Fender custom shop product dating
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.
They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.
There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.
While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.
The term “neck profile” refers to the shape of the back of a guitar neck in cross section and is often used interchangeably with the term “back shape.” It’s also referred to simply as “neck shape,” although there are other important neck measurements with which “neck profile” shouldn’t be confused (i.e., neck width, neck depth and fingerboard radius).
Fine, but what does all this technical talk mean to the average guitar player who just wants to know what time it is rather than how to build a clock?
These books are the same resources we refer to here at Fender, when trying to research answers to these same history and dating questions.
Please note the introduction of the "S" prefix serial numbers.The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced.Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.What does it mean when you’re considering buying a Fender guitar with a description that mentions the instrument’s neck profile?Before delving into the details, it’s important to understand that neck profile doesn’t affect the sound of the guitar itself; it affects the way you play it.