# Dating a fender custom shop guitar

The serial numbers do not reflect this change – Fender continued to make instruments using existing serial number schemes.

The new Fender (FMIC) did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name “Fender” and the rights to all products and trademarks .

So starting in mid-1976 the serial number was moved to a decal on the peghead.

Even with the new system, Fender didn’t like to throw away a perfectly good serialized decal just because the year code would be incorrect.

7600000 ("76" in bold) = 1976-1977 800000s = 1979-1981 1000000 to 8000000 = 1976-1981 (7 digits) S1 to S5 5 Digits = 1979-1982 S6 5 digits = 1976 S7 5 digits = 1977-1978 S8 5 digits = 1977-1978 S9 5 digits = 1978-1981 E0 5 digits = 1979-1981 E1 5 digits = 1980-1981 E1 5 digits = 1982 E2 5 digits = 1982-1983 E3 5 digits = 1982-1984 E4 5 digits = 1984-1985, 1987-1988 E8 5 digits = 1988-1989 E9 5 digits = 1988-1990 N9 5 digits = 1990 N0 5 digits = 1990-1991 N1 5 or 6 digits = 1991-1992 N2 5 or 6 digits = 1992-1993 N3 5 or 6 digits = 1993-1994 N4 5 or 6 digits = 1994-1995 N5 5 or 6 digits = 1995-1996 N6 5 or 6 digits = 1996-1997 N7 5 or 6 digits = 1997-1998 N8 5 or 6 digits = 1998-1999 N9 5 or 6 digits = 1999-2000 DZ0 or Z0 5/6 digits = 2000 DZ1 or Z1 5/6 digits = 2001 DZ2 or Z2 5/6 digits = 2002 DZ3 or Z3 5/6 digits = 2003 DZ4 or Z4 5/6 digits = 2004 DZ5 or Z5 5/6 digits = 2005Due to the popularity of Rock Music in the ’70’s and ’80’s electric guitar sales soared.

Many Japanese companies started make knock-off versions of US electric guitar designs.

In 1957/1958 some serial numbers started with a minus sign (“-“), or had a “0” prefix before the number.

Also in 1959/1960 some serial numbers were at the bottom of the neck plate instead of the usual top.

After CBS took over Fender changed the neck plates once again.So, they ordered neckplates that were supposed to have numbers above 100,000.But the stamper misread the order and thought that the number “1” was an “L” and so instead of plates starting with 100,000 they started with L00,000. But it took a while to manufacture and number the plates.though most collectors will value all 1965 Fenders similarly to Pre-CBS (the sale was consummated in early February, 1965) 100000 to 110000 = late 1965 110000 to 200000 = 1966 180000 to 210000 = 1967 210000 to 250000 = 1968 250000 to 280000 = 1969 280000 to 300000 = 1970 300000 to 330000 = 1971 330000 to 370000 = 1972 370000 to 520000 = 1973 500000 to 580000 = 1974 580000 to 690000 = 1975 690000 to 750000 = 1976For many reasons, Fender decided to change the serial numbering system and it’s location in the mid-1970’s.You can imagine that it might have been cheaper to have the serial numbers added to the decals rather than have them machined.

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