Dating fender strat serial number
Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is... 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). Sorry, since I do not collect new Fenders, I don't really keep track of these things.The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a "J" serial number prefix). I believe this was a mistake on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.Maybe the transitional guitars from MIJ to the CIJ??) JV 5 digits 1982-1984SQ 5 digits 1983-1984E 6 digits 1984-1987A 6 digits 1985-1986B 6 digits 1985-1986C 6 digits 1985-1986F 6 digits 1986-1987 G 6 digits 1987-1988H 6 digits 1988-1989 I 6 digits 1989-1990J 6 digits 1989-1990 K 6 digits 1990-1991 L 6 digits 1991-1992M 6 digits 1992-1993N 6 digits 1993-1994O 6 digits 1993-1994P 6 digits 1993-1994Q 6 digits 1993-1994S 6 digits 1994-1995 T 6 digits 1994-1995U 6 digits 1995-1996N 5 digits 1995-1996V 6 digits 1996-1997In 1997, Fender transitioned to a serial number decal that included the words “Crafted in Japan” above the serial number.They have been placed at the top of the neck plate, on the front of the headstock, on the back of the headstock, and on the back of the neck near where the neck bolts onto the body.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.and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
The JV and SQ guitars, as well as some of the E series, had USA parts (mostly pickups, switches, and potentiometers) that were shipped over to Japan to help speed up production while the new USA plant was being set up in Corona, California.
Most of the “Made in Japan” and the “Crafted in Japan” guitars us a 6 digit number (But not all and excluding the A prefix! A 6 DIGITS 1985-1987, 1997-1998 (Made in Japan) and (Crafted in Japan) This was one of the most confusing serial uber used by Japan.
They placed the "A" on the bridge on the Telecasters and some of them could be as late as 1996 (as in the case with many JD Teles.
Mid–1997 the CIJ logo was the only one used on Fender guitars coming out of Japan (with exception the Squire series). I really don’t know, but the MIJ logo Fenders were for the USA market.
USA Fender wanted to stop the import of these guitars to the USA due to firing up their Mexican plant and due to the “too good” quality Japan was creating which competed with the USA models.
Japanese Serial Numbers on Peghead Decal Note the lack of S, E, N series.