Dating fender bass
Other things to look for include chasses placed in cabinets from a different year, “doctored” tube charts, non-original control plates (usually reproductions) on silverface amps, original transformer bell ends (they have correct date codes, of course) on non-original transformers, and non-original knobs (either repro or silverface knobs on blackface amps).unusual things can be found such as the empty “Pulse Adjust” hole on the rear of early ’60 brown amps, the “middle” volume control, use of tweed style grill cloth, strange non-documented transitional circuits, and changes in tolex color including the super-rare cream colored “brown” tolex that is found on some late ’60 amps. Given that people may refer to this information seeking specific production quantities of amps they are curious about, it should be pointed out that the serial numbers apply to chassis types, and not specifically to amplifier models.
Looking at serial numbers next to the ’60 5G5 brown Pro Amp for example, we see numbers ranging from 00001 to 02000, suggesting that there are 2000 of these amplifiers made in ’60.
They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.
But once again, due to the modular nature of Fender's production methods, and the fact that most serial numbers schemes are not sequential and usually overlap from between 2 to 4 years, (from the early days of Fender, through to the mid 1980s), dating by the serial number is not an exact science.
Please note that fender serial numbers tend to overlap by at least a year, and thereby the date of your guitar can only be approximated.While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced.On early Fender JV models, you will also find "MADE IN JAPAN" written very small under the Fender spaghetti logo on the headstock of the guitar.On later Fender JV models, the "MADE IN JAPAN" can be found on the heel of the guitar neck, just above the metal neck plate.
On Stratocasters and bass guitars, you will find the serial number just below this stamp, also on the heel of the neck.