Guitar - General/Fender Telecaster


date codes
date codes  

Hello.  I wonder if you can answer a date code question on my Fender Telecaster.  I believe it is a 1982.  on the inside of the back of the neck there is a paper label with a bunch of initials and a stamped 4  1  820 .  Then on the wood there is a faint stamp 033082 .  Is this a 1982 Tele?  I have attached pics.  Oh, the SN is not legible up on the front of the neck.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Kenneth,
Without seeing the guitar in the flesh, I can only make assumptions, you don't mention any other info.

I am always skeptical concerning any guitar when a serial has been worn away, I would have to make the judgement as to whether I thought it had been worn away purposely or just by wear - always very difficult !

Necks & bodies can be swapped on Fenders, so without knowing any history, I can't make a firm judgement. I am not suggesting your guitar is a fake or a parts guitar, but there are lots of questions that would have to be asked concerning provenance ie; if you were the first owner & where you bought it, or if you know any other history etc etc etc.

Another concern would be that most Fenders from that era have a neck date stamp on the end of the heel, you do not mention that, so I assume that it is not there.

At face value the guitar could be anything from 77 to 82, that type of decal was used during that period, the S is still visible being the prefix to the serial number & could be S7 or S8 & they date to 1977 to 1978 or S9 which dates 78 to 82.

Dating a Fender guitar from the decal alone is never a good idea as the decals cross lots of years, the pickups may have dates & the pots if they are original will definitely have dates, so if you can date the pots etc & you know they are original, you can get a better idea of the year.

The stamps on your guitar seem to point to 1982, I have several 80's Fenders, one of them has 82 pot dates & 82 stamps in the neck cavity, but has an 83 neck date, I know its history & therefore able to confirm that the neck was the last thing to be assembled & that its an 83.

Please bear in mind that the pots were purchased in bulk & earlier date pots can be seen on later guitars, 1966 was a good example, 66 pots can be found on Fender guitars to the early 70's, because Fender bought a ship load of pots in 66.

You can google dating Fender pots & should find lots of info.

I hope this helps ? If you can supply more info I can help a bit more, let me know if you do want more help.


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I can answer questions on the USA made Fender Bullet 1981 to 1983. Also questions on vintage Fender Mustangs from 1964 onwards. If I do not know the answers, I will try my best to find out for you.


30 plus years as a semi pro guitar player in covers bands in the UK. I own a lot of USA Fender Bullets & several vintage Fender Mustangs. All my guitars are set up by myself & I have also completed some restoration work on some of the guitars.

Self taught from the age of 15 & play by ear. Educated by playing quite a few different styles of music with loads of musicians over the years.

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