Dating a fender custom shop guitar
This time, probably in a corporate branding effort, a large Fender script “F” was added to the neckplate below the serial number.
F Series guitars are generally considered CBS Fenders…
As you look at these serial numbers, please note that the same “letter-prefix” on the serial numbers are used for two different sets of dates. AND now Japan as started making the MADE IN JAPAN guitars again and using old serial numbers.
The first being the “Made in Japan” date and the second is the “Crafted in Japan” date. In another 5 years there is going to be sooo much confusion, it will not ne funny!
Before the later 1970’s Fender never expected the guitars to be collectable or for serial numbers to be important.So, the company just used the L Plates not wanting to let them go to waste.After CBS took over Fender changed the neck plates once again.Maybe the transitional guitars from MIJ to the CIJ??
) JV 5 digits 1982-1984SQ 5 digits 1983-1984E 6 digits 1984-1987A 6 digits 1985-1986B 6 digits 1985-1986C 6 digits 1985-1986F 6 digits 1986-1987 G 6 digits 1987-1988H 6 digits 1988-1989 I 6 digits 1989-1990J 6 digits 1989-1990 K 6 digits 1990-1991 L 6 digits 1991-1992M 6 digits 1992-1993N 6 digits 1993-1994O 6 digits 1993-1994P 6 digits 1993-1994Q 6 digits 1993-1994S 6 digits 1994-1995 T 6 digits 1994-1995U 6 digits 1995-1996N 5 digits 1995-1996V 6 digits 1996-1997In 1997, Fender transitioned to a serial number decal that included the words “Crafted in Japan” above the serial number.
Leo Fender never intended for his guitars to become collectors items.