Dating guitars by pot codes

The new code consisted of 6, 7 or 8 digits and was usually stamped in green ink.

An example of this type of neck code found on a Precision Bass is 529129B.

Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.

I won’t get into the pros and cons of 1970s Fenders here, but instead, I hope to shed some new light on those weirdo neck codes.

A few Telecasters have shown up with neck codes that would indicate a 1967 date and one has been reported with a possible 1968 date, yet the rest of the guitar appears to be from 1969.

If Fender used the coding system as early as 1967, then we should see more 19 guitars surfacing with the green stamped code.

Andre Duchossoir briefly discussed his findings for the 1972-80 codes in his excellent Telecaster and Stratocaster books. I used this information as the starting point for my research.

I examined and/or received information regarding stamped codes for about 150 Fenders made between 19. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.

Then in 1972, Fender changed to a new type of neck stamp which had 8-digits which was stamped in green or red ink.The next digit denotes the year, in this case 9 = 1969.The next one or two digits denote the month, in this case 11 = November.The first one or two digits of the code, in this case 3, denotes the model.For Telecasters, Telecaster Thinlines, and Esquires that code is 3.

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