SERIAL NUMBERS and APPROXIMATE PRODUCTION DATES 1965 to 1976 In 1982 the Vintage Series of guitars was introduced.
The vintage series used a "V" prefix in serial numbers.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, cannot be a definitive reference.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..
The old Fender serial number scheme did not change immediately as CBS to use up existing parts and use existing tooling however a large F logo was added to the neck plate shortly after the accquisition.
Perhaps the best way to date the Vintage series is to carefully remove the necek and check the bottom of the neck for a production date.
SERIAL NUMBER: 340505 NECK DATE: 0541 illegible DATE: 1972 This all original Jazz bass looks and sounds absolutely right !
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
Production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.