While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year.Serial numbers are also helpful in determining the year of production of a given instrument.

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Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.

MADE FENDER STRINGED INSTRUMENT For the majority of Fender's U. instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.

While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.

Leo Fender's early work at mass producing electric instruments helped usher in the modern era of music.

Perhaps his biggest contribution is that of the electric bass guitar.

Even today, most players start out on some version of his iconic Precision Bass or Jazz Bass.

The tone of Fender's "P-Bass" is still widely regarded as the standard by which other bass guitars should be judged and acts as a signpost for comparisons. We specialize in vintage and used guitars and basses.

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.

So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.

Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.