For example, let’s take a Stratocaster with the serial number 279515 and the code 22384109B.Starting with the letter B, this is the same neck width code Fender has been using since 1962.On early ’50s Stratocaster guitars serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate.
From the production of the first solidbody Fender guitars and until 1976, Fender tagged a production date at the butt of the detachable neck of their guitars.
Only about half the guitars still carry any intelligible information here.
Determining the date can also be important from a collector’s perspective, since the pre-1966 vintage Fender guitars are generally considered the most valuable.
Fender was sold to CBS in the first week of January 1965, but already in late 1964 mass production was slowly being introduced, which gradually lowered quality and ultimately collectibility.
Sometimes a date is stamped or hand-written on the butt of the neck.
Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.
Neck dating can be useful in finding the approximate age of your guitar.
Since the neck is only a component of the guitar, it could have been produced a number of years before the actual instrument was assembled, hence the date on the neck is not necessarily the production date of the whole guitar.
1972: A new eight-digit neck stamp was introduced colored either green or red. From 1972 to around March 1973, this new system was used simultaneously with the previous “XX MMM-YY W”.
Again, either stamp can occur on instruments from this era.
A example of this is “02033923” found on a Jazz Bass.