instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.
Serial numbers may be useful in determining the year of production of a guitar.
But an incomplete registrations and illogical serial numbers is its history often unclear.
Although Fender began producing Fender and Squier instruments in Korea in 1988, its digital records only go back to mid-1993, with little if any information available on serial numbering from 1988 through 1992.
It is accepted that there were serial numbers with and without letter prefixes at that time, but as definitive information is lacking, serial-number dating for Korean instruments made before 1993 is highly uncertain.
The numbers for each year typically overlap, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and as necks and complete instruments that were made and serial numbered late in any given year were used on instruments assembled and sold in the early months of the subsequent year.
As always, dating by serial number is not an exact science and is seldom definitive.
They have been placed at the top of the neck plate, on the front of the headstock, on the back of the headstock, and on the back of the neck near where the neck bolts onto the body.
Digital records beginning in 1993 show some “CN” and “VN” prefixes on the serial numbers of Korean-made instruments (these numbers almost certainly occur before 1993, but there is no documentation of this).
Serial numbers without letter prefixes have been found dating through 1996; these are six-, seven- and eight-digit serial numbers with the first numeral (or first two numerals in the eight-digit numbers) indicating year of manufacture.
Where to find the serial number The serial numbers on the guitar are provided through the years on various places.
At the top of the neck plate, at the front or at the back of the head or on the cover plate of the vibrato.