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In 1959-1960 some serial numbers were at the bottom instead of the usual top.

In March 1985, CBS sold Fender to a group of private investors.

Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.

and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.

This means that the the serial numbers starting in 1994 ran consecutively on both the MIJ and the CIJ models while the MIJ logo was being phased out.

Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.

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..

For instance, many of the MIJ/CIJ Telecasters have the serial number on the bridge and they start with an "A".

Yet if you take the neck off they can be 1994-1997!Japanese Serial Numbers on Peghead Decal Note the lack of S, E, N series. Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.The early series are the most popular for collectors.Also, some The Japanese serial number can be confusing too.Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.