To do that you will need to remove the neck from the guitar or at least loosen it enough so the date can be seen.
As was stated above made between Click on the links here to jump directly to the serial number style that matches your instrument:.
Please note the introduction of the "S" prefix serial numbers.
The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, a neck may have been produced in one year, placed in a 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.They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.But due to the modular nature of Fender's production methods, and the fact that most serial numbers schemes are not sequential and usually overlap from between 2 to 4 years, (from the early days of Fender, through to the mid 1980s), dating by the serial number is not an exact science.Yet if you take the dating japanese stratocaster off they can be !
There were also some models with Fender on the head instead of Squier but the guitars we often from the same production usefulness of absolute and relative dating techniques.
As a result, you will see some 1990 guitars bearing N9 serial numbers Year 2000 introduced the "Z" prefix serial numbers on US made guitars, which stood for the 0 of the new millennium.
A Z0 prefix dates to 2000, a Z1 prefix dates to 2001 etcetera.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.
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..
Some of the earliest ones actually popped up in late as well:. Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters:.