Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year.
Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.
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Information on Japanese and Mexican-made instruments is included towards the bottom.
Fender's production methods from the early fifties had the effect the numbers may not be consecutive.
Neck dating is useful in determining the age of a guitar, but is not definite.
Serial numbers may be useful in determining the year of production of a guitar.
But an incomplete registrations and illogical serial numbers is its history often unclear.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted.
Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.