Dating fender telecaster neck

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The "E", stood for the decade of the 1980s and was, as shown below, introduced in 1979. "V" prefix serial numbered instruments, is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the heel of the neck for a production date, which may be stamped or written there.

As you can see by the overlaps of numbers and years, the reference to the actual production date is rather loose. The numbers and decals are produced far in advance, and apparently, some N9 decals, (which were supposed to be used in 1999), were affixed to some instruments in 1990.

The serial numbers do not immediately reflect the change, as CBS continued to make instruments using existing, tooling, parts, and serial number schemes.

The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.

There is quite a bit of overlap of both numbers and years.