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There is quite a bit of overlap of both numbers and years.
The following charts detail the most common Fender serial number schemes used from 1976 to the present.
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
Dating a Telecaster is not an exact science, as the dates on the various pieces of the guitar may be inaccurate if the pieces were manufactured before they were incorporated into the instrument.
This chart contains If you are unable to place the approximate year of manufacture of your instrument using the above charts, there are a few great books available, which have invaluable information on the history of Fender instruments.
If you have serious interest in learning about the history of Fender instruments, or if you just want to try to establish the year of production of your own axe, we would highly recommend that you pick up one or more of the following books.
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.