DATING JAPANESE-MADE FENDER INSTRUMENTS
Records on early Japanese-made Fender instruments are not complete and are therefore not completely definitive for dating purposes. As always, serial numbers should only be used as a guide for dating and should be used in combination with known age-related specifications to help identify the production year of an instrument.
|SERIAL NUMBERS CIRCA|
|JV + 5 digits||1982-1984|
|SQ + 5 digits||1983-1984|
|E + 6 digits||1984-1987|
|A + 6 digits||1985-1986|
|B + 6 digits||1985-1986|
|C + 6 digits||1985-1986|
|F + 6 digits||1986-1987|
|G + 6 digits||1987-1988|
|H + 6 digits||1988-1989|
|I + 6 digits||1989-1990|
|J + 6 digits||1989-1990|
|K + 6 digits||1990-1991|
|L + 6 digits||1991-1992|
|M + 6 digits||1992-1993|
|N + 6 digits||1993-1994|
|O + 6 digits||1993-1994|
|P + 6 digits||1993-1994|
|Q + 6 digits||1993-1994|
|S + 6 digits||1994-1995|
|T + 6 digits||1994-1995|
|U + 6 digits||1995-1996|
|N + 5 digits||1995-1996|
|V + 6 digits||1996-1997|
In 1997, Fender transitioned to a serial number decal that included the words “Crafted in Japan” above the serial number.
|Crafted in Japan A + 6 digits||1997-1998|
|Crafted in Japan O + 6 digits||1997-2000|
|Crafted in Japan P + 6 digits||1999-2002|
|Crafted in Japan Q + 6 digits||2002-2004|
|Crafted in Japan R + 6 digits||2004-2005|
|Crafted in Japan S + 6 digits||2006-2008|
|Crafted in Japan T + 6 digits||2007-2008|
2007 was another transitional year for Japanese-made Fender instruments, with the return to the “Made in Japan” country-of-origin identifier on the serial number decal. This was a running change, and both “Made in Japan” and “Crafted in Japan” decals appear on instruments from 2007 and 2008.
|Made in Japan T + 6 digits||2007-2010|
|Made in Japan U + 6 digits||2010-2011|
Note: A new Japanese vendor was enlisted in 2010 to help meet demand for the Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller Jazz Bass models. These two basses and the other instruments listed below that were supplied by this factory continued to use “Made in Japan T + 6 digits” designation through 2011:
Pawn Shop Fender ‘51
Pawn Shop Fender ‘72
Pawn Shop Mustang Special
‘70s Precision Bass
In 2012, Fender has transitioned the numbering scheme again with the new serial number starting with “JD” followed by an eight-digit number with “Made in Japan” decals.
If your serial number starts with “JD” followed by an eight-digit number, the first two digits designates the year of manufacture.
However, there are some exceptions in this transition period in 2012. “JD + 8 digits” and some of instruments with “U + 6 digits” are also built in 2012.
JD + 8 digits
2012 and on going