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Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument: In the early years, Fender serial numbers schemes were specific to the model.
Esquires, Broadcasters and Telecasters shared a serial number sequence, while the landmark Precision Bass had its own system.
Like the body and neck dates, using serial numbers to date a Fender is not a sure bet.
These dates will tell when the original part was manufactured, but are not exact indicators of when the guitar was actually put together and finished.After a short period of overlap with the old system, the post-76 numbers will start with a letter that indicates the decade, followed by a number that indicates the year of that decade.The decade letter codes break down like this: S = 1970s, E = 1980s, N = 1990s, Z = 2000s.In this early period, the serial number can be found on the bridge of the instrument (see image).Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters: By mid-1954, Fender began using a universal serial number sequence for all its instruments.
Features like bolt-on necks and pickups wired into the pickguard all helped the Fender factory churn out guitar after guitar, day after day.