Dating a strat neck
They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.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.So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.As a result, you will see some 1990 guitars bearing N9 serial numbers. Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). The following serial numbers are somewhat outside the more, well known Fender serial number schemes.If you have what you consider to be a somewhat "odd" serial number, please check the following chart to see if you find your serial number configuration here.