Dating guitars by pot codes
Also, labeling techniques have changed with Fender owners, slightly adding to the confusion. S.-made Fender guitars and basses from 1950 until today, since they are some of the predominant vintage guitars for sale on Vintageand Typically the serial number is penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.Below is a list of date formats and how they were marked on the neck-butts: 1950-1954: Hand-written below the truss rod adjustment at the butt end of the neck.Date format is usually M-D-YY and often features the woodworker’s initials as well.The next number is the production year, in this case 9 = 1969.
On some Telecaster guitars the serial number is found on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles.
1969: A new type of neck stamp of six, seven or eight digits was used on some models. Example: “529129B” (more info on reading there in the “nack stamps” section below.) This new green stamp was used simultaneously with the earlier “XX MMM-YY W” format.
Models from this period could have either code system.
Again, a neck was stamped with either the new or the old date stamp, but not both.
The model numbers change yet again (for example, “09”=Stratocaster). April 1973-1980: Fender dropped the old style date stamp after March 1973 and continued with the new 8-digit code.Determining the date can also be important from a collector’s perspective, since the pre-1966 vintage Fender guitars are generally considered the most valuable.