Dating a fender stratocaster from serial number
Once again, there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.
The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument 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 (if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, please refer to an experienced professional guitar tech in your area). 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.
Consequently, some 1990 guitars bear 1999 “N9” SERIAL NUMBERS. 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.
“Z”-prefix SERIAL NUMBERS denoting the new millennium appeared on U. As always, there is typically some number prefix overlap and carryover from year to year.
The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from 1976 to the present.
Indeed, we use these same books here at Fender when researching historical and date-related issues.