On the heel of the neck should be a penciled or stamped date with a month and year that it was assembled in.Other areas that contain Serial Numbers are on the top of the Neck Plate and the front or back of the Head Stock. Information on Japanese and Mexican-made instruments is included towards the bottom. If you have a Fender in your hands, you can use this guide to precisely date your Fender instrument all the way back to 1950.Over the years Fender used modular production techniques that may have resulted in a guitar that has parts from one year to another.Parts may have been produced in one year and left in a bin until they were ready to be paired with a body.Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.
The best option for getting a close production date is to remove the neck from the body.
My intent with this site is to educate those who are on the hunt for that last affordable vintage Fender Stratocaster.
Have a read through and hopefully you will pickup a few things to better assert yourself in the late 70's Stratocasters buyer's market. M = Model or Manufacturer O = Operator N = Neck configuration W = Week Y = Year D = Day Neck Stamps: MMNN*WWYD Example: 0900*3893 - Found on the very end of the neck heel, if at all, in green or dark red ink.
The Fender serial number decoder currently supports all documented MIA, MIJ, MIM, MIK and MII formats with the exception of Custom Shop, Relic and Reissue instruments.
Please note that fender serial numbers tend to overlap by at least a year, and thereby the date of your guitar can only be approximated.