Dating fender strat guitars
Again, a neck was stamped with either the new type of code or the old date stamp, but not both.After March 1973, Fender dropped the old style date stamp and continued to use the new style, 8-digit code until sometime in 1980 when small adhesive labels bearing Month-Day-Year date stamps appeared in the neck pocket, pickup cavity and/or back of the neck.In 1969, CBS-Fender began to implement a new type of neck stamp in place of the usual date stamp consisting of model code, month, year, neck width (e.g.8 DEC 65 B for a Duo-Sonic II with a 1 5/8 inch neck width).Second, my data set for making conclusions is relatively small and therefore, subject to change as new information surfaces.However, the interpretation of the two date code systems appears to be relatively straight forward and the conclusions were confirmed by pickup dates and pot dates in most cases.The first one or two digits of the code, in this case 3, denotes the model.For Telecasters, Telecaster Thinlines, and Esquires that code is 3.
From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the old Month-Year date stamp.
Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.
I won’t get into the pros and cons of 1970s Fenders here, but instead, I hope to shed some new light on those weirdo neck codes.
One plausible explanation is the use of leftover necks – Fender is known to have done this often.
If you have a guitar or bass with this first style green code and you would like to submit it to the database I’m compiling, please send the model, serial number, code, and if you have them, the pot dates and pickup dates.