Those details appear on the back of the neck above the body join.

dating fender japan-66

Back when the Fender MIJ (Made in Japan) Vintage ’57 Stratocaster Reissues were at the peak of their affordability, I don’t think the average guitarist realised quite what a luxury they were.

Made by the plant which had shocked Fender USA with the quality and accuracy of the first Japanese Fender Vintage Reissues in 1982, these attitude-drenched and irresistibly pretty bundles of joy could still be found brand new at sub-£300 prices ten years on in the early ‘90s.

Accurate dating of musical instruments is a very easy and useful skill to learn.

Whether the instrument was found at a yard sale or a museum, there are several signs that can confirm the authenticity of an instrument. Fender has grown substantially since its establishment in 1946.

Fender stamped its bridge plates and neck plates in the early years.

The Precision Bass models, for example, had bridge plates that were marked from 100 to 2000 between 19. Again, these numbers are specific to the bridge plate, which could have been removed and installed on your guitar at some point, or stored a time before installation at the plant.

A lot of people don’t really ‘get’ the progression of Fender’s Japanese Vintage ’57 Reissue Stratocasters on the UK market through the course of the 1980s and into the following decade.

The picture is confused by a change in the guitars’ branding, a massive price increase, and a degree of evolution, but once you’ve budgeted for that, it’s very straightforward…

The progression described above relates only to MIJ (Made in Japan) Stratocasters, and not CIJ (Crafted in Japan). The progression was, incidentally, exactly the same for Fender Japan’s ’62 Strat Reissue on the UK market.