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Pre-1977 Fender guitars have a serial number stamped on the bridgeplate or neckplate, later models are usually printed on the headstock.

instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

Starting sometime in 1976 has the serial number on the headstock but on earlier models the number could be off as much as two years.

Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year.

In 1982, the Squier brand was reactivated by Fender to become its brand for lower priced versions of Fender guitars. S.-trained violin makers and is often referred to as "the American Stradivarius." Victor returned to Battle Creek, where he opened his own shop in 1890. With a limited market for violins in Battle Creek, however, Squier astutely sought relationships with national music schools and famous violinists.

Squier guitars have been manufactured in Japan, Korea, Mexico, India, Indonesia, China, and the United States. As his business grew, Squier moved the company to 429 Lake Ave. Up to 1900, the best violin strings were made in Europe.

So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.

Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.

Dating fender stratocaster body