Dating a fender bass
In 1969, CBS-Fender began to implement a new type of neck stamp in place of the usual date stamp consisting of model code, month, year, neck width (e.g.8 DEC 65 B for a Duo-Sonic II with a 1 5/8 inch neck width).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.Example: Music Master (s/n 595121) with code 49002153. The first 6 digits are paired off and the last two digits are taken singly.So that gives us 49 00 21 5 3 where: 49 = model code (Musicmaster, Mustang, Bronco) 00 = neck code (rosewood fingerboard) 21 = week code (week 21) 5 = year code (1975) 3 = day of the week code (Wednesday) Now, how the heck are you supposed to know the model codes and neck codes? For model codes (first pair of digits): 01 = Precision Bass 02 = Jazz Bass 04 = Mustang Bass 08 = Telecaster Deluxe 09 = Stratocaster 13 = Telecaster, Telecaster Custom, Telecaster Thinline 49 = Musicmaster, Mustang, Bronco For neck codes (second pair of digits): 00 = rosewood fingerboard 01 = rosewood fingerboard 03 = fretted maple neck OR skunk stripe neck with rosewood board 10 = fretless maple neck Set up your decoder rings with the info above and try your hand on P-Bass (s/n 647149) with code 01031051.Breaking up the code we get: 5 = code for Precision Bass 291 = batch or lot code? Break it into pieces: 22 = code for Stratocaster 384 = batch or lot code?
Now that you’re all expert cryptographers let’s dive right into the 1972 – 80 coding system.
CBS-Fender used this neck code system concurrently with the standard Month-Year date stamp that had been in use since 1962.
Both type of stamps can be found on Fenders made from 1969 through 1971.
The new code consisted of 6, 7 or 8 digits and was usually stamped in green ink.
An example of this type of neck code found on a Precision Bass is 529129B.
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The next digit denotes the year, in this case 9 = 1969.