Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.They were made for the export market and have Made in USA stamped on the heel of the neck. REFERENCE MATERIALS FOR DATING FENDER INSTRUMENTS 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.Indeed, we use these same books here at Fender when researching historical and date-related issues.
“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.
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.
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.
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.