Guitar dating database
This period also saw a switch from the orginal four-bolt neckplate of the '60s to a three-bolt neckplate in just one example of cost-saving costs introduced under CBS.Starting in 1976, Fender transitioned to a new serial number scheme and moved the placement of most serial numbers to the headstock of the instrument.Like Henry Ford, part of Leo Fender's genius was in optimizing the company's production efficiency.His guitars were built en masse by an entire factory, not a single luthier toiling over one instrument at a time.Who knows how long it was waiting in the Fender factory before finding its way into a Tele?
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.Features like bolt-on necks and pickups wired into the pickguard all helped the Fender factory churn out guitar after guitar, day after day.This also means that various parts used on a particular guitar may have come from different points in time, so no single number can absolutely define when the instrument was built.Here's how the serial numbers break down from 1954 to the beginning of 1963, though there are some areas of inconsistency in this era: At the very end of 1962 and into 1963, Fender changed to a system where serial numbers began with an "L." According to some accounts, the L was supposed to just be a 1 to mark the cross over into the 100,000 range from the previous scheme, but an L was used by mistake.Here the range of the L-series serial used each year.
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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.