Fender Serial Number Lookup for Guitar and Bass Guitar Dating
Leo Fender started building electric guitars back in 1950 and produced his first bass guitar a year later. Fender guitars and basses are easily the most popular instruments ever made.
The Fender company has gone through three major periods or eras in its existence.
- The original company headed by Leo Fender ran from 1946 to 1965. (Usually referred to as “Pre-CBS”)
- From 1965 to 1985 Fender was owned by CBS (Usually referred to as “CBS era Fender”)
- From 1985 to present the company (originally headed by William Schultz) is called Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
Initially all Fender production was done in Fullerton, California, but in recent decades Fender guitars are made in the United States, Mexico, Japan, Korea and China.
Collectors value instruments based on a number of factors. Dating the guitar via serial numbers is of key importance. In general the older the instrument the more valuable it is and having a pre-CBS era instrument is highly desirable. A 1964 instrument can be worth 25% more than an instrument from 1966.
So knowing what you have can affect the price from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. It’s no wonder there is such a fuss about fender serial number lookup and dating your guitar.
Fortunately, there are plenty of sources for dating your guitar and tracking its serial number, but sometimes it’s hard to find them all. This article will hopefully help to put the best resources for fender serial number dating in one place.
Best Places to Check Fender Serial Number Dating
The Vintage Guitar Price Guide is an amazing resource for Fender guitar and pretty much any popular manufacturer. There is a new issue every year that reflects current trends. But if you are a casual observer you don’t need to buy a new one every year.
This article “Serial Number Identification and Decoding” article on Vintage & Rare’s website is probably one of the most complete resources of serial number information for Fender guitars and basses.
The Guitar Dater Project is a great quick and easy way to date a number of brands including Fender. By entering the instrument’s serial number and a few other pieces of info you can get the year of manufacture and sometimes information about the factor where the instrument was built. There’s not a lot of information here, but it’s another good resource.
Vintage Fender Guitars, Basses, Amps. — Introduction and General Specs. This web page and associated pages provide a wealth of information about Fender guitars. It’s a great source of serial number information, but also shows how to recognize differences in logos and other details that help with the history of your guitar.
Hope you find these links useful