Dating fender precision
Breaking up the code we get: 5 = code for Precision Bass 291 = batch or lot code? Break it into pieces: 22 = code for Stratocaster 384 = batch or lot code?
2 = February 9 = 1969 B = 1 5/8 inch neck width (correct for a ’69 P-Bass). 10 = October 9 = 1969 B = 1 5/8 inch neck width Exceptions do exist.
Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.
I won’t get into the pros and cons of 1970s Fenders here, but instead, I hope to shed some new light on those weirdo neck codes.
For Stratocasters it is 22 and for Precision Basses it is 5.
The other three digits (320) are a mystery and perhaps are some kind of batch or lot number. Here’s our P-Bass again (s/n 277983) with the code 529129B.
The serial numbers do not reflect this change - Fender continued to make instruments using existing serial number schemes.
This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.
First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50-50.
To clarify, a neck would have one or the other type of stamp… It is not known why Fender used two completely different systems at the same time.
Then in 1972, Fender changed to a new type of neck stamp which had 8-digits which was stamped in green or red ink.