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Used on Telecaster, Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Jazz Bass, Precision bass and other models. Don't read too much into these serial numbers, it's not the best way to date a Fender guitar.
L00001 to L20000 = 1963 L20000 to L55000 = 1964 L55000 to L99999 = 1965F-Series (late 1965 to mid-1976)Big script "F" on neckplate below serial number. made Fenders, starting in mid-1976 has the serial number on the peghead.
Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.
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.
This system of serial numbers is unique to these three models until about the early summer of 1954 (when Fender switched to a universal neck plate serial number system for all models): Telecaster, Numbers On Bridge Plate 0001 to 0999 = 1950 to 1952 1000 to 5300 = 1952 to 1954Precision Basses 1951 to 1955 (number on bridgeplate). This system of serial numbers is unique to this model until about 1955 (even though Fender went to a universal neckplate serial number system on all instruments in 1954, some old style Precision Bass serialized bridges were still left over and used until 1955.)Pbass, Numbers on Bridge Plate 100 to 400 = 1951 to 1952 0001 to 0999 = 1952 to 1954 1000 to 2000 = 1953 to 1955 All Models, summer 1954 to mid 1976Serial number on neckplate.
It should be clearly stated that Fender serial numbers ARE NOT definitively chronological. Basically there was a big bin of serial number plates, and the installers grabbed one, and screwed it to the guitar. The point is, don't read too much into Fender serial numbers.
Pre-1977 Fender guitars have a serial number on the bridgeplate or neckplate.
Serial numbers with an "S" prefix denote the 1970s (signifying a CBS attempt to use serial numbers to identify production years); an "E" prefix was introduced in 1979 to denote the 1980s. instruments with "V"-prefix serial numbers is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there."N"-prefix serial numbers denoting the 1990s were introduced in 1990.
As seen in the overlap of numbers and years, even these references to actual production dates are rather loose.1982 saw the introduction of the U. Vintage Series instruments and "V"-prefix serial numbers. The numbers and decals were produced far in advance, and some N9 decals (denoting 1999), were inadvertantly affixed to some instruments in 1990. American Deluxe Series instruments use the same dating convention, but with the addition of a "D" in front of the "Z", i.e., DZ1, DZ2, etc.