Sun Apr 05, 7: Yes, for that era, the "2" would indicate The other numbers indicate 8 - an operator code the person who ran the winding machine 16 - the week that the pickup was wound sometimes these codes switched places, but there seems to be little ambiguity with your pickups.
Do a web search on "Greg Gagaliano" because he figured out the meaning of a lot of these Fender date codes and published them. He's got his info out there on the web.
How to Date your Fender Guitar by Serial Number - Guitar Repair Bench
Sun Apr 05, 8: Early 70's could still have the gray flat work also, it was sometime around 72' 73' they went back using black. Tue Apr 07, Wed Apr 08, 7: I made a typo with Greg's last name strike the second "a". Anyway, here's a link to his guitar publications. There are two articles on Fender Neck Codes, which are important because the same dating scheme was used on pickups as his update article mentions.
Let us know what he replies to you.
Sat Apr 11, 4: I want to help you understand how to tell the age of your Fender as well as any Fender you see. Fender like Gibson has been producing guitars for many years. Certain styles and colors have come and gone over the years, but there is no real obvious way to tell how old a Fender is other than the identification number. Unfortunately, Fender decided not to simply write the date of manufacture on the guitar. They decided that it would be easier to decipher the serial number code than just write the year on the guitar.
I say this only joking. This article is intended to help you date your Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Precision Bass guitars all the way back to the early s. In order to tell how old your Fender is you will have to find the identification number or neck number. The serial number location has changed a few times of the years. From to Fender guitar unique numbers were stamped in the bridge cavity cover plate. Modern Fender production guitars, to the present, have their ID numbers on the front or back of the headstock near the Fender decal.
In Fender decided to start making reissued vintage guitars. These guitars were replicas of the early and s era guitars. True to form the reissue guitars have their identification numbers stamped in the neck plate. The serial numbers on the outside of the body are not the only way to date a Fender guitar however.
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Fender also dated the neck when it was manufactured. After the neck was finished, a Fender employee would either stamp or handwrite the date on the end of the guitar neck on its heel. This marking is only visible when the neck is removed from the body because it is covered in the neck pocket. Almost all Fender guitars have a dated neck.
How to Date Fender Pickups
Some Fender guitar bodies and pickups also have dates written on them. Few Fender guitars have dates written on the bodies under the pickups, in the routed out cavities, and near the wiring harnesses.
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Fender only decided to write dates on the bodies for a few years here and there. They never really did that consistently.
Many people think that the date on the heel of their Fender neck is the production date of the guitar. It all has to do with how Fender produced guitars. Leo Fender was a genius with minimizing the costs of production. Unlike Gibson, Leo found did everything the cheapest and fastest way possible.
He made a bolt-on neck, so the neck and the body could be manufactured at the same time. He wired the pickguard with pickups, so all the wiring could be finished before the body was even dry from finishing. The number and date on the neck is simply the date that the neck was finished—not the date that the guitar was completed. Necks could sit for days, weeks, or even months at a time before being matched with a body. After the entire guitar was assembled, the identification number was stamped in place. Being many months later, the serial number date and the neck date might not match.
Remember, these serial and neck numbers were never really intended for historical dating. They were simply internal numbers to help with production. It includes most of the Fender serial numbers issued along with the corresponding dates and a short history of Fender Guitars through the years. When Leo first started putting identification numbers on his guitars, he segregated them by model.
Repair Articles and Guides
Each models unique numbers started at 1 or a number close to it. That means that there could be a Tele, Strat, and Precision bass with the exact same serial number. At some point in , Fender decided to stop grouping the guitar ID number by model. He started using one sequence of serial numbers for all the guitars coming off of the Fender production lines including Teles, Esquires, Strats, and P-basses.
How to Date your Fender Guitar by Serial Number
Some of these identification numbers are still out of sequence, jumbled up, or missing. You may notice that there is a great deal of over lapping numbers in these nine years. The only way to verify an over lapping date is to check the corresponding neck date and body date. This list is a little convoluted because there are so many over lapping serial numbers.
The number column represents the general number grouping that Fender and most experts agree on.