Dating a fender p bass
The first one or two digits of the code, in this case 3, denotes the model.For Telecasters, Telecaster Thinlines, and Esquires that code is 3.This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.First, the chances of having an intact stamped code is about 50-50.To clarify, a neck would have one or the other type of stamp… It is not known why Fender used two completely different systems at the same time.Then in 1972, Fender changed to a new type of neck stamp which had 8-digits which was stamped in green or red ink.
I examined and/or received information regarding stamped codes for about 150 Fenders made between 19. In most cases, the stamp was smudged beyond legibility or the stamps were incomplete. Some guitars simply had the model name, such as "MUSTANG" stamped on the butt end of the neck in green or red ink.A few Telecasters have shown up with neck codes that would indicate a 1967 date and one has been reported with a possible 1968 date, yet the rest of the guitar appears to be from 1969.If Fender used the coding system as early as 1967, then we should see more 19 guitars surfacing with the green stamped code.Again, a neck was stamped with either the new type of code or the old date stamp, but not both.After March 1973, Fender dropped the old style date stamp and continued to use the new style, 8-digit code until sometime in 1980 when small adhesive labels bearing Month-Day-Year date stamps appeared in the neck pocket, pickup cavity and/or back of the neck.
The strange and mysterious neck codes found on Fenders from 1969 – 80 have been all but ignored by the vintage and collectible guitar community.