Dating japanese made fender
a Mexican-made Fender and couldn’t play either one before ordering off the web, I would take the Japanese one every time.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted.
The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.
Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.
Example: ICS10xxxxxx = 2010 IS – The first 2 numbers following the prefix is the year. Example: SI08xxxxxxx = 2008 Some Squier IIs were made in India around 1989-1990. Made in India Squier IIs seem to follow the made in USA serial numbering scheme.
For example, a 1990 made in India Squier II serial number would start with N0 plus 5 digits.
In the case of the Fender Performer, they are all identical in appearance, feel, and tone production. I have about 35 or 40 Performer basses and guitars. Unlike most guitars, you can’t tell them apart if you play them blindfolded.
(Famously, identical guitars rolling one after the other off the assembly line normally sound and feel different.)That said, recent Mexican-made Fenders are brilliant.
Because the number was placed on a sticker it is fairly common for the serial number to be missing.Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early `50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.