Dating fender strat
So, you can't afford that '54 Strat, or that '64, or even that '74 for that matter.
Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late 1970's.
You spot a '79 in a local shop, or online, but how can you be certain it is a '79?
Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.
Ignore all the "FRR" stamps you'll find on the neck base and in the neck pocket.The first digit is supposed to reflect the year of manufacture, but there are major overlaps in this regard, and . An important thing to look for are the matching serial number stickers in the neck pocket and on the pickguard.S7 5 digits = 1977-1978 S8 5 digits = 1977-1978 - I have seen a 1982 Strat with an S8 decal S9 5 digits = 1978-1982 E0 5 digits = 1979-1982 E1 5 digits = 1980-1982 Be especially careful with '79 Strats.They are believed to just be some kind of quality check stamps.Pot Codes: MMMYYWW Example: 1377818 - In 1977 found on the side of the pots, moved to the bottom (and unfortunately sometimes covered with solder) in 1978.
Some might go by the pot codes, but those could have been stock a year or more old by the time they were put into the newly finished guitar.