Dating fender bass by serial
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.
SERIAL NUMBERS are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production year.
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.
Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.
Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year.
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) If you’re unable to identify the approximate production year of your instrument using the above charts, several excellent books are available that contain invaluable and reliable information on the history of Fender instruments. They are detailed reference resources with a wealth of information on determining the production years of various instruments and on Fender history in general.
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). Serial numbering didn’t change immediately because instruments continued to be made using existing, tooling, parts and serial number schemes.
But once again, due to Fender’s modular production methods and often non-sequential serial numbering (usually overlapping two to four years from the early days of Fender to the mid-1980s), dating by serial number is not always precisely definitive.
The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.
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.