Hofner serial number dating
Serial numbers with an “S” prefix denote the 1970s (signifying a CBS attempt to use serial numbers to identify production years); an “E” prefix was introduced in 1979 to denote the 1980s. Vintage Series instruments and “V”-prefix serial numbers. “N”-prefix serial numbers denoting the 1990s were introduced in 1990.
As seen in the overlap of numbers and years, even these references to actual production dates are rather loose. The numbers and decals were produced far in advance, and some N9 decals (denoting 1999) were inadvertently affixed to some instruments in 1990.
The following six digits are the unit identifier, although it should be noted that these final six numbers are not sequential and do not provide any other identification information about the instrument. S.-made Fender instruments, with exceptions including the American Vintage series and certain special-run instruments.
“10” prefix followed by a space and seven digits (late 2009 through March 2010)US10 6 digits (beginning in about March 2010) V 5 or 6 digits (American Vintage Series except ’52 Telecaster, which uses a five-digit number stamped into the bridge plate) A limited number of these "H", "I" and "K" series guitars were made in '89 and '90.
Only the seven-digit suffixes were actually entered into the database.
These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number.
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.Neck-dating can be useful in determining the was produced, rather than the complete instrument.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.Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.