Dating american fender strat
In 1979 a notch was added for a ground wire lug in the control cavity and output jack cavity and a black shielding paint was sprayed into the cavities right over the lugs and wires that were soldered to them.
If a solid paint color was applied to the body it was applied right over the shielding paint which may make it hard to see. Finish: Polyester (Aliphatic Urethane Coating), or "poly" as it's most commonly knows as in the guitar industry, was applied as a sealer/basecoat.
Large Letter Stamps: Not 100% sure what these mean, but I have a theory they were used to grade a body prior to recieving a finish. I have seen four A stamps on Natural finished bodies, and a trans-red with an A stamp. I have also seen a D, along with an A on a Sunburst body.
This is just a theory, but if only A's were put on Natural finished guitars as an example, it could help determine if a guitar is refinished.
So, you can't afford that '54 Strat, or that '64, or even that '74 for that matter.
Your last chance to own a vintage Fender Stratocaster is with the guitars of the late 1970's.
Pickup Codes: OOWWYY Example: 202378 - It is believed the first two digits are an operator designation for the person operating the pickup winder, this according to Abigail Ybarra herself.
The second pair of digits are the week, but I have seen one example where the second digits were 72.
It has nothing to do with the date as I've seen the exact same code of pots ranging from 1977 - 1981 strats.Rosewood fingerboards of 1970's Strats retain the "round-lam" style started in the 60's where a thin laminate is glued onto the curved Maple neck surface. Body Routings: In the 1970's profiles of the pickup routings became slightly wide and squared on the ends. Hardtail models also aquired a dollar sized impression just over 1/4" deep in the bridge pickup rout.Not sure of the function, it must have something to do with the machining process (a guide of some sort, perhaps).My intent with this site is to educate those who are on the hunt for that last affordable vintage Fender Stratocaster.Have a read through and hopefully you will pickup a few things to better assert yourself in the late 70's Stratocasters buyer's market. M = Model or Manufacturer O = Operator N = Neck configuration W = Week Y = Year D = Day Neck Stamps: MMNN*WWYD Example: 0900*3893 - Found on the very end of the neck heel, if at all, in green or dark red ink.