Fender Guitars Serial Numbers

The Following information is from our Gearwiki. Please contribute your own knowledge.

Fender has had several serial number schemes over the years. On top of that, the schemes are different depending on where the instrument was made. Fender serial numbers are not strictly sequential. The only definitive way to date a Fender is to look at the dates on the neck, body, and pots.

1950-1964

For Esquires Broadcasters, and Telecasters, a unique numbering scheme was used until 1954, when Fender switched to a universal numbering system. The number is shown on the bridge plate.

Serial Numbers

Years

0001 to 0999

1951-1952

1000 to 5300

1952-1954

For Precision Basses, a different system was used until 1955, overlapping some with the universal system. These numbers also appeared on the bridge plate.

Serial Numbers

Years

100 to 400

1951-1952

0001 to 0999

1952-1954

1000 to 2000

1953-1955

In 1954, Fender adopted a universal serial number system. These serial numbers appear on the neck plate of the instrument. In 1957/1958 some serial numbers started with a minus sign (“-“), or had a “0” prefix before the number. Also in 1959/1960 some serial numbers were at the bottom of the neck plate instead of the usual top. Double stamped serial number plates were also produced (number on both front and back of the neck plate) in late 1957 to early 1959.

Serial Numbers

Years

Up to 10,000

1954-1956

10,000s

1955-1956

10,000s-20,000s

1957

20,000s-30,000s

1958

30,000s-40,000s

1959

40,000s-50,000s

1960

50,000s-70,000s

1961

60,000s-90,000s

1962

80,000s-90,000s

1963

90,000s-L10,000s

1963

In late 1962 – late 1965, Fender produced instruments with an “L” prefix. These numbers were found on the neck plate.

Serial Numbers

Years

L00001-L20000

late 1962 to late 1963

L20000-L50000

1964

L55000-L99999

1965

In late 1965 the scheme changed yet again. The serial number was still located on the neck plate and a large script “F” could be found below the serial number.

Serial Numbers

Years

100000-110000

late 1965

180000-200000

1966

180000-210000

1967

210000-250000

1968

250000-280000

1969

280000-300000

1970

300000-330000

1971

330000-370000

1972

370000-520000

1973

500000-580000

1974

580000-690000

1975

690000-750000

1976

In mid-1976, Fender moved the location of the serial number to the headstock.

Serial Numbers

Years

7600000

1976-1977

800000s

1979-1981

1977-Present

Finally, in mid-1977, Fender decided on a serial number scheme that carries on to today. The serial number can be found on the headstock. The decade can generally be determined by the serial number prefix. “S” means 1970’s, “E” means 1980’s, “N” means 1990’s, and “Z” means 2000. Note that Japanese Fenders can also carry the “N” and “E” prefixes, but their country of origin should be clearly marked on the headstock.

Serial Numbers

Years

1000000-8000000

1976-1981

S100000s-S600000s

1979-1982

S700000s-S770000s

1977

S740000s-S800000s

1978

S810000s-S870000s

1979

S880000s-S980000s

1980

S950000s-S990000s

1981

E000000s-E100000s

1979-1982

E200000s

1982

E300000s-E310000s

1983

E320000s-E390000s

1984-1985

E400000s

1984, 1985, 1987

E800000s

1988-1989

E900000s

1989-1990

N900000s

1990

N000000s

1990-1991

N100000s

1991

N200000s

1992

N300000s

1993

N400000s

1994

N500000s

1995

N600000s

1996

N700000s

1997

N800000s

1998

N900000s

1999

Since 1990, the serial numbers have generally been kept consistent. There is the decade prefix, followed by the last number in the year. For example, 2004 would be Z4; 1998 would be N8. The American Deluxe series adds a “D” before the year prefix, so the previous examples would come out as DZ4 and DN8, respectively.

The Fender American Vintage Series forgoes the year prefix altogether and just has “V” plus five or six digits.

Additionally, some instruments made in 1990 were (presumably by mistake) given N9XXXXX serial numbers.

Mexican-Made Fenders

The first Mexican Fenders were made in 1990. They follow the same number scheme as American-made Fenders, except that they are prefixed with an “M”.

Japanese-Made Fenders

The first Japanese Fenders were made in 1982. All Fenders made in Japan are marked on the headstock as “Made in Japan” or (since 1997) “Created in Japan”.

Serial Numbers

Years

JV + 5 digits

1982-1984

SQ + 5 digits

1983-1984

E + 6 digits

1984-1987

A + 6 digits

1985-1986

B + 6 digits

1985-1986

C + 6 digits

1985-1986

F + 6 digits

1986-1987

G + 6 digits

1987-1988

H + 6 digits

1988-1989

I + 6 digits

1989-1990

J + 6 digits

1989-1990

K + 6 digits

1990-1991

L + 6 digits

1991-1992

M + 6 digits

1992-1993

N + 6 digits

1993-1994

O + 6 digits

1993-1994

P + 6 digits

1993-1994

Q + 6 digits

1993-1994

S + 6 digits

1994-1995

T + 6 digits

1994-1995

U + 6 digits

1995-1996

N + 5 digits

1995-1996

V + 6 digits

1996-1997

Sometime during 1997, all Japanese-made Fenders say “Crafted in Japan” on the headstock instead of “Made in Japan.” There is some overlap between serial numbers on these instruments, but the newer ones can be distinguished from the older ones based on the text.

Serial Numbers

Years

A + 6 digits

1997-1998

O + 5 digits

1997-2000

P + 5 digits

1999-2002

Q + 5 digits

2002-2004

R + 5 digits

2004-2005

2 Comments on Fender Guitars Serial Numbers

  1. José Moraes // January 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm // Reply

    Somebody help to identify my Fender JazzBass

    Body : serial MO1674305
    Neck : serial MO1729644

    Thanks

  2. Nicely done… check out my site http://www.electricfender.com to find the complete fender serial number guide !!

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