Dating a fender stratocaster from serial number
The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a "J" serial number prefix). I believe this was a mistake on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.Japanese Serial Numbers on Peghead Decal Note the lack of S, E, N series. (Stratocaster) Between 19 there were periods that this is not consistently done.Although a serial number is helpful for roughly determining the age of a guitar, this is often not the exact date.
Each American Reissue Stratocaster that left the factory had one of these V serial numbers stamped into the neckplate.
A possible explanation is that Fender just had a large box filled with neckplates and thus placed on guitars in a semi-random fashion.
Of course, the box would not contain 10,000 neckplates but rather a couple thousand at the most.
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.