Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early ’50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.Fender designer John Page put the original instrument together.
Specifically, those that carried the names of the great American makers Gibson, Fender, Martin, Guild, Rickenbacker, et al. I was one of those bedroom guitarists who are the delight of the high-end guitar store.
I would not even think of buying a budget instrument made overseas. With only $100 to spend, I told myself I wasn’t exactly slumming, just going to the guitar store to buy an electric guitar I could leave on the couch, take to the park or bring on the bus to jams without worrying about it getting banged up or stolen.
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It was bad enough that Squier was Fender’s diffusion brand, but its Bullet line was the beginner’s range, something for youngsters who someday aspired to the kind of wealth that would enable them to buy an actual Squier, without the Bullet caveat. Other players might well have chosen them over the Bullet.
I sorted through the Squier Bullets to find the one I liked best. Certainly the Fenders were made with higher-quality components.
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.
Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.
While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.
Given the modular nature of Fender production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, then stored for a period of time before being paired with a body to create a complete guitar, perhaps, for example, in the following year.