DATING FENDER GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS
Fender’s manufacturing process during the early 1950s occasionally led to non-consecutive serial numbers. It is also common to encounter overlapping and repetition of serial numbers and years.
Where to find the serial number?
Serial numbers have been situated in various locations on or within the guitar throughout the years, including at the top of the neck plate, on the front or back of the headstock, on the vibrato cover plate (for Stratocasters), or at the end of the neck heel. However, between 1973 and 1981, there were inconsistencies in the placement of serial numbers.
To determine the year of production of a Fender guitar, you can use Fender serial numbers decoder or consult the TABLES PROVIDED BELOW.
Fender history in short
Fender is one of the most iconic and influential guitar brands in the world. The company was founded in Fullerton, California in 1946 by Leo Fender, who had a background in electronics and a passion for music. From its early days, Fender set out to create guitars and amplifiers that were reliable, innovative, and accessible to a wide range of musicians.
Fender’s first major breakthrough came in the early 1950s with the introduction of the Telecaster, a solid-body electric guitar that was unlike anything else on the market at the time. The Telecaster was followed by the Stratocaster in 1954, which quickly became one of the most popular and influential guitars of all time. The Stratocaster’s sleek, contoured body, innovative vibrato system, and versatile sound helped to define the sound of rock and roll, and it remains a favorite of players in all genres to this day.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Fender continued to innovate and expand its product line, introducing the Precision Bass, Jazz Bass, and a range of amplifiers that became legendary for their clean, powerful sound. The company also established itself as a leader in guitar manufacturing, with a commitment to quality and attention to detail that set the standard for the industry.
In 1965, Leo Fender sold the company to CBS, which brought both opportunities and challenges. Under CBS ownership, Fender was able to expand its distribution and marketing efforts, but there were also concerns that the company’s commitment to quality was being compromised. Despite these challenges, Fender continued to produce some of the most iconic and beloved guitars and amplifiers of all time, including the Mustang, Jaguar, Twin Reverb, and Deluxe Reverb.
In 1985, Fender was purchased by a group of investors led by Bill Schultz, who had a deep respect for Leo Fender’s legacy and a commitment to restoring the company’s reputation for quality and innovation. Schultz oversaw a period of revitalization and expansion for Fender, introducing new products and reestablishing the company’s commitment to excellence. This included the launch of the American Standard series of guitars and the development of the Custom Shop, which produces high-end, handcrafted instruments for discerning players.
Today, Fender is one of the most respected and beloved brands in the guitar world, with a product line that includes everything from entry-level Squier instruments to high-end Custom Shop creations. The company continues to innovate and evolve, with a commitment to both its rich heritage and its role as a leader in the future of guitar technology and design. Fender’s influence on music and culture cannot be overstated, and it remains an essential part of the guitar landscape for players of all levels and styles.