Japanese Instruments Product Dating

View products this article applies to ...

How can I find out when my Japanese-made instrument was manufactured? How can I find out how old my instrument is?

DATING JAPANESE-MADE FENDER INSTRUMENTS


Records on early Japanese-made Fender instruments are not complete and are therefore not completely definitive for dating purposes. As always, serial numbers should only be used as a guide for dating and should be used in combination with known age-related specifications to help identify the production year of an instrument.

SERIAL NUMBERS CIRCA
JV + 5 digits 1982-1984
SQ + 5 digits 1983-1984
E + 6 digits 1984-1987
A + 6 digits 1985-1986
B + 6 digits 1985-1986
C + 6 digits 1985-1986
F + 6 digits 1986-1987
G + 6 digits 1987-1988
H + 6 digits 1988-1989
I + 6 digits 1989-1990
J + 6 digits 1989-1990
K + 6 digits 1990-1991
L + 6 digits 1991-1992
M + 6 digits 1992-1993
N + 6 digits 1993-1994
O + 6 digits 1993-1994
P + 6 digits 1993-1994
Q + 6 digits 1993-1994
S + 6 digits 1994-1995
T + 6 digits 1994-1995
U + 6 digits 1995-1996
N + 5 digits 1995-1996
V + 6 digits 1996-1997

In 1997, Fender transitioned to a serial number decal that included the words “Crafted in Japan” above the serial number.

Crafted in Japan A + 6 digits
1997-1998
Crafted in Japan O + 6 digits 1997-2000
Crafted in Japan P + 6 digits 1999-2002
Crafted in Japan Q + 6 digits 2002-2004
Crafted in Japan R + 6 digits 2004-2005
Crafted in Japan S + 6 digits 2006-2008
Crafted in Japan T + 6 digits 2007-2008

2007 was another transitional year for Japanese-made Fender instruments, with the return to the “Made in Japan” country-of-origin identifier on the serial number decal. This was a running change, and both “Made in Japan” and “Crafted in Japan” decals appear on instruments from 2007 and 2008.

Made in Japan T + 6 digits 2007-2010
Made in Japan U + 6 digits 2010-2011

Note: A new Japanese vendor was enlisted in 2010 to help meet demand for the Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller Jazz Bass models. These two basses and the other instruments listed below that were supplied by this factory continued to use “Made in Japan T + 6 digits” designation through 2011:

Pawn Shop Fender ‘51
Pawn Shop Fender ‘72
Pawn Shop Mustang Special
‘70s Precision Bass
Jaguar Bass