Dating guitars by pot codes

Below is a list of date formats and how they were marked on the neck-butts: 1950-1954: Hand-written below the truss rod adjustment at the butt end of the neck.Date format is usually M-D-YY and often features the woodworker’s initials as well.Determining the date can also be important from a collector’s perspective, since the pre-1966 vintage Fender guitars are generally considered the most valuable.

The model numbers change yet again (for example, “09”=Stratocaster). April 1973-1980: Fender dropped the old style date stamp after March 1973 and continued with the new 8-digit code.1980: Little glued labels with MM-DD-YY date stamps appear in the neck pocket, pickup cavity and/or back of the neck.The neck stamps on Fenders from 1969 to 1971 can be most logically translated by reading from right to left.Sometimes a date is stamped or hand-written on the butt of the neck.Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.

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