Serial number dating
As seen in the overlap of numbers and years, even these references to actual production dates are rather loose. The numbers and decals were produced far in advance, and some N9 decals (denoting 1999) were inadvertently affixed to some instruments in 1990.
Consequently, some 1990 guitars bear 1999 “N9” serial numbers. American Deluxe Series instruments use the same dating convention, but with the addition of a “D” in front of the “Z”; i.e., DZ1, DZ2, etc.
These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number.
Instead, the instrument's country of origin appears on the decal on the back of the headstock, near the serial number.
Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.
While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.
The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.
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.None of the page scans are of original documents but are simply transcribed information typed into a word processing program.In general, this information is the same that you would get if you called our customer service department and asked them for the information. instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.