Product dating fender stratocaster guitars
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.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.Neck dating can be useful in finding the approximate age of your guitar.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.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.
The next one or two digits are for the month, here 10 = October.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 Fender could probably produce more than 999 of any one type instrument in a month, it is more likely a batch or lot number.Finally, the first one or two digits of the code tells you which model you are holding; 22 being a Stratocaster.There are some exceptions as you can see in this information provided by Mike Gagliano.