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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.

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.

You can order these titles through your local Authorized Fender Dealer.

As a manufacturer and distributor of new instruments, Fender has no direct involvement in the used, collector or vintage instruments markets, and is therefore unable to comment or speculate on the current value of such instruments.

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.

Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.

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.

Z3 5 or 6 digits Z4 5 or 6 digits DZ4 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) XN4 4 digits Z4 5 or 6 digits Z5 5 or 6 digits DZ5 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) XN5 4 digits Z5 5 or 6 digits Z6 5 or 6 digits DZ6 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate)XN6 4 digits Z6 5 or 6 digits Z7 5 or 6 digits DZ7 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate)XN7 4 digits Z7 5 or 6 digits Z8 5 or 6 digits DZ8 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) XN8 4 digits Z8 5 or 6 digits Z9 5 or 6 digits DZ9 5 or 6 digits (American Deluxe) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) XN9 4 digits A new serial numbering scheme was adopted toward the end of 2009 using the number “10” as a prefix, followed by a space, followed by seven digits.

The “10” prefix was designed to identify the first year of the second decade of the new millennium, and while it appears on the instrument decals, it was not captured in Fender’s operating system.

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