Dating vintage fender bass guitar
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Again, a neck was stamped with either the new type of code or the old date stamp, but not both.After March 1973, Fender dropped the old style date stamp and continued to use the new style, 8-digit code until sometime in 1980 when small adhesive labels bearing Month-Day-Year date stamps appeared in the neck pocket, pickup cavity and/or back of the neck.
I examined and/or received information regarding stamped codes for about 150 Fenders made between 19. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.
Second, my data set for making conclusions is relatively small and therefore, subject to change as new information surfaces.
However, the interpretation of the two date code systems appears to be relatively straight forward and the conclusions were confirmed by pickup dates and pot dates in most cases.
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.
An example of this is 02033923 found on a Jazz Bass.
From 1972 through about March 1973, this new system was used concurrently with the old Month-Year date stamp.
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 next digit denotes the year, in this case 9 = 1969.
The next one or two digits denote the month, in this case 11 = November.
Example: Music Master (s/n 595121) with code 49002153. The first 6 digits are paired off and the last two digits are taken singly.