Actually, this is such a common question, Fender has a specific Web page.At the bottom of the page, they even list a number of available books that may help you date your guitar.All Fender JV models had the serial numbers engraved into either the neck plate or bridge.Many also have penciled neck dates () you can only see when the neck is removed from the body of the guitar. acronym for "Squier" These models were made by a different division of Fender and bear the Squier logo and not the Fender logo.These models have the serial numbering and markings in the same location as Fender JV guitars, and were made only during the years 1983 to 1984. acronym for "MADE IN JAPAN" These models spanned the years from 1984 to 1997.You will find the MADE IN JAPAN stamp on the heel of every guitar's neck, without variation.Actually, these serial numbers were assigned quite randomly grabbed from the bin by assembler.The only way to determine actual date of the guitar dating before CBS is to look at the dates on each part of the instrument (body, neck, pot dates).
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Seem to have more of an angle to them - close but not exact, this change may have accurred as early as 1982 in the US.
Check out the picture from the '85/'86 catalog, on the catalog page, to see what I mean.
Serial numbers from this period can only date the instruments by several years precision, so it's hard to appraise one just by looking at it personally or in photo books.
In years 1957-1958 serial numbers where starting by a "-" sign, or "0" before the number.