(If you are not comfortable performing this operation, please use an experienced professional guitar tech in your area).

The serial numbers do not immediately reflect the change, as CBS continued to make instruments using existing, tooling, parts, and serial number schemes.

Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.

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

The following charts detail the most common Fender serial number schemes used from 1976 to the present.

Please note the introduction of the "S" prefix serial numbers.

The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced.

Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.But once again, due to the modular nature of Fender's production methods, and the fact that most serial numbers schemes are not sequential and usually overlap from between 2 to 4 years, (from the early days of Fender, through to the mid 1980s), dating by the serial number is not an exact science.The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.Fender "JV" guitars were only made from 1982 to 1984.On early Fender JV models, you will also find "MADE IN JAPAN" written very small under the Fender spaghetti logo on the headstock of the guitar.So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.