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Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument: In the early years, Fender serial numbers schemes were specific to the model.
Esquires, Broadcasters and Telecasters shared a serial number sequence, while the landmark Precision Bass had its own system.
Features like bolt-on necks and pickups wired into the pickguard all helped the Fender factory churn out guitar after guitar, day after day.
This also means that various parts used on a particular guitar may have come from different points in time, so no single number can absolutely define when the instrument was built.
Here the range of the L-series serial used each year.
Some of the earliest ones actually popped up in late 1962 as well: After the CBS purchase of Fender in 1965, the factory switched to a new serial sequence with numbers that continued the same general format used prior to the takeover.
These are generally referred to as F series due the large Fender branded F on the neckplates of the era.
This period also saw a switch from the orginal four-bolt neckplate of the '60s to a three-bolt neckplate in just one example of cost-saving costs introduced under CBS.
Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters: By mid-1954, Fender began using a universal serial number sequence for all its instruments.We also have some other blog posts related to Fender that can hopefully be of some help.There's A Brief History of the Stratocaster Part I and Part II that follows the evolution of the most popular Fender guitar of all.Like Henry Ford, part of Leo Fender's genius was in optimizing the company's production efficiency.His guitars were built en masse by an entire factory, not a single luthier toiling over one instrument at a time.