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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Date Codes Discrepancy on Neck & Body


Dallas, TX

Apr 22nd, 2019 02:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks in advance for any help with this riddle. I bought a '73 Strat about 15 years ago from a reputable studio rental business in L.A. (guitars, vintage amps, etc.). Serial number seemed to validate it as a '73. Recently decided to sell it. I have it listed for sale with pictures and someone pointed out that the code on the butt end of the neck indicates a 1975 date which I honestly never noticed. Further, the volume pot indicates it is from '73. Would welcome any help on how to date this.

Serial number: 523825
Neck Code: 09030254
Volume pot code: xxxx733

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
Apr 22nd, 2019 04:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'd say looking at that info its a 75 serial number is more inclined for it to be assembled in 76.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Apr 22nd, 2019 04:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

There are far more qualified than I to comment on this subject, but from I do know, serial number discrepancies are not uncommon particularly from earlier production years.

Guitars were assembled from "parts" that or may not have been manufactured the same year.
Pots came out of bins that could be random. Necks may have been made one year and installed until the next.

Hopefully our resident "Human Wikipedia" (Peegoo) will add more historically accurate information here...


Dallas, TX

Apr 22nd, 2019 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Since posting, I've found at least one article reporting that the dating pattern on necks was sometimes inconsistent as well. Citing that the last digit on the neck code (vs. the 2nd to last) was sometimes indicative of the year. In my case that could make the neck from 1974. Also found where my serial number could be 73 or 74. Finally, the volume pot has a 1973 code on it. And of course the neck pickup has the 1974 code. Leaning toward this being a 74 vs. a 73.

Contributing Member

Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
Apr 22nd, 2019 08:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yep, generally when part codes and dates fall within a several-year span, you go with the latest date as your manufacture date.

This tends to be reliable, but there are always outliers such as that being a 1973 make that had a pickup die a year later—so the owner replaced it with a 1974 unit.

I am NOT a Wikipedophile!!!


Dallas, TX

Apr 23rd, 2019 09:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks everyone. I updated my listing accordingly. Really appreciate the help.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Date Codes Discrepancy on Neck & Body

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