Dating fender japan
Fender stamped its bridge plates and neck plates in the early years.
The Precision Bass models, for example, had bridge plates that were marked from 100 to 2000 between 19. Again, these numbers are specific to the bridge plate, which could have been removed and installed on your guitar at some point, or stored a time before installation at the plant.
The progression described above relates only to MIJ (Made in Japan) Stratocasters, and not CIJ (Crafted in Japan). The progression was, incidentally, exactly the same for Fender Japan’s ’62 Strat Reissue on the UK market.
Things do get slightly more complicated, in that through the years there was a steady effort to save money on production.
Removal of the neck of your bass might show a stamped date on the heel of the neck, but the neck might have been stored for sometime before it was actually attached at the plant and shipped for sale.
Alphanumeric characters offer a faster way to identify the decade the neck was built. Most Japanese-built instruments were marked with a "J". As big sellers, the MIJ ’57s were everywhere, and you did accordingly acquire a slight ‘reissue blindness’ when walking into a shop.But in the grand picture of electric guitar history, the Fender MIJ ’57 Strats would come to endure as lively and exciting products.Current American reissues have the authentic positioning, like the old MIJs.
If your MIJ Strat conforms to all of the above, and it's all original, it's a ‘57 reissue.The range 100-400 was used specifically between the years of 19. Notice that there is also overlap in serial numbers between different years.