Dating fender telecaster bass

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The strange and mysterious neck codes found on Fenders from 1969 – 80 have been all but ignored by the vintage and collectible guitar community.Perhaps this is due to the fact that 1970s Fenders have, until recently, been all but ignored by the vintage and collectible guitar community.For Stratocasters it is 22 and for Precision Basses it is 5.The other three digits (320) are a mystery and perhaps are some kind of batch or lot number. Here’s our P-Bass again (s/n 277983) with the code 529129B.This means two things for the owner of a 1969-80 Fender.

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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.Second, my data set for making conclusions is relatively small and therefore, subject to change as new information surfaces.However, the interpretation of the two date code systems appears to be relatively straight forward and the conclusions were confirmed by pickup dates and pot dates in most cases.The date from 1969-71 stamped codes can be extracted by working from the outside inward.For example, let’s take Telecaster Thinline (s/n 272207) with the code: 3320119B. This appears to be the same neck width code that Fender had been using since 1962.

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