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For years, serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments, such as the top of the neck plate, the front or back of the headstock and the back of the neck near the junction with the body.
Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early `50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.
The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from 1976 to the present.
For example: - V = Saehan(Sunghan), S was already taken by Samick so Saehan(Sunghan) used V instead (Saehan(Sunghan) made the Vester guitars), N = Nineties (1990s), the first number following the prefix is the year.Neck dating is useful in determining the age of a guitar, but is not definite.The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.