Dating a fender telecaster guitar

This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50-50.To clarify, a neck would have one or the other type of stamp… It is not known why Fender used two completely different systems at the same time.Then in 1972, Fender changed to a new type of neck stamp which had 8-digits which was stamped in green or red ink.For Stratocasters it is 22 and for Precision Basses it is 5.The other three digits (320) are a mystery and perhaps are some kind of batch or lot number. Here’s our P-Bass again (s/n 277983) with the code 529129B.The date from 1969-71 stamped codes can be extracted by working from the outside inward.For example, let’s take Telecaster Thinline (s/n 272207) with the code: 3320119B. This appears to be the same neck width code that Fender had been using since 1962.

Both type of stamps can be found on Fenders made from 1969 through 1971.

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.

The new code consisted of 6, 7 or 8 digits and was usually stamped in green ink.

An example of this type of neck code found on a Precision Bass is 529129B.

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