If you already have a basic understanding of the USA serial numbering system, just skip down to the next Bold Centered text.Most readers of this are probably already aware that Fender USA guitar serial numbers "theoretically" follow a pattern.While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year.Serial numbers are also helpful in determining the year of production of a given instrument.
Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.
Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.
They were designed to help identify the approximate manufacturing date of the guitar.
For example: a guitar whose serial number begins with the letter and number "E8", would have "theoretically" been manufactured in 1988 (E = in the Eighties, 8 = the 8th year...