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So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..
The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.
There is quite a bit of overlap of numbers and years.
This chart contains If you are unable to place the approximate year of manufacture of your instrument using the above charts, there are a few great books available, which have invaluable information on the history of Fender instruments.
The "S", stood for decade of the 1970s, and began CBS' attempt to use serial numbers to identify the year of production for the piece.
The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument would be to remove the neck and check the butt end of the heel of the neck for a production date, which may be stamped or written there.
(If you are not comfortable performing this operation, please use an experienced professional guitar tech in your area or bring it to Superior Music).
Kerry then began removing the screws that held the guitar's neck to its body, raising a question for everyone who owns a Fender electric guitar: Is this a maneuver you should try on your own?
"My advice would be, 'Don't try this at home,'" Kerry told us. "The angle at which the neck is joined to the body is critical in maintaining the 'action,'" he said.