Dating a fender strat
Here is the S first introduced as a prefix to the serial numbers. The E stands for the decade of the eighties, and was introduced in 1979.
As you can see by the overlap of numbers and years, the reference to the actual date of manufacture is rather vague.
Due to a mistake at the factory in 1990 N9 decals (which were intended for use in 1999) applied to a several instruments that were built in that year. Deluxe Series have the same standard but with the addition of a D for the Z, eg. Also here some overlap of numbers, prefixes and year.
Although it is not be traced back directly to the serial numbers.Again, there are a several serial numbers that overlap.The next table shows the most common Fender serial numbers schemes from 1976 to the present.3,143,028 the patent granted in August 1964 for Fender's adjustable neck construction. (Used since 1957 to the Precision Bass) The DES is the serial number. The serial number for these three models can be found at the bridge plate and is used until about early 1954. Until 1955, the serial number is applied to the bridge plate.Fender then switched to a serial numbering on the neck plate for all models. Although Fender had already switched in 1954 serialized for all models on the neck plate, is the serial number at some Precison's still affixed to the bridge plate.