Dating japanese fender bass
1969: A new type of neck stamp of six, seven or eight digits was used on some models. Example: “529129B” (more info on reading there in the “nack stamps” section below.) This new green stamp was used simultaneously with the earlier “XX MMM-YY W” format.Models from this period could have either code system.Sometimes a date is stamped or hand-written on the butt of the neck.Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.A example of this is “02033923” found on a Jazz Bass.From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the previous “XX MMM-YY W” format.
Date format is usually M-D-YY and often features the woodworker’s initials as well.
1972: A new eight-digit neck stamp was introduced colored either green or red. From 1972 to around March 1973, this new system was used simultaneously with the previous “XX MMM-YY W”.
Again, either stamp can occur on instruments from this era.
It is important to remember that Fender serial numbers are NOT conclusively chronological. Back in the day, Fender made their serial number plates in big batches and the assembler simply grabbed a decal or more from the crate and slapped it on the guitar. To get as close as possible to determining the age of your Fender, make sure to check all dates on both body, neck and pots.
The locations of the serial numbers and dates change from model to model and in some cases they have simply been omitted.
On early ’50s Stratocaster guitars serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate.