Guitar dating services provide serial numbers to date your guitar.
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.
Serial numbers are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production year.
For years, serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments, such as the top of the neck plate, the front or back of the headstock and the back of the neck near the junction with the body.
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.
The Fender serial number decoder currently supports all documented MIA, MIJ, MIM, MIK and MII formats with the exception of Custom Shop, Relic and Reissue instruments.
Please note that fender serial numbers tend to overlap by at least a year, and thereby the date of your guitar can only be approximated.
Some of those include variables such as refinished bodies or necks, replaced parts, refrets, and overall condition of the guitar.
Original and mint condition will catch the highest values for your instruments.
Combined with what we saw with dating a tweed Fender Champ by the tube chart and speaker code, I’m feeling pretty good that all of the various dating methods point to early 1959 for my amp.
I wish I could say that I figured all this out on my own.