Dating a check
Once again, there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.
The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there (if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, please refer to an experienced professional guitar tech in your area). instruments with “V”-prefix serial numbers is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there.
The following six digits are the unit identifier, although it should be noted that these final six numbers are not sequential and do not provide any other identification information about the instrument. S.-made Fender instruments, with exceptions including the American Vintage series and certain special-run instruments.
“10” prefix followed by a space and seven digits (late 2009 through March 2010)US10 6 digits (beginning in about March 2010) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) A limited number of these "H", "I" and "K" series guitars were made in '89 and '90.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted.
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
This new numbering scheme was short-lived and was replaced only a few months later by an improved scheme that identifies an instrument’s country of origin and year of manufacture in the body of the serial number.
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.
Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early ’50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.
Serial numbers with an “S” prefix denote the 1970s (signifying a CBS attempt to use serial numbers to identify production years); an “E” prefix was introduced in 1979 to denote the 1980s. Vintage Series instruments and “V”-prefix serial numbers. “N”-prefix serial numbers denoting the 1990s were introduced in 1990.
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.
This new scheme uses the letters “US” as a prefix to designate an instrument made in the United States, followed by an eight-digit number.