, and dark brown Bakelite knobs. Under the wider, left side, the turntable was accessible. I spent quite a few afternoons and early evenings laying on the dining-room floor listening to various types of music — admiring the colorful record labels.

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Lawndale CA Fender’s methods of using serial numbers on steel guitars varied constantly; there is no pattern and there have even been repeated numbers used. The model is a “Custom” – they were reportedly offered from , although the bulk of them were sold between , when the Stringmaster was introduced. Usually the best way to get a rough date on these is by the presence or lack thereof of plates or decals on the body.

As this is apparenly a refinish all bets are off. You can check for pot dates, but as Fender purchased huge orders of pots in the 50’s and 60’s it’s only a “as late as” date checker and only if it can be verified by someone who knows how to check for untouched solder joints i. Unfortunately Fender’s records of steel production, serial numbers, and most parts specs have been lost.

We’ve had searches done for dating info and parts specs for the cable-pull pedal steel line to no avail as well. As it’s a hacked triple neck it has zero collectable value anyway, so I’d suggest calling it an early 50’s and enjoying playing it!

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Introduction. For most collectors, pre-CBS (pre) Fender vintage guitars and amps are the desirable ones. Although CBS purchased Fender (officially) on January 3rd , it took some time till the guitars changed (though by mid , six months before .

In , a structure was developed where the number or pair of numbers following the initialletter indicates the year of production i. Some top of the line Epiphones were producedin the U. These instruments are the only ones that correspond to the standard post Gibson serialization. The YY first and fifth indicate the year built. The Nashville facility begins eachday at number , and the Montana workshop begins at number XL 5 A chrome or black neck plate with nothing on it but a Kramer headstockand a serial number stamped on them.

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DATING YOUR INSTRUMENT. The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from to You will notice that there is quite a bit of overlap of numbers and years.

I often get asked, how old is my Fender guitar? Most of the time this question can’t be answered specifically. The Fender numbers tell the story of the company over the years. Unfortunately, the serial number placement is sporadic and many ID numbers over lap between years and models. In many instances, there is no exact known date for a specific guitar. That is why I decided to write this article. I want to help you understand how to tell the age of your Fender as well as any Fender you see.

Fender like Gibson has been producing guitars for many years. Certain styles and colors have come and gone over the years, but there is no real obvious way to tell how old a Fender is other than the indentification number. Unfortunately, Fender decided not to simply write the date of manufacture on the guitar. They decided that it would be easier to decipher the serial number code than just write the year on the guitar.

I say this only joking.

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