In the early 1980s, Japanese labor and production costs were much lower than in America and to compete with the Japanese made guitars, Fender moved the lower priced Fender guitar production from America to Japan.
Now that these instruments are hitting the "magical" 25-year mark, they have suddenly gained attention.
Fender's production methods from the early fifties had the effect the numbers may not be consecutive.
Also overlap of serial numbers and dates come with regularity.
The numbers for each year typically overlap, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and as necks that are made and serial numbered late in any given year are used on instruments assembled in the early months of the following year.
A new serial-numbering scheme was adopted toward the end of 2009 using the number “10” as a prefix, followed by a space, followed by seven digits.
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But an incomplete registrations and illogical serial numbers is its history often unclear.
Fender lists historical sales data and dating information on this blog for free.
Fender Blog is a free used guitar Price Guide Price List to find values of all Fender guitars, basses, amps and more.
Fender began producing instruments in its Ensenada, Mexico, factory in 1990.
Instruments made between 19 carry “MN” prefix serial numbers, with the “M” designating Mexico and the “N” designating the 1990s.