As you look at these serial numbers, please note that the same “letter-prefix” on the serial numbers are used for two different sets of dates. AND now Japan as started making the MADE IN JAPAN guitars again and using old serial numbers.The first being the “Made in Japan” date and the second is the “Crafted in Japan” date. In another 5 years there is going to be sooo much confusion, it will not be funny!CBS-Fender used this neck code system concurrently with the standard Month-Year date stamp that had been in use since 1962.
This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.
First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50-50.
Maybe the transitional guitars from MIJ to the CIJ??
) JV 5 digits 1982-1984SQ 5 digits 1983-1984E 6 digits 1984-1987A 6 digits 1985-1986B 6 digits 1985-1986C 6 digits 1985-1986F 6 digits 1986-1987 G 6 digits 1987-1988H 6 digits 1988-1989 I 6 digits 1989-1990J 6 digits 1989-1990 K 6 digits 1990-1991 L 6 digits 1991-1992M 6 digits 1992-1993N 6 digits 1993-1994O 6 digits 1993-1994P 6 digits 1993-1994Q 6 digits 1993-1994S 6 digits 1994-1995 T 6 digits 1994-1995U 6 digits 1995-1996N 5 digits 1995-1996V 6 digits 1996-1997In 1997, Fender transitioned to a serial number decal that included the words “Crafted in Japan” above the serial number.
The new code consisted of 6, 7 or 8 digits and was usually stamped in green ink.
An example of this type of neck code found on a Precision Bass is 529129B.Andre Duchossoir briefly discussed his findings for the 1972-80 codes in his excellent Telecaster and Stratocaster books. I used this information as the starting point for my research.I examined and/or received information regarding stamped codes for about 150 Fenders made between 19. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.This means that the the serial numbers starting in 1994 ran consecutively on both the MIJ and the CIJ models while the MIJ logo was being phased out.For instance, many of the MIJ/CIJ Telecasters have the serial number on the bridge and they start with an "A".